What has our culture lost in 1980 that the avant-garde had in 1890? Ebullience, idealism, confidence, the belief that there was plenty of territory to explore, and above all the sense that art, in the most disinterested and noble way, could find the necessary metaphors by which a radically changing culture could be explained to its inhabitants.

It is not possible to be original by trying to be original – those who attempt this in the arts will be merely avant-garde. Originality is the product of an impulse to intense and overwhelming that it bursts the conventions and produces something new – again more by accident than design.