Photography > Connoisseurs 1986- 1988
- The Analysis of Beauty
- The Invention of Tradition
- The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
- Shattering an Old Dream of Symmetry
- The Demise of Logos
- The Genius of the Place
- Nature Ennobled by Reason
- Pleasures of the Imagination
- The Search for the True Spirit of Antiquity
- Contemplation of the Essential Forms
- The Great Leading Principles of the Grand Style
- The Dictionary of Received Ideas
- Antiquity as a Guide to Nature
- Looking at Great Works of Art
- The Libertine Manner of Reading
- Thoughts on the Imitation of Ideas
A series of 17 cibachrome photographs presented in black frames with engraved brass plaques alluding to received ideas of beauty and taste in British high culture.
It uses interiors such as Chiswick House, Osterley Park House, Sir John Soane Museum, The Dulwich Picture Gallery, The Victoria nad Albert Museum as historical spaces in orderto contextualise certain aesthetic claims.
Travel in the 18th century practiced by the privileged few was ameans to an end which often took the form of a collection of object (souvenirs) which found their way to the great houses and museums of Britain. Rooms in private galleries ( the Dulwich Picture Gallery ) museums ( the Elgin Room in the British Museum) were built specifically to house and commemorate a search for authenticity and beauty. This cultural capital consolidated and celebrated the status of the owner be it the aristocracy, gentry or merchant classes. The existence of individuals endowed with taste is not peculiar to the 18th century. The remnants of these views may still be voiced in the value judhgements of the contemporary critic and collector. Today’s connoisseur is yesterday’s man of taste.