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Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
3 months ago

Excellent write-up. Wish I could go see it.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
3 months ago

I bumped into a friend in the pub the other night who reads Unherd and thought I was you.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
3 months ago

“ It’s hard to imagine that any UK gallery or museum could present such a treasury of taboo items today without a career-threatening storm of fury and denunciation “
It would be interesting to know if the author really thought, or considered, what they had just written or if it was just expressed as an opinion, possibly true, possibly not ? Given the theme of the rest of the article, I can’t help but think there is a ‘delicious’, if worrisome , irony about condemning certain art, and artists, because of their ‘playing to the gallery’ of the trends, fashion’s, environment and time in which they plied their trade. It’s not as if our own times, as alluded too in the quote above, hasn’t got it’s own fair share of ‘politically’ acceptable, and unacceptable, art, with it’s very own coterie of ‘lickspittal’ flunkeys, pushing ‘the message’ to a ‘modern’ audience.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

In 1995 the Hayward Gallery (London, UK.) launched an exhibition entitled ‘Art and Power. Europe under the Dictators 1930-1945’.

The only controversial thing about it was that whilst one could purchase all manner of ‘gifts/copies’ of Soviet, and Italian/Spanish Fascist ‘Art’ in the dreaded Gift Shop*’, but absolutely NOTHING was permitted that dealt with Hitler or Germany, despite a large number of objects being on display.

At the time I mentioned this to a senior member of the Gallery staff who meekly admitted that it would have cost him his job had he acted differently. When I suggested that perhaps he should not have offered any ‘gifts’ rather than display such blatant bias, he nearly burst into tears!

(* Postcards, Posters, facsimile statuettes etc.)

POSTED AT. 0829 GMT.
and immediately despatched to the SIN BIN. WHY?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

That’s an excellent point, and perhaps why the Dutch exhibition can be seen in the light that the writer intended.

To which i’d add, that just as German artists were able to subtly subvert the prevailing orthodoxy during that period, keep an eye out for contemporary artists who’re doing the same right here, right now. They exist, and also those who conform to no orthodoxy except timeless humanity, reimagined in our own age.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

To be honest, I think that this is pretty much what the author meant.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

I think you have missed the point… Currently, UK galleries present art and representation, from antiquity to the present, day, as representative of various ideas such as trans and racism. Thus they misconceive what they are looking at.

The article is saying precisely what you are saying it is not saying.

It does not condemn anything.

As for your comments about fashion… this was a period during which the government would kill you if it thought you were a political threat.

Andrew H
Andrew H
3 months ago

Fascinating piece, this

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago

How different things would have been had Hitler been accepted by the ‘Akademie der bildenden Künste’, Wien*. Unfortunately he failed the entrance exam twice, in 1907 and 1908.

(The Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.)

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
3 months ago

Indeed. Makes one wonder what kind of political party Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud or Frank Auerbach might have started!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Hopefully something better than the current so called Tory Party.

John Solomon
John Solomon
3 months ago

“Hitler – there was a painter. He could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon. Two coats.” (The Producers)

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
3 months ago

Those “Four Elements” pictured are a bit same-y, aren’t they? A distinct failure of imagination there. And a painful reminder of that famous photo of a young Mutti Merkel (allegedly) with her kit off. It all shows why Germany is renowned for cars rather than sex tourism.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

I consider the picture a well-executed example of neo-classicism.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Agreed, although I doubt the late Mary Whitehouse would have applauded!

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 months ago

Four elements ? I assumed it was some kind of SS approved Turkish Bath on ladies day . If so I hope the woman on the left isn’t the only source of heat .

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

Would that British curators had the audacity to step so far outside their current comfort zones.
Isn’t stepping outside of one’s comfort zone among the points of art? Treating things from certain eras as if they don’t exist does not mean those eras did not happen.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Well, yes, his point is that they are not doing it. This article is excellent, but on a certain level it states the bleeding obvious. A number of commentators have difficulty grasping this.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 months ago

As it would be written today
For artists who worked in the approved idioms and were untainted by White ancestry, active right-wing loyalties or a known attachment to “traditional” styles, the rewards might prove lavish. Conformity could pay handsomely.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
3 months ago

This article is precisely the reason why I subscribe to Unherd. Glorious. Congratulations!

Jonathon
Jonathon
3 months ago

A brilliant article on a subject I barely have given much thought to. Exactly why I read Unherd.

Juan Manuel Pérez Porrúa
Juan Manuel Pérez Porrúa
3 months ago

There is too much freedom and too much equality in the world today; too little restraint, too little order, too little hierarchy, too little inequality for society not to collapse in on itself. The excesses of freedom, of equality, and of democracy are tearing societies apart everywhere on Earth.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
3 months ago

Another manifestation of the “banality of evil.”

jane baker
jane baker
2 months ago

They were into the Madonna of the Big Boobies then.