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The Art of Radio Times : the first sixty…

The Art of "Radio Times" : the first sixty years

by David Driver

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British illustration from 1923, as seen in the BBC's own programme paper, Radio Times. Copious illustrations in colour and black and white; interviews with artists; social background by Asa Briggs. The book accompanied the exhibition at the V&A museum, London, which then toured. A very fine and fascinating book. The lasting value of this superbly produced book is in the extremely high standard of the artists who work in the 'commercial art' world. It gets ignored by the Brit Art Establishment, for instance. More than that, it gets dismissed. But there is work in these pages that should be in our National Collections. Perhaps there is a curator out there in the Arts Council world who can peep from behind their ludicrous ideological blinkers at what they have ignored. Every page contains work that makes the Emins and Chapmans et al look totally overblown and pretentious. But, of course, these noisy bad tempered 'artists' get away with their loutish behaviour because it gets State money; and these 'artists' are - alas - the ones who get promoted through the Arts Council. This wonderful book is an antidote to the ludicrous stunt masters who fill our galleries with nonsense. A huge amount of talent, skill and imagination are revealed on every page. Wit, culture, and intelligence illuminate this wonderful book. Anyone interested in skill and the imagination; anyone who is tired of rooms filled with screwed up paper, or a room with a shelf tweve feet up the wall which has a glass of water on it; anyone who has listened to the ideological witterings of the Talebanic rulers of BritArt, and wondered if they can actually believe what has just been said or written in the latest 'manifesto'; all these will pick up this book and breathe some clean air, uncontaminated with the cant and hype that obscures a lot of art world stunts. A bit of a triumph, then. And we are talking about something as simple as art in the service of illumination. ( )
  kettle666 | Oct 1, 2007 |
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