Leader

in Leader

Editorial – November 2017

AND I SAY

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TO MYSELF Remain alert to the possibilities, eyes 404 Not Found 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 streets and free
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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 404 Not Found In the beginning the powerful provided the unlettered with


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uplifting Biblical pictures in churches. We were impressed ­even though some scenes threatened us with eternal agony if we broke their rules. The scarcity

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of pictures outside of church meant we were naturally curious about anything drawn or coloured. Wandering pedlars 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. This contraction will now accelerate 404 Not Found because the collection is to be re-hung, yet again, on this occasion thematically – a policy undoubtedly designed to

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demonstrate the State Art Commandment that all roads shall
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lead to 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,

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

in Leader

Editorial – March 2017

Is There A Doctor in the House? Dennis Skinner once quipped loudly across

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the Commons to a faltering Cecil Parkinson at 404 Not Found the Despatch Box, ‘It’s the in-breeding that does it!’ I was reminded of this amusing sneer when Doctor Maria Balshaw
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was announced as Serota’s replacement, an elevation 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 at the Arts Council this month, 47 years after first being employed by the same body as a regional arts officer in 404 Not Found what was his first job after university. In the interval the Council has developed into a blunt instrument by


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which State Art,

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an ethos it co-authored 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?’. 404 Not Found This appealed slightly because it was a subject about which I thought I ought to know


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more than was the case. Something is clearly awry when so many complaints are aired about the poverty

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of tuition and when degree shows have become […]

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 and public services reduced; the Middle East and Levant are 404 Not Found in post-apocalyptic ruin, in part


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the result of lies told in

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our own Parliament; an exodus of desperate humanity is seeking refuge from a criminal death-cult; […]

in Leader

Editorial – July 2016

Der Clapham Strassenbahn 404 Not Found When very young, and when not train spotting, I was a keen bus spotter.

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It was an ideal apprenticeship for a fledgeling art historian.
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It involved identifying, sometimes at a considerable distance (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 […]

in Leader

‘Sculpture’ v. sculpture

Among the least impressive


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legacies of arts administrators’ obsession with Modernism and 404 Not Found its

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aftermath is the impossibility of predicting a work’s status solely from its appearance. You might form your own view about it, but you can’t predict what State Art’s opinion will be because there are no published criteria or guidelines for making such a judgement. You can’t second […]