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Art criticism lite

Where are the critics who can save British art from itself?

By Graham Bendel   December 2001

The American writer HL Mencken famously noted that the proper relationship of journalist and politician should be that of dog and lamp-post. The same should be said of critic and artist, except that in 21st century art there seem to be too many dry lamp-posts. Criticism, practised by a new breed of pundit, has become house trained.

The omens are dark. On 3rd November, with the death of Ernst Gombrich, the epoch-sweeping grandeur of The Story of Art was consigned to the 20th century. Before Gombrich went David Sylvester, one of the most respected art critics in the English language,…

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