Comment

in Comment

Martin Lang: Against Life Drawing – November 2017

Advocating life drawing at art school is a deeply conservative and reactionary position. Arguments in favour of life drawing usually fall into one of two camps (or sometimes both). I am utterly unconvinced by both. The first, and weaker, argument contends that it is necessary to learn the rules before you can break them. This is an authoritarian position where […]

in Comment

Art: Cool and Uncool – William Varley Reviews Addicted to Sheep

So, as all cool sentences begin, I think that the best TV programme I saw last was Addicted to Sheep. In many ways this BBC4 documentary was reminiscent of the French film Être et Avoir about a remarkable teacher in a school in the remote Auvergne, although a good deal less winsome. It focused on the lives of the Hutchinson […]

in Comment

Charles Thomson: Lies, Damned Lies and Serota at the BBC

Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Gallery, has used the platform of the BBC in a blatant attempt to deceive the nation. Either that or he is genuinely deluded himself. Both options render him unfit for major public office. He was confronted on Radio 4 programme The Reunion: Tate Modern on September 23rd by Sue MacGregor, regarding the Tate’s […]

in Comment

Selby Whittingham: Tate Modern or Tate Theatre

A survey by the Office for National Statistics in May revealed that the British are changing their spending habits. Instead of filling our homes to the rafters with consumer durables and not-so-durables, we’re spending our spare cash on ‘experiences’, including recreation and, yes, culture. “People are interested in servicing a lifestyle rather than buying stuff,” one trend forecaster commented in […]

in Comment

Laura Gascoigne: The Art Police – November 2017

If you’re thinking of committing an art crime, now’s your moment. In June budgetary pressures forced the ‘temporary’ closure of the Met’s Art & Antiques Squad and the transfer of expert staff to the Grenfell Tower fire investigation, and there’s no knowing when, if ever, they’ll be back. So it’s bye-bye blue light, hello green light to thieves, fakers, fraudsters […]

in Comment

Laura Gascoigne: Tangled Web – September 2017

“Why is there so much sewing?” demanded The Art Newspaper’s Christina Ruiz after visiting Christine Macel’s exhibition at this year’s Venice Biennale. “I get it: domestic work, women’s work, is important and undervalued. But is it in itself art? No it is not.” There was a time when so-called textile arts were prized above all others; when first unveiled in […]

in Comment

Laura Gascoigne: It’s Not The Winning, It’s The Making Art – July 2017

Last month a new sort of museum opened in Sweden. The brainchild of psychologist Dr Samuel West, the Museum of Failure in Helsinborg is an unnatural history museum of commercial fossils, a repository of innovative products that flopped. “The majority of all innovation projects fail,” its website announces cheerfully, before expressing the hope that showcasing “interesting innovation failures” will “provide […]

in Comment

Laura Gascoigne: Do You Want Ice With That? – May 2017

Ever since Anya Gallaccio made her name by exhibiting an ice block called Intensities and Surfaces in an East London pumping station in 1996, I’ve been monitoring the advance of ice through the contemporary art world, where it seems resistant to climate trends prevailing elsewhere. While the polar ice caps recede, the phenomenon of ice art only grows. I wouldn’t […]

in Comment

Laura Gascoigne: Tainted by Experience – March 2017

When the former controller of BBC Radio 3 John Drummond published an autobiography in 2001, he called it ‘Tainted by Experience’ – an ironic reference to the reason given by a Birtist suit at the Beeb for his being ‘let go’ a decade earlier. I haven’t read the book, but the expression was used by William Varley in a positive […]

in Comment

Laura Gascoigne: Photography, Wrong Sort Of – January 2017

“And the Praemium Imperiale Award for Painting goes to… a photographer!” Yep, Cindy Sherman has won the Imperial Japanese gong for mastery of greasepaint for that interminable string of selfies in fancy dress we all wearied of circa 1980. If not for greasepaint, it would have to be for psychological insight – and despite her readiness to raid the dressing-up […]