All That Glisters is Not Gold

May 12, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, Ulalume |

Archibald Prize, 2018 The Varnished Culture has already dripped its contempt over the Nobel Prize for literature. Now we can pronounce last rites for the Archibald, which this year is ‘won’ by Yvette Coppersmith, for her self-portrait (after George Lambert).  But George W (1873-1930), whose portrait of a lady is the main image to this note (see above), knew how to paint. This latest prize-winner (see below) is a real shocker, not worthy of an art student, a vacuous, slapdash, iridescent cartoon… The pallbearers for the Archibald call themselves the “Art Gallery of NSW Board of Trustees”.  They comprise: Mr…

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…And the Winner is…

May 8, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, POLITICS, Ulalume, WRITING & LITERATURE |

When the Nobel made some sense...Selma Lagerlof is honoured

…Nobody! Gerald Murnane must be spitting chips. The Nobel Prize for Literature won’t be handed out this year. Not because the prize has become a global joke (recipients of the recent past: Mo Yan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Bob Dylan); not because there’s no-one worthy (now that should be a reason), but because the Committee may be under legal interdict. The criteria for inclusion in the Academy, and its selections, are obscure. Academicians must be blonde, of course. They gather at a secret location, parking their Volvos underground. Then, over herring eaten-off recyclable plates, the sound of “Fernando” tinkling gently in the background,…

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Time to Terminate the Sydney Biennale

May 1, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, Ulalume |


45 years, 70 artists, 35 countries, 7 locations…and virtually Nothing worth having Fido cock his leg on. At the risk of being “cute,” we’ll quote ourselves: Modern Art is, in the main, pure fraud. It operates on ruthless market principles, clothed in doubletalk and gobbledegook. It has abandoned aesthetics and no longer seeks, were it even able, to be evocative. We call it the *Post-Eternal Phase, because its representative works leave the mind as soon as the audience turns away and its work is complete as soon as the cheque is cashed. It is perfectly credible for Banksy to state that Art…

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Why Joe Ain’t Claude

April 29, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |

JMW Turner had talent. No doubt. What he lacked were brains and application. His early work confirms his ability; his much-vaunted later ‘masterpieces’ are, in our humble opinion, travesties. Turner venerated Claude Lorrain, as he should. Compare any of JMW’s harbour-side daubs with this beauty by Claude, (main image, at the Frick Collection in NYC) and judge for yourself who takes the honours. Really, even Claude at is worst is superior: compare his mediocre ‘Delphi’ (1673)… …with Joe’s messy meteorological smudge, adding some badly-drawn figures as icing, of Aosta, (“Snowstorm, Avalanche & Thunderstorm”), both works @ the superb Art Institute Chicago:

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Art Institute Chicago as an Exemplar of the Decline of Western Civilisation

April 19, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |

Art Institute, @ Chicago & in general, April 2018 – What happened? We have skirted this issue before, in referring to the decline and the sorry state of things…. The World of Art has ceded its sacred task of conveying that which is not you, to you, and so crossing the bridge from feeling to meaning. Instead, it has become a Tower of Babel; full of lies, laziness, cynicism, and opportunism. And here’s some hard evidence of the course of decline, using the great store of the canonical contained in Chicago (and beyond) with the, alas, equally abundant tat: Would you…

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