Modern Painters

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A quarterly art journal founded in London by the critic Peter Fuller in 1988; the title is a reference to a work by the Victorian writer John Ruskin, and the journal aimed to stir appreciation of British artists who maintained traditional skills in drawing and painting—Lucian Freud and Graham Sutherland for example. At the same time, it launched an assault on various institutions and organizations (including ‘most of the existing art magazines’) for promoting ‘a tacky preference for the novel and the fashionable’—*Gilbert & George and Julian Schnabel were among the stars of the avant-garde who were attacked in the first issue. After Fuller's death in 1990 the journal became less doctrinaire and has become the closest contemporary equivalent to the now defunct Studio International. Among its well-known contributors are Brian Sewell; Sister Wendy Beckett (1930– ), a nun who presents television programmes on art and tends to be loved by the public and derided by the critics; and the rock singer David Bowie (1947– ), who is also an actor (he appeared as Andy Warhol in Julian Schnabel's film Basquiat), painter, sculptor, collector of contemporary art, and publisher of art books through his company 21 (‘It's called 21 for the 21st century’, he says). His first contribution to Modern Painters was a long interview with Balthus, published in 1994; the first book published by his company was Matthew Collings's Blimey! From Bohemia to Britpop: The London Artworld from Francis Bacon to Damien Hirst (1997).

Subjects: Art.

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