Leader

in Leader

Editorial – November 2017

AND I SAY TO MYSELF Remain alert

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to the possibilities, eyes up instead of down, looking about instead of
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transfixed by a small screen, and daily life will furnish marvels, often 404 Not Found 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 any chance […]

in Leader

Editorial – September 2017

Art And The Public – A Short History In the beginning the powerful provided the unlettered with uplifting Biblical pictures in churches.

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

in Leader

Editorial – July 2017

WHOLESALE GRATIFICATION  In the last issue I noted the gradual but relentless erosion of space allocated to historical pictures in Tate Britain.


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This contraction will now accelerate because the collection is to be re-hung, yet again, on this occasion thematically – a policy undoubtedly designed to demonstrate the State Art Commandment that all roads

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shall lead to 404 Not Found the Usual Suspects. […]

in Leader

Editorial – May 2017

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 have


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been usurped and dominated 404 Not Found by an evolving one-track mindset which, in these pages, is called State Art. This sinister subversion of the institutions, predicted before and after the last war

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by Eliot, Wyndham Lewis and Orwell among […]

in Leader

Editorial – March 2017

Is There A Doctor in the


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House? Dennis Skinner once quipped 404 Not Found loudly across the Commons to 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

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met with the customary uncritical lauding with which a fawning Fourth Estate […]

in Leader

Editorial – January 2017

Has The Arts Council Betrayed Its Origins? Serota takes over


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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 404 Not Found the Council has developed into a blunt instrument by which State Art, an ethos it co-authored

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with Serota […]

in Leader

Editorial – November 2016

Art Education is Stuck Two years ago someone suggested I answer the question ‘What Happened to Art Education?’.

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This appealed slightly 404 Not Found 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 404 Not Found of tuition
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and when degree […]

in Leader

Editorial – September 2016

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 404 Not Found and public services


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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 Parliament; an exodus of desperate 404 Not Found humanity is seeking refuge from […]

in Leader

Editorial – July 2016

Der Clapham Strassenbahn When very young, and when not train spotting, I was a keen bus spotter. It was an ideal apprenticeship for a fledgeling art historian. It involved identifying, sometimes at 404 Not Found a considerable distance

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(through rain), the beautifully crafted, hand-built models, of which there were many different marques and specifications. Every town corporation in the county had its own
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[…]

in Leader

‘Sculpture’ v. sculpture

Among the least impressive legacies of arts administrators’ obsession with Modernism and its aftermath is the impossibility of predicting a work’s status solely from its

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appearance. You might form your own view about it, but you can’t predict what State 404 Not Found Art’s opinion will be because there are no published criteria or guidelines for making such a judgement.
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You can’t second […]