|Curtis Dowling: are these worth £60k or nothing?|
Although each part was only broadcast in its particular region we now have, thanks to the BBC's iPlayer, seven days to watch the whole series. I've only managed a few so far, but have been treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Charleston Farmhouse, a fascinating essay on fame with respect to David Inshaw and a Fake-or-Fortune quest featuring two paintings by Alfred Wallis - or should that be 'Alfred Wallis'? You'll have to watch to find out...
|David Inshaw, Window, 1969|
A curator at the museum pointed out that the painting had been taken down to make way for a newer acquisition. This is fair enough, and no doubt pleased both the artist concerned and his or her fans, but presumably there was choice involved. A decision was taken to remove this painting and leave that one, to hang this new artist but not this one. In the case of the City Museum and Art Gallery the phenomenal success of the 2009 Banksy takeover has perhaps influenced curatorial thinking, and it would be hard to think of two more different artists than Inshaw and Banksy.
When I was at school my experience of The Winter's Tale - a play with a preposterous plot and wooden characters - was enlivened by the Inshaw painting on the cover of the Arden paperback. His is a very particular vision - of strong, beautiful women and trees with dense foliage, of Silbury Hill and lightning and crows. I happen to think Inshaw is a very fine painter and a victim - presently - of the art world's continuing love affair with The New. In a few years' time he'll be rediscovered, as Piper, Nash and Ravilious are being rediscovered at the moment, and people will think it extraordinary that his paintings have languished in storage so long...
It may be quite hard to recall actual paintings by Grant and Bell, but in applying paint to just about everything in their house they gave their reputations immunity from changing curatorial fashions. This rather reinforces the point I made in the last post - and which Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen also made in relation to Devizes Museum - that artists are best served by small institutions which adopt them. I used to visit Kettle's Yard in Cambridge years ago, to have a look at Alfred Wallis and others.
|Charleston: garden deco|