The Rambler :: blog

Monday, November 03, 2003

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Ashamed to say, but 1998 is the only year I've actually been to the Turner exhibition, which is pretty poor considering that every year I moan about Daily Mail readers who wouldn't know good modern art if it bit them on the nose.

And that was a really strong year. Chris Ofili wouldn't have been my choice as winner - I loved the two video pieces by Tacita Dean and Sam Taylor-Wood - but Ofili's pieces I admired through a strokey beard; although his was the most consistent set of works. Dean's lighthouse film was just gorgeous, and I could have watched it for days. It had that sense of uneasy nostalgia and love of the English industrial coastline (see also Benjamin Britten) that always does it for me (as an inland surburbanite who likes to think there's more to English identity than Cilla Black and the M25...).

But the show that really stayed with me was Cathy de Monchaux's. Once you've seen her works, you can't forget how they made you feel. Unfortunately the picture on the Tate site doesn't give you much of an idea - there are some better ones here which give you an idea of the baroque sexuality of her work. 'Unsettling beauty' is a cliché, but it never meant more than here.

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