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once as saviours

January 12, 2009

[Guardian] Anyone who believes that there is no art too bad to be coveted by collectors or displayed by museums ought to go and see Paintings From the 1980s at Tate Modern. It offers gratifying, if dismal, proof of this theory. All the artists included in it were once regarded as saviours of painting, no matter how awful their art; all were widely agreed to be the best in that worst of art decades. This is not so much a show as a warning against mass self-delusion.

Incredulity may be today’s first response. Who could have thought that David Salle’s sly and heartless paintings were ever any good? Who loved AR Penck’s phoney wild-man pictograms or Sandro Chia’s big, bloated boys? Does anyone now believe, as once was claimed, that Jackson Pollock had an equal in Julian Schnabel during his broken crockery phase? Some forms of hype are indistinguishable from lying.  (Read article…)

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