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Billy Childish, incomprehensible but certainly
Installation view
Stiftung Opelvillen, R...

Billy Childish, incomprehensible but certainly
Installation view
Stiftung Opelvillen, R...

Billy Childish: flowers, nudes and birch trees: New Paintings 2015
Installation view
Lehmann...

Billy Childish: flowers, nudes and birch trees: New Paintings 2015
Installation view
Le...

BILLY CHILDISH
birch wood, 2015
oil and charcoal on linen
72.05 x 108.07 inches
...

BILLY CHILDISH
self portrait with tie, 2015
oil and charcoal on linen
72.05 x 60.04 i...

BILLY CHILDISH
Juju, 2015
oil and charcoal on linen
72.05 x 48.03 inches
183 x...

BILLY CHILDISH
the great cloud (after Segantini) version, 2015
oil and charcoal on linen

Billy Childish, Paintings Sweet Paintings
Installation view
Neuer Aachener Kunstverein
...

Billy Childish, edge of the forest
Installation view
Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
M...

Billy Childish, edge of the forest
Installation view
Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
March ...

Billy Childish
Installation view
Lehmann Maupin, 540 West 26th Street
March 28 – April 2...

Billy Childish
Installation view
Lehmann Maupin, 540 West 26th Street
March 28 – April 2...

BILLY CHILDISH
edge of the forest, 2013
oil and charcoal on linen
60.04 x 48.03 inches
...

BILLY CHILDISH
man in a small boat, winter, 2013
oil and charcoal on linen
40.55 x 120.08 inch...

Billy Childish, Frozen Estuary and Other Paintings of the Divine Ordinary
Installation View

Billy Childish, Frozen Estuary and Other Paintings of the Divine Ordinary
Installation View
...

Billy Childish, Frozen Estuary and Other Paintings of the Divine Ordinary-Part II
Installation...

Billy Childish, Frozen Estuary and Other Paintings of the Divine Ordinary-Part II
Installation...

Billy Childish, I Am the Billy Childish
Installation View
Lehmann Maupin, 201 Chrystie Stre...

Billy Childish, I Am the Billy Childish 
Installation View
Lehmann Maupin, 201 Chr...

Billy Childish, I Am the Billy Childish 
Installation View
Lehmann Maupin, 201 Chr...

BILLY CHILDISH
Man and Woman Leaning on Boom (Oyster Catchers, Thames Estuary 1932), 2012
oi...

BILLY CHILDISH
Frozen Estuary - River Roach, 1947 (Version X), 2012
oil and charcoal on line...

BILLY CHILDISH
Erupting Volcano, Chile, 2011
oil and charcoal on linen
72.05 x 95.87 ...

BILLY CHILDISH
Sibelius Amongst Saplings, 2011
oil and charcoal on linen
72.05 x 96.0...

BILLY CHILDISH
Kurz Descending (Study), 2011
oil and charcoal on linen
59.84 x 36.02 ...

BILLY CHILDISH
With Scout Under Rowan Tree, 2011
oil and charcoal on linen
59.84 x 48...

BILLY CHILDISH
Sibalius (Man with Stick), 2011
oil and charcoal on linen
96.06 x 60.2...

BILLY CHILDISH
(Elgar) Man Sat on Chairs, 2011
oil and charcoal on linen
48.03 x 59.8...

BILLY CHILDISH
Erupting Volcano (Sea View), 2011
oil and charcoal on linen
72.05 x 96...

BILLY CHILDISH
Toni Kurz Ascending, 2011
oil and charcoal on linen
96.06 x 72.05 inch...

BILLY CHILDISH
(Fallada) Man with Blue Bottle, 2010
oil and charcoal on linen
59.84 x...

Billy Childish, Unknown but Certain
Installation view
ICA London
February 17-May...

Billy Childish, Unknown but Certain
Installation view
ICA London
February 17-May...

Billy Childish, Unknown but Certain
Installation view
ICA London
February 17-May...

Billy Childish
Installation view
White Columns, New York
March 6-April 17, 2010

Billy Childish
Installation view
White Columns, New York
March 6-April 17, 2010

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Artist Bio

Billy Childish

Billy Childish (b. 1959, Chatham, Kent, United Kingdom; lives and works in London) is known for his introspective, autobiographical, and deeply emotional paintings, writing, and music. After leaving secondary school at age 16, Childish worked at the Naval Dockyard in Chatham as an apprentice stonemason. Initially denied an interview to the local art school, he produced hundreds of drawings that gained him entry to London’s Saint Martin's School of Art. Childish's defiance of authority led to his eventual expulsion from art school in 1981. Since then, Childish has gained something of a cult status worldwide, writing and publishing five novels and more than 40 volumes of confessional poetry, recording more than 150 LPs, and painting several hundred works. Through all of these disciplines, Childish addresses social, political, and personal issues such as war, protest, his turbulent childhood, and his struggles with addiction. While his confessional poetry and music explore these issues with startling honesty, Childish’s paintings are more subtle. His subjects are often drawn from his environment or are people he knows or admires: birch forests, self-portraits, a lone figure in a pastoral English landscape, and his wife as a reclining female nude. Childish works quickly and intuitively, making spare marks on raw canvas that leave much of it visible. He identifies with artists who worked outside a group or movement, intrigued by their outsider roles in society, such as Vincent van Gogh, Kurt Schwitters, and Edvard Munch. Labeling himself a “radical traditionalist,” Childish has a reverence for traditional oil painting yet has resolutely resisted any connection with a particular group or artistic movement.

 

Childish attended Medway College of Design, Kent in 1977 and Saint Martin’s School of Art, London in 1978. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at Rochester Art Gallery, Kent, United Kingdom (2016); Opelvillen Rüsselsheim, Frankfurt, Germany (2016); White Columns, New York (2010); and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2010). Select group exhibitions featuring his work include BILLY CHILDISH, HARRY ADAMS and EDGEWORTH JOHNSTONE: Our Friend Larionov, Pushkin House, London (2014); Paintings Sweet Paintings, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aache, Germany (2014); and British Art Show 5, City Art Centre, Edinburgh (2000).