Adrian Searle (born 1953 in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire) is the chief art critic of The Guardian newspaper in Britain, and has been writing for the paper since 1996. Previously he was a painter.
Life and career
Searle studied at the St Albans School of Art (1971–72), Trent Polytechnic (1972–73) and the Winchester School of Art (1973–75). He has taught at Central St Martins College of Art (1981–94), Chelsea College of Art (1991–96) and Goldsmiths College (1993–96), De Ateliers, Amsterdam (2000–03). From 2007 to 2012 he was Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art, London.
Searle has curated exhibitions internationally. These include:
- Promises Promises, a group exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 1989
- Unbound: Possibilities in Painting, an international exhibition, co-curated with Greg Hilty, at the Hayward Gallery, London, 1994
- Glad That Things Don't Talk, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2004
- Pepe Espaliú retrospective at Reina Sofia, Madrid, co-curated with Juan Vicente Aliaga, 2004
- Juan Muñoz, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, 2006
- Julião Sarmento: Close Distance, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2011
- Juan Muñoz: An inaccessible moment, Frith Street Gallery, London, co-curated with Jane Hamlyn, 2012
Originally a painter, represented by Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London, and exhibiting widely, he stopped when he took up his newspaper job. He said, "I was always torn between making art and writing. Writing won." He also occasionally writes fiction.
In 2007, he was decorated Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2011, Searle received an Honorary degree for Doctor of Art from Nottingham Trent University and in 2012 was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of the Arts London.
An avid angler and dog-lover , in 2018 he was awarded third prize in the Somerford County Fair, Wiltshire, in the category ‘Dog Who Most Resembles Its Owner, with his whippet x poodle puppy Mabel Syrup.
Searle is divorced. He has a daughter and two grandsons.
- Jim Shaw's ICA "Thrift Store Paintings" (2000):
- 1) The paintings are awful, indefensible, crapulous….these people can't draw, can't paint; these people should never be left alone with a paintbrush.
- 2) The Thrift Store Paintings are fascinating, alarming, troubled and funny. Scary too, just like America.
- Ofili says that he was trying to do something sincere – whatever sincerity means nowadays. It would be a great pity to split The Upper Room apart, to sell the paintings one by one. The Tate should buy it. The Upper Room is better than Ofili probably realises.
- Charles Saatchi (2004):
- Charles Saatchi had almost completed installing New Blood at his gallery at London's County Hall last week when we met by chance. "Let me write your review for you," he said, enraged. "I'm a cunt, this place is shit, and the artists I show are all fucked. Will that do for you?" I almost wish my views could be expressed with the same vigour, precision and exactitude. It would save a lot of time.
- The Stuckists (2004)
- Once in a lifetime is too often for the Stuckists. So dreadful are they that one might be forgiven for thinking there must be something to them. There isn't, except a lot of ranting.
- Damien Hirst (2005):
- The eye-candy dot paintings walked off the walls; the gore sells in buckets. But the spin paintings were always miserable and the big bronzes are boring. Nor has his art been particularly influential, or developed much. Hirst has lived his career backwards, doing his greatest work first, saving all the repetitive stuff and the juvenilia for later.
- Tracey Emin (2005):
- We learn that she's "so tired and borred of masterbating". Why not just give it a break, Tray? ... This exhibition is an exhausting bender, careening from highs to lows. The lows are bad. Somehow Emin wouldn't be any good if they weren't.
- Other contemporary UK art critics
- David Lee
- Louisa Buck
- Brian Sewell
- Sarah Kent
- Waldemar Januszczak
- Matthew Collings
- Sacha Craddock
- Sean O'Hagan
- Milliard, Coline. ""He Still Walks Beside Me:" Art Critic Adrian Searle on Curating the Work of his Late Friend Juan Muñoz". Blouin Art Info. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- Buck, Louisa (2000). Moving Targets 2: A User's Guide to British Art Now. London: Tate Gallery Publishing. ISBN 1-85437-316-1
- "What the Critics Say – Jim Shaw at the ICA" Archived 25 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine., newsletter 2, artrumour.com, 23 October 2000. Retrieved 28 March 2006.
- "Monkey Magic", The Guardian, 25 June 2002. Retrieved 21 March 2006.
- "Same Again Saatchi" Archived 30 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine., The Guardian, 23 March 2004. Retrieved 21 March 2006.
- "Scouse Stew" Archived 7 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine., The Guardian, 21 September 2004. Retrieved 21 March 2006.
- "Is Damien Hirst the Most Powerful Person in Art?" Archived 26 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine., The Guardian, 1 November 2005. Retrieved 21 March 2006.
- "Tracey Emin", The Guardian, 27 May 2005. Retrieved 21 March 2006.