The Guardian newspaper
has just published an interview with James Lingwood and Michael Morris, who this year are celebrating twenty years leading Artangel, the London-based art world production company. They are the impresarios that brought us Rachel Whitereadâ€™s House, back in 1993, and more recently expanded their geographical reach by helping Roni Horn to construct her magical Library of Water in a distant part of Iceland.
Â Artangel are a fascinating example of how the art world has evolved new forms to answer to the dramatic changes that art itself has experienced since the 1960s. And it is changes and evolutions such as this that we will be tracking in the new online course, Introduction to Contemporary art, that Sothebyâ€™s is initiating next week. We sweep over the whole history of what has come to be called â€œcontemporaryâ€ art, from the emergence of Pop in the 1950s and 1960s, to the latest developments in the commercial galleries. Some surveys of the period are presented as a series of artists and styles, each coming after the other in a plodding progression, but this course breaks that history into living traditions. We look at how Pop art inspired the work of contemporaries such as Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami, and how Conceptual art has seeded the ideas of young artists such as Tino Seghal and Douglas Gordon. And, throughout, we keep an eye on the changing institutions of the art world, from commercial galleries to auction houses to public agencies such as Artangel.
Â Morgan Falconer