Archive for the ‘ All Terms ’ Category


Dates: 1999-Present

Origin: International

Key Artists: Billy Childish, Charles Thomson

Founded by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson in 1999, Stuckism is an art movement that is anti-conceptual and champions figurative painting. Thomson derived the name from an insult by the Young British Artist, Tracey Emin, who told her ex-lover Childish that his art was ‘stuck, stuck, stuck’. Since its modest beginnings Stuckism is now an international art movement with over a hundred members worldwide. Childish left in 2001, but the group continues its confrontational agenda, demonstrating against events like the Turner Prize or Beck’s Futures which the movement argues are among a number of art world events controlled by a small number of art world insiders.

“Stuckism.” 10 March 2010. <>

Stuckism is a radical and controversial art group that was co-founded in 1999 by Charles Thomson and Billy Childish (who left in 2001) along with eleven other artists. The name was derived by Thomson from an insult to Childish from his ex-girlfriend, Brit artist Tracey Emin, who had told him that his art was ‘Stuck’. Stuckists are pro-contemporary figurative painting with ideas and anti-conceptual art, mainly because of its lack of concepts. Stuckists have regularly demonstrated dressed as clowns against the Turner Prize. Several Stuckist Manifestos have been issued. One of them Remodernism inaugurates a renewal of spiritual values for art, culture and society to replace the emptiness of current Postmodernism. The web site, started by Ella Guru, has disseminated these ideas, and in five years Stuckism has grown to an international art movement with over 187 groups in 45 countries. These groups are independent and self-directed.

“Summary.” 10 March 2010. <>

Charles Thomson



Dates: 1993-Present

Origin: International

Key Artists: Louise Bourgeois, Jake and Dinos Chapman

The abject is a complex psychological, philosophical and linguistic concept developed by Julia Kristeva in her 1980 book Powers of Horror. She was partly influenced by the earlier ideas of the French writer, thinker and dissident Surrealist, Georges Bataille. It can be said very simply that the abject consists of those elements, particularly of the body, that transgress and threaten our sense of cleanliness and propriety. Kristeva herself commented ‘refuse and corpses show me what I permanently thrust aside in order to live’. In practice the abject covers all the bodily functions, or aspects of the body, that are deemed impure or inappropriate for public display or discussion. The abject has a strong feminist context, in that female bodily functions in particular are ‘abjected’ by a patriarchal social order. In the 1980s and 1990s many artists became aware of this theory and reflected it in their work. In 1993 the Whitney Museum, New York, staged an exhibition titled Abject Art: Repulsion and Desire in American Art, which gave the term a wider currency in art. Cindy Sherman is seen as a key contributor to the abject in art, as well as many others including Louise Bourgeois, Helen Chadwick, Paul McCarthy, Gilbert & George, Robert Gober, Carolee Schneemann, Kiki Smith and Jake and Dinos Chapman.

“Abject art.” 12 March 2010. <>

Jake and Dinos Chapman


Dates: 1990-Present

Origin: International

Key Artists: Gillian Wearing, Liam Gillick

The French curator Nicholas Bourriaud published a book called Relational Aesthetics in 1998 in which he described the term as meaning ‘a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space.’ He saw artists as facilitators rather than makers and regarded art as information exchanged between the artist and the viewers. The artist, in this sense, gives audiences access to power and the means to change the world. Bourriaud cited the art of Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parreno, Douglas Gordon and Liam Gillick as artists who work to this agenda.

“Relational Aesthetics.” 12 March 2010. <>

Gillian Wearing


Dates: 1988-1998

Origin: Great Britain

Key Artists: Damian Hirst, Tracey Emin

Term used to identify a group of British artists active in London from the 1980s to the late 1990s. The term was derived from a series of six exhibitions, Young British Artists I to Young British Artists VI, held between March 1992 and November 1996 at the Saatchi Gallery, London. The earliest core members of the group attended Goldsmiths’ College, London, in the late 1980s, under the tutelage of Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Wentworth and others. The group rose to prominence through a mixture of precocious talent and self-promotion, encouraged by the patronage of new collectors, particularly Charles Saatchi. The genesis of the YBAs can be traced to a 1988 warehouse show in London, curated by Damien Hirst and entitled Freeze. Hirst exhibited works by himself and 15 of his fellow Goldmiths’ students, including Angela Bulloch, Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas, Richard Patterson and Fiona Rae. Subsequent group exhibitions cemented the artists’ reputations for independence, entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to manipulate the media; particularly the warehouse show Modern Medicine (1990), curated by Hirst and journalist Carl Freedman (b 1965), and Freedman’s Minky Manky (1995; London, S. London A.G.).

Nicholson, Octavia. “Young British Artists.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 12 Mar. 2010 <>

Damian Hirst


Dates: 1982-Present

Origin: United States

Key Artists: Ashley Bickerton, Peter Halley

Short for Neo-Geometric Conceptualism. This term came into use in the early 1980s in America to describe the work of Peter Halley, Ashley Bickerton, Jeff Koons and others. Halley in particular was strongly influenced by the French thinker Jean Baudrillard. Their work aimed at a being a critique of the mechanization and commercialization of the modern world – what Halley referred to as the ‘geometricisation of modern life’. Seeing geometry as a metaphor for society, Halley made brilliantly colored geometrically abstract paintings which, however, have a figurative basis. They are derived from things such as circuit boards, which Halley uses to represent the individual organisms and networks of contemporary urban existence. The paintings are depictions of the social landscape, of isolation and connectivity. The work of Bickerton and Koons was mainly three dimensional. Koons parodied consumer culture by presenting real consumer goods as works of timeless beauty. Bickerton in works such as his Biofragment series, created a vision of apocalypse.

“Neo-Geo.” 12 March 2010. <>

Peter Halley


Dates: 1980-Present

Origin: International

Key Artists: Harold Cohen

The first use of the term Digital art was in the early 1980s when computer engineers devised a paint program which was used by the pioneering digital artist Harold Cohen. This became known as AARON, a robotic machine designed to make large drawings on sheets of paper placed on the floor. Since this early foray into artificial intelligence, Cohen has continued to fine-tune the AARON program as technology becomes more sophisticated. Digital art can be computer generated, scanned or drawn using a tablet and a mouse. In the 1990s, thanks to improvements in digital technology, it was possible to download video onto computers, allowing artists to manipulate the images they had filmed with a video camera. This gave artists a creative freedom never experienced before with film, allowing them to cut and paste within moving images to create visual collages. In recent times some Digital art has become interactive, allowing the audience a certain amount of control over the final image.

“Digital art.” 12 March 2010. <>

Harold Cohen


Dates: 1978-Present

Origin: Europe, United States

Key Artists: Richard Prince, Barbara Kruger

By the end of the 1970s, Modernism’s utopian principles of innovation, artistic authenticity, and individual expression had become increasingly suspect in a critical culture attuned to late capitalism’s production of desire. Postmodernist theory—articulated in fields as diverse as architecture, comparative literature, semiotics, and political science—questioned and dismantled the grand narrative of Western culture and had a profound impact on the visual arts. A number of different yet related aesthetic strategies (known variously as “Appropriation art” and “Neo-Geo”) emerged at this time to signal the apparent demise of Modernism and to critique its legacy. Some artists flagrantly appropriated the works of others and called these their own in order to demonstrate the myth of originality and the death of the authorial voice. Others exploited the commodification of their work to underscore the inescapable effects of commerce on the art world. In a Duchampian mode, these artists incorporated ready-made objects drawn directly from the commercial realm into their sculptures and installations. Still others produced abstract, geometric canvases (as emblems of Modernism) to demonstrate that painting, like any representational system, is a code or text that could be endlessly replicated. Additionally there is a fundamental compatibility between Postmodernism’s critique of cultural authority and the feminist critique of sexual difference. Hence a number of women artists associated with Neo-Conceptualism used its strategies of appropriation, pastiche, and simulation to challenge the auratic quality of the autonomous art object and the (male) cult of the artist.

“Neo-Conceptualism.” 12 March 2010. <>

Richard Prince