Art Monthly 472: Dec-Jan 23-24

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover

Interviewed by Judith Wilkinson


Bob Dickinson

Auto-Destructive Art

Michael Hampton

Enam Gbewonyo

Profile by Paul Carey-Kent

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Pope.L, Eating the Wall Street Journal (3rd Version), 2000


Grasping Colour

Pope.L interviewed by Judith Wilkinson

colour’s elusiveness in a way proves its utility – colour is one of those funny, amazing things, very much a part of the material world yet discursively a ph-PH-PH-PH-PHantom – maybe colour ain’t the problem, maybe it’s us – of course it’s us, it’s always us.

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Ann Veronica Janssens, ‘Grand Bal’, 2023



Bob Dickinson on artists who have shown that transient phenomena can have lasting effects

Anne Veronica Janssens has been noted for her use of artificial fog, removing the visual reminders of walls, floor or roof and suspending the visitor in an unfathomable realm in which one’s own bodily weight provides the only proof of the limits of space.

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David Blackmore, Rage Pen, 2017–18


Auto-Destructive Art: Antecedents and Descendants

Michael Hampton argues that auto-destruction is the default condition of all visual art

As theorist Jared Pappas-Kelley demonstrated in Solvent Form, the art object is always a foreclosed thing, irrespective of its genre, achieving ‘solvency’ at the expense of its inevitable, entropic demise.

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Enam Gbewonyo, Dellu, 2023


Enam Gbewonyo

Paul Carey-Kent

One of Enam Gbewonyo’s earliest memories is of being taken on a trip to a weaving village in Ghana as a child and being overcome by the magnificence of the dyed textiles hanging out to dry.



The violent disorder that Suella Braverman provoked on Armistice Day could not overshadow the nation’s remembrance of frontline soldiers and commemoration of ceasefire – but how do we remember the disappeared civilian victims of war?

While all such abuse is heinous, the example of the Madres and others has shown that concerted but targeted action can be more effective, both in raising awareness and forcing change, than generalised campaigns.


Portrait in Oil

The National Portrait Gallery once again associates itself with the fossil fuel industry; Just Stop Oil protesters target art galleries while some of its activists are held in jail; UK museum leaders respond to the climate emergency just as a museum is flooded; the art world continues to debate the Israel–Hamas war: Artforum sacks its editor over a call for ceasefire and is boycotted in return, and Documenta’s selection panel resigns en masse as discussion in Germany over Palestinian human rights is quashed; Russia jails an artist for her anti-Ukraine invasion protest; the UK’s culture department has been drawing up a blacklist of people who have criticised the government; plus the latest on galleries, people, awards and more.


Robert Irwin 1928–2023
Morgan Falconer

Luca Maria Patella 1934–2023
Martin Holman

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Esteban Jefferson, November 11, 2020, 2022, Goldsmiths CCA


Women in Revolt! Art and Activism in the UK 1970–1990

Maria Walsh

Re/Sisters: A Lens on Gender and Ecology

Lucia Farinati

Lutz Bacher: AYE!

Adam Hines-Green

Hélio Oiticica: Waiting for the internal sun

Matthew Cheale

A Fine Toothed Comb

Lauren Velvick

Beyond the Page: South Asian Miniatures and Britain 1600 to Now

Virginia Whiles

Esteban Jefferson: May 25, 2020

Tom Denman

James Lee Byars

Dominic Johnson

The Assault of the Present on the Rest of Time: Artistic Testimonies of War and Repression

Gabriela Acha

Stéphane Mandelbaum

Richard A Kaye

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Patrick Lowry, Metro: Red River Line, 2023


Flamm Contemporary Art Festival

Martin Holman

Just off Redruth’s quiet high street, partially obscured from the town’s principal sightlines, Patrick Lowry planted what looked convincingly like the construction works of an urban mass transit station.

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Ghislaine Leung, Bosses, spread

Artists’ Books

Ghislaine Leung: Bosses

Jonathan P Watts

Ghislaine Leung makes clear that the seemingly ‘non-productive’ is as important to a work as that of distribution, exchange and consumption – an extended process of learning when to say ‘no’.

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Peter Hujar, David Lighting Up, Manhattan Night (I), 1985, from the cover of Bohemia


Russell Ferguson: Bohemia – History of an Idea 1950–2000

Morgan Falconer

Maybe it is convenient for Russell Ferguson to declare that Bohemia is dead, for if it were not, we could race out there tonight and verify his claims; alas, like the existence of the dodo, we shall have to take it on trust that it once walked the earth.

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Nicole Eisenman, Selfie, 2014


Radical Jewishness

Caspar Heinemann

The framing at Whitechapel Gallery not only depoliticises Nicole Eisenman’s family history, but also reduces her own engagement with the artistic styles mentioned to one of passive nostalgia.

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Thomas Bayrle, ‘Form Form Superform’, Pinacoteca Agnelli


Letter from Turin

Giovanna Manzotti

Turin’s growing artistic scene is indicative of an increasing momentum towards it becoming the centre of contemporary art in north Italy.

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Barkley L Hendricks, Yocks, 1975, estimate $900,000–1.2m, sold for $8.4m


New York Uplift

Colin Gleadell

In the build-up to the sales, a high volume of work was either guaranteed to sell by the auctioneers or by anonymous third parties who are paid a fee for ensuring a sale. The guarantee system is especially popular when results are thought to be unpredictable. ArtTactic calculates that some 80% or $1.25bn of the value of last month’s evening sales in New York was under guarantee.

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Banksy, Valentine’s Day Mascara, 2023, installed at the unauthorised ‘The Art of Banksy’


To Have and Not To Hold

Henry Lydiate

The same day the artwork appeared, the house owner contacted London-based Red Eight Gallery asking for professional help to deal with the Banksy installed on the side wall of the house.

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