Exhibitions

‘Spray’, by Harold Williamson (1939)

The marvels of British interwar realism

19 August 2017 9:00 am

One day, somebody will stage an exhibition of artists taught at the Slade by the formidable Henry Tonks, who considered…

Matisse’s ‘Still Life with Shell’ (1940) with his beloved chocolate pot, top left

The importance of odds and ends in the work of Matisse

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Why did Henri Matisse not play chess? It’s a question, perhaps, that few have ever pondered. Yet the great artist…

A picture of pure energy: Watts’s ‘The Sower of Systems’, 1902

The Victorian artist who was more Jackson Pollock than Pre-Raphaelite

29 July 2017 9:00 am

On his deathbed in 1904, George Frederic Watts saw a extraordinary spectacle. He witnessed the universe coming into being: the…

‘Old Woman Wearing a Ruff and Cap’ (c. 1625–40), attributed to Jacob Jordaens

Full of visual pleasures: National Portrait Gallery's The Encounter reviewed

22 July 2017 9:00 am

Some art can be made in solitude, straight out of the artist’s head. But portraiture is a game for two.…

‘Statue (Double Check by Seward Johnson), New York, 11 September 2001’, 2001, by Jeff Mermelstein

From Mussolini’s car to the Twin Towers: a history of dust

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Aren’t you getting a little sick of the white cube? I am. I realised how sick last week after blundering…

‘Untitled (Poor Richard)’, 1971, by Philip Guston

A pilloried president, PC portraits and paintings good enough to eat

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Politics and art can make for an awkward mix. Much more than with religious subjects it seems to matter whether…

‘Study for Charity’, c.1519, by Raphael

Lucian Freud was wrong to think Raphael dull – he was a genius

17 June 2017 9:00 am

Late one afternoon, early in the year, I was walking through the Vatican Stanze with a small group of critics…

‘Venice: The Bacino di S. Marco on Ascension Day’, c.1733–34, by Canaletto

There are hints in this show at Buckingham Palace of another, more imaginative Canaletto

3 June 2017 9:00 am

One evening a few weeks ago I was on my way to the opening of an exhibition at the Venice…

‘Man Pointing’, 1947, by Alberto Giacometti

It’s hard to imagine a better overview: Giacometti at Tate Modern reviewed

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Size, of course, matters a great deal in art; so does scale — which is a different matter. The art…

Folly by Phyllida Barlow, British Pavilion, Venice, 2017

Huge, diverse and yet monotonous, the Venice Biennale is very like the EU

20 May 2017 9:00 am

‘Are you enjoying the Biennale?’ is a question one is often asked while patrolling the winding paths of the Giardini…

‘The Caged Bird’s Song’, 2014–2017, by Chris Ofili

Chris Ofili’s weird watercolour tapestries mark a return to form

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Many of the mediums from which art is made have been around for a long time. People have been painting…

‘Rainstorm over the sea’, 1824–28, by John Constable © Royal Academy of Arts, London; Photographer: John Hammond

Constable was every bit as good at sea-painting as Turner

22 April 2017 9:00 am

John Constable was, as we say these days, conflicted about Brighton. On the one hand, as he wrote in a…

Frankly dreadful: ‘The Renaissance of Venus’, 1877, by Walter Crane

Would the artists in Tate’s Queer British Art show have approved of being included?

15 April 2017 8:00 am

‘There is only one thing worse than homosexual art,’ the painter Patrick Procktor was once heard to declare at a…

Silver Hut, 1984, by Toyo Ito

With no planning controls and owners craving the new, Japan is a Disneyland for architecture

8 April 2017 9:00 am

The house in which I lived in Tokyo was built by my landlady, a former geisha. It stood on a…

Why I love audioguides

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Do you, or do you not, fork out for an audioguide — one of those necklace-like, strappy contraptions you’re offered…

‘Schicksalslinien/Be-Ziehungen VIII’ (‘Lines of Fate’/’Re-lations VIII’), 1994, by Maria Lassnig

Is collage the natural idiom for our cut-and-paste society?

1 April 2017 9:00 am

How do you make a work of art? One method is to cut things up and stick them back together…

‘Boy falling from a window’, 1592, Italy, Naples (possibly)

The key to the Italian Renaissance lies in the home

11 March 2017 9:00 am

There have been many explanations for what happened in the Italian Renaissance. Some stress the revival of classical antiquity, others…

‘Iguazu’, 2010, by Wolfgang Tillmans

Coolly contemporary – especially in its muddle: Wolfgang Tillmans at the Tate reviewed

4 March 2017 9:00 am

These days the world is experiencing an unprecedented overload of photographs, a global glut of pictures. More and more are…

‘Allegro Moderato Fireman’s Parade’ (from the Calcium of Light portfolio), 1974–76, by Eduardo Paolozzi

Paolozzi was not a slim man but you have to run to keep up with him

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Rudolfo Paolozzi was a great maker. In the summer, he worked almost without stopping in the family’s ice-cream shop, making…

‘Gas’, 1940, by Edward Hopper

The good, the bad and the ugly: RA’s America after the Fall reviewed

25 February 2017 9:00 am

The latest exhibition at the Royal Academy is entitled America after the Fall. It deals with painting in the United…

‘Peasants’, c.1930, by Kazimir Malevich

The true harshness of Soviet life rarely comes through: RA’s Revolution reviewed

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Vladimir Putin notoriously declared the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 to be one of the greatest disasters of…

‘Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater’, 1970, by David Hockney

Colour, heat and sex: David Hockney at Tate Britain reviewed

11 February 2017 9:00 am

No Californian could have painted Hockney’s pools. No La-La Land artist, raised on sun and orange juice, would have done…

‘Eli’, 2002, by Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud’s etchings are some of the strongest things he ever did

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Two divergent approaches to printmaking are on view in an exhibition of graphic work by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud…

‘Breakwater’, 1994, by Sandra Blow

Sandra Blow's paintings hold their own with Sixties stars like Hockney and Riley

21 January 2017 9:00 am

In the 1940s Lucian Freud took another young painter, Sandra Blow, up to the top of a bombed church in…

‘Spiral Motif in Green, Violet, Blue and Gold: The Coast of the Inland Sea’, 1950, by Victor Pasmore

Who was the real Victor Pasmore?

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Victor Pasmore once told me how he greeted Pablo Picasso at Victoria station. The great man had come to Britain…