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‘Painters Out of Order’ – International Stuckists in Iran


Poster for Painters Out of Order by Dan Mayze

If only Tracy Emin had known it would go as far as Iran, when in the 90s she declared to her then partner Billy Childish that he and his work spanning painting, music and poetry, were “Stuck!” As Camille Paglia has said, to name is to know and to know is control. By giving the sentiments behind his work a name, Emin contributed to the Childish’s control of the ethos in his and many others’ work. And for those who consider paint on canvas to be a conventional form of art, think again. At this  year’s Frieze Art Fair we found ourselves enjoying a huge and involving canvas only to find it was Childish’s. And many artists are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with paint and other canvas friendly media. And so what of the nemesis to all Stuckists, the art world’s standard-bearer, The Turner Prize? Known to attend the Turner Prize galleries in an array of costumes, the Stuckists have made their feelings about the prize, which they consider a farce, very public. Having attended the opening of this year’s Turner Prize ourselves, we can see that the work is engaging, that there are no obliquely hidden concepts in very minimal and inward-looking works as there have been other years. One nominee, Ghanian-born Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is even using paint and canvas in the most exciting way, while still referencing traditional forms, she fractures narratives.


One wall of the exhibition, each wall demonstrating the breadth of technique employed by different painters

Beyond these tensions, a show in Iran brings together very disparate artists in what might be the first radical Stuckist show in not just Iran, but the region. ResonanceFM stalwart and original Medway Poet member – Medway Poets were one of the founding groups of the Stuckism movement –  Sexton Ming shows alongside little known MENASA, US and European Stuckists and Remodernists. MENASA countries include Turkey, Iran, Pakistan. We’d love to know what the Iranian arts scene makes of the potency of the show and the pointed philosophy of the Stuckists in general who state:

The Stuckists are, therefore, opposed to the current pretensions of so-called Brit Art, Performance Art, Installation Art, Video Art, Conceptual Art, Minimal Art, Body Art, Digital Art and anything claiming to be art which incorporates dead animals or beds – mainly because they are unremarkable and boring.”

Iran is already hot-bed of philosophy and thought, with passionate debate being a major part of social life in Iran, generally surpassing anything you might overhear of an evening today in an English pub. How will this show fuel the discussion? The Tehran Stuckists formed in 2007 and their exhibition “Painters Out of Order” runs at Tehran’s Day Gallery until 25th November 2013.


The Tehran Stuckists