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Bart Wells Institute Book

From:     art history
Category: Art
Date:     25 May 2009
Time:     01:40 PM


The Bart Wells Institute was an artist run gallery near London Fields that did about 9 shows and ran 2 
years, now there is a book about it less than a decade after its demise. Is that grandiose, or is it nice 
to have a book aboout stuff that doesn't normally get booked? The book is nicely produced with lots 
of pictures, I think the test must be would you find it interesting if you weren't friends with the folk 
involved (and therefore unable to enjoy seeing them when they were younger). Harry Pye's writing is 
very readable and made me laugh, but I know him well, so perhaps I can't judge its effect on stangers. 
Some of the art shown is to my taste, Luke Gottelier's paintings look good, but again would I just 
dismiss them if I didn't know them already?

It's a hard question, perhaps one which should indicate not that we dismiss our liking for our friends' 
efforts but that we try and look at all art as the work of a friend i.e. give it a chance and appreciate the 
intelligence and effort that has gone into it and try to understand it. 

In conclusion I don't know the answer, perhaps the Bart Wells Gang decided that they thought what 
they did was good and others would too, and maybe that's the definition of an artist, someone willing 
to believe that their work might be worth the time of a stranger.

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