“Blitzkrieg Bop,” curated by painter Clare Price, brings together work by 20 different artists. According to the press release, the show aims toward an unapologetically expressive aesthetic and raucous attitude, an explosive almost ‘punk’ feel characterized by its energy and spontaneity. “Each artist makes work that is infused with an uninhibited looseness of expression, in which the individuality of the mark-making is of paramount importance.” Guardian art blogger Catherine Bruton wonders if the show does what it says on the tin, or is it just a nostalgic tribute to what she naively calls a long-dead tradition. “I reckon it’s the first.” she concludes.”This is a show which not only reasserts the value of the painterly but seeks to re-contextualize the tradition. The eclectic mixture of artists being shown here creates disturbing moments of visual dissonance and unsettling juxtapositions. Looking round and seeing Peter Lanyon (leading figure in the 1950s St Ives Group) next to paint-pouring YBA Ian Davenport, I sometimes wondered if Price had accidentally hung Cliff Richard next to Johnny Rotten. Yet somehow it works….Are we really witnessing the revival of the painterly tradition? Is this really the beginning of a cultural revolt that will dethrone Emin and Hirst and put painters back where they belong – on the anti-establishment throne of British art?” Read more.
“Blitzkrieg Bop,” curated by Clare Price. Man & Eve Gallery, London. Through August 3. Artists include Gillian Ayres, Simon Bill, Melanie Carvalho, Clem Crosby, Ian Davenport, Howard Dyke, Sophie Eade, Russell Eade, Katrine Hjelde, JohnFrumPress, Neil Kilby, Scott King, Peter Lanyon, Rich Littler, Yo Okada, Daniel Pasteiner, Clare Price, Ben Sansbury, Peter Saville.