Thursday, 19 May 2011
another empty shopfront in Margate
and it’s called the Turner Gallery. I had eagerly anticipated its opening and had liked what I saw of the building, its plain modernism refreshing after all of the ‘signature’ efforts of recent years. After visiting the gallery my first thought was ‘I’ve driven this far to see this?’ Certainly art education seems well served, yet the galleries themselves resemble children’s playrooms run by sadists (the children aren’t allowed to touch anything). It was like being inside a bouncy castle that didn’t bounce. Now don’t get me wrong, I like minimalism. But so much contemporary art seems instead to be primarily conceptual work that then goes on to illustrate itself monotonously. I could say the same thing about some recent poetry.