Remodernism

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Remodernism revives aspects of modernism, particularly in its early form, and follows postmodernism, to which it contrasts. Adherents of remodernism advocate it as a forward and radical, not reactionary, impetus.[1][2]

In 2000, Billy Childish and Charles Thomson, founders of the stuckism art movement instigated remodernism,[3] with a manifesto, Remodernism in an attempt to introduce a period of new spirituality into art, culture and society to replace postmodernism, which they said was cynical and spiritually bankrupt. In 2002, a remodernism art show in Albuquerque was accompanied by an essay from University of California, Berkeley art professor, Kevin Radley, who said there was a renewal of artists working without the limitation of irony and cynicism, and that there was a renewal of the sense of beauty.

In 2006, the Stedelijk Museum and the University of Amsterdam held a talk on remodernism with Daniel Birnbaum and Alison Gingeras; the introduction to this talked of the revival of painting as a possible return to traditional modernist values, such as authenticity, self-expression and autonomy, as opposed to multimedia practice. [4] In 2008, London Evening Standard critic, Ben Lewis, applied the term to three Turner Prize nominees and saw them amongst a movement which was reviving the formalism of the early 20th century; he advocated values of an aesthetic informed by modesty, generosity and genuine emotion.[5]

Contents

History

Charles Thomson and Billy Childish, the founders of the stuckism art movement, inaugurated the period of remodernism.[3] Their Remodernism manifesto was published on March 1, 2000 to promote vision, authenticity and self-expression, with an emphasis on painting, and subtitled "towards a new spirituality in art." Its premise is that the potential of the modernist vision has not been fulfilled, that its development has been in the wrong direction and that this vision needs to be reclaimed, redefined and redeveloped. It advocates the search for truth, knowledge and meaning, and challenges formalism.

It has a short introduction, summing up: "Modernism has progressively lost its way, until finally toppling into the bottomless pit of Postmodern balderdash." This is followed by 14 numbered points, stressing bravery, individuality, inclusiveness, communication, humanity and the perennial against nihilism, scientific materialism and the "brainless destruction of convention." Point 7 states:

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