Archive for October, 2013

In her recent account of Grayson Perry’s Reith lecture about the workings of the art world, Deborah Orr (21 Sept) describes how the art market operates as a “formidable cartel”, and advises us to recognise it as a “gargantuan practical refutation” of the idea that only free markets create economic growth. She’s probably right. But by bringing money into it, as usual, she is once again pointing a finger at the wrong bad guys.

The real problem with the art world is not the money men scavenging in its wake – they’ve always been there – but the pirates who’ve taken over the ship. I am thinking of course of that awful art world species: the curator. When I started writing about art, there were no curators. Now they are everywhere. They go to the same biennales; speak the same meaningless art language; and control the art world from within by privileging their creativity ahead of the artist’s. For 5000 years art survived perfectly well without curators. Now they are its gatekeepers.

What we need is a revolution, akin to the impressionist revolution in 19th-century France. Just as the impressionists overthrew the salon and put artists back at the centre of the art world, so someone out there needs to overthrow the Tate empire. Come on Hackney. Rise up.

Waldemar Januszczak London. The Guardian, Letter & emails, Thursday 24th September 2013

Well then – wow – comments please?

We had a lovely day in Leeds. Harewood had lots of art, Adam (pic 1) with the same troubled history as our own Genesis. Our guide claimed that Lord Harewood bought, and thus saved from Blackpool waxworks, all three of the Epstein’s for an exhibition. Later selling Genesis to Granada and Jacob and the Angel to the Tate. Rosemary & Stuart had not heard that detail before. Some research needed!

Adam by Jacob Epstein, Harewood, Yorkshire

Praxitella by Wyndham Lewis Leeds Art Gallery & Museum

Leeds art gallery had a great exhibition of their own collection – Stanley Spencer and Wyndham Lewis (pic 2 Praxitella by Wyndham Lewis) to name two of the artists. They have a new temporary exhibition from 18th Oct to 12th Jan 2014 ART & LIFE 1920 – 1931, Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis……..just can’t do a FOW trip at this short notice but I will definitely go by train myself.

Hope everyone was watching the TV progs on BBC4 Fabric of Britain featuring Christine Woods and her friend Martha Armitage who talked to FOWs about hand–making wallpaper. Tonight 2 Oct medieval English embroidery.

Don’t forget Grayson Perry’s Reith lectures starting Tues 15th October at 9.00 to 9.45am repeated at a later time in the evening. Third one from Derry.


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