“The British Art Show 4”

“The British Art Show,” which takes place every five years, is a major survey of recent developments in British art—it’s a bit like the Whitney Biennial, only fewer artists are included, and the show tours around Britain. The new edition has been billed as the most ambitious to date, and this is certainly true if one considers the number of sites and the amount of space allotted to each of the 26 artists. The city of Manchester is hosting the event for the first time, and has provided seven different venues; these range from the City Art Galleries, famous for steamy pre-Raphaelite works, to a converted covered market.

Manchester’s involvement is symptomatic of an ever-increasing thirst for contemporary art in Britain, which can be credited mainly to the success of the Tate Gallery’s outpost in Liverpool—though one shouldn’t discount the Damien Hirst effect. Not surprisingly, Hirst is the

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