Post Tagged with: "Laura Gascoigne"

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Poor man’s guide to art investing – don’t

Wisely, Laura Gascoigne is unconvinced by art as investment. Equestrian statues of one sort or another are becoming a regular fixture on the Fourth Plinth. In 2012 we had Elmgreen & Dragset’s paedophile’s delight of the boy on the gilded rocking horse; next up in 2015 will be Hans Haacke’s equine skeleton, inspired by Stubbs, with a live ticker of […]

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Archive fever

Artists have re-discovered the cabinet of curiosities, which is to their and our advantage, argues Laura Gascoigne. “There really is no such thing as art. There are only artists.” Easy enough to say at a time of rationing when there are few varieties of artist about. When Gombrich made his famous statement in 1950 there were only painters, sculptors, the […]

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Building brands, ruining reputations – Laura Gascoigne on the Tate

Nothing is too squalid for Brand Tate, argues Laura Gascoigne. ‘Change the name and not the letter, change for the worse and not the better,’ ran the old wives’ saw on choosing a husband. Nowadays, in the wider world of consumer choice, a change of name is almost always a change for the worse. Whenever a familiar product is rebranded, […]

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Mind the funding gap – Laura Gascoigne on NEDs and philanthropy

It may have been the heat, but in the lead-up to the summer recess accusations of conflict of interest were flying around Whitehall like frisbees. First the PM’s Aussie electioneer Lynton Crosby was outed as a lobbyist for Big Tobacco just as the government announced its decision that plain cigarette packaging represented a danger to public health until proved otherwise, […]

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Beyond criticism

Laura Gascoigne demonstrates how Artbollocks is now recognised as a joke among almost everyone excepting the time-serving devotees of State Art. In January the Guardian’s G2 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 essay identifying a unique form of […]

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Style guide to obfuscation (new updated edition): Laura Gascoigne investigates the continued manglings of syntax and punctuation by those with space to fill and nothing intelligible to say

“Nothing and no one ever heard so many stupidities as a picture,” remarked Jules de Goncourt, and since he made his observation things have got worse. The insults to intelligence endured by 19th century pictures were as nothing to those routinely heaped on contemporary art. Some things never change, however. Stupidity almost always originates in vanity, and art criticism is […]

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

The traditionalist lament for loss of skill is a distraction. The modernists were right about that: skill on its own is not enough. The first step on the road to recovery is to reinstate the visual as the 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 to the woods today, you’re sure of a 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 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 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 aboard. But the flag is misleading. The raft isn’t headed for the familiar port of art school, where people 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 public sculpture. The gag still works, but the laughter’s forced. Because while a beaver has an innate grasp […]