‘Artwork Uncovered’: Julian Spalding on every part that’s fallacious with the artwork world

by Editorial Team

Artwork Uncovered by Julian Spalding is a set of essays and memoirs of his 40 years as a museum director, curator, critic and author – a interval during which he helped spearhead the resistance to the cult of conceptual artwork. ‘It’s non-art, it’s con-art,’ says Spalding on the telephone. ’The concept something generally is a murals simply because an artist says so is simply nonsense.’ 

Spalding started his museum profession in 1970 as assistant keeper on the DLI Museum and Arts Centre in Durham, UK, and subsequently turned the director of award-winning public artwork galleries for the cities of Sheffield, Manchester and Glasgow. A sequence of standalone essays organized in alphabetical order, Artwork Uncovered celebrates the artwork that Spalding loves – Aboriginal artwork (‘40,000 years of abstraction’), critically unacclaimed artists resembling Beryl Prepare dinner, Mandy McCartin and Jean Tinguely – whereas leaving lots leftover for encounters with Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret Thatcher, David Bowie, Jacques Chirac and, most significantly, the artwork and art-world figures to which he’s opposed. Chief amongst them are the 2 males he holds most culpable for the cult of conceptual artwork: Sir Nicholas Serota, former director of the Tate Trendy, and the artist Marcel Duchamp.

‘It’s non-art, it’s con-art’

Julian Spalding on conceptual artwork

Supply: Wallpaper

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