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Whodunnit? Who cares…

Que barbaridad! You lend two of your best Boschs to a municipal gallery in a two-horse town in Holland that happens to be the artist’s birthplace, and how do they thank you? By reattributing the works to ‘follower of’ and, furthermore, downgrading a third painting in your collection that you didn’t even lend them. A public spat broke out in […]

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Sense and Sensibility

So it’s goodbye Cornelissens hello Halfords. Laura Gascoigne parks her brush and tries to follow the instructions for flatpack art, but has the picture upside down It’s a dull job being a customs officer, sitting on the border twiddling your thumbs until the next teenage drugs mule comes along. So it must have added to the gaiety of nations when […]

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Overkill: art rising from the dead

Things have gone rather quiet on the mortality front since queues stretched around the White Cube block in Mason’s Yard for a sight of Damien Hirst’s £50m sculpture For the Love of God. In those days of skulls and diamonds, Paul Wilks wrote a letter to The Jackdaw lamenting the morbidity of contemporary art, wondering why two horrific world wars […]

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… Where’s the sense in multisensory art?

It used to be known as ‘synaesthesia’; now ‘crossmodal perception’ is the scientific term for the ability of one sense to stimulate another. Experiments by Oxford University psychologists and researchers in New York have found links between reactions to sound and smell in the part of the brain known as the ‘olfactory tubercle’. It may sound like a plug of […]

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Art under kleptocracy

                          Another month, another book on the contemporary art economy, this time from an overlooked perspective. The New Economy of Art, a joint publication by DACS and Artquest, looks at the art market from the POV of the average artist. Not surprisingly, it finds plenty to puzzle over. […]

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Champagne feminist

Sixteen years ago, I wrote an article for a short-lived women’s art magazine called Make responding to a complaint on the letters page that only childless women could succeed as artists. Off the top of my head, I immediately thought of half a dozen artists who disproved this rule and I interviewed them for a piece called A Woman’s Work. […]

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Elgin marbles: should they go or should they stay

David Lee thinks loans both ways should be considered. We have rehearsed the pros and antis of retaining, loaning, handing back or exchanging the Elgin Marbles in the pages of the Jackdaw many times. The main arguments on both sides, few as they are, remain the same and recent reiteration of these familiar points would suggest nothing new will ever […]

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Wonders of creativity

Laura Gascoigne investigates why what was once so very special is now common as muck and comprehensively commandeered by the fat controllers In The Masque of Augurs, Ben Jonson introduces the comic figure of Vangoose, a “rare artist” and producer of masques with a reputation for the wildly fantastical. “Now we would bring in some dainty new thing, dat never […]

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Turning Wool into money … or fool’s gold

Eric Coombes responds to an editorial about the art cash cow Is a celebrity a person ‘famous for being famous’, or merely ‘someone in the media that one had never heard of’. Despite being obscure – in this paradoxical and mysterious mode of obscurity – celebrities, however ill-informed and stupid they might be, are entitled to have their ‘opinions’ widely […]

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The triumph of avant-garde lite

Edward Lucie-Smith charts the decline of contemporary art from Modernism and the avant garde to being a mere epiphenomenon of the fashion industry Ten days or so ago, before beginning to write this, I was idly browsing a slightly out-of-date copy of the Evening Standard Magazine. Anything to avoid the toil of having to write something myself. Faute de mieux, […]