exhibition

Lehmann Maupin

Billy Childish: where the black water slid

Hosted by: Lehmann Maupin

Exhibition:

June 22, 2022 - Sept. 3, 2022

Gallery 1 (through 24 July) & First Floor, 1 CP

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What's On / Current and Upcoming / Billy Childish: where the black water slid

Exhibition Information

June 22, 2022 - Sept. 3, 2022

Gallery 1 (through 24 July) & First Floor, 1 CP

GET TICKETS

Lehmann Maupin

An exhibition of new work from the British painter, printmaker, musician, photographer, and writer. Including a live residency.

In addition to his paintings, works on paper, and multiples, Childish has produced hundreds of albums of music and numerous volumes of fiction and poetry. As a painter, Childish works quickly and intuitively, often creating his kinetic compositions in a single session without any revision. Working primarily on linen, his canvases exude a warm glow, and his palette is often natural and earthy, reflecting the tenor of the traditional art historical subjects—seascapes, figure in the landscape, still lives—he engages. His subjects are frequently people he knows or admires or drawn from his environment: birch forests, bathers, self-portraits, or his wife as a reclining female nude are recurring themes. As part of the exhibition, Lehmann Maupin will host Childish for a day of painting open to the public on Wednesday, June 29, from 1:00 pm in Gallery 1, where visitors can interact with Childish and witness his creative process unfold.

For where the black water slid, Childish explores the classic theme of the bather, with many works featuring swimmers immersed in swirling waters or figures wading in pools and caves fed by rushing waterfalls. Rendered in deep hues of green and brown offset with bright white accents, these works portray idyllic scenes of leisure and relaxation, and suggest deep communion with both nature and self. Other paintings depict bathers fully immersed in bright, glistening water, with colorful refractions reflected across the picture plane, showcasing Childish’s dynamic treatment of water and light. where the black water slid also includes work from Chidlish’s recent skull series, set in natural landscapes. Recalling the tradition of vanitas painting, these memento mori poetically remind viewers to cherish that which is most important in life—family, friends, and time spent in the natural world.  

While his painting style and surrealist landscapes are often compared to those of fin de siècle expressionist painters such as Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch, it is the ethos these artists represent—their spiritual and creative integrity—that is most compelling for Childish. A total artist, Childish has long embodied these qualities in his trenchant anti-establishment, anti-authority stance and his reverence for traditional, representational oil painting regardless of its status within contemporary artistic discourse. An unabashed universalist, Childish considers artistry to be the inheritance of every human being, a method to capture the expressive impulse and visualize the powerful lure of beauty and its innate connection to the divine.

Please note: through August this exhibition is open Wednesday to Friday each week. 

Image: Billy Childish, trees, morning, 2022. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

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About the Hosts

Lehmann Maupin

Lehmann Maupin

Since inception, Lehmann Maupin has been instrumental in introducing international artists in new geographies. This mission has resulted in historic first exhibitions in New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul. 

Lehmann Maupin London, located at Cromwell Place, functions as a dynamic multi-purpose space, offering an alternative to the traditional gallery model. Conceived in response to the shifting needs of its artists and the broader arts community, Lehmann Maupin London is foregoing a fixed exhibition program and instead engage in site-specific activations, installations, and performances.

This innovative model allows the gallery to develop focused presentations that highlight critical issues of the day, while also providing a platform for artists to think outside of the traditional presentation of a new body of work. In addition, the gallery hosts a regular series of public programs to keep audiences engaged in the current practices and concerns of its artists.


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