The exhibition “Jamie Reid. Ragged Kingdom” dedicated to Jamie Reid (1947), the British artist associated with Situationism and anarchic movements, responsible for the Sex Pistols’ graphics, creating for them radically revolutionary images which became the symbol of the first wave of British punk, opens at the Galleria civica di Modena on Friday 12 September 2014 at 18.00 at Palazzo Santa Margherita. Developed in collaboration with the Isis Gallery in Brighton, with the participation of ONO arte contemporanea, the exhibition, sponsored by Hera Group, is part of the program of Modena’s festivalfilosofia events, the theme of which, this year, is the concept of “glory”.
“There is no single way for us to be close to our clients – declared Giuseppe Gagliano, Chief Director of External Relations, Gruppo Hera – indeed, alongside the services we provide, there is a whole world of cultural initiatives and events to be promoted and protected, for they constitute essential elements in the quality of life of citizens. Dealing also with this is an aim that we attempt to reach by bringing together the many examples of excellence throughout our territory. The Galleria civica di Modena is one of these.”
Reid’s work, perfectly coherent with the central theme of the festival and at the same time its antithesis, subverts every order and rule and often expresses itself through the reversal of schemes, a systematic jeer, and demythologization. The British Queen with swastikas on her eyes, the Union Jack with safety pins and the phrase "Anarchy in the U.K." are among the most famous icons of a period in which profound and radical social changes coexisted with the Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle.
Drawings, paintings, collages and photographs describe the best works of an artist who has always been against “the powers that be”, and who has always been a pioneer in the world of images and communication. The Main Hall of Palazzo Santa Margherita will hold the large installation that also gives the name of the exhibition as a whole (‘Ragged Kingdom’), composed of a number of North American Indian tepees – symbols of hospitality, refuge, protection and therefore peace and dialogue – painted by the artist, inside of which visitors will find a pile of printed sheets with which to build their own personal ‘catalogue’ of the exhibition for themselves. On the upper floor, on the other hand, there will be around 60 drawings, paintings, graphics, designs and photographs giving a brief summary of Reid’s artistic career starting from his early work with agit-prop local community press group Suburban Press, when he developed his style and a number of images – for example the buses with the destination ‘Nowhere’ – which then evolved into the punk iconography, and then focuses in more detail on the period strictly connected with the Sex Pistols. There are thirty or so works presented from this period of intense activity, from 1976 to 1980, including a collage almost eight meters long (‘Mural’), which represents a true high point in his career. There’s also a selection of more recent works, in which anarchic and situationist themes are presented together with themes linked to a magic and shamanic world very dear to the artist, expressed through cosmological, druidic and esoteric symbols.
The project is accompanied by a crowdfunding project, the collective financing system that mobilizes people and raises resources to support an idea. To contribute, visit the site, www.com-unity.it, subject to free registration.
Jamie Reid. Born in Croydon, in Surrey, in 1947, after attending Wimbledon Art College and the School of Art in his native city, in 1966 he designed a cover for the British magazine "Heatwave". In 1970, together with Jeremy Brook and Nigel Edwards, he worked at the "Suburban Press", a radical and neo-situationist press organization. In 1974 he collaborated on the layout of "Leaving the 20th Century" by Christopher Gray.
In 1975 Jamie moved to the island of Lewis. Between 1976 and 1980 Jamie worked full time with the Sex Pistols, in producing both artistic works and advertising material for a series of singles and LPs.
In 1980 he worked on the film "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" and produced artistic works for Malcolm McLaren’s new project, Bow Wow Wow. Jamie then moved to Paris where he worked on an original theatre production, "Chaos in Cancerland". In 1983 he transferred to the London district of Brixton and held an exhibition at Brixton Art Gallery. In 1985 he created the poster for the film "Letter to Brezhnev". In 1986 he held an exhibition at the Hamiltons Gallery, Mayfair, London.
Between 1986 and 1990 he worked for various graphic studios in London. In 1987, Faber & Faber published “Up They Rise: The Incomplete Works of Jamie Reid”, with a text by the British music journalist Jon Savage. Jamie then created the cover for the single ‘Revolution Baby’. In 1989, “Celtic Surveyor: More Incomplete Works of Jamie Reid” was published. Jamie then began to work at the Strongroom recording studio in East London, and started producing murals, paintings, logos and other works of art. This is a particularly important project in the artist’s career, which Jamie Reid has worked on for around 10 years. A Strongroom tepee will also be on show in Modena.
In 1991 he worked on the single “No Regrets” and directed the video of the same single. In 1992 he set up the “Celtic Surveyor” exhibition at the Britannia Hall (Derry), an exhibition which then opened in Liverpool, Manchester and Berlin, and at the same time produced the cover for “Shamanarchy in the UK”, a compilation by the London collective known as Evolution. In 1994 Jamie Reid donated copies of ‘'Peace Is Tough” (with the image of John Wayne) and “Corporate Slavery” in favour of War Child.
In 1995 he worked with Zion Train and took part in the first global ‘interactive interview’ on CD-ROM. In 1996 following a visit to The Strongroom, the Afro-Celt Sound System form, then release their first album "Volume 1: Sound Magic", incorporating sleeve designs by Jamie. Between 1997 and 1999 he presented the “Peace is Tough” retrospective in New York, Tokyo and in various European cities. In 1999 Sound System Afro-Celt published its much-awaited second album “Volume Afro Celt Sound System 2”, which included more drawings by Jamie Reid. Jamie then exhibited a number of his works at Workhaus as part of the Liverpool Biennial event and married his muse, Maria. In 2000 he decorated the Magic Room of Rock 'n' Roll in the Pelirocco Hotel in Brighton in East Sussex. In 2001, “Peace Is Tough” opened to the public at Arches, Glasgow and he created the “Maridala” image for the campaign to legalize cannabis, plus works for Afro Celt Sound System’s third album “Further In Time”. Throughout this period, Jamie continued producing drawings, paintings and photos used in shamanic rituals, festivals and events. He also found time to produce works for a series of other artists including Boy George, for whom he designed the graphics of his record label, “More Protein”.
In 2004 he contributed to the “Pax Britannica” collective set up in the Aquarium Gallery in London: there were also works by Richard Hamilton, Anthony Caro and Ralph Steadman in the same show. In 2006, again at the Aquarium Gallery in London, he took part in the group show ”Eightfold Year” exhibition which presented 365 works relating to all life’s stages: birth, life, decline and death, from both a human point of view and with reference to the passage of the seasons. This work is now online on the daily changing www.eightfoldyear.org.
In 2007 at the same venue he presented “May Day May Day”, a retrospective that covered his entire career ever since 1968. Major private collections in the United States and the UK have begun to include pieces and works by Jamie Reid. In 2008 he worked with the Japanese fashion company “Comme des Garçons” and his works entered Tate Britain’s permanent collection.
Jamie's Ragged Kingdom show at Isis Gallery/Londonewcastle Depot in London in 2011 was the first time the tipi was used as an installational device (though one had appeared previously in Liverpool).
Jamie has recently been a major contributor to international exhibitions such as Recontres Arles 2010 and Art IN the Streets at MoCA 2011.
He has collaborated with Shepard Fairey and provided important visuals for the Free Pussy Riot and Occupy movements.
Inauguration Friday 12 September 6pm
Palazzo Santa Margherita
Corso Canalgrande, 103
Modena 41121 Italia
Tel. +39 059 2032940
Wednesday - Friday from 10.30am to 1.00pm and from 3pm to 6pm
Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 10.30am to 7.00pm
- Untitled (Bollocks Store Installation), 1977, photographic print (in two halves) mounted on board, mm 293 x 413, Jamie Reid copyright Sex Pistols Residuals
- Jamie Reid, Nowhere Buses (Suburban Press), 1972, lithographic print, mm 352 x 275, Jamie Reid courtesy Isis Gallery, UK
- Jamie Reid, Fan in Bedroom, 1980, Photographic print, mm 210 x 258, Jamie Reid copyright Sex Pistols Residuals
- Jamie Reid, Stop Demonising Our Future, 2009, colour photoprint and collage with ink on paper, mm 297 x 210, Jamie Reid copyright Sex Pistols Residuals
- Jamie Reid, Viciousburger, 1979, collage with oil paint on photographic print, mm 292 x 410, Jamie Reid copyright Sex Pistols Residuals
- Jamie Reid, Some Product, 1979-1980, photographic print, (two halves) mounted, on board, mm 297 x 384, Jamie Reid copyright Sex Pistols Residuals