Yto Barrada’s ‘Mobilier Urbain’ at Pace Gallery London

“There are artworks that work on the viewer’s apprehension of an implied absence, and then there are artworks that simply stand there waiting for that apparent lack to be filled in by contextualizing talk. The former has something to do with aesthetic experience, the latter with a loss of interest in it, and standing among Yto Barrada’s work at Pace Gallery London, I get the feeling the talk wins…”

My review of Yto Barrada for Art-Agenda…

http://www.art-agenda.com/reviews/yto-barradas-mobilier-urbain/

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. Continue reading “The value of art school?”

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. Continue reading “Art, politics and branding”

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