How not to make public art

My column on the latest sculpture commissions for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth on 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.”

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

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…