Open Letter to James Green and the Newlyn Orion Trustees
Thank you, Sian, for your answer, as once again we receive a refusal from Newlyn Art Gallery in Newlyn, Cornwall in the UK, to stock the New Art Examiner. I consider this unwise and inappropriate but adequate considering the status of the Newlyn Orion and Exchange. Let us consider some facts. From a dying magazine (as are most art publications today) with a previous readership of around 2,000 a month just over 2 years ago, we have become a thriving magazine with an international reputation. We now have over 40,000 readers a month from all over the world, with that number growing by the month. More than Art Monthly. Our writers are based in Washington DC, Chicago, New York City, Toronto, London, Cornwall, Paris, Spain, Italy, Belgrade, Warsaw, Greece, the Seychelles, Taipei and with more writing us every day and offering their services as art critics. It’s not for what we pay, as at the moment we can only offer peppercorn remuneration per issue. Writers engage with us because they want to be part of this lively dialogue we offer them encompassing the art world; it’s exciting and it’s vibrant and its real. Sorry, Newlyn that you missed out. As indeed some of the art community insists on doing. We’ll still cover your shows, even though your exhibitions are frequently mundane. We suggest that you need considerable reform and a wake-up to what’s going on in the wider community around you. The New Art Examiner, with calculated indifference from the art officiandos in Cornwall, has managed to put the visual arts in Cornwall on the international map. It’s a disgrace that Cornwall has degenerated into provincialism. This was not so in the old days when it was the avant garde. However, Newlyn is just an example of what is debased thinking in the art world.
Another example is Ken Turner at the Tremenheere Sculpture Garden, Penzance, whose painting “Anthem for Doomed Youth” was not hung because it overpowered the other works! It was rejected (after being selected) because it was too good. (See Writing Challenges http://group. We invite you reader to share your stories with us, as these events happen far too often for reasons of politics and power play, as operators exploit their own agendas. These agendas, which underpin the decision not to stock the New Art Examiner, are defined by the power brokers. Even Sir Nicholas Serota said we had the right to publish the opinions which we do. The NAE is unique in that we value dissent. Who could imagine an art world without dissent? In this, I think, lies the profound differences between the NAE with Newlyn Orion and the Exchange. If you had an opinion, we would be delighted to publish it. We offered a Speakeasy to the director of the Exchange. 600 unedited words on any subject of his choice. He never even replied. The Newlyn Orion is so politicized your decision against stocking the NAE was not even supported by the advance of any substantial reason for your refusal. It would be interesting if you justify your director counselling leading authorities in Cornwall not to talk to the NAE. The fight in Cornwall is for status, not for engagement and discussion. A wholly unnecessary problem which does not enthuse writers to write about art. You act like Big Brother, and you deprive by so doing, Cornwall’s right to a dynamic continuation of its once high regard in the art world. I cannot help but wonder what the opinion of this matter would be if presented to the Arts Council! Or the Trustees of Newlyn/Orion. Cornwall in the old days supported much art criticism and art writing and huge debates in which it was hard to find two people with the same opinion. But they held to the slogan ‘One for all and all for one’. This is the art world today as defined by our readers and writers. As invitations arrive for the New Art Examiner to participate in art fairs and events across the world, from the US, Europe and Asia, what our dedicated team of volunteers have achieved is beyond belief. We are working to get many more writers involved. Our readers are art lovers, artists, museum and gallery staff, writers, and newcomers to the art scene, as can be seen from the numerous comments that come in from them. What is also very beautiful is the communication that has grown among writers across the world, the connections that have been built. Cornwall attracts not only artists, but also writers. We are lucky to have such strong qualified writers with experience in journalism and art criticism. Toronto is doing the same, starting their own writers’ group, thanks to the Olga Korper Gallery and Miklos Legrady, our Toronto Editor. More writers’ groups will start as Italy, Spain, and France grow stronger.

Fish Out of Water
It would be lovely to see a photo of this window, since it sounds like it’s one of the most artistic aspects of this mountain of cement built in a very picturesque town. I once went on holiday to St Ives in the 60s and remember well the town then. It must have changed a lot since then, and also the artists. The works of Patrick Heron and Peter Lanyon are those that I remember the most.
George Abbott 09/08/2019

I agree with with Ben; St Ives Tate is a sell-out to postmodernism. Trendy, badly designed and flamboyant. This building reminds me of Saddam Hussein’s palaces built on the banks of the Tigris or in Las Vegas. The alarming truth is that the building denies the core values of the St Ives School of Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo and others. The Sense of Place resides in the native architecture of St Ives and Cornwall, the aesthetic of granite – not the wedding cake of selfconscious decorative features that St Ives Tate orchestrates. The mountain of cement would be appropriate in Las Vegas next to Caesar Palace, in my opinion. Yes, the view out of the window is spectacular, but the architects did not design the view which inspired the aesthetics of the St Ives artists, instead of an Art Museum which denies the legacy of those whose memory should be respected. I often speculate to myself what Ben, Barbra, Naum and Bernard Leech would say if they returned to visit the topsy turvey resting place of their highly refined art. I am sure the education department of the St Ives Tate has a hard job explaining this conflict of purpose.
Derek Guthrie 09/08/2019

Hi George,
You’re a nostalgic, but I am too I suppose. I remember St Ives when it wasn’t an outdoor shopping centre mobbed by tourists in the summer. It used to have a relaxed, easy going atmosphere, where you could breathe the art in the air. It was there, and it was intense. Though I know the Tate St Ives is trying to do their part to return the town to its old glory, I’m not so sure this is the way. The Tate building disturbs me too, as it definitely doesn’t fit in with the local architecture, though the view from the upstairs windows is truly spectacular. You should come back to see St Ives, when the tourists have gone home in October.
Edward Morgan 10/08/2019

Hi George,
I’m a nobody, who also used to go to St Ives in the sixties so that I could find inspiration and paint. It was a stunning little town, but I imagine it still is. There was the feeling that it was the place to be if you wanted to go anywhere with your work, a kind of momentum. Nice memories.
Thomas 11/08/2019

Film Review Beauty and the Beast

Hi Lynda
This review is very timely, as the US has produced monkey-human chimeras in China (“to avoid legal issues”); I would like to write “recently produced”, but imagine it’s something that’s been going on for quite a while. In any case, we will soon have our monkeyhuman chimeras joining society as human beasts, though they say it is for growing organs that humans won’t reject – nice prospect! Some of them may be smart enough to escape and….
Jason Johnston 04/08/2019

Even better, their portraits will soon be hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in London!
Thor Galloway 05/08/2019

New Ways of Seeing Ken Turner

Hello Mr Codswallop,
It was about time you wrote another article for the New Art Examiner! I rather enjoyed this one, and as with your other writing have had to read this a few times to get the whole sense of it, even though I’m still not sure of it all. I have some problems when I read the contradiction that your sense of being is about knowing the unknown. I also had difficulty understanding the meaning of this sentence, “These posters did not really benefit one’s life, but ensnared a public into believing that they did and of course still do.” Could you elaborate a little and explain what you mean by “they did and of course still do”? What is it they do?
Jonathan Dabbs 14/08/2019

Comments on a Picture by Edvard Munch in Contemporary BBC English
Hi Monique,
At least you got the punctuation right! Vocabulary building, grammar structure and punctuation seem to be missing from the English curriculum, along with reading and writing. As people read less and less, the problem you highlight in your beautiful satire will no longer exist, since any information, reviews included, will be done as videos. As public libraries and bookshops close across the world, reading will become obsolete, just as doing arithmetic has.
Nick Bates 23/07/2019

Hi Francie,
Tis is too “incredibly incredible”! Please write more of these; they are too good to be true. The BBC definitely should see your satire. Many thanks for the pleasure your tiny review gave me!
Sandra Hawthorne 15/07/2019

Thanks so much for your feedback. I do hope to do more of these, as English shows no sign of improving.
Frances Oliver 16/07/2019

Fashionably Unborn
Pendery Weekes,
Fashionably unborn, embryo jewellery is similar to Damien Hirst’s embalsamed animals, but only this is worse, far worse. I checked the babybeehumingbirds’ link and found that this is for real. I believe this belongs to the category of disgusting art, of which there are many examples. I think everyone remembers the stray dog tied up in an art exhibition and starved to death all in the name of art. If you have forgotten, read on…. artanddesign/2008/mar/30/art.spain The pretext to call something art when it’s offensive goes beyond the realms of what it should represent in a visual arts context in order to elicit a response, albeit strong.
Jordan Ames 22/07/2019

Is this something serious? Are embryos really being made into jewelery? If it’s true, it is rather macabre and sinister and says something about a society that
accepts this.
Rachel 17/07/2019

Art As Blood Volume

Hi Rob
I didn’t know Gregg Lambert’s work and I thank you for your citation. However, I don’t agree with him about the lack of freshness of contemporary art. I think that in every time the artist is influenced by previous masters but the important thing is that his style is unique and personal. I saw this in the Baroque exhibition. I agree with Tuymans when he says that in the Baroque art is inherent the concept of populism, and I see it in our modern times, in a lot of countries, including Italy. Also, Italian cultural heritage influences very much our taste, because the artistic works aren’t only closed in the museums but scattered around all the country. Unfortunately, not always our artistic heritage is preserved and improved.
Liviana Martin 24/07/2019

When one says Baroque one often refers to spacial grandeur and swirls of color and action inference of largess, mythic and bigger than life. I would think in our contemporary visual language of this –cinema –is reduced to puffery and exaggeration psychologically–along these lines… how could we really ever be Baroque-?? and hence it’s allure, a visual drama that is often fantasy as the Baroque degenerated into Rococo- class power dreaming… pure style and over the top-ness, a largess that never is real,… fantasy and lies of power — a delusional sense. So our bourgeois egos dream of the Baroque … a reality that is illusory and inescapable simultaneously.
Al Jirikowic 25/07/2019

Hi Liviana,
you wrote, “the common thread that links the works of the seventeenth century to contemporary art is not so much the style or content of the works as the concept of “Baroque” and its implications.” Do you agree with what Gregg Lambert says in his “Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture”? He sees our contemporary moment as one marked with “profound Repetition, of having nothing ‘new’ to say, except that we have heard it all before and have become dreadfully bored (and boring as well). … It is the last sign of our failing modernity, which in, or at the end can also be compared to a flawed and imperfect pearl.” Since you seem to write more about works from Italy’s rich cultural heritage, is it because you identify more with these works than with contemporary art? How much does living in Italy influence someone’s artistic taste? The_Return_of_the_Baroque_in_Modern_ Culture
Rob Tallack 22/07/2019


8 thoughts on “Letters

  1. An added postscript to the above discussion. Why is the media in Cornwall oblivious to this important issue; are they ignorant? Probably keeping their heads down or buried in the sand. Oh, to be living in such dynamic times.

    1. The breadth of thinking in this small corner of the world needs to be widened to allow people to critique these very structures you write about Mr. Guthrie. The illusions of power undercut truth.

      1. We will see shortly whether thinking people can turn the situation around. The St Ives and the Penzance writers’ groups will be holding meetings. I do not know where you live, and if it is in Cornwall please attend, as your voice needs to be heard.

  2. Just a question about Ken Turner who writes here; is he the Ken Turner that BBC Spotlight interviewed this week? If so, could we possibly have a link to the interview?

    1. Hi Catherine,
      Thank you for your inquiry. Yes, it’s the one and the same person, Ken Turner. You may be interested to see on video his celebrated performance in St Ives. This performance has given extended meaning to the word “Codswallop.”

  3. Last evening I attended the opening reception of the Italian Embassy in D.C., commemorating Leonardo’s 500 years of Italian Genius-Leading the Way in Technology, Culture and Innovation.
    Ha, chatting with a Chinese physicist, I learned Leonardo is the name for an international aero-space and defense industry, a kind of a military organization, a few generals were present. An absurd replica of Leonardo’s flying machine was installed in the reception area, a wooden stage, unclear reproductions of Leonardo’s drawings and a unaesthetic representation of the real Leonardo sculpture.

    1. Well the heart and soul of Washington DC’s ethos was right before your very eyes… everything from the military industrial complex appropriation of Leonardo’s name to all the money that it is meant to be… all that money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *