Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Books

The Best Art You've Never Seen, By Julian Spalding

Reviewed by Boyd Tonkin

Beautifully presented, full of remarkable artworks partnered by crisp essays, this book still needs a large pinch of sceptical salt.

A fine critic, and doughty polemicist, Spalding paints with too broad and confusing a brush. He selects 101 works supposedly "hidden" from our view by convention, fashion, location, censorship and so on.

But the categories slip and slide; the definitions blur. Some choices are famous taboo objects, but very well-known. A section on works "hidden by conceptual art" amounts to a group of modern favourites allegedly obscured by Turner Prize-style trends.

So forget this baffling schema. Treat the book as a tour through the eclectic tastes and frisky hobby-horses of a gifted connoisseur.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph