Guffwatch - Waldemar wades in

November 18 2013

Image of Guffwatch - Waldemar wades in

Picture: Tate

Good news. Momentum continues to build in the battle against art-world Guff. Now, Waldemar has launched a sharp attack on the latest salvo of Guff to emerge from Tate, in its new 'Painting Now' show. In his review, he writes that:

The five painters have been chosen by no less than three curators (1.666 artists each?), whose ramblings in the catalogue are a disgrace to the English language and an insult to the few poor souls wandering through Tate Britain on the day I visited. No wonder there was hardly anyone there. Why should anyone visit an institution so insensitive to the needs of communication that its catalogues contain sentences that proceed “As painting is no longer in a position of autonomy — alone and apart — this also entails a move away from an idea of medium specificity, defining a practice as ‘painting’ or ‘film’, and towards a post-medium age, what a recent conference at Harvard examined as the ‘medium under the condition of its de-specification’ ”?

Update - a reader writes:

It's interesting that the Tate is showing five contemporary painters with such a fanfare. Ten years ago painters were meant to be extinct and even five years ago they were an oddity. Now painting is everywhere and it's the installations that look old hat.

I wondered if you could thank Damien Hirst for this, for overdosing everyone on rotting animals and chemist's shops and for hard-pedalling painting again.

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