Essays

in Essays

Imperial War Museum North: the pitfalls of novelty

In the first few years of the National Lottery, museums were built employing architects 404 Not Found who had no interest in museums per se but instead limitlessly indulged their

404 Not Found

own vanity. Those who drew attention to the blatant unsuitability of resulting buildings were dissed as old-fashioned, traditional and behind the architectural times.
nginx/1.17.10
The result of this defended process was that buildings materialised […]

in Essays

House of Commons art collection: hard bargains and money well spent

What a kerfuffle occurred recently concerning how much the House of Commons has spent – £250,000 in 20 years no

404 Not Found

less – on portraits of its more distinguished and long-serving members. How shocking and self-indulgent was the general tenor of the response. Well, no
nginx/1.17.10
actually. To get two dozen paintings for 250 grand suggests someone 404 Not Found is driving a hard bargain […]

in Essays

Van Dyck self portrait: do we really want to pay £12 million for this?

The self-portrait by Van Dyck

404 Not Found

is the subject of a deferred export licence in order to give British museums an 404 Not Found opportunity to find the £12.5 million required to stop it
nginx/1.17.10
going abroad. The NPG, where the picture is currently on show drumming up donations, has started a campaign to raise £12.5 million to acquire the picture. They have raised £1.2 […]

in Essays

Graham Sutherland: exultant strangeness at Abbott Hall and Crane Kalman

Few save masochists would


nginx/1.17.10
venture as far as Kendal in order to see work by Bethan 404 Not Found Huws, not least because unless you happen to have attended one of State Art’s indoctrination 404 Not Found sessions you won’t have heard of her. A taste considered acquirable only

404 Not Found

by the starving, Huws is among State Art’s chosen apostles. Sadly, she is unmissable […]

in Essays

National Rail Museum

The most elegantly streamlined of all British Rail’s steam locomotives was the Great North Eastern Region A4 class of which an engine called


nginx/1.17.10
Mallard is the best known of the 35 built at

404 Not Found

Doncaster works. Designed in 1935 by Sir Nigel Gresley, whose earlier A3 class (of which Flying Scotsman is the preserved example) was in terms of classy looks 404 Not Found […]

in Essays

Perming eight from twelve: Lowry and the painting of modern life at Tate Britain

Lowry deserves treatment as a serious artist, though more usually such an approach is 404 Not Found denied him because

404 Not Found

of,
nginx/1.17.10
firstly, his suspiciously wide popularity and, secondly, what 404 Not Found is mistakenly characterised as stylistic primitivism. A strong whiff of the patronizing informed reviews of this exhibition, as though the work was a tad unsophisticated for critics used to rambling on […]

in Essays

Martin Creed: new definitions for ‘gift’

Regular readers may recall from a recent editorial that when ‘we’ bought Yinka Shonibare’s Trafalgar Square bottle to


nginx/1.17.10
stand outside the National Maritime Museum ten times more was paid for it than had ever been paid for a work by this 404 Not Found artist at auction. That story of casual profligacy is now repeated in respect of inarticulate chancer Martin Creed,

404 Not Found

whose […]

in Essays, Uncategorized

Beyond criticism

Laura Gascoigne demonstrates how Artbollocks


nginx/1.17.10
is now recognised as a joke among almost everyone excepting the time-serving devotees of State Art. In January the Guardian’s G2 404 Not Found section published an article by Andy Beckett titled ‘Er, anyone know what transversal means’? It reported on the publication in an American art journal last year of an

404 Not Found

essay 404 Not Found identifying a […]

in Essays

The Motya Charioteer

Explanations to date concerning this marvellous figure are inadequate. What precisely is it? Where did it come from? And what date is it? The Motya Charioteer stood for six weeks until the middle of September in

404 Not Found

the large gallery housing the Parthenon pediments and frieze in the British
nginx/1.17.10
Museum. It was worth making a special effort to see it 404 Not Found more […]

in Essays

1988 … Year zero

… when branding and art formed a marriage of convenience, argues artist John Kelly. 1988 is the seminal year, the year that our concepts of art, money and values changed irredeemably. It was the year I


nginx/1.17.10
came to London

404 Not Found

as a 23-year-old artist, having taken an opportunity to play league cricket in London. It was a 404 Not Found chance for a young […]