Post Tagged with: "David Lee"

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Out of touch

I spent a month recently in a 12th-floor ward of the new Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. Except for the thrilling views of the capital it provides, it is an undistinguished public building, not least because like all hospitals nowadays its corridors are lined with ‘Art’. Not even I could raise a flicker of interest as I was wheeled, sitting […]

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Arts Council – time for action

A submission to the House of Commons’ Select Committee for Culture concerning their short enquiry into the commissioning criteria used by the Arts Council of England. From the editor of The Jackdaw Your interest in the artistic criteria underpinning ACE’s funding decisions is a subject which has long exercised me. I wish to demonstrate here that where they are not […]

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Serpentine Gallery: working at home

The last three editorials have dealt with a charity called the Serpentine Gallery. We’ve observed limousines lined up outside signifying whose interests the gallery really serves. We have identified overmanning and fat cat pay increases for two directors. And, last time, we highlighted an outside PR agency working between press and gallery in order to disarm justified criticism. Apologies for […]

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Serpentine Gallery: the black art of hushing it up

Most readers will be unfamiliar with Bolton and Quinn Ltd, a company which is the subject here. Invisible to the public at large, they operate in a murky hinterland between major galleries and the media encouraging positive coverage of State-approved art. One definition of State Art might simply cite a list of B&Q’s clients, for all the major promoters of […]

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Fat cats in the park

Arts administrators cleaning up in the name of charity In 2011, the Arts Council screamed daily that it was losing over 30% of its annual taxpayer subsidy. “Difficult decisions” and “hard choices” resulted in it cutting completely annual grants to 206 organisations, making many redundant. The Serpentine, meanwhile, was awarded the special status of “a regularly funded organization” – i.e. […]

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The Serpentine as fat cat

Why should the interests of those in limousines be subsidised by the rest of us? What is the difference between a line of black limousines at a Mob funeral in Brooklyn and an identical cavalcade at the opening party of the new Serpentine Gallery annexe in Hyde Park? Well, not as much as you’d think. Although Cosa Nostra are undoubtedly […]

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The Art Fund subverted: they were only playing leapfrog

The separate bodies contributing to State Art are now so interrelated, so cosily acquainted, their personnel so readily interchangeable and of identical mindset, that they might as well join forces. (… Liz Forgan is sacked from the Arts Council but remains a Trustee of the Art Fund; James Lingwood swallows his annual  million from the Arts Council and also sits […]

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Serpentine Gallery extension: limousines are good causes

What is the difference between a line of black limousines at a Mob funeral in Brooklyn and an identical cavalcade at the opening party of the new Serpentine Gallery annexe in Hyde Park? Well, not as much as you’d think. Although Cosa Nostra are undoubtedly the subtler of the two coteries represented, both have a common interest in protection rackets. […]

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Olympic legacy: money for nothing

I am not happy again. We have become used to hearing weekly wails of distress from the Arts Council about how broke they are followed by melodramatic predictions of the cultural desert awaiting as punishment for state parsimony. It is their belief they should be exempted from the austerity allegedly endured elsewhere. Their moans receive sympathetic hearings from a press […]

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Bob Dylan at the National Portrait Gallery

THE LINE IT IS DRAWN … BADLY The now routine phenomenon of paintings by celebrities shown in serious galleries defies belief. You’d think they’d be sniffy about this sort of populist stunt; and you’d be wrong. However bad the work is people swarm to see it, hexed by the name. Photos and paintings by pop stars and television personalities attract […]