Essays

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Supercollector: Charles Saatchi the bad man

Charles Thomson reviews the unexpurgated life story of Charles Saatchi. “Ad man you’re a bad man”, proclaimed the artist collective Bank bluntly about Charles Saatchi in 1997. In 2004, Guardian art critic, Adrian Searle, praised Saatchi’s popularist approach, eye and humour in his New Blood show, but drubbed the curatorial incoherence. Sir Peter Blake has refused to sell his work […]

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Chalk and cheese

From the Hayward and the ICA to the Royal Academy, and from the public to the private sector, Angus Stewart compares and contrasts the qualities of works on show in London. The British Art Show at The Hayward Gallery should be lively – there are 39 artists. It is, according to the Southbank Centre, recognised as the most ambitious and […]

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Beyond criticism, or, Notes from fantasy island (a response to Criticism and the collapse of culture)

Artist Paul Wilks responds to Eric Coombes’s tour de force of an essay (Criticism and the collapse of culture, The Jackdaw Mar-Apr 2011) Matthijs Van Boxsel cites, in The Encyclopaedia of Stupidity, a ‘Fame Machine’ devised by Villiers de l’Isle Adam, (1883) in which fame could be manufactured ‘by organic means’. Simply put, the ‘machine’ is a theatre but with […]

in Essays

Criticism and the collapse of culture

Dr Eric Coombes looks back over the period since 1997 and identifies the collapse in standards of art criticism which has allowed conceptual art to prosper uncritically After the recent change of government, this might be a suitable moment to look back to the year in which the recently ejected gang of liars, buffoons and crooks first came to office. […]