Craft (1)

We went last night to a discussion at the Whitechapel Art Gallery between Tanya Harrod, who has just published a volume of writings on the subject in a series under the joint imprint of MIT Press and the Whitechapel, and Phyllida Barlow RA, whose work is so obviously interested in the use, if not the mess, of ordinary materials and the materiality of making.   It became clear that the volume represents a very broad range of possible approaches to the idea, and meaning, of craft, such that I can just about see that Phyllida’s work, which I first became aware of in the exhibition she did in the old Lutyens bank next to St. James’s Piccadilly, might represent one end of the spectrum:  using materials spontaneously and without too much deliberate care in order to subvert the conventions of their use and to create works of art which shock by their vital unexpectedness.

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