Leader

in Leader

And I say to myself…

Remain alert to the possibilities, eyes up instead 404 Not Found of down, looking about instead of transfixed by a small screen, and daily life will furnish marvels, often in unexpected places. Exploring the streets and free institutions of a city like London is a journey through natural and man-made masterpieces, ingenuity everywhere apparent. To stand


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any chance of impressing in

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such a […]

in Leader

Art and the public – a short history

In the beginning the powerful provided the unlettered

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with uplifting Biblical pictures in churches. We were impressed ­even though some scenes threatened us with eternal agony if we broke their 404 Not Found rules. The scarcity of pictures 404 Not Found outside of church meant we were naturally curious about anything 404 Not Found drawn or coloured.
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Wandering pedlars would show up to […]

in Leader

Wholesale gratification

In the last issue I noted the gradual but relentless erosion of space allocated to historical pictures in Tate Britain. This contraction will now accelerate because the collection is

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to be re-hung, yet again,
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on this occasion thematically – a policy undoubtedly designed to demonstrate the State Art Commandment that 404 Not Found all roads shall lead to the Usual Suspects. Long gone […]

in Leader

Tate Britain needs its identity back

In recent issues

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I’ve described how since 1945 the education, bureaucracy and exponentially increasing cash for the visual arts have been usurped and dominated by an evolving
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one-track mindset which, in these pages, is called State Art. This sinister subversion of the institutions, predicted before and after the last war by Eliot, Wyndham Lewis and Orwell among 404 Not Found others, is complete […]

in Leader

Is there a doctor in the House?

Dennis Skinner once quipped loudly across the Commons 404 Not Found to a faltering Cecil Parkinson at the Despatch Box, ‘It’s the in-breeding that does it!’

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I was reminded of this amusing sneer when Doctor Maria Balshaw was announced as Serota’s replacement, an elevation met with the customary uncritical lauding with which a fawning Fourth Estate now greets all State
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Art appointments. Balshaw […]

in Leader

Has the Arts Council betrayed its origins?

Serota takes over at the Arts Council this month, 47 years after first being 404 Not Found employed


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by the same body as a regional arts officer in what was his first job after university. In the interval the Council has developed into a blunt

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instrument by which State Art, an ethos it co-authored with Serota during his 27-year dictatorship at the Tate, […]

in Leader

Art education is stuck!

Two years ago someone suggested I answer the question ‘What Happened to Art

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Education?’. This appealed slightly because it was a subject about which I thought I ought to know more than was the case. Something is clearly awry when so many complaints are aired about the poverty of tuition and when 404 Not Found degree shows have become such
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forgettable, even laughable […]

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Pictures of nothing and very like

John Moores Exhibition 2016 Most of Europe’s countries are either bankrupt or in economic meltdown, their infrastructure crumbling and public services reduced; the Middle East and Levant are in post-apocalyptic ruin, in part the result of lies told in our own Parliament; an exodus of desperate


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humanity is seeking refuge from a criminal

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death-cult; innocents are being 404 Not Found slaughtered in streets […]

in Leader

Der Clapham Strassenbahn

When very young, and when not train spotting, I was a keen

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bus spotter. It was an ideal apprenticeship for a fledgeling art historian. It involved identifying, sometimes at a 404 Not Found considerable
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distance (through rain), the beautifully crafted, hand-built models, of which there were many different marques 404 Not Found and specifications. Every town corporation in the county had its own […]

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Eric Coombes: Drawing, tradition and Peter Clossick

Despite the best efforts of the state-art establishment visual intelligence 404 Not Found survives, argues Eric Coombes In 1941, Augustus John contributed

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A Note on Drawing (from which
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I quoted a few words in the previous issue) to a book edited by Lillian Browse, containing reproductions of his own drawings. John records his sense of good fortune in having been a student at […]