FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine covers contemporary art – News, Exhibitions and Interviews reported on from London

ART STUFF on a train # 31: ‘Good as Old?’

Blog Utopia
Henry Milner, after El Lissitzky, The New Man, 2009

How acceptable is it to make new versions of work? The most allowable end of the spectrum must be where the original artist chooses to replace a destroyed work, as the Chapman Brothers pretty much did for Hell after the MOMART fire. Nor would many object to the reconstruction of historic lost works. For the second show (Utopia Ltd, to 20 Dec, 3-4a Little Portland Street) at the impressively appointed Gallery of Russian Arts and Design, Henry Milner has made contemporary versions of iconic sculptures from Russia’s constructivist heyday. Given that it’s essentially that or nothing, this provides a welcome chance to get as close as we can to Vladimir Tatlin’s vastly fragile flying machine and Aleksander Rodchenko’s mirrored geometric constructions, which both look as if they could have been made now (true, they were, but you see what I mean); as well as the lesser-known graphic pioneer Gustav Klucis and Tatlin’s more familiar Monument to the Third International. More controversy greeted Dr Shin-Ichi Fukuoka’s recent London show Hokusai Exposed, part of his approach of digitally remastering famous works to appear as they would have when first made. Jonathan Jones, for example, dismissed this on principle, saying that ‘decay is part of the life of art’ and should not be so countered. Yet it’s not clear how that rule applies to conservation efforts, and anyway, I see nothing wrong with the idea of generating alternative ways to experience great art – should photographs of paintings be banned? That said, I do think it would have been more interesting to apply the original wood block printing techniques afresh rather than to make computerised reproductions.

1379423_542510569175421_892540652_n hok A gleamingly-coloured recreation of one of Hokusai’s 36 views



Related Posts

Alexis Hunter: ‘The Model’s Revenge I-III’, 1974 - Set of three silver gelatin prints, 41 x 51 cm

Paul’s Gallery of the Week: Richard Saltoun

I first met Richard Saltoun some 16 years ago, when he was dealing from Savile Row together with Laurent Delaye (who now runs his gallery from Ramsgate) prior to setting up on his own account in 2012

Trending Articles

Join the FAD newsletter and get the latest news and articles straight to your inbox

* indicates required