That is except for the painting. The painting is gorgeous. I don't say that just because it is to me a more comprehensible medium, but because I can see the work involved.
I don't dispute that this is a brave, eclectic cross-section of a generation's art - and Rachel Whiteread's sculptures are excellent - but I found myself preoccupied with the concern that my nostrils might be assaulted at any moment and not my intellect. Pickled pig and decomposing bovine heads do not give pleasure or even tickle the wit; they do not prick the conscience or give sanction to a political statement. They assail the psyche, offend the senses and turn the sensitive stomach. Forget boundaries, goalposts and other such illusory parameters. The meaning of art, its very definition, eluded me today at the Academy, whose assured home I thought it was.
JANE FERNBACK SOWERBY
Weybridge, SurreyReuse content