Royal Academy censures creator of Sensation
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Wednesday 08 October 1997
Whether the man who put the Royal Academy back on the cultural map with a series of highly regarded exhibitions, will choose to stay there in the long term is open to question.
Mr Rosenthal courted controversy most recently with Sensation, the exhibition of young British artists taken from the Saatchi collection, and particularly its inclusion of a painting of Myra Hindley, which was damaged by protesters.
Three Academicians have resigned in recent weeks, one openly claiming that the behaviour of Mr Rosenthal was partly responsible, particularly the way he insulted an Academician on the BBC Omnibus programme about the Royal Academy.
Mr Rosenthal said of the 79-year-old figurative painter John Ward: "What is the point of painting a picture unless it is going to change the world? ... John Ward passionately believes in what he is doing and somehow thinks he is making real art. Maybe I am wrong and he is right, and the world will suddenly declare John Ward RA to be a great artist, but ... I doubt it."
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