What will our cities look like, post-pandemic? One side-effect of lockdown politics has been the rush by politicians, “thought leaders” and other wonks to use Covid as a pretext to impose their obsessions on the rest of us – none more so than the environmentalist agenda, with “build back better” and “net zero” becoming mantras… Continue reading We don’t need eco-loons like Thomas Heatherwick designing post-Covid Britain
The backlash over the postponement of the touring exhibition Philip Guston Now is the latest, starkest example of how museums are becoming little more than sites of social and political contestation.
Space is a strange place to want to send contemporary art, though it doesn’t stop artists (and art collectors) wanting to do just that
If you want to lose friends and alienate people in the art world, try telling them you support Britain leaving the EU. As someone on the left, I’ve always argued a left-wing case for leaving. It is, to say the least, an unfashionable position, usually met with anxious looks, sullen silence or overt hostility from… Continue reading Keep politics out of art
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? And can cutting edge technology do the teaching? Christie’s seems to think so. Their Art + Tech Summit: Exploring Blockchain, which took place on Tuesday in London, was representative of the old auction house’s enthusiasm for the promise of blockchain technology, which the summit’s organisers were keen to… Continue reading Art Market, meet Blockchain
My Friday 26 January comment for www.artreview.com Only a few days after they had been published to support the women’s march day, artist Paul Chan’s publishing house Badlands Unlimited found that their anti-Trump protest posters had been pulled from Facebook and Instagram. The four posters aren’t exactly polite: ‘GOD HATES TRUMP’ reads one, along with… Continue reading Feeling safe? Defending hate speech for artists
My column for the January-February 2016 issue of ArtReview, now online. Read it here (requires free registration to artreview.com) 'The purpose of the public museum is to ensure the long-term availability and display of art.’ With his first sentence, Chris Dercon, soon-to-be-former director of Tate Modern, had already lost the argument. Back in June last year, Dercon gave a speech… Continue reading Public Vs.Private
My column for the summer issue of ArtReview, now online. Read it here "What this seems to mean for contemporary artists is a peculiar approach to seeing humanity: either as just one more ‘thing’ among others – resulting in a fascination with other types of nonhuman entity out there – or as something already long dead and… Continue reading The End of Human Experience
My column on the latest sculpture commissions for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth on ArtReview.com. Read it here "The Fourth Plinth committee appear to imagine the public as a strange fusion of bored teenager and angry mob; restless, distracted, excited by bold shapes and colours and thoughtless political truisms about the state of the world."
My column for the April issue of ArtReview. "There’s a poster on the platform at Barbican underground station, my stop now when I head to ArtReview’s fancy new offices. The poster is for the Hayward Gallery’s current exhibition, Light Show, with an upbeat, punning quote from The Independent newspaper: ‘Hayward Gallery trips the light switch… Continue reading Are you experienced? The relentless rise of experience art