If contemporary art is all a fraud, why do people keep on looking?’



“Years ago I came across a tiny, misshapen oval grey painting, by the late Blinky Palermo, at ARCO, Madrid’s international art fair. […] I cannot say what exactly Palermo’s painting meant, if it means anything at all. This is just the sort of thing suspicious viewers might take as evidence that, for more than a century, artists have been making their work in bad faith, pulling the wool over people’s eyes and having a laugh at our expense. This prejudice is hard to budge, even though it is nonsense; not least because no one would go to all that trouble and invest so much of themselves in perpetrating such a gigantic and elaborate confidence trick. Unless, that is, the whole scam were itself a conceptual artwork, or a bogus new religion.” - Adrian Searle on contemporary art