Billy Childish at White Columns, New York

Until 17th April 2010, White Columns in New York presents a group of recent oil paintings by Billy Childish. The British artist, musician and writer Billy Childish is a legendary figure. He has worked on the margins of the art world, the music business, and the literary scene for more than thirty years.

On display at White Columns are self portraits in the landscape; images of the Swiss modernist writer Robert Walser; scenes of the River Medway in Kent, England; and a group of recent still-life paintings of flowers depicted in vases made by the artist’s mother.

“Childish’s paintings display an economy and directness that is analogous to the fundamental nature of his poetry and stripped-down, blues-inspired music. Childish seeks to explore – in all his work – those aspects of his own life that are both essential and universal. Eschewing contemporary mannerisms and modes of production, even down to his dandyish attire, Childish instead privileges seemingly anachronistic aesthetic and literary styles, to create works – in painting, music and literature – that are somehow, and paradoxically, timeless.” (from the press release).

Billy Childish’s exhibition at White Columns runs concurrently to his first institutional survey exhibition at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art (Feb. 17 – May 2, 2010). The show, titled “Unknowable but Certain” is co-curated by White Columns’ Director Matthew Higgs and the ICA’s Richard Birkett. The ICA exhibition brings together more recent paintings alongside a thirty year survey of his writing and music. In September 2010 Billy Childish will have a solo exhibition at Berlin’s Neugerriemschneider gallery.

Billy Childish, White Columns, New York. Opening reception, March 5, 2010.

Update (July 9, 2010): Billy Childish in conversation with Neal Brown at La Maison de la Poésie.

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