Philip Hughes

Writing on the Wall

Just Looking: Essays on Art


Andre Deutsch 2/0pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

When John Updike was a young kid picking psoriatic skin from his back, he drew a picture called ‘Mr Sun sees Mr Winter in his office’. Mr Sun, a corny ball of fire with stick legs is seated behind a desk like an orthodontist, in consultation with his client Mr Winter, a large rain cloud. When Updike grew up, he took another look at that painting and rather typically he saw in it an artist providing a service for his customer like an ordinary professional. Just Looking, a splendidly illustrated volume of art criticism, exemplifies this attitude. In it Updike performs a valuable service, strolling through the galleries of Boston and New York on our behalf saving us the air-fare and the congas of American art-fiends that make American museums such an ordeal.

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