Ashley Bickerton was born in Barbados in the West Indies in 1959. He studied at the California Institute of the Arts before moving to New York, and became one of the ‘Fantastic Four’ along with Jeff Koons, Peter Halley and Meyer Vaisman. Their work, known as ‘Neo-Geo’, caused a sensation, and the next few years proved intoxicating for Bickerton. Over the last twenty-five years, Bickerton has exhibited throughout Europe and America and his work is in several public art collections.
Recent solo shows include Sonnabend Gallery, New York, 2004; Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore, 2006 and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, 2008. Bickerton took up residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute where he created a series of complex works with multi-layered mixed media such as lithography, monoprint, digital print, cast paper and assemblage. His work was also featured in an East Village USA retrospective at the New Museum of Contemporary Art New York, 2004; Tomorrowland: CalArts in Moving Pictures, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2006; The Fractured Figure, Deste Foundation, Athens, 2007 and SAND: Memory, Meaning, and Metaphor, The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York, 2008.
July 1, 2016Wall-Walls
July 1 – September 10, 2016 at the Norton Gallery in Los Angeles More information here: www.nortongallery.com
September 10, 2013Ashley Bickerton in New York
September 11 – October 26, 2013 Lehmann Maupin, 201 Chrystie Street, New York
Lehmann Maupin is pleased to present Ashley Bickerton’s fourth solo show at the gallery, on view at 201 Chrystie Street from 11 September – 26 October 2013.
The artist will be present for an opening reception on Wednesday, 11 September from 6 to 8 PM.
Cardi Black Box Gallery presents The Women, the first solo show at Cardi Black Box by the international artist Ashley Bickerton. On display is a new body of work that represents a further and deeper driving of the artist at the long-held goal of somehow managing to merge painting, photography, and sculpture seamlessly into one work.
Thanks to all who attended our Pre-Frieze brunch last week to celebrate the launch of Ashley Bickerton‘s newly published monograph. We also showed off the new Damien Hirst foil block prints Death or Glory as well as a selection of limited edition books by Rachel Howard, Polly Borland, Mat Collishaw, Richard Prince, Jane Simpson and Phillip Allen.
Participating artists include: Efrain Almeida (Brazil), Ashley Bickerton (Bali), Joshua Callaghan (US), Marcos Chaves (Brazil), Saint Clair Cemin (Brazil), Howard Dyke (UK), Christopher Knowles and Robert Wilson (US).
Ashley Bickerton - Recent Wurg, White Cube, Hoxton Square, London
3 Apr - 9 May 2009
The long-term trajectory of Ashley Bickerton’s work reveals two distinct but concurrent themes, at times contradictory, the ‘culturescape’ and the ‘landscape.’ Although his work has gone through many different stylistic and aesthetic changes over its twenty-five year course, it has however remained constant in its commentary.
It has been noted by more than one observer that Bickerton’s first ‘Bali Paintings’ (1993–2001) were directly related to his earlier approach to the art object in the late 1980’s. Then the boxy shaped structures were decorated in self-referential logos, hanging instructions, electronic LED price meters ticking up, handles and shipping covers. All of this paraphernalia was visible on the art object when stationed on the gallery wall. These objects were specifically designed to function with equal self-referential import at every station, whether it is shipping, storage, media reproduction, on the wall or on the block.
The early Bali paintings took this idea, but instead of focusing it onto the art object, applied it directly to the human form. This time around, it was fleshy biomass not the box that was to be slathered and layered in the contradictory codes of the anthroposphere.
This period was followed by a second return to landscape. Bickerton, who once jokingly described artists (and other cultural producers) as ‘flowers on the tree of culture’, has also spoken about his inability to control the push-and-pull, reactive nature of his own dual-stemmed growth.
These newer landscapes represent the inevitable recoil into what he regards as the only silent spaces on the planet. Yet they are now covered in the flotsam that today blights even the most remote of oceans and shorelines, the rubber slippers and other castoffs of our planetary stewardship. The paintings, although directly addressing a huge silence, crawl with lists of bacteria in a multitude of languages, representations of human semen locked in a tangled dance with unfulfilled yearning and desire while slaloming through a maze of discarded toys, booze bottles and cigarette packs.
The twin trajectories in Bickerton’s work could be boiled down to confrontation and escape--the one a scathing analysis of culture’s current sickness, the other yearning with a poetic sense of loss.
In Bickerton’s most recent work, we find for the first time these dual trends fused into one. In a compounded form that synthesizes painting, sculpture and photography, Bickerton has created a series of objects that are parodies of “What a painting should be!” or as he described them; “Sort of tarted up and color drenched versions of Allan McCollum’s old ‘Surrogates’ complete with their own ‘heart aching’ content.”
Because he abandoned the industrial West to take up permanent residence on an island widely regarded as “idyllic” (Bickerton has lived in Bali since 1993), he has often been compared to the Post-Impressionist master Paul Gauguin. Bickerton’s tropics are decidedly not the tropics of Gauguin. Outside of a staple of ‘dusky maidens’, neither the intent and nor outcome of the two painters’ work have anything in common. While Gauguin might have still believed in a noble Eden and moved farther and farther a field in search of it, we see Bickerton knowingly setting out to the tattered remnants of a paradise already riddled with corruption, greed, snarling Third-World traffic and a booming 21st century economy.
Bickerton was born on the island of Barbados in 1959 to British academic parents. His father is Derek Bickerton, the noted linguist and authority on pidgin and Creole languages and language evolution. It is because of the older Bickerton’s research work that the family never spent more than two years in any one place, moving constantly across four continents and many island chains. It was the effect of these tropical outposts that would have long reaching consequences for his future production.
Bickerton received a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1982 and then relocated to N.Y.C. to the prestigious Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.
He first came into serious public focus with a sensational yet highly controversial group show at the Sonnabend Gallery in 1986. This was seen by many as a manifesto show for what was to become known as the ‘Neo-Geo’ movement. These artists were the antithesis to the then dominant forms of Graffiti Art and Neo Expressionism, movements powered by such redoubtable figures as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel. His most recent exhibition was at the prestigious Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York in 2006 and upcoming exhibitions include Fractured Figure at the Deste Foundation in Athens and an exhibition of his work will also be shown at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.
Over the last twenty-five years Bickerton has exhibited extensively around the world and his work can be found in many museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Tate Gallery and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. His work is also included in many important private collections worldwide.
Video: Ashley Bickerton at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Film by Nicole Davis, Courtesy Artnet TV
Interview: Ashley Bickerton speaks with William Pym
Ashley Bickerton, a celebrated artist of the 1980s New York scene, talks to William Pym about his radical, unexpected shift toward lurid painting after his move to Bali.