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The Man Who Fell To Earth

I had just got up yesterday, nipped across the road to buy my newspapers and returned to make a cup of tea when – switching the BBC1 morning show on the television – I first caught the news about the passing of rock star David Bowie. For the rest of the day it seemed as if the UK airwaves had [...]

January 12, 2016 // 0 Comments

Keeping an eye open/ Essays on Art Julian Barnes

As Julian Barnes himself admits, writing about something visual in art is not just difficult but, in some people eyes notably Degas , worthless. His essays have however been critically acclaimed and I was curious to read them.  Where would they be pitched: at the cognoscenti, the literati, or the [...]

December 30, 2015 // 0 Comments

An excellent piece of television

This is not a regular habit of mine I promise, but earlier this morning – having read the broadsheet reviews of Tuesday night’s television programming in which it seemingly received 4 stars out of 5 all round – I deliberately took up my zapper and negotiated through my cable company’s [...]

December 23, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Rules of the Game

One of the aspects of my work which I most enjoy and as Arthur Daley might say a”nice little earner” is advising on art acquisition. I am sufficiently critical of myself, my clientele and the art world to say there is an element of hypocrisy here. The client may say and will be advised [...]

October 30, 2015 // 0 Comments

Churchill: the artist

When I saw that a programme on BBC 4 about Winston Churchill the artist was to be presented by Andrew Marr, I sighed as I anticipated it would be as much about Marr as Churchill. I imagine as he is one of  BBC’s star turns it was he who insisted on making the programme which was called Marr [...]

August 19, 2015 // 0 Comments

Sickert in Dieppe

On the National Rust we pride ourselves that we bridge sport and art both of which feature prominently. I cannot recall why I became a WBA  fan, it might have been that the first soccer game I watched was the 1968 Cup Final when Dad bought a colour tv and we watched Albion beat Everton 1-0. I [...]

August 14, 2015 // 0 Comments

Lessons learned by a bloody nose

Next week will mark the seventy-third anniversary of the disastrous Dieppe Raid on 19th August 1942 by British and Canadian troops. For some time the Russians had been lobbying Britain and the Allies to open a second front in north-west Europe in order to relieve the pressure they were under from [...]

August 13, 2015 // 0 Comments

Fake or fortune

Fake or Fortune is now in its fourth series and I find it compelling viewing. I do not often like televised arts programmes for much the same reason I do not care for Tudor histories, namely the presenter is less than an interface and more the subject. Fake or Fortune could not be guilty of this as [...]

August 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

Dinner at the Chelsea Arts Club

Last night I introduced Ken Howard the artist to the art historian Martin Gayford. Ken I have known and admired for over 30 years and Martin is well-liked and respected in our world for his art journalism and biographies of John Constable,Van Gogh and Michelangelo. Ken had written to Martin after [...]

July 9, 2015 // 0 Comments

Quality versus commercial success

Sometimes those of us who are content to confess “I know nothing about Art [with a capital ‘a’] but I know what I like …” are condemned for either copping out and/or being Philistines, but that’s life and anyway so what? Personally, for example as regards music I am devoid of both [...]

June 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

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