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Painting of white couple with ginger hair, dancing, male with back to view, wearing green and blue kilt, exposing bare bottom, on cover of 'Art Exposed', by Pallas Athene.

Art Exposed

By (author) Julian Spalding


Publishing 1st Jan 2024
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  • Brilliant exposé of the history of the current art world, by one of its leading figures in museums and collecting of the last 50 years
  • Witty and in places controversial
Full Description

Julian Spalding’s career as a curator and creator of museums was amongst the most controversial and effective of his time. In this collection of essays and memoirs he revisits some of the important events and battles of the last forty years, when he spearheaded resistance to the cult of conceptual art being promoted from the center. Witty, illuminating, coruscating and blazingly intelligent, this book is a vital guide to the ways in which we consume art today, for good or ill. 

About the Author

Julian Spalding (born 15 June 1947 in Lewisham, South London) is an English art critic, writer, broadcaster and a former curator. Considered to be a controversial maverick and outspoken critic of the art world, he has frequently contributed to arts, news and current affairs programmes on radio and TV. Spalding grew up on a council estate in St Mary Cray, South London. His upbringing there played an important part in shaping his subsequent outlook, particularly with regard to understanding how social inequality and cultural deprivation have a negative impact on people's lives. He studied art history at the University of Nottingham and art at Nottingham Art College, and after a brief spell as an artist and designer he chose to work in museums and galleries. Spalding started as an art assistant at museums in Leicester and Durham before becoming director of galleries for Sheffield, and then Manchester. In 1989 he was appointed director of Glasgow Museums, responsible for the largest collection managed by a local authority and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. During his career as a curator he established several award-winning, innovative galleries and museum services, including the Ruskin Gallery in Sheffield; the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art and The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Glasgow; and the Open Museum. In 2000, he also instigated the now international Campaign for Drawing. In 1999, he was awarded the Lord Provost's Prize for Services to the Visual Arts in Glasgow for his directorship of Glasgow Art Galleries and Museums, although his curatorial career was cut short the same year when his post, along with others, was abolished by Glasgow City Council. Spalding subsequently spoke internationally and advised museums and galleries about new and innovative approaches, later outlined as what he describes as a practical philosophy in his 2002 book The Poetic Museum. He is also a Companion of the Guild of St George, and served as Master from 1996 to 2005. Since 2001, he has concentrated chiefly on his writing, winning the Banister Fletcher Prize in 2006 for his book The Art of Wonder.

Pallas Athene
Publish date
1st Jan 2024
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
5.31 in x 8.46 in
378 Pages
32 color
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