Editorial note monthly October 1976 40p No.l Contents An Insular view of British art magazines Clive Phillpot 1 Roll of honour Richard Hamilton 3 Magazine mentality and the market (Europeans regions) Benjamin Buchloh 4 Forgeries Peter Fuller 7 What made the sixties art so successful, so shallow? Lynda Morris 9 Scottish supplement
Art and devolution Duncan Macmillan 12 Notes from Glasgow: art In transition Tom McGrath 13 Future with a past: the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Douglas Hall 15 The amazing Mr Demarco Ken Dingwall 17 FAS Alexander Moffat 19 An alternative 'glm' Ian Hamilton Finlay 20 Artnotes 20 Artlaw 24 The bricks abstract: a compilation Carl Andre 25 Exhibitions S. Compton, S. Kent, J. Oille, L. Morris 26 Selected gallery Ustinga 28
Starting a magazine in an economic trough may not be the wisest thing to do, but it has the advantage of keeping expectations modest, and Art Monthly has a fairly modest aim. That is, to fill a gap.
There is at present no visual arts magazine which emphasises contemporary British art and its national context. That is the gap this magazine will try to fill, hopefully keeping the price low enough to reach a wide audience, including students, and running its printing schedules tightly enough to allow current news material to be included.
Price obviously conditions the presentation, but not wholly. We have deliberately chosen a cheap paper, fast and cheap printing, and a quality of illustrative reproduction which gives any textual illustrations a symbolic value only, because we feel that a magazine with the aim we have in mind should avoid a glossy look and not be ashamed of its throwaway character.
Having said that, we shall try to provide informed coverage on contemporary art and the issues that surround it - the quality of criticism; standards of art education; aspects of patronage, both public and private; the presentation of 20thcentury art; gallery policies; and suchlike.
To do this adequately the magazine will need the co-operation of its readers; it welcomes correspondence, advance information from galleries, propositions for articles, suggestions as to areas or activities which should be written about, and constructive criticism of its own performance.
Why, \ as an opening shot, run so much material on Scotland? Not only, as it happens, because devolution is bound to alter the structure of the art establishment and will perhaps give artists there more confidence in their surroundings and rather wider access to the world outside, but also because very few people south of the Border ever bother about Scotland's cultural life outside of the Edinburgh Festival, or are ever offered any information about it.
For similar reasons later issues will . carry material on Wales and the regions generally, and, in December, a supplement on the visual arts in Eire.
A word about Marcel Broodthaers (see p.3), who died last January, after a long period of ill-health, at the age of 51. He had been given major exhibitions at Oxford's Museum of Modern Art, the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, CNAC in Paris, the National Gallery of Berlin, and the DusseldorfKunsthalle. He was also an active film maker; some of his films are to be shows at The Tate later this year.
An insular view of British art magazines
If the principal function of magazines dealing with living art is to facilitate commqnication within their area of specialization, there seem to be four main overlapping aspects: the communication, first, within the art world itself; second, within specialized sectors of the art world; third, between the art world and the outside world; and fourth, between the art world and other areas of specialization, such as literature,· science or music. (By 'art world' I mean professional artists and those representing the secondary support -and/ or saprophytic- structures such as the galleries, the media, the academies, etc.)
The first two groups predominate in what follows. The third category is conspicuous by its absence. While Arts Review might seem the most likely candidate for the latter, it is so fragmented that· it provides little for those with a casual interest to hold on to. Art & Artists might be a better bet, even if not on current form. However, at present the role seems to be mostly taken on, with varying degrees of ineffectiveness, by the daily and weekly general press. As for the fourth category, those straddling adjacent specialisms, the few in this country are all specialized small-circulation magazines. To my mind there is a major gap in Britain for a combined forum, for a magazine which would take a serious equal interest in progressive art, literature, music, etc., and in the society in which these arts operate.
Content What might one expect to finq in a general art magazine with the art world· as its public, or in a spectrum of such magazines? First, current information, one of the principal reasons for their existence. .Because of their short gestation period magazines are. more up-to-date than books, and often publish information long before it appears in book form. This information may be verbal or visual. While there are dangers in letting reproductions speak for artworks, there is no doubt that illustrations help to make texts about unseen artworks more specific.
A further reason for the existence of any magazine is to carry writing that is not of book length, and which would not otherwise be published. Artists themselves may present work in a conventional literary form, or may be involved through interviews or by contributing visual and/or verbal ·works designed for the magazine medium.