This lavishly illustrated career survey of the work of Ashley Bickerton provides unprecedented insight into the artist’s life and art.
As one of the loose collection of New York artists, including Haim Steinbach and Jeff Koons, whose work inspired the appellation “Neo-Geo,” Bickerton first rose to prominence in New York in the mid-1980s with vibrant abstract works infused with a sardonic critique of consumer culture. These gave way in the early 1990s to tropically derived pieces redolent of concern for the natural environment.
The artist’s move, in 1993, to the surfer’s paradise of Bali, Indonesia, occasioned the development of a richly hued aesthetic that has found expression in diverse paintings, sculptures, and photographs. Combining the fantastically exotic with the troublingly nightmarish, Bickerton’s evocative work continues to evolve.
Throughout this eclectic monograph, the artist’s own commentary is interwoven with text from additional contributors, including essays by fellow artist Jake Chapman, novelist
Nick McDonell, art historian Abigail Solomon-Godeau, curator Dominic Molon, and the artist’s father, the noted linguist-anthropologist Derek Bickerton.
Also included is an interview with Bickerton conducted by Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery, presented in the form of a comic novel with illustrations by graphic artist Ignacio Noé.
This book, designed by Stefan Sagmeister in close collaboration with the artist, is a striking work of art in its own right, featuring a fold-out poster, die-cut pages, and more than 300 colour illustrations.
Text by Derek Bickerton, Jake Chapman, Nick McDonnell, Dominic Molon, Abigail Solomon-Godeau. An illustrated interview with the artist Ashley Bickerton and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, illustrated by Ignacio Noe. Commentary by the artist. Book concept by Sagmeister Inc. Art Direction by Stefan Sagmeister. Designed by Philipp Hubert. Edited by Kara Vander Weg.
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.