The Aesthetic of Awkwardness

Winner of the Hayward Touring Curatorial Open 2017, Shonky is an examination of a tendency not previously identified in art.

Curated by artist John Walter, this exhibition brings together international artists and architects to explore the nature of visual awkwardness.

As an artist whose own practice is founded on irreverence and humour, Walter is well placed to define a theory of art that concentrates on work that is hand-made but not well crafted, that defies good taste and orderliness. He does this persuasively here, helped by the bright, awkward and exuberant works that illustrate his text.

Showing us ‘shonkiness’ in writing, novelists Zoë Strachan and Louise Welsh contribute a letter from their retreat in Scotland, while ‘The Shonky Test’ provides a quick primer for those who wish to find out where ‘shonkiness’ in art might be found.

Designed by Fraser Muggeridge, with a ‘shonkified’ font, misplaced spot varnish and fluorescent colours, the book promises to live up to its title.

Includes work by artists: Arakawa and Gins; Cosima von Bonin; Niki de Saint Phalle; Benedict Drew; Justin Favela; Duggie Fields; Louise Fishman; Friedensreich Hundertwasser; Kate Lepper; Andrew Logan; Plastique Fantastique; Jacolby Satterwhite; Tim Spooner and John Walter.

Published alongside the UK touring show: MAC, Belfast (20 October 2017 – 14 January 2018), DCA, Dundee (9 March – 27 May 2018), and Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre (23 June – 15 September 2018).

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