Michael Stanley 1975 – 2012

I was incredibly saddened to learn this weekend of the sudden death of the director of Modern Art Oxford, Michael Stanley. I got to know him a couple of years ago when he took up the post at Oxford and always found him to be an enthusiastic and determined advocate for the arts, ambitious for his museum and plans for its expansion. I enjoyed more than one intellectual discussion with him about the state of arts funding and patronage in Britain today. He was a gifted curator and his exhibitions programme was carefully thought-out and scholarly; my favourites were George Shaw’s selection of Graham Sutherland and, just finished, Exercise (Djibouti) by John Gerrard, beautifully presented in the Old Power Station, an outpost of the museum. There is no doubt in my mind that Michael easily had the ability and charisma to reach the top of his profession and would have had a great deal more to contribute to contemporary art. It is a tragedy; the art world has lost one of its good guys.

An Artistic Turing Test

Patrick Tresset, Sketches by Paul (details), Biro on paper. Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission.

Alan Turing, one of the greatest minds Britain has ever produced and the centenary of whose birth we are celebrating this year, had an important influence on artists. Two examples A. Michael Noll’s Mondrian Experiment from the 1960s and the contemporary artist Patrick Tresset are described in this month’s article for the British Computer Society. Read it here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/47740  Patrick is one of the artists who features in an exhibition curated by Computer Art Society members to celebrate Turing Year 2012, at the Victoria & Albert Museum this month. His robotic drawing installation Paul can be seen here and at Neo Bankside London SE1, at the end of October.