The Guardian has a must-read on the Momart fire this past spring in London. Part one contains details on the warehouse and the fire, while part two examines the scornful public reaction and the differing responses of artists and their families. I posted a brief note on the same topic at the time but had no way of knowing all the details. The interviews with Patrick Heron's daughter, Katherine, and Gillian Ayres are particularly moving, while Michael Craig-Martin offers a number of perceptive comments throughout:
Craig-Martin said he had been disturbed by the vehemence towards the destroyed art from the more serious press. He had felt strongly enough about Lubbock's piece in the Independent to write to that paper in protest.
"I thought, in the review I wrote a letter about, that there was extraordinary personal anger, this is revenge, he's furious about something," Craig-Martin told me. "Many of the people in the art world are very angry about the art world. I don't know much about the other worlds but I never get the impression that the worlds of music or the worlds of theatre or literature have so many people who are angry at the art form itself, and angry or disappointed or upset about it. There's a lot of people involved in the art world who are on the verge of hating it."
"There are people who have lost great swathes of work who are not the most famous people. But who's to know whether they may come to be seen as of greater importance in 50 to 100 years. This is possibly the worst moment for artists: when you're superseded by the next generation, that's when you look at your worst, that's the hardest moment, really, the moment before rediscovery."
A terrific piece of journalism, and, for the time being, the most important account of the whole affair.