Biggs and Collings: Suspicious Utopias, An Interview

by Michael Bise May 3, 2013

British artists Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings are known as much for their beautiful tessellated abstract paintings as their staunch defense of them. Their current show, Suspicious Utopias, at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts juxtaposes the two, asking what abstract art can mean in the age of post-postmodernism. Much of the gallery space is devoted to a monumental wall text depicting artist Merlin Carpenter’s 2002 savaging of Collings’s book “Art Crazy Nation.” Interspersed throughout Carpenter’s text are Biggs and Collings’s own sharp, humorous responses which act as defense and explanation of their philosophy. The catch is that Carpenter’s text has been carefully slashed through, making it difficult to read, while Biggs and Collings’s bright, color-coded responses give his review a critical beatdown. Winding through the wall text, the viewer finally comes to Biggs and Collings’ ultimate answer to their critics: the paintings themselves.


Biggs & Collings, Commanded (2013), oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Michael Bise: Just before I came to your exhibition, I visited the Bernini in Clay exhibition at the Kimbell. How would you compare your paintings in Suspicious Utopias at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts and Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne in the Galleria Borghese in Rome?


Bernini, Apollo and Daphne

Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings: We think there’s more connection between what we do and what Bernini does, than there is between us and a lot of art made now. In that sense, there’s some lingering Modernism in our approach. It has to do with prioritizing visuality. The mythological figures he’s representing have rich meanings capable of infinite reinterpretation, but you don’t need to know any of that to find his sculpture dramatic. What is he doing that goes beyond depiction, and beyond narrative?  That dimension, the  “beyond,” is what we’re interested in.

At the moment in art culture, any proposal to do with “form” is considered bad. As something transcendent, it is automatically linked with considerations of ideology and hegemony, and is seen as an illusion that allows the viewer to remain blind to social realities. Hot contemporary art is interested in plugging in directly to those, and in this kind of art, form can be anything so long as it is explicable in terms of that connection.

We, on the other hand, believe that plugging-in to social realities is often an illusion. We think institutional critique, for example, has become formulaic. We address this problem in the textual component of our show in Fort Worth. Our paintings don’t avoid difficult issues but neither do they spell them out as directly readable propaganda. We look at the material and the tangible. Things have to work: The colour has to be objective, it has to be meaningful on colour terms—the same with shape, line, tone—all the elements we use. We attack mystification ruthlessly. If there are comfortable illusions, we see our work as a blow against them.

Suspicious Utopias install 2

Suspicious Utopias, installation view, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts

MB: Can you discuss the formulaic character of the “plugging-in” to social realities mentioned earlier? By formulaic do you mean ineffective?

EB & MC: We feel that kind of art is obsessed with fashion, that it takes an attitude towards authority that one might call obedient disobedience. So the criticality tends either to be absurd or at best a bit academic. Of course there are different versions. The one that is easiest to knock is the comic, abject version (at least, so we see it), personified by John Kelsey and the people associated with Texte zur Kunst and a certain moment of Artforum. Privileged puppies whose whole life is a party with occasional pauses for study group meetings. And then there’s the solemn version that overlaps with the comic one but also rises above it. This goes from, say, Andrea Fraser up to Daniel Buren. That is, up to the initiators of the institutional critique tradition celebrated by the writer, Benjamin Buchloh. This is more intellectually formidable. Nevertheless, we wish we didn’t have to hear about it all the time. We reject its atmosphere of institutional sanctification. We don’t propose retro-formalism as the answer, but in the gap that institutional critique opens up, we want to force a bit of formal tough-mindedness and see what happens. That’s our experiment.

MB: Why are you interested only in material meaning that exists beyond narrative? Do you believe the passage of time renders narrative inaccessible to future generations?

EB & MC: The emphasis is on form in our work, but we’re also interested in interrogating that emphasis. We don’t demand the same emphasis in everyone else’s work. Neither of us is exclusively honed-in on form in art, even our own, at least not all the time. We hone in on it when we’re making something, and then we draw back and scratch our heads. Sometimes it’s to wonder if the formal proposal is working or not, and other times we’re wondering what it means for this kind of honing-in on form ever to have gone on; what did it mean in Egypt and Assyria three thousand years ago, what does it mean now? All that marvelous historical art is highly formal, dense with abstract values; it’s also packed with depiction and narrative. The latter are abundant in contemporary art, while the formal stuff is depleted, with the result that art has become slightly visually repulsive, and we’re trying to redress that balance.

EB: I think material meaning has become the overlooked aspect of visual culture. The idea behind current art thought to be critical is that power works to blind people to what is superfluous to its operation, and critical art lifts those veils. I can’t help noticing that in the art world—for perfectly understandable and even laudable reasons, like fighting hierarchical patriarchal value judgments, or prioritizing meaning over means so that anyone can have a go—a close observation of the way materials work, something that was once inextricable from all forms of visual expression, is itself marginalized.

In the pre-Modern Art past, as well as in Modernism, to a great extent that close observation would have been in the service of expression, and I think that is a vital difference between those artists in those pasts and what we do. Our enquiry is rule-based and narrower than what used to go on, in order to demonstrate something wide. I think there are conceptual artists that do something similar—John Baldessari for example. We relate to that moment in the 1960s and ’70s when his work often involved a series of rules and experiments that revealed something about his assumptions. I believe we do that, too, with our paintings. It might be that an observer of both him and us would assume that his experiments, because they involve sequences or photography, are “truthful” and not “judgments,” as ours certainly are. But I think that would be naive, and would assume he didn’t make judgments about the success and failure of his experiments. I imagine he shows the ones with the most visual impact and interest.

When you ask if we think narrative meaning becomes obscure over time—no, I don’t think that’s the problem. I think the narrative content of the Bernini, an expression of love and rejection, is pretty evergreen. But for reasons that may be psychological and autobiographical, I am interested in pattern, which can be linked to a sign system, as it is in indigenous art from Australia for example, or linked to meaning in other ways, as it is in Byzantine religious mosaics. Our work has a closer relationship to conceptual practice than might first appear, so that the form itself is an expression of aspects of our division of labour, or of judgment and trust.

suspicious-text border

Text from the exhibition brochure

MB: By transcendent do you mean something that will be viable across a long span of history?

MC: When we used the word we meant a pure state of looking marvelous, separate from any other type of significance, a notion that only has currency since the advent of aesthetics as a discipline in the eighteenth century. In our work, both the practice and the theory, we try and investigate what an intense visual appeal, without any spelled-out, obvious social or historical dimensions, could mean right now in art. In the absence of the bait offered by current fashion-conscious artists—of rather spurious political meaning—perhaps you are forced to see form’s connection to life. Initially with our paintings “form” connects to color and light, perhaps. But color and light really connect to existence.

EB: “Transcendent” was a word Matt used, and as he says, it involves enduring visual appeal. I must say that lastingness, or enduringness, is something I worry about in a more literal sense. The paintings involve color judgments that time may alter. These relationships are the essence of the paintings, so potential change is a real a fear—they have to be right. Recently we started using a medium to speed the drying time, which makes me anxious in case it contributes to that change by yellowing or fading. I suppose I don’t trust a visually disempowered future restorer to be able to be true to the colors we painted. I notice that people, even artists, don’t see color, really have no idea what it is, and can’t see that there is anything to see, that a tint or a shade makes something entirely different from something else. And I recognize the blindness, because I didn’t used to know it either. I think of our work as material consciousness-raising.

EB & MC: Our paintings are positively decorative. We’re aware that the word “decorative” can have a derogatory meaning, and we accept that definition when it’s appropriate. As we try and explain in the wall text at the gallery, we don’t offer the viewer a passive experience. This relates to the conceptual basis of our practice; our joining of two very different sets of skills: One of us paints while the other conceives the color and its placement. But we’re both equally in charge of criticality, of thinking about how we want the viewer to be changed when they organize in their own minds—which entails a sort of mental remaking—the visual structures that we’ve presented.

EB: Artists have put down many of their visual tools; I want our work to offer a tangible demonstration of what it might mean to have skill back. A lot of contemporary art is a like a geography lesson from a liberal-minded teacher with a bent for social studies. That’s fine, but it seems to me that de-skilling is what happens to a trade before the axe falls, because the trade has been complicit with its own demise.

MB: The wall text in your show addresses an article by Merlin Carpenter criticizing Matthew’s 2001 book “Art Crazy Nation.”  Carpenter doesn’t mention your paintings, but if he did I assume he would say that although you speak of them as formal, visual objects, it’s really much more important to note that Matthew Collings is a successful writer and TV guy and that Emma Biggs does commissions for super rich people. He would say that your work is a product of consumer capitalist culture, bought by wealthy people who don’t care about your intent and who just use your paintings as decoration. By choosing not to address this social context you are working in bad faith.

Merlin Carpenter with two Art Girls

If you are not avoiding difficult social realities, how do your paintings critically approach these realities?

EB & MC: They approach them analogously. They don’t say, “Do this and the consciousness of the people will be raised.” They say, “Look at this, understand that it is impossible to see everything that is there right away, you have to work at it, you are actively involved in this thing—now think about society, and how everything that makes it up is not immediately revealed either.” So our paintings have a metaphorical relationship to those realities.

EB: Everyone is inextricably linked and implicated in the sins of capital. In the late ’70s we used to talk about critical involvement in the sinful self-sustaining capitalist machine as “intervening in ideology.”

EB & MC: Our work criticizes visual ignorance and visual blindness, which are in turn connected to other kinds of non-seeing, political and moral and so on.  Carpenter assumes, as many people in the art world do, that only certain well-rehearsed approaches to critique really count as critique. In other words, there’s an orthodoxy and he is one of its self-elected policemen. But his rulings, as our wall text points out, are often about his own career positioning and tend to involve rather idiotic claims. We like his later writings for their paranoid bitterness and questioning of self, and we like the black humor of his artistic set-ups. But we don’t like it when he is priggish and self-serving. In any case he isn’t a big deal for us either way. We take a different critical route: We’re interested in an art that overwhelms the senses, and in developing a self-conscious critical position that could rationally accompany that kind of experience. We find less-than-overwhelming artistic proposals depressing, even when it’s the greatest of the greats; when it’s Martin Kippenberger, for example. But we’re not blind to Kippenberger’s aesthetic any more than we are to Carpenter’s.

MC: We force the viewer to ask what loveliness in art is, what pleasure is, what makes them work and what drives people to seek them out. If something jars or is wrong or doesn’t work, why is that happening and why is it a problem—what constitutes a false move? The social implications of this kind of of questioning are not so hard to see.

MB: Do you believe that it is possible to make art with a contemporary narrative that may someday be as little acknowledged as the myth of Apollo and Daphne is now, and still be rigorous enough to maintain its integrity in the transcendent way you mentioned previously?

EB & MC: We are fine about contemporary art that has narrative meaning. We are not even closed-off to that possibility in our own work. It’s just that at the moment we’re not considering it.

MC: The idea of a split in art between visuality and narrative only goes back a couple of centuries. It has its own science, the discipline of aesthetics. But it also has certain other traditions. Its own moralizing, its veneration of handicraft and its cults of spirituality and the great genius individual creator—and this whole latter set of notions holds as little interest for us as it does for the institution critique people. We’re fascinated by aesthetic theory but we read it through the lens of the present, not in a spirit of false, golden-age nostalgia.

I’m trying to think of some examples of narrative art that interest me. We’re both great fans of Raymond Pettibon, we respond to his break-up of narrative. But we’re also fans of Peter Doig, we just don’t particularly think about his narrative meanings, we see through them to the formality, to the surfaces, the rhyming contours, the visual organization and so on. I think in Pettibon’s case “narrative” is a powerful element because it’s so relentlessly attacked and then stimulated back into life and then attacked again, so you’re forced to be aware of it, and forced to bring into consciousness narrative’s complicated position in social relations. You’re not of course asked to believe in a narrative about Poe, or Hawthorn, or Sergeant Fury, but you’re forced to think about mass narratives, narrative that is so big you can’t see it. I think Pettibon’s a good example of addressing social realities unpredictably, so the address is energetic and not formulaic. With Doig, narrative isn’t powerful. We both think of his narratives as containers that the wealthy collectors you spoke of earlier need. There’s a tradition of that kind of thing in painting, with Francis Bacon at the top of the ladder. It’s quite different from what Picasso, for example, does where form and content are always energetically fused. Biggs and I simply get used to editing out the promotional commentary that goes with Doig and Bacon, which never bears examination anyway, and in the same way editing out the actual narratives and seeing, instead, these artists’ surfaces, the paintwork and the visual trawling they both do through art history; we appreciate the energy on that level and we try and think how that level connects to society. The other level is an illusion; it’s all about fantasies of the artistic life. Pettibon is sounder, theoretically.

Peter Doig, The Architect’s Home in the Ravine (1991), oil on canvas, 200 x 275 centimeters

MB: Where do you think this more recent phenomenon in art, of de-prioritizing visuality as a useful method of communication, comes from?

EB & MC: Societal and technological changes led to the moment of Modernism in which skill started to be undermined. Then in Post-modernism a visual order indebted to the mass media took priority over one connected to visual traditions built up over many centuries—Modernism was about rehabilitating such traditions, not simply chucking them out. So in the present moment, changing priorities have resulted in an expectation that art needn’t be “made” in a way that has anything engaging or compelling about it. And in fact making, as such, has become a non-issue. Even where old forms such as painting and sculpture are concerned, the making is not expected to be the significant dimension. Instead, sign and image are the meaning zones, as with a certain kind of Surrealism or a certain kind of Pop. Meaning hovers in an indeterminate non-place between the object and its wall label.

MB: You favor a visual experience that can be understood apart from its social implications. You also indicate that this is not your sole area of interest for art in general. You mention your appreciation for Carpenter’s self-questioning and bitterness. I think of artists like Richard Phillips, who recently had an exhibition at the Fort Worth Modern, or Josephine Meckseper and other artists who offer a critique of consumer capitalist culture that has allowed them to participate in that culture in such a way that one might accuse them of complicity.

Do you take moral stands against artists regardless of the visual integrity of the work they make? Do you question artists’ motives?

EB & MC: We think ethical art is a bit like ethical coffee: It’s a valve that capital produces to let off dangerous steam in the system. For us, transformation is the key, in art as in society.

Biggs & Collings: Suspicious Utopias is on view at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts through May 11.

Special thanks to Christina Rees, curator of FWCA, for facilitating this interview.


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Ben Lima May 6, 2013 - 12:32


Naomi Schlinke May 6, 2013 - 14:00

“A lot of contemporary art is a like a geography lesson from a liberal-minded teacher with a bent for social studies…In our work you are forced to see form’s connection to life.” All in favor say AYE!”

amy May 7, 2013 - 10:19


a mc donald July 2, 2013 - 17:25

Yes but what about Pussy Riot,Femen,Akiane Kramarik, Hilma af Klimt and Stella Vine ? I see better abstract form/beauty/ visual aesthetic richness/conceptual freedom in the work of these independent artists. Collings and Biggs express no `solidarity` with these. It`s a miserly enthusiasm/`solidarity` fashionable at the Royal Academy . The work of the artists I mention not only looks better but is also more intellectually engaging than the ones cited by or made by Collings and Biggs.

a mc donald July 3, 2013 - 11:14

Just to add(in case you publish my previous comment) that there was a picture published on the front page of a London newspaper last week of Yoko Ono with her arms around 2 members of Pussy Riot art collective. The 2 members also spoke at the SouthBank Meltdown Festival (video now available to watch). If you can`t see “forms connection to life” there then what do you see ? What Putin and Patriach Kirill sees? In the Pussy Riot interview in the New Statesman their art intentions couldn`t be more explicit. Clearly Collings and Biggs do not mean Pussy Riots `institutional critique` or Femen`s . Are they not “material consciousness raising” enough ? Perhaps Zizek`s `The True Blasphemy` means nothing to Collings & Biggs. Madonna, ,Bjork,Patti Smith etc express solidarity but Joseph Kosuth,Art&Language……and Collings&Biggs express nothing on the subject. There`s an interview with me in the art&music magazine FixeMag with a link to my independent record label&art gallery Gothic Moon Records. I`m also a painter.

arthur mc donald July 9, 2013 - 21:49

Having read the article by Collings in Art Review about Hilma af Klint I`m left feeling his atheism is of the sneering `Richard Dawkins` type rather than the more civilised `Camille Paglia` or `Zizek` kind. Collings seems professionally jealous of Klint`s beautiful paintings. Venus Envy? As Collings is a cult advocate of the ideology of Clement Greenberg this is de rigeur for him. Final score:`dead Klint 10 `live` Collings O

matthew July 13, 2013 - 07:40

My article in Art Review is playful, and takes the form of an interview with Hilma Af Klint. There is nothing in it about jealousy. I’ve no idea how Arthur MacDonald arrives at this feeling he says he has. The article attributes to Af Klint a profound understanding of visual ideas. I’m also not at all jealous of, or in any way negative towards Pussy Riot. I agree with Zizek’s recent article on this subject, of course. Both Biggs and I are fans of Zizek. Neither of us is a fan of Dawkins. I can’t see how Stella Vine gets in this picture. I think Patti Smith is a bit boring after the first record. It is Arthur McDonald’s own aggressive fantasy that I am a “cult advocate” of Greenberg. I think Greenberg is great, but not of much relevance to Biggs’ and my joint practice.

arthur mcdonald August 21, 2013 - 18:07

I notice that Matthew Collings , Zizek , Camille Paglia and TJ Clarke (and the other atheists)are as quiet as the grave about the young (miraculous,even,now prosperous)American artist Akiane Kramarik (in Idaho,USA). Fabulous paintings,prints and book and cofounder of the Forelli Academy !

arthur mcdonald July 13, 2013 - 11:46

I`m glad Matthew Collings has commented. I`m a fan of what Collings&Biggs are up to. But I`m not an uncritical fan. ( I actually rate them higher than any of the Saatchi/YBA `celebs`.) That he agrees with Zizek`s `The True Blasphemy`about Pussy Riot art is also welcome. The silence on this from his artist friends at the Royal Academy,London is scandalous. Popular culture (Madonna.Paul Beatle,etc)steps in where the Royal Academy(`high art`) fears to tread. I`m well aware that my “aggressive fantasy” is a fantasy. But more on all this later perhaps. What troubles me here is ” I can`t see how Stella Vine gets in this picture” . I look at a few sites full of Hilma`s beautiful paintings and exhibition installation photos. I look at a few sites (her website,facebook,tumblr) of Stella Vine`s beautiful paintings and (leaving aside all the theory and stories/publicity about both artists) I see a similar loveliness and aesthetic . And a better `everything else` than the Royal Academy `gulag` is seemingly capable of.Stella`s work is certainly equal in visual pleasure (etc) to Basquiat`s, Hogarth`s (or the paintings of Collings& Biggs!) I even bought two of Stella`s works (`The Bronte Sisters`) last year.New`Eternals` exist in art. English painting without Stella Vine is just twee ideological correctness,blind or in denial. Before she was carted off to a Russian prison Nadia from Pussy Riot expressed her desire to philosophise together. This is a good example of that happening at Glasstire.

arthur July 16, 2013 - 17:49

As if by magic there`s now a great new protest art music video `Like In A Red Prison` by Pussy Riot art group !(on Youtube etc). Here in Newcastle last sunday the film `Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer` was shown at the Tyneside Cinema. There`s an English comedy scene `John Cleese on International Communism` (Youtube) that Zizek has yet to mention. Before she was carted off to a Russian prison Maria from Pussy Riot complained of the total lack of a sense of humour in Russian cultural politics.

a mc donald September 27, 2013 - 19:26

Looking at the paintings of Collings & Biggs on their website the word `mosque`comes to mind. But with no Islam around. To read what`s also written there is to discover no explicit Sister Forcades `Ten Statement` agenda for local/global transformation,no explicit Zizekian communism,no Hegelian synthesis,no explicit solidarity with anybody. The text is like a photo of the Uk Labour Party Leader Ed Milliband having an ethical coffee/chat in the Lisson Gallery next to an overpriced Anish Kapoor and one of his overpriced scultures. What I certainly don`t `see` there is a photo of Labour Party MP Kerry Mc Carthy with her beautiful poster of Pussy Riot. I`m being subjective/metaphorical `picturing` it like this but there are two objectively different art propositions here. The former says ” Look at us high achieving fucking walking adverts for guffing, gruel-propaganda and the cultural establishments betrayal of truth and beauty in modern art.” And the latter says “Fuck your system and the horse it road in on! It`s fucking obvious we`re better than all the cunts in the Lisson and Royal Academy. We`re the beautiful and true supercunts.We also have the best music.” Prick-riots and cunts ruled the 20th century. Totally devoid of logic and genius. Join in the 21st century supercunts movement of Hegel`s Angels! The Femen `boobs-paintings` (only $75) are as good as Miro`s. And free, strong,explicit philosophical propositions in the activist sloganeering mass-media works.Pussy Riot art costs you nothing. It`s not at all monarchist, mosque,church,temple,Vatican or kremlin gobshites friendly décor. It`s not unreal art at unreal prices for unreal people. It`s art as revolutionary materialism. Thesis,antithesis and synthesis anyone ?

arthur October 18, 2013 - 11:24

Everyone can watch the enlightening documentary film `Pussy Riot-A Punk Prayer` free for the next few days at BBC iplayer in the Storeyville section. In his imaginary interview with Lenin (ArtReview) Matthew Collings “playfully” totally ignores Pussy Riot art (again). The omerta of the Royal Academicians and rich collectors has been broken by the BBC. The British people finance the BBC. The English artist Stella Vine has a 2 hour exhibition in London in December (see her website/facebook). I think her works refresh the entire tradition of painting. English artist Sarah Maple is exhibiting in Tel Aviv .

Jean Hess October 18, 2013 - 21:17

I got stuck emotionally and critically back in the nineties and early aughts when Collings was writing a column for Modern Painters. He managed to showcase his own work an awful lot. Often in cases where it had nothing to do with the dialogue at hand. I could not help but wonder how he could do that unashamed, and how Modern Painters, then not a Blouin [Blewouieinine?] thing, allowed it. Not to mention Hilda auf Klimt et al not being mentioned. I see this current trajectory of success and have to conclude that the ends really, really do justify the means in this arena. Alas!

Matthew Collings November 15, 2013 - 16:13

I’d be interested to see an example of what Jean is claiming. There are of course no articles — outside of Jean’s envious imaginings — by me in Modern Painters or anywhere else that showcase the visual work I do with Emma Biggs, with no relevance to what the article is saying. At the time when I wrote for that magazine the pieces I contributed were all personal diaries. On the two occasions an image of my work with Emma Biggs appeared the subject of the diary was in fact our collaboration. The mysterious irrelevance of Hilma Af Klint’s paintings to the issue at hand has to be passed by, unless it’s appropriate to wonder if one pf Hilma’s spirit beings might have gone off the rails in the ethereal realm and started beaming thoughts of mischievous madness into Jean’s mind.

a mc donald November 16, 2013 - 13:40

I don`t think Jean is talking about lots of photos of your paintings being “showcased” but your theoretical articles all seem to provide a context to showcase them,as though the articles are a kind of advert for your website/painting without actually mentioning it. What`s to “envy” anyway ? Today the letters between Zizek and Nadia Pussy Riot artist have been published in the Guardian. Perhaps Matthew could write about this context. Just thought I`d barge in here. The Feminist Times also has an interesting thesis and antithesis on Femen.

arthur October 20, 2013 - 14:44

Hirst and Koons are cartoons of the prophet Marcel Duchamp. Complete with `Disneyfied` collectors worldwide. Stakhanovite Conceptual artist Joseph “questioning the nature of art” Kosuth has been `on holiday` with language for the past 40 years. They`ve been upstaged visually and intellectually by Hilma af Klint, Pussy Riot, Femen and the philosopher Zizek.`Work Bitch` by Britney Spears is pagan capitalism as pure ideology. The anagram of her name is Presbyterian. Work it, Putin/Ayotollah/Vatican ! Never in the history of culture have the rich western curators and collectors and rich Russian,chinese and arab collectors been so irrelevant to art and life. This is entirely liberating. A new international artists/public network exists. The Feminist Times is now online too (from Charlotte Raven`s kitchen).

amd October 30, 2013 - 19:10

Today I read that the liar Putin is top of the Forbes list of the most powerful people in the world. President Obama and Pope Francis are in the top ten but not our UK Cameron. At the top of the ArtReview Power 100 is the multi-millionairess Sheikha Al-Mayassa of Qatar (her brother is the trillionairEmir). She buys Rothko,Serra and Hirst. Are the Qatar culture management creating a kind of cultural shield or neurotic defence mechanism against Pussy Riot art and Femen art and even against young American artist Akiane ? The abstract paintings of Collings & Biggs seem perfect for such Arabian collectors. For the past week Nadia of Pussy Riot has vanished inside the Russian prison system. Her family,friends and lawyers denied all access and information about her. She`s one of the top living artists in Russia and Putin is a barking dog of the kremlin`s mafia power,it`s paranoid Speculative Unrealism.Viva the truth and beauty of Pussy Riot art!

Matthew Collings November 16, 2013 - 14:07

I haven’t written any theoretical articles. Are you and Jean in the same nut ward?

amcdonald November 17, 2013 - 01:52

I really must apologise for using the term “theoretical articles”. How about publicity particles? I`ve forgotten the special magic word the pixies on Matthew`s ward insist he uses to describe his sentences and paragraphs. Matthew won`t believe it but the astral eternal goddessence of Hilma said to me ” Matthew Collings,Paul Morely and Will`Society of the Spectacle`Self are being c*nts. And before you ask ,no they don`t come in 3`s. Kosuth and Sean Kelly are c*nts too.” So instead I ask her “Can mere c*nts ever become superc*nts?” “No more talk of mere c*nts,” she insisted,” I see the lovely new eternal Stella Vine has a 2hour exhibitionin London on Dec 15. And Nadia Pussy Riot`s dad is great too.”

amcdonald November 16, 2013 - 15:03

The one next to you,nutcase.

Matthew Collings November 17, 2013 - 03:14

Ha ha OK I give up, you both win.

amcdonald November 30, 2013 - 11:20

Since we`ve broken the ice,Matthew,check out my comment/proposition after the 2013 Turner Prize article in ArtReview. It`s my list for 2014. It`s also published (with additional info) at Feminist Times after Charlotte Raven`s `Face of Pussy Riot` article.

amcdonald December 7, 2013 - 22:54

Not a bad fantasy interview with Lukacs jn ArtReview but no alternative proposition for the Turner Prize or Venice Biennale from Matthew Collings or Lukacs. OK let`s zero in on Stella Vine`s `Pussy Riot butterflies` painting now on her website . Is that not a beautiful/fabulous painting? A new eternal in fact. Drag Ken Clark out the tomb and give him another tv `Civilisation` show starting with this! And then all her other recent works. In come Dave Hickey and Arthur Danto and Joseph Kosuth.Cut to Seraphina Pussy Riot quote about Duchamp. Cut to Nadya`s letter telling Zizek he`s blind. Cut to Saatchi being annihilated in an English court by the beautiful Nigella. Cut to the largest Hilma af Klint paintings and her spooky voice is heard saying ” Mr Saatchi is a mere c*nt too….” And then over to Idaho, USA and Akiane…….and the show ends in Uruguay not Saudi Arabia or Russia. My recent paintings,prints and photos will be on the new gallery page at Gothic Moon Records website in 7 days.

amcdonald December 15, 2013 - 17:11

New Aesthetics Gallery at Gothic Moon Records will be online in the next 7 days (a technical hitch is being sorted). But back to Stella Vine`s painting `Pussy Riot butterflies` now featuring on the BBC website and in the exhibition now shown on Youtube (see her twitter info). This is seminal in the history of british painting and art history since Duchamp and a joy to behold. She says she could intellectualise it but prefers not to.


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