Tuesday, 16 December 2008

A recent review of Best in Show, an exhibition of graduate art curated by Pearce & Ramsay in the John Jones Project Space, brought together work by 18 graduates from art colleges around the country. It sparked a heated review in a-n magazine that raises some big questions… We’re interested to hear a wider opinion.

Do today’s fine art graduates have too many opportunities? Should all graduate art be confined to Bloomberg New Contemporaries? Are fine art students ‘running high on ambition and dry on imagination’?

Matt Lippiatt thinks so. What’s your opinion?



Annie said...

Yes, undoubtedly there are too many of these surveys of recent graduates who are only grouped together by their educational level... it is a misconception to think that on leaving a BA artists are ready to be snapped up by one of the big C's Matt Lippiatt mentioned - perhaps turning into arrogant C's themselves along the way. You can't buy a career, recent graduates must be wary of the illusion of instant success - it takes time and hard work. Scrap the student shows! Kill off degree shows! No more opportunities for emerging (read: undeveloped) artists! Get rid of new contemporaries too!

South London said...

Although I agree that there are too many of these survey shows, recent graduates offering opportunities to other recent graduates should not be seen as a bad thing. Comments like 'No more opportunities for emerging(read: undeveloped) artists' as posted by Annie are totally unhelpful. Leaving art school can be a pretty lonely and discouraging experince,i know when i left i got no interest whatsoever, the last thing young artists who are trying to make a go of it need are people telling them they should hide in their studio until they've 'matured'....how are they supposed to get better if they don't exhibit and get critisim and feedback from the public and their peers. Survey shows in general should not be frowned upon simply because Bloomberg New Contemporaries exists. I also dont agree with Matt Lippiatt's comment that the degree show is enough, firstly graduates are often unhappy with the institutional constraints of their degree show and want to show their work in a new context. Also a good deal of the work shown in some survey shows is new work which gradutes have been motivated to make with the prospect of an upcoming exhibtion. They also provide much needed experience to artists and encourage them to continue and build networks with other artists in a similar situation to themselves. Taking part in a survey show straight after college doesnt mean you think you can 'buy a career' it just means you want to exhibit the work youve spent three years labouring over....and isnt that the point anyway?

Annie said...

sure, leaving art school is lonely and difficult... no, sitting in the studio waiting to mature sure isn't going to help - but organizing artists by age isn't going to either. where is the criticism on these shows? do they get any write up anywhere?