Andre Wallace

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Power players of the art world.

Guardian 2 08/05/2014 has some pages on the Power Players in the Art World. all the usual suspects are here but one or two names crop up that are surprising. For example comedian Steve Martin is a major collector as well as an art world satirist. Gavin Brown is there too as is Jay Z and Cindy Sherman who has truly become an art megastar. Like every such list the motive is publicity, this time for the Frieze art fair in New York.

Piece of drivel in this weeks 18/5/2014 Observer concerning the "Male gaze" in a society of portrait painters exhibition at the Mall gallery. It seems that a Cambridge Don's nude portrait has created some faux outrage in the Daily Mail who expressed mock outrage; The guardian reported; "Rather than being titillating, Bateman wanted the painting to ask questions about the sexualisation of women today. She has written: "At the age of 34, I am comfortable in my own body." Her pose is not provocative: she leans against a blue background, one hand behind her back. Significantly, she is staring back at the viewer. This is a mark of power." Yep!

Phyllida Barlow gets a page of publicity in the New Review in Sunday's Independent - (bring back Charles Darwent) Martin Creed is reported to have said she was the best teacher who never taught him - a pity, he might have learnt something about the necessary conditions for art from her - as the writer did.

Waldemar is becoming more persistent in his crusade against curators, but here with the Comic show at the British Library, have to agree with him. This show has some truly inexcusable recidivism from the curators which betrays a complete absence of awareness of context. As Waldemar remarks; " How the British Library the fount of so much reason ended up devoting this much space to so much unreason is beyond me?" No excuse for such shoddy scholarship here, just dumbing down to the real depths.

Wolfgang Tillmans has published a Phaidon book of his 25 years of taking photographs. Do wish he wouldn't persist with the pretence that he is an artist, it has to be said repeatedly - the man is a photographer.

The diminutive Chinaman has invaded the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, wish he was a prophet in his own land as he seems to have become one here where standards are so much lower? A tree is a tree, is a tree, is a tree, is a tree, is a tree - so what.

Lastly this little nugget concerned with dishonest pecuniary gain, it's what happens when your brand of artwork is the product of an army of assistants.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Turner prize - Roundabout

The Turner Prize is giving our press erstwhile art critics kittens. Why? - because the judges now seem to have lost the plot. As state art is now deplete of contestants of real value, the award of the annual bean feast has fewer takers to propose. It has even been suggested that it should be awarded every five years instead of annually to paper over the cracks. The barrel has been scraped out to the extent that there are no dregs left to promote so we have to find new ones and oh yes we can! 

Never mind the fact that ACE and state art policies and priorities have done for fine art in the UK. Recently published a piece on the former Tate director Sir John Rothenstein who exerted his power with capricious spite and malice, he was however a champion of the artist and he knew where his bread and butter came from. The Uk art world managers and curators have tried desperately to get rid of artists completely and have almost succeeded.

So no-one has heard of these film makers and that's what they actually are. Fewer art forms are as incestuous and derivative as artist as "artist filmmaker". Pretentious, portentous and self regarding is the essence of this youtube game and that is exactly what we have here. Having seen many of these products and wasted precious lifetime doing so, this is a truly mediocre choice. But the champions of State art are not going to listen to the voices of dissent on the chat-lines in the Guardian, for they all know better, they know what we the ignorant populace need! They go on sustaining the unsupportable, inane, meaningless, tired and emotional fake cutting edge of the Avant Garde corpse. These artists all have one thing in common, they are tired and confused by the task that they are supposed to be the most excellent UK exponents of, in our time.

Adrian Searle says that these artists are struggling with meaning, as if this were a promotional virtue rather than the abject failure of their art education. Art education is struggling with finding a meaningful role which brings us to the next issue, have noticed that the local BA fine art course is to close. This is slow attrition of our visual culture, fine art courses are safe for disposal as higher education begins to contract, the damage is already well underway in secondary education where art is largely marginalised.

This is stupid and very shortsighted, our Victorian forefathers had far more intelligence and they cared for their design and industrial base because they knew the economy relied upon it. China is building hundreds of art colleges for a very very good reason, to support design in it's own industry. We are closing them because we let the banksters do as they wished with our industry. This was exemplified in Prime Ministers question time this week when David Cameron extolled the countries virtues, remarking that other countries industries want to come to the UK for it's tax advantages. He is too young to remember when the UK was itself a huge industrial powerhouse with it's own industries. The class war of the 1970's did for all that and the war was never necessary.