Is ‘groundbreaking’ the new ‘cutting edge’?

No more than 2 months ago I heard on local radio an ad for the Govett-Brewster that used the adjective ‘groundbreaking’. Then I saw it in an Adam Gallery e-mail. And a day or two ago I saw it in print somewhere else, put it aside but can’t find it at the moment.

Cutting edge has been the artspeak favourite for some time, but I can imagine groundbreaking taking over. It has more gravitas although just how many groundbreaking shows there can be at one time I’m sceptical about. Still that won’t deter the copywriters.

Other shifts have been the change from ’emerging artists’ to ‘new artists’ to ‘new generation.’ New Generation is a phrase that will stick for a while I think. The Arts Foundation are using it, and we just had a show here at the Govett-Brewster for New Generation artists, although Peter Madden was in it and he was born in 1966 which I would have thought was pushing it a bit.

These phrases all raise interesting questions eg could an ’emerging artist’ be a 60 yr old whose career was coming on stream. Similarly could a ‘new artist’ be someone who was older.

I’m waiting for some shows for ‘receeding artists’.