Conrad Atkinson


Conrad Atkinson’s subjects so far have included unemployment on Merseyside, a strike at a thermometer factory in West Cumbria, the incidence of pneumoconiosis and asbestosis in miners and factory workers, poverty in Britain, and the refusal to withdraw the Royal Warrant from the Distillers’ Company after the announcement of their responsibility for the thalidomide scandal. He can also claim a measure of success in a number of different areas—compensation in a lawsuit against the Arts Council of Great Britain for suppression of the “thalidomide” print, the unionization of whole departments of factory workers, a gallery contract in New York. Yet the paradoxes involved in making an art-world career out of social campaigning have not changed. If Atkinson’s strength is his ability as a troublemaker, stretching the political immunity of artists—as well as the British tradition of free speech—to

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