|David Inshaw, The Badminton Game, 1972-3|
I used to sell art at a gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in my pomp I could rehang a room in minutes. Does it really take longer to pull a painting out of storage than it does to make a TV programme? Might it be sensible, in the age of instant media, to reserve one room for pop-up exhibitions, allowing TB to respond swiftly to public interest in a particular work or artist (and make TV pundits look silly to boot)?
|David Inshaw, Our days were a joy and our paths through flowers, 1971/2|
Unfortunately, 20th century British painters like David Inshaw are insufficiently represented at major London museums, which have far more art than space to show it. Happily, regional museums can and do support the legacy of particular artists - the Fry Art Gallery's devotion to Eric Ravilious and the Great Bardfield artists is a case in point - and now art lovers can travel around the country armed with Christopher Lloyd's comprehensive guide, 'In Search of a Masterpiece'.
If people want to see publicly owned art, shouldn't every effort be made to help them do so? Taking digital pictures is one possibility, but it doesn't get to the root of the problem. The artworks themselves, as objects, are treated as valuable pieces of property, to be preserved in the best possible condition. This is as it should be, but only up to a point. After all, a painting is only really worth as much as the pleasure it gives, and a painting stuck in a basement for decades is giving pleasure to nobody.
PS The Bristol Evening Post have an interview with BBC presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen here.