• Focus: “Rites of Passage”

    Tate Britain

    I succeeded, one could say, because I work in a very interesting field where I try in a very conventional field of culture, the so-called art scene, to develop a wider step.
    —Joseph Beuys, 1980

    As with all good exhibitions, there are many routes one can rake through “Rites of Passage: Art for the End of the Century,” at London’s Tate Gallery. Indeed the ride itself implies a variety of routes, as in life, with periods of transition, false doors, and so on. One could attempt to follow a chronological line, for example, noting (with initial surprise) that the oldest artist included here, the

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  • Damien Hirst

    White Cube | Hoxton Square

    In one form or another the subject of Damien Hirst has generated a vast amount of copy; the collected press cuttings alone run to several volumes. The sources are diverse—from the more-or-less specialist art press to the color supplements of the Sunday papers—but the writing has one prominent unifying feature: it is almost universally anecdotal. It is the artist, or rather his exotic creative persona, that is the subject of the commentaries, rarely the works themselves. Such commentaries as have paid attention to Hirst’s work as work are content, as often as not, to let their imaginations be

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