Saturday 25 June 2016

Reading List, 25 June 2016

China Mieville, writing for the Guardian, muses on the English pictureskew:
The picturesque is the framing and formulation of a landscape, and it is in the gaze. Not precisely beautiful, but pretty. Charming. Scenic. But there is an inextricable counter-tradition. Not a contradiction to the picturesque, but its bad conscience. ... This bad picturesque works by skewing the framed scene, the picture. It mispronounces the terms of the picturesque, so let mispronunciation give it a name: this is the pictureskew.
Mieville's discussion of the history of the picturesque and its dark cousin reminded me of Francis Pound's 1983 book Frames on the land, which divided New Zealand colonial-era landscape painting into a number of genres. I never think of that publication without thinking of Hamish Keith's writing-off any import in the publication with the first sentence of his review, which opens with the words "In this slim, pink book ...".

In Seattle art world, women run the show. While I'm a little dubious about whether gender-dominance should be presented as a win, I enjoyed (unusually for me) the visualisation that shows connections between female figures in the visual arts in Seattle and the people they considered to be mentors and supporters. The construction of something similar in New Zealand would be really interesting.
Consider this: for those who have journeyed from Greater China to the UK – whether passing through or in a bid to find new ways of living here – will they and their descendants forever be fated to continue being Chinese? Is their Chineseness something they ought to resist?
En Liang Khong for Frieze on the 30th anniversary of Manchester’s CFCCA (Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art). Meanwhile in Aotearoa New Zealand Hainamana has launched, 'committed to fostering contemporary Asian New Zealand arts and cultural discourse'.

The 'can it be serious art if it has many makers?' debate: Terry Teachout on the (over)use of the word 'masterpiece'.

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