Monday, 19 July 2010


The aim of Currentartpics was to demonstrate a new approach to recent art history and its categories of style, or stylistics. That approach is fully presented at In spite of the title, it proposes a framework accommodating sculpture, printing - especially photography - and Conceptual work.

At Currentartpics, weekly assessments of individual artists allowed me to show how they relate to key strands and styles in Late 20th Century Art, and to some extent, how these are related to each other. The approach is distinctive both for the range of work considered, and its depth or integration, on one hand discerning individual achievement, on the other, competing issues in painting and across the plastic arts.

Artists were chosen on the basis of prominent current exhibitions, in the hope of attracting a wide audience, but this did not always provide opportunities to review important artists such as an Andy Warhol, Martin Kippenberger or Richard Hamilton, for example. So there are surprising and unfortunate omissions, for which I can only direct the reader to the history section of Currentartpics also allowed me to deal with sculpture, photography and Conceptual works in more depth than was available at so that it complements a general theory there in vital ways.

Another important omission has been in video and performance documentation. I had originally assumed that examples of work by say, Douglas Aitkin or Douglas Gordon, Pipilotti Rist or Moriko Mori, would be available on You Tube or similar, but examples there at the time fell short as illustrations, and that branch to the project must await another site, a more generous web.

Nevertheless, after a hundred posts, I felt the site had provided a fairly comprehensive cross-section of contemporary art and pointed out underlying issues for various periods, groups and individual styles, usually ignored or overlooked in established texts. In this respect my approach is a formalist or technical one, dwelling on the constituents of a style, at odds with prevailing interest in cultural or sociological priorities, perhaps, although as I see it, by no means hostile to them.

Gerry Bell
July 2010