Civilisation

(by Kenneth Clark) Really a compilation of scripts for a television series, this book, much ridiculed and parodied over the years (remember Monty Python’s “Are you civilised? Have you been civilised recently?”), is a wonderful, personal, informed view of humankind and culture from classical times to the then present (1968). Elegiac, nostalgic, pessimistic; almost everything in the arts since has borne out Clark’s view that “we can destroy ourselves by cynicism* and disillusion, just as effectively as bombs.” [* A cynic being a “man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” – Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s…

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The Big Air Package

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TRAVEL |

(by Christo) (2013) We all went to the gasometer near Duisberg to check out Christo’s installation, ‘Big Air Package’. We were sceptical about this Bulgarian wrapper but it was wonderful, a 90m high white balloon that cast an eerie, snow-like glow inside. Afterwards, we had German super-hospitality at dinner and beyond, salted with pessimism about Ms Merkel and the future of the Euro.

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The Apes of God

(by Wyndham Lewis) The best (and bitchiest) book of the art demi monde ever written.  As T. S. Eliot said of this masterpiece, “It is so immense I have no words for it.”

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