Turner’s ‘Chelsea’ palette, used at the end of his life
Turner’s ‘Chelsea’ palette, used at the end of his life

In this issue

Helen Charman
Michaela Ross

Recent research indicates that the taught curriculum in art and design secondary school education pays scant attention to meaning-making in visual art. This paper explores possibilities for teaching interpretation through a report on an action-research project based on Tate Modern’s Summer Institute for Teachers, held in 2002. In doing so, it argues for the value and necessity of interpretation as a taught skill.

Charlie Gere

This paper examines some the changes that digital technology has wrought upon conceptions of space, time and culture, and how ‘new media art’ has historically reflected upon these. It suggests that such art might be better represented in institutions such as Tate, which in turn might help them engage with the question of what their own role might be in the digital age.

Stephen Hackney

This paper catalogues major changes in attitude during the last thirty years to conservation practice for the treatment of degraded painting canvases and outlines current practice at Tate. Changing aims and ethics of conservation provide new challenges and opportunities: the key to progress lies in a better understanding of the structural mechanics and degradation processes of stretched canvas paintings.

Ysanne Holt

E. A. Hornel (1864–1933) depicted Galloway girls in decorative, idyllic natural settings. From 1900 he also designed a small Japanese garden at Broughton House in the Borders town of Kirkcudbright. Hornel’s garden combines standard features of Japonaiserie with a few symbols of ‘Scottishness’ – local stones and relics. So how might we interpret references to idealised Japanese and Scottish aesthetic and cultural traditions in both paintings and garden?

Elizabeth Jablonski
Tom Learner
James Hayes
Mark Golden

Acrylic emulsion paints have been widely used by artists since their development in the late 1950s. This paper reviews the conservation information that currently exists about them. Brief descriptions are given of their development and how they are analysed, but the focus of this review is on current conservation concerns about their physical properties, how they will age and the effects of cleaning.

Neil Mulholland

This paper focuses on practices that captured critical and curatorial attention in Scotland and England at the turn of this century: relational aesthetics and the new formalism. Critical and curatorial representations of these practices have tended to present each as novel and as dichotomous. I argue that dominant representations of each tendency are mypopic and parochial, and ignore vernacular mobilisation in favour of hegemonic imaginaries such as ‘Britishness’ and the ‘new internationalism’. Paying closer ethnographic attention to the differentiated glocal communities in which such art was produced and consumed offers an alternative, culturally invested reading.

Richard Shiff

In his critical writing on Claes Oldenburg during the 1960s Donald Judd explained how emotional content might be conveyed through representational imagery, without the emotion depending on either the identity of the represented object or the subjective mood of the artist. Such art was neither representational, nor abstract, nor expressive in the usual understanding of these general terms. To establish the specificity of his position – through Oldenburg – Judd resorted to catachresis and syllepsis, rhetorical devices that operate where more familiar language fails.

Joyce H. Townsend

This paper reviews existing literature on nineteenth-century British artists’ materials. Sources of information, such as colourmen’s archives, artists’ diaries and surviving palettes, are discussed, and gaps in our current knowledge are highlighted. Particular attention is given to individual materials, such as supports and primings, pigments, paint and mediums, adulterants, varnishing practices and framing practices.

Toby Treves

This paper concentrates on the making and meaning of Kenneth Armitage Pandarus (version 8) 1963, which was recently presented to Tate in 2003 by the Patrons of British Art. Special attention is given to the humanist content of Armitage’s oeuvre and how this was interpreted by critics in the 1950s and 1960s. Pandarus (version 8) is considered in the context of the cultural and social changes of the early 1960s and the rise of the New Generation sculptors. The central proposition is that despite the critical hostility that this work and others like it met, it is in fact closely attuned to the wider social concerns of the period.