“The most Stuckist exhibition ever exhibited.”
– Edgeworth Johnstone, on Stuckism Reddit
Stuckism is an exhibition of paintings by the Stuckism art group. What’s Stuckism? Stuckism is a second-hand record shop of contemporary painters.
Artists in this exhibition:
MARY VON STOCKHAUSEN (REMODERNIST, NOT STUCKIST)
WOLF HOWARD (EX-STUCKIST)
What isn’t Stuckism? An art movement. Stuckism’s Remodernist manifesto:’We don’t need more dull, boring, brainless destruction of convention, what we need is not new, but perennial‘. Stuckism manifesto: ‘Stuckism is an international non-movement‘.
Stuckism is what Stuckism was always meant to be, but never was…until now. Stuckism the way its manifesto intended: ‘The Stuckist is opposed to the sterility of the white wall gallery system and calls for exhibitions to be held in homes and musty museums, with access to sofas, tables, chairs and cups of tea.‘ – Point 18 of The Stuckists manifesto. But by the time Stuckism got round to putting on such exhibitions its co-founder and co-author of the Stuckist manifesto, Billy Childish, had long since left and was no longer exhibiting with them. Childish is still ex-Stuckist, but at this not-to-be-missed opportunity, 23 years in the making, visitors get to see and experience both his and fellow Stuckism co-founder and Stuckist manifesto co-author, Charles Thomson‘s work side-by-side at a Stuckist exhibition in-keeping with the Stuckist manifesto. Finally it’s happened, and it’s happened, appropriately, in the most humble of surroundings, the Black Ivory Printmaking & Audio Club in little Muswell Hill village.
The opposite of white is black. Black Ivory Printmaking & Audio Club is a black wall gallery and a home. Stuckism is a historic moment in contemporary art. It’s the most important Stuckist exhibition of all time. If we agree that Stuckism is, as it says it is, the holistic unification of Modernism’s fragmentation, then it must follow that Stuckism isn’t merely the most important Stuckist exhibition of all time, but the most important art exhibition of all time. As Stuckism, the group, is the full circle unification of Modernism, Stuckism, the exhibition, is the full circle unification of Stuckism.
‘Stuckism proposes a model of art which is holistic. It is a meeting of the conscious and unconscious, thought and emotion, spiritual and material, private and public. Modernism is a school of fragmentation — one aspect of art is isolated and exaggerated to detriment of the whole. This is a fundamental distortion of the human experience and perpetrates an egocentric lie.’ – Point 3 of The Stuckists moanifesto.
Ex-Stuckist Wolf Howard‘s included as he’s exhibited in Stuckism shows since leaving. Billy Childish co-founded Stuckism with Charles Thomson, but left soon after. I paint with Billy on Monday’s, so mentioned the show to him yesterday. He kindly handed me one of his paintings to put in. It’s a 1992 painting titled ‘Joseph Boyice – stucker pilot and dare devil artist’., see photo below.
Whilst at the studio yesterday, I also brought back perhaps the only collaboration painting Billy and I have done together that isn’t part of the Heckel’s Horse catalogue. It’s a painting of two chairs, hanging on its own wall of Sainsburys cardboard boxes, see photo below.
It’s nighttime, January 29th 2013. Stuckism co-founder Charles Thomson, Shelley Li and myself are probably reclining in the Black Ivory Printmaking & Audio Club kitchen, deep in conversation about the current state of the art world. Charles casually asks if I would like a free painting. I say yes. Charles asks for a canvas and some acrylic paints, and sets about painting. Little do we know, this painting will begin a radical U-turn seismic-shift renaissance in Thomson’s work. A new, off-the-cuff, rougher, blended way of painting. He paints a still life of a bottle, a skull and a cat on a yellow background. On the reverse he writes ‘29 JAN 2013 for Edge & Shelley CThomson‘. Charles returns home and starts painting more, prolifically more, in this new groundbreaking style. A few days later, February 2nd, the three of us are once again in the house of Black Ivory Printmaking & Audio Club. Probably deep in discussion about the current state of the art world. As always, from the perspective of amateur outsiders who are wholeheartedly engaged in the process of painting, and so aren’t interested. Charles kindly offers to paint Shelley and I another painting. This time, he also asks for a subject. I suggest a portrait of Shelley, and off he goes again. Both these paintings are in the exhibition (see videos and photo below).
In summer 2010, Mary Von Stockhausen invited her fellow members of The Institute of Collective Remodernism to stay at The Centre of Remodernism and Stuckism in Lewenhagen, Northern Germany for two weeks (see video below). Those that went included Bill Lewis, Joe Machine, Shelley Li, Edwina Jaques and myself. A filmmaker also came, shot loads of footage, then never made the film. Seems filmmakers often do this. Someone spent the day filming Billy and I working on Heckel s Horse paintings once. That was years ago. Haven’t heard since.
As far as I’m aware, Von Stockhausen isn’t a Stuckist but a Remodernist. Remodernism came from Stuckism though, and is pretty much the same thing, so her work is included in the Stuckism show. Underneath Wolf Howard‘s painting of a lamp. The only reason Bill Lewis‘s work isn’t included is because the portrait of Shelley Li I have by him, is buried deep in my storage room. I can’t be bothered to spend the half hour it would take to dig out, repack the room to its original state, only to have to do the same in reverse to put it back. Previous visitors to The Centre of Remodernism and Stuckism include founding Stuckism members Philp Absolon, Ella Guru and Sexton Ming (now ex-Stuckist). During our stay there we painted, drew and mounted a small exhibition in the dining room. The building itself is a castle surrounded by rivers, streams, fields, a maze, loose chickens and forests. I think we all left our paintings there. They are possibly still on display.
Since 2013, Billy Childish and I have been making collaboration paintings together, around 200 so far, under the pseudonym Heckel’s Horse. Heckel’s Horse, itself a collaboration, made a collaboration painting with Harry Adams, also itself a collaboration, after a painting by Mikhail Larionov, who himself made collaboration paintings with his wife Natalia Goncharova. Whilst working in Billy’s studio, Black Francis of The Amhurst Stuckists and I started making a collaboration painting together that still isn’t finished. It’s included in the Stuckism show as a work in progress, see above. I would have put a Heckel’s Horse painting in this show but they’re all in Chatham and six foot tall. There is one painting Billy and I collaborated on, that I don’t think is considered a Heckel’s Horse, that is in the Stuckism show, see above. Charles Thomson and I have made several joint paintings together. Two are hung above the radiator in Stuckism, see below. A collaborative work by the Ming family dynasty was nearly selected for this show.
Stuckism themed reading material can be enjoyed but not bought at the Stuckism exhibition. Including Stuck Near Tate Modern by Shelley Li and Edgeworth Johnstone, in which you can read The Founding, Manifesto and Rules of The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists.
Emma Pugmire is the best contemporary artist. The best Stuckist artist. The best non-Stuckist artist. Chronically underrated and overlooked. If the art world wasn’t run by zombie hipsters and agents looking exclusively for serene lobotomised loveliness to look lovely over their clients lovely mantelpieces, Pugmire would be a millionaire.
Black Ivory Printmaking & Audio Club is a black wall gallery and home. There are tables, chairs, must, cups of tea.
Stuckism was curated by Edgeworth Johnstone. The venue is Black Ivory Printmaking & Audio Club in Muswell Hill, London. Open by appointment only. None of the works are for sale. Contact Black Ivory Printmaking & Audio Club to book a viewing.