Andre Wallace

Thursday, January 26, 2017

New Years Honours list

The press has been fulsome in it's praise of John Berger who died recently. He was a child of his age and reading through some of the texts that have been republished one can only wonder at what a knowledge restricted age it was as compared to today's instant Google access culture. That said of course, knowledge that really matters in a post Trump age is being very rapidly monetised, to the extent that a lunchtime news item on the state of the economy with Martha Kearney included some pipsqueak sounding off about how we are successfully monetising knowledge for sale in China.
Waldemar Januszczak produces a really thoughtful piece of hostile commentary in the Sunday Times of 8th January. It contained several really apposite truths about the misbegotten status of words in contemporary art. The one aspect of Berger that stuck in one's craw was his incessant promotion of Marxism, not so much a way of seeing as yet another way of attitudinising art as issues. The older one gets the more one distrusts other peoples's feelings when talking about art.

Which brings us to the value judgements in the New Years Honours list. If this list does one thing it illustrates very clearly how state art is all the art that we are offered and we deserve so much more and so much better than this list of artists.

New Years Honour’s List Services To The Arts 2017

Chris Ofili CBE services to the arts
Ofilli has been a Tate gallery trustee and member of their collection committee - the Tate owns 19 of his decorative colourful design pieces. His work was bought by the Tate whilst he was a trustee in direct contravention of the charities guidelines.

Patrick Brill (Bob & Roberta Smith) OBE services to the art
This designer, whose colourful lettering is not out of place in a primary school and whose loud utterances on art education have done some harm. 

Ryan Gander OBE services to the art
Mildly diverting Conceptual artist of severely limited interest also Lisson gallery stable

Don McCullin For Services To Photography KBE
Arguably the best photographer the UK has produced.

David Adjaye, lead architect of the Smithsonian’s new museum of African 
American History in Washington, DC, has been granted a KBE.
Doing his jobsworth!

Rosemary Greenlees Executive Director Crafts Council OBE
She has done a lot of real good for promotion of the world of crafts

Jennifer Waldman Director Of Imperial War Museum CBE
Again a good sound choice.

Nicholas Logsdail Founder/ Director Lisson Gallery OBE
Richard Deacon, julian Opie and Bill Woodrow have all been Tate trustees represented by the Lisson. Lisson represents 50 artists, 30 of whom have a total of 348 artworks in the Tate's collection. Logsdail is one of the key eminence gris of UK State contemporary art, surprising when you consider the fact that 98% of the art that he has sold over the years has been, devoid of engaging aesthetic and artistic meaning. Usually abstract it is just the usual suspects doing the usual things, - why he even represents the diminutive Chinese dissident.

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