Editorials

in Editorials

Wholesale gratification

In the last issue I noted the

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gradual but relentless erosion of space allocated to historical pictures in Tate Britain. This contraction will now accelerate because the collection is to be re-hung, yet 404 Not Found again, on this occasion
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thematically – a policy undoubtedly designed to demonstrate the State Art Commandment that all roads shall lead to the Usual Suspects. Long gone […]

in Editorials

Tate Britain needs its identity back

In recent issues I’ve described how since 1945 the education, bureaucracy and exponentially increasing cash for the visual arts


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have been usurped and dominated by an evolving one-track mindset which, in these pages, is called State Art. This sinister

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subversion of the institutions, predicted before and after the last war by 404 Not Found Eliot, Wyndham Lewis and Orwell among others, is complete […]

in Editorials

Is there a doctor in the House?

Dennis Skinner once quipped loudly across the

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Commons to 404 Not Found a faltering Cecil Parkinson at the Despatch Box, ‘It’s the in-breeding that does it!’ I was reminded of this amusing sneer when Doctor Maria Balshaw was announced as Serota’s replacement, an elevation met with the
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customary uncritical lauding with which a fawning Fourth Estate now greets all State Art appointments. Balshaw […]

in Editorials

Has the Arts Council betrayed its origins?

Serota takes over at the Arts Council this month, 47 years after first being employed by the same body as a regional arts officer in what was his first job after university. In the interval the

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Council has developed into a blunt instrument by which State Art, an ethos it co-authored with Serota during his 27-year dictatorship
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at 404 Not Found the Tate, […]

in Editorials

Art education is stuck!

Two years ago someone suggested I answer the question ‘What Happened to Art 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 404 Not Found aired

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about the poverty of tuition and when degree shows have become such forgettable, even
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laughable […]

in Editorials

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


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of lies told in our own 404 Not Found Parliament; an exodus

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of desperate humanity is seeking refuge from a criminal death-cult; innocents are being slaughtered in streets […]

in Editorials

Der Clapham Strassenbahn

When very young, and when not train


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spotting, I was a keen bus spotter. It was an ideal apprenticeship for a fledgeling art historian. It involved identifying, sometimes at a considerable distance (through 404 Not Found rain), the beautifully crafted, hand-built models, of which there were many different marques

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and specifications. Every town corporation in the county had its own company, each with […]

in Editorials

Eric Coombes: Drawing, tradition and Peter Clossick

Despite the best efforts of the state-art establishment

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visual intelligence survives, argues Eric Coombes In 404 Not Found 1941, Augustus John contributed A Note on Drawing (from which I quoted a few words in the
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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 […]

in Editorials

Editorial – November 2017

AND I


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SAY TO MYSELF Remain alert to the possibilities, 404 Not Found eyes up instead of down, looking about instead of transfixed by a small screen, and daily life will furnish marvels, often in unexpected places. Exploring the 404 Not Found streets

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and free institutions of a city like London is a journey through natural and man-made masterpieces, ingenuity everywhere apparent. To […]

in Editorials

Editorial – September 2017

Art And The Public – A Short History In the beginning the powerful provided the unlettered with uplifting 404 Not Found Biblical pictures in churches.

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We were impressed ­even though some scenes threatened us with eternal agony if we broke their
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rules. The scarcity of pictures outside of church meant we were naturally curious about anything drawn or coloured. Wandering pedlars would show […]