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Me First

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 March 1996

Peter York’s Eighties 
by Peter York and Charles Jennings.
BBC, 192 pp., £12.99, January 1996, 0 563 37191 9
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... away towards the Firth of Clyde. And I took the tie off and stuffed it into my back pocket. Peter York’s Eighties happened elsewhere. Little bits of it were no doubt happening in the shopping mall over my head that morning, but most of it was well out of reach, and nothing to do with our world at all. He had a lovely time, he tells us. The ...

Eating people is right

Paul Delany, 21 February 1985

Modern Times 
by Peter York.
Heinemann, 128 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 434 89260 2
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Face Value: The Politics of Beauty 
by Robin Tolmach Lakoff and Raquel Scherr.
Routledge, 312 pp., £12.95, November 1984, 0 7100 9742 5
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... The Sloane Ranger style, Peter York has told us, reflects ‘a state of mind that’s eternal’. This may be putting it a bit strongly: but the Sloane ancestry goes back at least to the days when knighthood was in flower and one really needed a pony. Like British trade unions, Sloanes have deep roots as a defensively-organised collective, and ‘What Really Matters’ to them may well matter differently, or not matter at all, to everyone else ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: The 1970s, 18 November 2010

... of uncertainty forming itself almost sinisterly into a style. Some change according to the light. Peter York imagined the 1980s to be a time of relentless new opportunity and inclusiveness and money-making brio. But York published his book 15 years ago; the 1980s are generally seen now as a low point for Britain, a ...

Henry and Caroline

W.G. Runciman, 1 April 1983

The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook: The First Guide to What Really Matters in Life 
by Ann Barr and Peter York.
Ebury, 160 pp., £4.95, October 1982, 0 85223 236 5
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... to turn round and tell you it isn’t? This test is, however, triumphantly passed by Ann Barr, Peter York and the intrepid and diligent team of assistant fieldworkers with whom they have penetrated far and deep into the rose-red canyons of SW3, 1, 7, 10, 6 and 5 – correctly ranked in that order – and the near- and far-flung outposts where there ...

In New York

Hal Foster: Plans for Ground Zero, 20 March 2003

... were trashed as bland by focus groups. This was a triumphant moment for a quasi-democratic New York urbanism: ‘No more business as usual,’ the people declared, ‘give us vision’ – though whether they meant memorial pathos or urbanistic insight (or somehow both) was not clear. To its credit, the LMDC then arranged an independent jury, which ...

Peter Campbell

Mary-Kay Wilmers: On Peter Campbell, 17 November 2011

... The fox on the cover of this issue is walking past Peter Campbell’s house in South London, the house (he wrote about it in the LRB in September) where he and his wife had lived since 1963. Peter died – in that house – on 25 October and the picture on the cover is the last one he painted ...

Peter Conrad’s Flight from Precision

Richard Poirier, 17 July 1980

Imagining America 
by Peter Conrad.
Routledge, 319 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 7100 0370 6
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... they intended to find. Though he doesn’t mention Rosenberg, or any other critic for that matter, Peter Conrad, Fellow of Christ Church, Oxford, is convinced that a similar destiny was in store for the English writers of the 19th and 20th centuries who ‘imagined’ America during their visits to it. They imagined it not freely but in obedience to various ...

Illustrating America

Peter Campbell, 21 March 1985

Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture 
by Paul Cummings, Jorn Merkert and Claire Stoullig.
Norton, 308 pp., £35, August 1984, 0 393 01840 7
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Abstract Expressionist Painting in America 
by William Seitz.
Harvard, 490 pp., £59.95, February 1984, 0 674 00215 6
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About Rothko 
by Dore Ashton.
Oxford, 225 pp., £15, August 1984, 0 19 503348 5
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The Art of the City: Views and Versions of New York 
by Peter Conrad.
Oxford, 329 pp., £15, June 1984, 0 19 503408 2
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... The landmarks of New York – the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, the Rockefeller and World Trade Centres – have no ceremonial public function. Victories are consecrated in the streets, with ticker-tape falling. And New York painting is like New York celebrations: it has not been made for palaces and chapels ...

I’m being a singer

Andrew O’Hagan: Dandy Highwaymen, 8 October 2020

Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics 
by Dylan Jones.
Faber, 663 pp., £20, October 2020, 978 0 571 35343 9
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... was quite transfixing. When you were listening to Bryan Ferry, according to the style panjandrum Peter York, ‘you were listening to a singer whose whole approach said: “I’m not singing, I’m being a singer.”’ There’s a crucial difference. Everyday British life in the 1980s took a turn towards the performative; style became a matter of ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Peter Doig, 6 March 2008

... Peter Doig painted Echo Lake in 1998. A man stands on the far side of a stretch of dark water. He is quite a way off, but you can see that he wears a white shirt and a dark tie. His hands are raised to his face. Is it to keep the light out of his eyes as he looks at you? Or is it to project his voice as he shouts? A police car, lights on, is parked behind him ...

At Tate Modern

Peter Campbell: Rothko, 23 October 2008

... so rapidly that they had to be removed from view. The circumstances of abstract painting in New York in the 1950s come to us through memoirs and photographs. The city was changing. Here and there the stone fronts of interwar skyscrapers were reflected in the glass walls of new buildings that realised prewar European dreams. The old symbols of modernity were ...

At the Royal Academy

Peter Campbell: Philip Guston fouls the nest, 5 February 2004

... lovely things – among the most beautiful and luxurious of all the pictures produced by the New York School. The new ones seemed like a calculated fouling of the nest by a favourite child. So the second explanatory frame – the frame which accommodates the abstract paintings of Guston and other members of the New ...

Other People’s Rooms

Peter Campbell, 7 April 1994

Inside Culture 
by David Halle.
Chicago, 261 pp., £23.95, January 1993, 0 226 31367 0
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Buildings of the United States: The Buildings of Michigan 
by Kathryn Bishop Eckert.
Oxford, 603 pp., £27.50, June 1993, 0 19 506149 7
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Buildings of the United States: The Buildings of Iowa 
by David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim.
Oxford, 565 pp., £27.50, June 1993, 0 19 506148 9
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... snapshots, saints, masks and so forth which a representative group of Americans, in and near New York, have on their walls and shelves, of how they display them and what they say about them, required that he get to know more than a hundred and sixty different houses. The aim was to test and develop theories about art and class. His book ...

In the Street

Peter Campbell: Kerb your Enthusiasm, 9 October 2008

... They disturb the appearance of streets, which look best when they are simple: a granite kerb, York stone slabs, a well-graded carriageway. That is the proper way to underline any distinguished old frontage; it’s what the broad pavement lined with plane trees outside the British Museum does. Jane Austen on tarmac is as much an anachronism as Jane Austen ...


Andrew Brighton: On Peter Fuller, 7 November 1991

... of Oxbridge voices reviewing an exhibition selected by and posthumously mounted as a tribute to Peter Fuller. The wannabe Oxbridge voice of Giles Auty, art bumbler for the Spectator, declares ‘Peter’ was led by his arguments rather than his eyes. Up speaks real Oxbridge voice, while duly patronising to Auty – not ...

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