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in Comment

Laura Gascoigne: Narrow Lanes to Nowhere

Rihanna is in trouble again. This time she has offended ‘the Hindu community’ by wearing a pendant featuring the elephant god Ganesha, a fashion choice denounced on Instagram as ‘mad disrespectful’. The Barbadian singer should have known better. She has previous in the fashion department, having already upset the Chinese community by dressing up in ancient Chinese costume for a […]

in Editorials

Joy Labinjo: Led To The Market

Across the last 30 years the narrative of official Contemporary Art has unfurled like a Chinese scroll. We can follow how, from around 1990, those commercial techniques pioneered to manufacture reputations by Charles Saatchi were adopted as a template by other speculators eager to cash in. This was the start of a racket which turned the art market into an […]

in Duchamp's Urinal

Glyn Thompson: More Duchamp Falsehoods Revealed

in Essays

Michael Daley: Michael Daley revisits the catastrophic restoration of Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling

in The Philistine

The Philistine – July 2021

Bristol University is building a new library. The very idea is enough to send shivers down the spine: any British institution that decides to build something new is almost certain to add to the accumulated ugliness of the world. And so it is in this case. The design that the University has accepted combines banality with monstrosity: a combination that, […]

in Comment

Laura Gascoigne: The Masterpiece Delusion

Laura Gascoigne Thank God for books. When shut off from real life, you can see it reflected in novels. But how accurate is the reflection? Does the mirror distort? In month ten of the no-longer-new-abnormal I sat down with a stack of novels about artists. Some I’d read before, others were new, chief among them the fons et origo of […]

in Editorials

2020 Blindness

David Lee March/April 2021 Nothing much happened last year in the visual arts. The usual suspects promoted themselves with yards of trivia, usually about the NHS, but nothing serious was made except by those conventional sorts who go quietly about their business. National galleries tried to fill the gap by selling us ‘virtual’ and ‘digital’ ‘experiences’ by the dozen, but […]

in Comment

Dick French: Art of Jazz, London’s Art Scene

Dick French A curious little book has just come out called The Death of Francis Bacon. The author, Max Porter, won the International Dylan Thomas Prize some time ago. Whenever awards are deployed I always think of Charlotte Rampling who, in her film The Swimming Pool, remarked: “Awards are like haemorrhoids, sooner or later every arsehole gets one.” It’s not […]

in Moping Owl

The Moping Owl: March 2021

HOME ALONE Well here we still are – or perhaps not by the time you read this: goodness me, let’s hope so – but I do rather worry about how you’re all bearing up in these strange and straitened times. Social distancing is one thing, but this Social Hibernation altogether something else: and, with no release in prospect, it does […]

in The Philistine

The Philistine – March 2021

Anthony Daniels Some years ago, I published an article in which I alleged that one of the most beautiful old towns in England had been devastated aesthetically by corrupt decisions of the council to permit modernist redevelopment. This created a certain stir in the town, and I was asked to appear on the local radio station with a town councillor.  […]