Art Monthly 442: Dec-Jan 20-21

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover
Lucy McKenzie

Interviewed by Saim Demircan

Looking Back in Anger

Morgan Quaintance

Empire, Extinction and Ecstasy

Izabella Scott

Eimear Walshe

Profile by Gwen Burlington

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Lucy McKenzie, Quodlibet XL, 2014


Pinboard Wizard

Lucy McKenzie interviewed by Saim Demircan

The quodlibet is so much about labour that I realised I could satisfy different sides of my personality by adopting it as a style – on the one hand I was very interested in the Avant Garde as a social space but, on the other, formally, I was much more interested in the rigour of craft.

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Jade Montserrat, Rainbow Tribe drawings, 2016


Looking Back in Anger: Ten Years On

Morgan Quaintance identifies an ever-widening gap in the UK art world between social realities and the concerns of the curatocracy

The decade’s first five years saw the continuation of a major schism between sociocultural and political realities in the UK and a set of hermetic aesthetic concerns, discourses and debates in the art sector.

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Danh Vo, Untitled, 2020
White Cube, Bermondsey, London


Empire, Extinction and Ecstasy

Izabella Scott observes how the US has long been both in denial and in thrall about the concept of empire and colonialisation

The politics of imagining the US’s downfall has always been inconclusive; even as it is obliterated, these visions continue to place America centre stage. Dreams of the centre falling, after all, confirm where the centre of the world is, investing it with power even as it symbolically collapses.

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Eimear Walshe, Trade School, production still


Eimear Walshe

Gwen Burlington on the Irish artist’s interrogation of normative structures of power and historical revisionism

Working across sculpture, writing, performance, installation and research, Eimear Walshe’s work is underpinned by queer and feminist trajectories of thought, incorporating beguiling contradictions that are playful and often deadpan.


Georgia on My Mind

The US election promised a showdown between those who believe in the democratic process and those determined to undermine it. The result, which was a long time coming – and which was not even close in the end – showed the country stepping back from the brink.

It is one of the quirks of English English v American English usage that politicians in the UK ‘stand’ for office while in the US they ‘run’ for office, which seems particularly inapt, given the protracted nature of this latest US election.


More Recovery

Further recovery grants are announced, just as galleries are instructed to close again; Tate suspends one of its senior curators, Mark Godfrey, for not toeing the party line on social media; the BP Portrait Award opens at its only venue this year: the BP Galleries in Aberdeen; an inappropriate monument to proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft is unveiled in London; campaign group Migrants in Culture calls for the forthcoming Brexit Festival to be scrapped and the funds put towards an equitable arts recovery; plus the latest on galleries, people, prizes and more.


Anthony Hill 1930–2020
Stephen Bann

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Sunil Gupta, Untitled #7, 2008
from the series ‘The New Pre-Raphaelites’
The Photographers’ Gallery, London


Global Resistance

Virginia Whiles

To Dream Effectively

Matthew Bowman

Sunil Gupta: From Here to Eternity

Benoit Loiseau

Thao Nguyen Phan: Becoming Alluvium

Tom Denman

Heba Y Amin: When I see the future, I close my eyes

Kathryn Lloyd

Towner International

Paul Carey-Kent

Robert Smithson: Hypothetical Islands

Phoebe Cripps

Nalini Malani: Can You Hear Me?

Maria Walsh

Glenn Brown: And thus we existed

Mark Prince

Bruce Nauman

Adam Heardman

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Ken Hollings: Inferno – A Genealogy of Trash Culture

Laura Jacobs

The artists and filmmakers covered may be transgressive and culturally resistant for various distinct reasons – access to funding, their relationship to queer identity, obscenity law, youth, feelings of disenfranchisement – but Hollings demonstrates that they are, above all, dependent on dominant society to inform their adversarial sensibilities.

On Care

Frank Wasser

On Care follows 2018’s On Violence from the Ma Bibliothèque imprint of artist Sharon Kivland, who returns to edit this new title alongside previous collaborator, artist Rebecca Jagoe. The collection features contributions from 43 diverse voices, including Oisín Byrne, Holly Graham, Helen Hester, Juliet Jacques, Sophie Jung, Roy Claire Potter, Victoria Sin and Erica Scourti.

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Stanya Kahn, No Go Backs, 2020


BFI London Film Festival: Experimenta

Colin Perry

The screening of ‘diverse’ works might merely appease rather than change institutions. The best works at this year’s Festival throw that critical awareness back at the audience, implicating us all.

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Quo Vadis, Aida?, 2020, directed by Jasmila Zbanic

Jasmila Zbanic: Quo Vadis, Aida?

Jasmina Tumbas

In Bosnia, the first screening was at the Memorial Centre in Srebrenica, the very site of the film, to an audience that included many witnesses and survivors from 1995. Zbanic’s film honours their fates and reminds us that there is no ‘safe zone’ in war.


Lottery Lives

Current art-funding schemes, despite their meritocratic veneer, remain incurably unjust – it is time, says Michaële Cutaya, for a radical shake-up

Michael J Sandel contended that recognising and accepting the role of chance in human affairs would humble the winners and restore dignity to the losers.

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Valerie Amani, All the English, 2019
from the ‘Pathological Museum’ series

Letter from Dar es Salaam

The Art of Gathering

Jesse Gerard Mpango

Questions over the role and place of visual art are more pressing but, locally at least, approaches to production, partnerships and dialogue point a way forward that is characterised by conversation and openness.

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Amar Kanwar, Such a Morning, 2017

Letter from Dubai

After Darkness

Nadine Khalil

In Amar Kanwar’s film Such a Morning, we see a mathematician’s self-imposed isolation from work and the world. Set largely in an abandoned, blacked-out train carriage, we are given a lyrical investigation into 49 types of darkness.


Private Parties

Henry Lydiate

The gallery dealership argued that it should not be ordered to reveal the identity of the buyer it had represented to purchase the painting, which had been stolen from its original owner, who needed to find its current location.

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