THE INFORMATION on The Art of Bloomsbury

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

The Tate's end-of-year show is devoted to Bloomsbury's art - focusing on the careers of three artists: Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. There's also assorted Bloomsburyana, with portraits, photos, books and other mementos. Most critics agree they were excellent promoters of art but second-rate artists.

What They Say About It

"I doubt whether the Tate has ever before presented such a large concentration of dud art... This large show is a waste of space. You can think of various reasons why it was given the go ahead - for instance, to draw a dependable Bloomsbury- loving crowd, to pay a historical debt to a notable intersection of modern art and British art - and they're not good enough," Tom Lubbock, The Independent.

"The result must surely place the reputation of Bloomsbury painting beyond recovery. But why the Tate thought such bland art worthy of such a grand show, let alone the final one of the millennium, is baffling," John McEwen, The Sunday Telegraph.

"As it is, there is enough here to justify a chronological survey of the three artists, but the show has a faintly dispiriting quality. I couldn't quite pin it down, until I realised the awful truth. Every room is slightly worse than the one before," Phillip Hensher, Mail on Sunday.

Where You Can See It

The Art of Bloomsbury, Tate Gallery, Millbank, London SW1 (0171-887 8734) to 30 January