The value of art school?

My column in April’s ArtReview magazine. Read the entire issue for free at www.artreviewdigital.com

What’s the value of an art college education? And is it really worth getting into shitloads of debt for? That’s the question that continues to grind away in the world of UK higher education, as students this year begin to face the new, austerity-era regime of £9,000-a-year tuition fees for an undergraduate degree, cooked up by our pantomime-horse liberal-conservative coalition government. Want to go to art college? Well, you could be looking forward to more than £40,000 of debt. Read More

Art, politics and branding

It may be cold in Europe at the moment, but in the fraught relationship between art and the political world, things only seem to be getting hotter, with controversies breaking out all over the place. A characteristic of recent upsets is the way that artists’ freedom of expression comes into conflict with public and private interests, especially when this freedom shifts from ‘artistic’ into ‘political’ expression. Read More

Damien Hirst’s Complete Spot Paintings at Gagosian

“I’ve got a game on my phone which consists of a grid of randomly coloured spots. It looks a bit like one of Damien Hirst’s many spot paintings. But at least with the game on my phone, if you get a row of the same colour, the spots go away…”

My review of Damien Hirst’s Spot Paintings extravaganza just up on Time Out…

Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011

British Art Show 7: in the Days of the Comet

My critique of British Art Show 7 out now in the new September issue of ArtReview magazine. Sign in and read it at www.artreviewdigital.com

If there is an emblematic work in British Art Show 7, it’s the one that critics thought had the most tenuous relationship to the exhibition’s supposedly ‘national’ remit – Christian Marclay’s The Clock (2010). While Marclay is neither British enough nor based in Britain enough for some, the inclusion of The Clock is an inspired move on the part of cocurators Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton, for it manages to encapsulate one of the most troublesome and intriguing thematics running through BAS7, one which never quite gets fully exposed or explained, even though the curators continuously point to it in their catalogue essays and notes. Arcing through the show is the nagging sense of a disarticulated, mysterious and enigmatic relationship to time – or to be precise, to the notion of history, and its relation to, and meaning for, the present…