published 10 times a year by Britannia Art Publications Ltd.

         ‘'Black and White and Red all over states the front cover of the October 2006 issue of Art Monthly. Although this pun does not even begin to convey the ethos or contents of the magazine, it does point us in the vague direction and nature of this artists publication. First produced in 1976, and therefore celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the magazine seems to have an air of tradition, it is printed in black and white, and when looking at the back issues the layout of the magazine has remained largely unchanged. As Patricia Bickers goes on to state in the October editorial, ‘'Art Monthly is still stubbornly black and white because it is still primarily about writing and ideas, debate and analysis. The best art writing is not a substitute for looking at art but a stimulant to the reader.

Art monthlys main areas of interest are within visual contemporary art. It provides a fairly large scope in terms of the variety of disciplines it covers, crossing the boundaries between art and literature, as well as the various art mediums and practices, from painting to sculpture, performance art to internet art, giving it a broad cultural standing. It delivers a variety of contributions from long articles, to shorter exhibition reviews, obituaries, and a forum for letters, useful advice to artists on legal matters in its feature ‘'Art law', and the ‘'Saleroom' column that provides artists with information on the workings of the international contemporary art market. Art Monthly still retains the original ‘'controversial'air of its first publication, bringing into the limelight some thought-provoking views on current issues within the art world with polemics and reports on art news.

Art monthly is made up primarily of text with a few supporting black and white pictures or photographs of artists works. The cover is kept simple and unfussy with just four small headings of the feature articles in the top right hand corner, and a photograph of an exhibition pertaining to that month. There is no attempt to make the magazine particularly flashy or eye catching, it is not glossy inside or out, although the front cover is usually a single, fairly bright, colour. It is not, as with many other art publications, riddled with adverts and images, intermingled between the articles. It does not put much emphasis on advertising, devoting no more than roughly 10 pages to advertisements of forthcoming exhibitions, which are in themselves split into 4 compartments. This means it can show the same array of adverts as other magazines without distracting the reader from the main core issues it is dealing with. The whole conservative production of the magazine seems to suggest it is a serious, publication dealing with serious artistic debates.

The magazine always opens straight onto two or three featured articles. The contents page is always on the back on the magazine, where it can be easily referenced, doesn't take up too much room, and means the reader can get straight into the meat of the magazine. Throughout, there seems to be a continuity to the layout of the articles, which usually start with a photograph and title in big bold writing, with the text setting off fairly large and slowly decreasing in size as the article goes on so as so to draw the reader into the article. Throughout the article certain key sentences, have been made bigger and set apart from the rest of the text, again to catch the reader’s attention. 

The main articles within the magazine, which are placed at the very beginning, always cover topical art debates. These lengthy articles are written by independent critics, drawing on past theories whilst providing the reader with new observations about the future possibilities of the art world with reference to current events. In this month’s issue for example, the opening article by Michael Corris evaluates the current London exhibitions ‘'USA Today: New American Art from the Saatchi Gallery.’At the Royal Academy of Art and ‘'Uncertain States of America’ at the Serpentine Gallery. Indeed, art monthly is a ‘'stimulant to a reader’, a reader with a sound grasp of artistic knowledge. Much of the writing assumes a historical and high intellectual standard, and yet is still accessible to a more novice art enthusiast, although this is perhaps not its priority. Michael Corris says, ‘'This is the lesson that 'USA Today and Uncertain States of America' put before the public: when all other social practices come to grief, art will speak the truth. Art will model a better world. Art will provide new ways of thinking, of living. The assertion is straightforward: the artists toolkit is a credible source for coping with the world. All contemporary work not simply American – comes to us first as a kind of public therapy. What cure, then, for Frederick Jamesons assertion that ‘'the underside of culture is blood, torture, death and horror? The length of the sentences mean that the points are put across clearly, this article is comprehensive and understandable, whilst also providing high intellectual debate. The writing within the featured articles often relies on the reader having extensive knowledge of the art world, as well as wider more general literal and historical knowledge. The articles are usually saturated with information, and somewhat opinionated, with often complex vocabulary. The magazine therefore may not be accessible to everyone, but is a journal for anyone with specialised interest in art.

There are an extensive number of exhibition reviews, not just covering the far reaches of England (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, Sunderland, London, Liverpool were featured in the November issue alone), but in various international locations from New York to Amsterdam, Sydney to Shanghai, proving that although 80% of the 5000 circulation of Art Monthly is distributed in England, the magazine still has a universal appeal. This connectiveness with the international art scene is important to take into account when considering a submission, and is a factor that the intended article on Anish Kapoor matches well as it will appeal to his wide audience. The exhibition reviews, although shorter than the leading articles, seem to carry the same tone and style of writing that continues throughout the magazine. It is also interesting to note that Art Monthly features ‘'profiles' on artists at important points in their career. The articles are written about up-and-coming artists, or better-known artists who are at a determining point in their career. This is where the proposed article would be appropriate; Anish Kapoor would feature as a well-known artist at a seminal point in his career. Kapoor has international appeal, and bearing in mind the magazine strives for complete cultural appeal, (it is one of the few magazines to feature a review on artists’ books, as well as other books and exhibitions); it seems fitting that Anish Kapoor's first collaboration with an author, Salman Rushdie, ‘'Blood Relations' featured in his latest show at the Lisson Gallery, should be present in this particular magazine.

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