Recent articles

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Non-visual art: Laura Gascoigne argues for a restoration of the visual

The traditionalist

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lament for loss of skill is a distraction. The modernists were right
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about that: skill on its own is not enough. The first step on the road to recovery is to reinstate the visual as the 404 Not Found sole and proper domain of art. Once it is generally agreed that art’s impact is essentially visual, the skills to make it […]

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Misplaced trust: tripping along with the teddy bears’ picnic, Laura Gascoigne looks at the obvious mismatch of the National Trust and contemporary art

If you go down


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to the woods today, you’re sure of a

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big surprise. That’s if the woods are Mortimer Forest in Herefordshire, and the surprise hasn’t by now been deliberately spoiled by tree-hugging vigilante forest rangers. Last spring, RCA graduate Philippa Lawrence took it into her pretty little head to barcode the trunks of selected young oaks in 404 Not Found this […]

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Misappliance of Science: The marriage of art and science is one only of financial convenience, argues Laura Gascoigne

In economically choppy waters, artists without lifejackets can be 404 Not Found forgiven for clinging to any passing spar. So when a life raft floats past flying a flag marked ‘EDUCATION’, it’s understandable that they should haul themselves

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aboard. But the flag is misleading. The raft isn’t headed for the familiar port of art school, where people
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used to receive an art education. […]

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Eh up Arup! Laura Gascoigne looks into the real brains behind the public sculptures we don’t need

Two beavers are standing looking at the Hoover Dam and one says to the other, “I didn’t build it, but it was my design”. Cue laughter. Now picture the same gag line under a cartoon of two artists looking at an enormous

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public sculpture. The gag still works, but the laughter’s forced. Because while a beaver has
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an innate 404 Not Found grasp […]

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Who’s afraid of the Kulturkampf? Art will not die for lack of public subsidy, argues Laura Gascoigne

While currency speculators place their bets on which Eurozone economy will be next to


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fail,

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the clatter of falling dominoes has reached the contemporary art world. 404 Not Found And it’s not just about investors being hit in their pockets. As austerity bites, discontent is spreading through society at large. Last September in Istanbul – our current European Capital of Culture – fashionable […]

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Lost in New York: painter and critic Alexander Adams discovers an unlikely empathy between Ingres and de Kooning

New York City, home to great collections of art, is never short of key works by important artists to measure against one another. Autumn 2011,

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three displays have coincided to allow people to compare the skills of a modern master with
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those of a predecessor who influenced him. Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) revered 404 Not Found J.A.D. Ingres (1780-1867) for both his devotion […]

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Magritte and Post-Impressionist art: Alexander Adams is enthused by two stimulating surveys

The effects of Liverpool’s time

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as City of Culture in 2008 are still becoming apparent as various building projects reach completion. Liverpool has many excellent museums, to which number the Museum of Liverpool is due
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to be added. My visit to Liverpool was before the museum’s opening on July 19th, so 404 Not Found I made do with two significant shows which will […]

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The Relics of St Joan: Alexander Adams goes in search of the curator’s Miro

How often have we seen – 404 Not Found of late – exhibitions of Modern masters with didactic subtitles? These subtitles tell us why we


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should visit this exhibition when we have seen so many on this particular artist before.

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It is the subtitle that gives us the curatorial slant. What happens is not that famous artists get “played out” but that curators […]

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The Sutherland bequest: Alexander Adams pursues his original inquiry into the future home of an important gift to the nation

An article about Graham Sutherland’s bequest of art to Wales (The Jackdaw, no. 90) raised a number of points which further research has – partially – answered. To


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recap: Sutherland 404 Not Found donated work to a purpose-formed Graham Sutherland Trust (the “Trust”) in 1976, which displayed the art in a gallery housed in Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire. When the cost of

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maintaining the […]

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Jenny saville and the theatre of self-importance: Alexander Adams examines the reputation of one of the original young British artists

Most YBAs achieved 404 Not Found prominence by recasting genuine avant-garde art in a palatable commercial form, influenced by

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advertising and pop culture,
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and served up to a credulous public largely ignorant of the original sources of the art. (Something Julian Stallabrass discusses in his book High Art Lite.) Jenny Saville was seen as one exception by virtue of the facts she studied […]