Category Archives: Uncategorized


SIMON CONWAY falls for the new facsimiles of the Van Gogh sketchbooks

You can get a Hans van Meegeren for about £30,000 in some places, and he – as we all know –  was just a big fat forger.  In his later career, de Chirico forged his own early works.  And you – you yourself can turn amateur forger  – you can photocopy your favourite picture for a few quid in most of the big galleries now.  Along with postcards, editions, prints, photos, copies of video art – we’re all participating in an authenticity debate.

Perhaps the arid debate about fakes and forgeries is best left for pubs and first year philosophers.  However, when there is a copy as exquisitely housed, and as perfectly produced, as the Folio Society’s new Van Gogh sketchbooks (for £445 or so – and hence about £400 more than Van Gogh would have paid) all thoughts of copies and the honesty of copies come suddenly swiftly back into focus.

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Ai Weiwei

SARAH HADDOW-DU PRE has some thoughts about place and Ai
Cockerel from Ai Weiwei's Circle of Heads

Cockerel from Ai Weiwei's 'Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads' (2011)


In New York, of course, they were by the Pulitzer Fountain.  In Paris, in Rome – we can imagine where they might be (perhaps the Louvre, the Coliseum): Ai’s breath-taking ‘Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads’ (2011) is as much about place as any installation work he has ever created – more so, far far more so than last year’s Sunflower Seeds in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern.  We all despair at his current situation, but we must look carefully to his art if we are to understand it. Continue reading

Stiell Behrens

ALFIE WILCOX meets the artist, free-thinker and probable lunatic, Stiell Behrens

Stiell Behrens


Before, when I didn’t know what colour to put down, I put down black.  Black is a force: I depend on black to simplify the construction.  Now I’ve given up on blacks.”  Henri Matisse, ‘Black Is A Colour’ (1946) in Matisse on Art (London, Phaidon, 1973)

Baby, baby – don’t talk to me about black.  It’s too much.”  Stiell Behrens, in conversation, 2009.

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Time to look carefully at Mexico’s most important artist, says S. L. CONWAY

Cruzvillegas Tate

Part of Autoconstruccion (2008) at Tate Modern

Pop for a moment into Room 11 at the moment in Tate Modern, and you face some of the most exciting Latin American art currently to be seen in London. Continue reading