Contemplation of the Esssential Forms
The Genius of the Place
Shattering an Old Dream of Symmetry
The Demise of Logos
Looking at The Great Works of Art
The Invention of Tradition
Pleasures of the Imagination
Analysis of Beauty
Thoughts on the Imitation of Ideas
Two Ways Leading to Correct Taste
Nature Ennobled by Reason
The Dictionary of Received Ideas
Antiquity as a Guide to Nature
The Search for the True Spirit of Antiquity
The Libertine Manner of Reading
The Great Leading Principles of the Grand Style
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Connoisseurs 1986 - 1990

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 and Albert Museum as historical spaces in order to 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 judgements of the contemporary critic and collector. Today’s connoisseur is yesterday’s man of taste.