I’ve never been much taken by the thought of ‘Art for Art’s sake’. However, I am interested in the way the visual arts can operate as a kind of social allegory: a way of thinking that dramatises, deliberately or otherwise, the tensions of contemporary life.
Bird on old dhow, Saadani, Tanzania, August 2007
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From “Of Cabbages and Kings”, Journal of King’s English Literary Society” (King’s College London), Issue 6, December 2012.
A review published in Architecture Today (212, October 2010, p. 6).
I wrote this piece earlier in the summer (it appeared in Architecture Today 209, June 2010) . Having gone back, after several years, and seen the present state of Charles’s ‘model’ development at Poundbury in Dorchester, it seems all the more important to remember that the ’Modernism’ against which it is designed to speak was never [...]
The idea of ‘public art’ has often provoked controversy. Its promoters justify their interventions in public space by talking about access and the importance of reaching beyond the confines of gallery and museum.
Nowadays, the Polish-British artist and illustrator Andrzej Krauze is well known across Europe for his drawings in the Guardian (London), Rzeczpospolita (Warsaw), Courrier International (Paris), Internazionale (Rome), and many other publications. None of this could necessarily be foreseen when he came to London in the early eighties, a time when he was largely known for drawings made in the service of the cultural opposition in Poland. I got to know him shortly after his arrival… An article prompted by the approach of a new exhibition entitled ‘A Serious Game’: 100 Drawings by Andrzej Krauze, 19 November 2007-15 February 2008, The Gallery, University College for the Creative Arts, Ashley Road, Epsom KT18 5BE.
An article on the art of camouflage. Written as a review of Hardy Blechman et al (eds.), DPM Disruptive Pattern Material: an Encyclopedia of Camouflage: Nature, Military, Culture, London: DPM, 2004. Published in London Review of Books, Vol. 27 No. 12, 23 June 2005, pp. 16-20.
On the opening of Zaha Hadid’s Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, Ohio. Published as ‘Look what I built’, the Guardian (G2), 2 July 2003, pp. 12-13.
On Siraj Izhar and Strike, a group of art activists based in a redundant public lavatory outside Christ Church, Spitalfields, East London. Published as ‘Two loos, low trek’ in the Guardian, 27 September 1995.
This article opens with the destruction of Ash Wall, a work by Vong Phaophanit, placed near the Thames Barrier at Woolwich. This was one of several wrecked pieces of public art I encountered at that time, and it seemed worth reflecting both on the recent rise of public art in a period of reduced state activity, and on the possible reasons for the assault. Published in the Guardian, 25 August 1995.
On the Millennium and the art of Transgression. Thoughts prompted by ‘Rites of Passage’, an exhibition at the Tate Gallery, London. Published in the Guardian 10 June 1995.