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The Art Newspaper
Art Newspaper

Published/Hosted by Umberto Allemandi. ISSN: 0960-6556.

Why a newspaper for the art world? By the group editor, Anna Somers Cocks. Before becoming editor of The Art Newspaper nine years ago, I noticed that most writing about art forces the subject into a ghetto: it takes it out of the common currencies of life, language and value judgements. On the one hand, there are the professional art historians, all theorising away in their distinct areas, "Renaissance" people not talking to "the Moderns", for example, let alone to the non-professional. Art history, like most disciplines, has fragmented as it has become more specialised. On the other hand, there are the critics. A very few of these are good. They are sure of what they like and can explain why in clear English; they bring to art a broad culture and intellectual maturity. But much art criticism is not worthy of its name, since it is merely celebratory, explains little if anything and is written in the most awful, pretentious English. The Art Newspaper (and the other newspapers in the network) aims to remedy these obstacles to approaching the world of art. We recognise that the art world is part of ordinary life. For example, exhibitions do not happen just because someone thinks it would be nice to put a certain group of art together. In reality, there is a complicated combination of factors which includes high finance, international diplomacy and the aspirations of museum directors. We report on old art, new art, decorative art, the commercial and the non-commercial world-but we are very careful not to mix the last two up, as that lead to puffery, another of the besetting sins of art publications. We want to know and show where the power lies in the art world.

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