Ariane Bankes rss

Catherine Lampert, 1986

Frank Auerbach: frightened of heights, dogs, driving, swimming — but finding courage through painting

6 June 2015
Frank Auerbach: Speaking and Painting Catherine Lampert

Thames & Hudson, pp.240, £19.95, ISBN: 9780500239254

With a career of more than 60 years so far, Frank Auerbach is undoubtedly one of the big beasts of the British art world. His personal reticence, however, and the… Read more

Characters from ‘Inside Stories’ by Quentin Blake

'I would find myself forging my own work': Quentin Blake on how he came to found the House of Illustration

5 July 2014

The illustrator Quentin Blake is uncannily like one of his own creations: tousled, bright-eyed, quizzical, and apologetic about his summer cold. He greeted me warmly and conducted me down a… Read more

‘Untitled (From an Ethnographic Museum)’,
1930, by Hannah Höch

Hannah Höch – from Dada firebrand to poet of collage

1 March 2014
Hannah Höch Whitechapel Gallery

I suspect I am not alone in finding it surprising to encounter at the close of this exhibition an unexpected Hannah Höch — a gently spoken elderly lady filmed wandering… Read more

Acting as turret gateway: ‘Minster’, 1987, by Tony Cragg

The Lisson show is so hermetic, sometimes we flounder for meaning

23 November 2013
Nostalgic for the Future Lisson Gallery, 27–29 Bell Street, NW1

The title of the Lisson Gallery’s new show, Nostalgic for the Future, could sum up the gallery’s whole raison d’être. From its inception in 1967, the Lisson has championed the… Read more

‘Bunny Gets Snookered #1’, 1997, by Sarah Lucas

The big tease

26 October 2013
SITUATION Absolute Beach Man Rubble Whitechapel Gallery

Perhaps the greatest irony of many in this first solo London show of Sarah Lucas is that it is sponsored by Louis Vuitton. ‘Symbolising French elegance and joie de vivre,… Read more

‘Record Drawing for Elephant and Rhinocerous Pavilion, Zoological Society of London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London’, c.1971, by Hugh Casson

Exhibition review: The charm and dexterity of Sir Hugh Casson

22 June 2013
Sir Hugh Casson PRA: Making Friends Tennant Gallery and Council Room, Royal Academy

It is nothing short of a miracle that this aptly titled exhibition could be shoehorned into just two rooms at the Royal Academy, such was the range of the irrepressible… Read more


Sculptural conundrums

2 June 2012

2012 is proving something of an annus mirabilis for Anthony Caro OM CBE RA, now 88, with no fewer than three exhibitions of his work on view around the country. … Read more


Where dreams take shape

7 April 2012
Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and Their Studios edited by Hossein Amirsadeghi

Thames & Hudson, pp.600, 48

The question of what artists actually get up to in their studios has always intrigued the rest of us — that mysterious alchemical process of transforming base materials into gold,… Read more


Best in show

15 January 2011

Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain, talks to Ariane Bankes about the planned revamp of the museum and 100 different ways of showing sculpture The evening after first meeting Penelope… Read more


Friends reunited

25 September 2010

Zanzotti’s in Soho: redolent of surreptitious lunches fondly remembered, with its red gingham cloths and crusted tricolore paintwork, its ‘chianti-in-a-basket./ Breadsticks you snap/ with a sneeze of dust…And Massimo himself/… Read more


‘If he couldn’t paint, he couldn’t live’

3 February 2010

Ariane Bankes talks to the widow of Arshile Gorky, whose retrospective is about to open at Tate Mougouch Fielding opens the door to me looking a little gaunt but as… Read more

On the move

23 September 2009

Last weekend, as part of Open House London, the Government Art Collection flung open its doors to allcomers, probably some Spectator readers among them. Its energetic acquisitions and commissioning policy… Read more

We will remember

13 May 2009

Art and Memory: New perspectives on memorial art West Dean, Nr Chichester, until 1 November There are those who haunt ancient churchyards in search of elegant epigraphs or curious carvings… Read more


Virtual trip to the opera

1 April 2009

‘Having every best seat in the house’ is how some describe seeing opera live on screen, and recently we’ve had the opportunity of seeing the nuts and bolts backstage, too.… Read more


Caught napping

2 January 2008

Sleeping & Dreaming Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1, until 9 March 2008 ‘To sleep, perchance to dream…’. If only. We are supposed to spend one third of our… Read more


All points East

5 December 2007

Serendipity is the best aspect of travel — the chance encounter, the unexpected discovery — and a journey overland to China by rail can throw up all sorts of surprises.… Read more


The ‘transvestite potter from Essex’

4 July 2007

I was intrigued to meet Grayson Perry — who wouldn’t be? I hadn’t known his work before he hit the national headlines in 2003 as one of the artists shortlisted… Read more

The witching hour

19 October 2006

Twilight, the witching hour — that tantalising moment on the cusp of day and night when everything seems strange, poignant and full of possibilities. It is a gift to the… Read more

Utter madness or good fortune

15 April 2006

I work at the V&A and walk every day through galleries packed with marvellous things, but the other day I was stopped in my tracks by something unique: eight contemporary… Read more