Clive Phillpot

  • Changing of the Garde

    DICTIONARIES RECORD WHAT words meant, rather than what they mean. Today’s dictionary was put together yesterday. English is about as various as the people who speak it, and when someone once told me that as a writer I had the language in my hands, perhaps he should have added, “and in your mouth.” It is our language. So how people say what they mean is of great interest, especially when what they mean differs from the dictionaries explanation of what they say.

    Take the term “avant-garde.” Many people who use it have an inkling of its distant military origins, and of its application to art in the

  • Real Lush

    THE TERM “ARTISTS’ BOOKS” seems to be applied more and more confusingly to anything in an art context that resembles a book. I would like to attempt to define this and some related terms. On one of the first occasions that the phrase “artists’ books” was used, it was implied that it referred to “books made by artists.”1 I have no quarrel with this definition, but would like to expand it so that artists’ books are defined as those books made or conceived by artists. The reason for this addition is that few so-called artists’ books are actually the result of a single person’s labor, even though

  • Art Magazines and Magazine Art

    IT IS EASY TO FIND FAULT with generalizations about magazines concerned with the visual arts, on account of the diverse nature of these publications. Problems of definition present themselves immediately. For example, important magazines which discuss the visual arts, or which have a significant role in a history of magazines concerned with the visual arts, may well be magazines of all the arts or even general magazines, in essence. Just as the various arts spill over and coalesce with each other, so too do magazines apparently devoted to specific arts or areas of art.

    Even when, for convenience,