Beyond the Crisis in Art


“Those of you who are still bound up in the ‘anachronistic daubing of woven fabrics with coloured mud’ should take courage. You may be producing only footnotes to art history: but there is a chance that your work is among the finest of its time.”

Peter Fuller- ‘Where was the art of the seventies?’ 1980

More Fuller related material at


meanwhile here a edit from latest Jonathan Jones Blog entry at Guardian

In response to…
I don’t think it is for nothing that most artists appear to work with intellectual ideas (no matter how third rate rather than what they have witnessed with their own eyes.
I think from what Hockney said when interviewed about the new large landscape is that there is a qualitative difference in sustained looking and ‘reimagining’ as opposed to the fleeting multi-visual parade that swims before us every day.

Art students are no longer taught as I was in the late seventies to look properly based on a tradition going back through Bauhaus to the 18th century life-model. Instead a student is more likely to be found ‘social-networking’ than drawing for a considerable period of time. The consequence is that a new generation of tutors unskilled in such a practice would not know how to ‘teach’ even if timetabled back into college degrees etc.

The blind leading the blind becomes a sad truth. We are media rich and time poor. In such a society it easy for people to actually believe that something like Emin’s doodles are something else because they ‘resonate in Frieze-land’. In truth it vacuous scribbling but in a corrupt critical framework beholden to the powers that be and they mostly commercial interests NOT critics we are stuck with them. One of Hockney’s line-drawings is worth a hundred YBA’s simply because he skilled, salve erudite and is not blind to the world around him.

Peter Fuller published a stinging attack on the vacuous in 1980 in Beyond the Crisis in Art……contemporary art students should have it on their reading lists instead of Hirst and Emin’s laughable tomes but guess which is the more likely volume on the studio floors….and as for Gray’s Anatomy….most probably think it a band anyway…

To try and rate some of the current Friezeland generation’s ideas as Third is really being kind and over-rating them substantially.

Published by

Shaun Belcher

Contemporary art critic

2 thoughts on “Beyond the Crisis in Art”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *