Andre Wallace

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Eric Eisner - RIP

The death has been announced of Eric Eisner at the age of 80 years. Sat through one of his sparkling lectures once when he was visiting the UK and found him to be a mesmerising speaker of truth. He was an important advocate for the critical importance of art education to all children and adults in western society. He saw art as a necessity and a right and not the luxury for their own as current politicians believe that it is. He always spoke the truth and he was a great supporter for the status of art education as the tool for teaching judgement and critical thinking. He will be sadly missed by the arts educational community.
A very great man, his ideas should be much more widely promoted, but isn't this always the way with human beings who make helping others their life's task.........
He wrote: "To neglect the contribution of the arts in education, either through inadequate time, resources or poorly trained teachers, is to deny children access to one of the most stunning aspects of their culture and one of the most potent means for developing their minds,"

But then so much of western current educational policy is concerned with denying others their most basic rights and access to developing their full potential.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Waldemar Januszczak on Curators

Waldemar has done it once again - taken another pop at the new curators, those flim flam merchants whose stranglehold over the art market is surely garotting the artistic life out of it. He has published a funny little video to support his article here.

One has only to look around to see that any new contemporary art is not being produced or promoted except in small pockets. The Western art world is now supporting more curators, managers, sellers, auctioneers, hangers on, Self taught artists and general con merchants than can live off those who actually produce art. The standard Gallery rip off and it is a rip off, is now 50% which is brutal exploitation and profiteering.  In addition artists are frequently asked to subsudise dealers and galleries by working for nothing except exposure. Art education has lost the plot and is a national disaster - so no new talent has emerged since those now ageing and middle aged kitsch merchants the YBA's. This is the consequence of State art and Saatchi's stranglehold over the entire system. They have only themselves to blame for strangling the goose that laid the golden egg. If the only art that is permitted is crap then the art world by default becomes crap and that is exactly what has happened in the past five years. You are not allowed to say this though, even on the guardian or telegraph chat lines which go on promoting the lie that everything in the garden is just hunky dory - deary! To mentioned artistic standards, connoisseurship, sensibility or values has become tacit to actively insulting someone. Yet without the careful consideration of truth, honesty, ethics, morality and values, good or bad everything just declines and degrades and so it has. Stupidity and ignorance dominate and it is all so very depressing. 

Dr Eric Coombes has complained bitterly that the Reith lectures this year were a pantomime, he wrote in this month's Jackdaw “One of the consequences of the comprehensive destruction of our system of higher education in the visual arts from which Perry emerged as a graduate is a glut of people who deludedly suppose themselves competent in matters entirely beyond their intellectual scope. In the second lecture Perry asserted that anything can be “Art” but I think that the boundaries are sociological, tribal, philosophical and maybe even financial. Well, can anything be Art or not? What does that mean? Does one and the same thing become or cease to be art according to whether it falls under the jurisdiction of one or other of this strange ragbag of disparate conceptual regimes? Or is this a confused way of noticing the obvious point that what is accepted valued or promoted may vary with circumstances and interests?” 

A complaint which one hears regularly these days is how art exhibitions are frequently ruined by hoards of screaming school kids running around galleries and generally making a nuisance of themselves in places where they don't seem to realise that the art experience  demands silence and contemplation. They are not good at contemplating anything but this is amusing.

As is this from Jonathon Jones who needs to take a pop at soft target Ms Emin accusing her of feminist art lite - whatever that means? More likely avant garde lite!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The best art of 2013 ?

This week brings us the news that the Professor of Drawing has bought a bolthole in America, "excellent!"
As it is that time again here is a roundup of all the best exhibitions of the year from the internet;

Adrian Searle of the guardian came up with this list and the chatline, had an interesting spat discussion.

Laura Cumming comes up with a very pleasant and assured list in the Guardian. She actually goes as far as to take a swipe at aging YBAs for their failure to improve, such are the constraints of the art market.

Richard Dorment says this about Grayson Perry's Reith lectures:"That they were a triumph of style over content." Indeed they were and the Jackdaw for january has an excellent summary of why by Dr Eric Combes. He bewails the complete disintegration of art education - as indeed do we constantly!

The Independent came up with this list, it is not very notable.

Jonathon Jones chose these exhibitions; He ought to know better than to extole the virtues of Jack Vattriano. It is not for no reason that he despised and reviled by the art world! We can all do the illustration bit.

Time out came up with this list which included the pathetic body language show at the Saatchi gallery, so much for ye teenage trendies.

Vulture came up with this, not informative list.

The New Yorker had this predictable choice with Mike kelly, Chris Burden, Balthus? Christopher Wool and that abject artist Paul McCarthy. What is it with these americans that they have to revel in the druggy, abject and inane?

Design Boom list

Londonist list.

The daily beast list.

Flavourwire list

Huff Post list

A little lighthearted grin concerning those curators!!!