Friday 6 July 2001

All The Young Dudes - North London Weekly Post (2001)

Art critic Robert Hawes goes in search of what's happening on the art scene and finds that while there aren't many laughs at the Royal Academy, there's lots of fun on the fringe.

What's happening at the cutting edge of the contemporary art world - and where can you find its products? Not necessarily in the major galleries, where making good money is more important than making good art. And not necessarily in the schools, where they are increasingly turning out students who concentrate on producing marketable, gimmicky gee-gaws, or artlessly reproducing the blatantly obvious.

These same students then expend much energy explaining their work with endlessly indigestible and often unintelligible intellectual twaddle. But you'll probably find it worthwhile to visit some of the smaller galleries. There's some interesting new work on view, for instance, in a splendidly converted church called the Islington Arts Factory.

It offers regular art exhibitions as well as workshops in a friendly and creative atmosphere, supplemented by courses on subjects as varied as printing, cartooning, photography, animation, painting and life-drawing.

I visited an exhibition by some up-and-coming young artists, which presented some intriguing new ideas, some good craftsmanship and a welcome spirit of adventure and humour. The latter was particularly welcome as it is so often lacking amongst establishment artists, who tend to take themselves rather too seriously.

Robert Hawes, North London Weekly Post (Friday, 06 Jul 2001)

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