Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lunch with Tate Director: Nicholas Serota

The FT's Lunch with section is one of my favories. It is fun and sometimes quite informative about the thought leaders who participate. Today they spoke/lunched with Nicholas Serota of the Tate:
"The waiter arrives. At artists’ receptions, I have observed that Serota is a sparse eater, so I vow to follow his lead rather than appear greedy. But he courteously insists that I choose first. We both pick light starters – squash tart for me, asparagus for him – which arrive quickly and are consumed without comment.

“'Only recently have I begun to understand what it felt like to be Picasso and Braque in 1907 – absolutely determined to bury the previous century,' Serota continues. 'The initial years of this millennium seemed much like the final years of the last but by 2008-09 the 1990s felt so far behind. Of course, lots of artists who emerged [then] continue to make good work, like Peter Doig, but the real energy has gone into photography, film, new media.'
"The challenge for a museum of Tate’s stature is to move rapidly enough to identify and acquire new works of lasting importance while disdaining passing fashions. Yet time is art’s only real judge. Does this responsibility keep him awake at night?
"... Our main courses arrive: a simple paprika-dusted fillet of plaice with lemon-roasted new potatoes and a pepper ragout for me, and for Serota a towering concoction of bream poised on a stack of mussels, in turn wedged on a bed of tarragon-infused tomatoes, the whole topped with a heap of crispy samphire. He surveys this wryly – as if it were a metaphor for the balancing act of his job – and stabs instead at the accompanying broccoli spears."

And the writing is great. More here.

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