Exhibitions

A kind of blue: Yves Klein’s ‘Jonathan Swift’ (c.1960) amid the Van Dycks and Joshua Reynolds

A visionary and playful heir to Duchamp: Yves Klein at Blenheim Palace

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Nothing was so interesting to Yves Klein as the void. In 1960 he leapt into it for a photograph —…

Landscape (North Friesland), 1920

Nolde was giddily optimistic about the Nazis – they rewarded him by confiscating his works

28 July 2018 9:00 am

The complexities of Schleswig-Holstein run deep. Here’s Emil Nolde, an artist born south of the German-Danish border and steeped in…

Lee Bul’s ‘Monster: Pink’ (foreground) and ‘Crashing’ (background)

If you like monstrosities, head to the Hayward Gallery

21 July 2018 9:00 am

One area of life in which globalism certainly rules is that of contemporary art. Installation, performance, the doctrine of Marcel…

Lee Miller in Hitler’s bath, 1945

Grim and glorious: Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain reviewed

14 July 2018 9:00 am

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Stay too long in the Lee Miller exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield and the metronome might…

An artist of the floating world: Christo’s ‘Mastaba’ on the Serpentine Lake

Appealingly meaningless and improbable: Christo at the Serpentine Lake reviewed

7 July 2018 9:00 am

It’s not a wrap. This is the first thing to note about the huge trapezoid thing that has appeared, apparently…

A new exhibition gives us the real Tolkien – not his awful legacy

7 July 2018 9:00 am

To no one’s surprise, the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition at the Bodleian in Oxford, where J.R.R. spent so much…

‘Self-portrait on the border between Mexico and the United States of America’, 1932, Frida Kahlo

How good a painter was Frida Kahlo?

30 June 2018 9:00 am

In 2004 Mexican art historians made a sensational discovery in Frida Kahlo’s bathroom. Inside this space, sealed since the 1950s,…

Volcano of invention: Alexander Calder at Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Alexander Calder was a volcano of invention

23 June 2018 9:00 am

In the Moderna Museet in Stockholm there is a sculpture by Katharina Fritsch, which references Chekhov’s famous story ‘Lady with…

‘Prostitute and Disabled War Veteran. Two Victims of Capitalism’, 1923, by Otto Dix

Sorrow and pity are no guarantee of artistic success: Aftermath at Tate Britain reviewed

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Some disasters could not occur in this age of instant communication. The first world war is a case in point:…

‘The Battle of the Pyramids’, 1798–9, by François-Louis-Joseph Watteau

The best and most extensive exhibition on Napoleon in three decades

16 June 2018 9:00 am

The Musée de l’Armée at Les Invalides in Paris has a new exhibition that I believe to be the best…

Edward Bawden is deservedly one of Britain’s most popular 20th century artists

9 June 2018 9:00 am

‘When I’m on good form,’ Edward Bawden told me, ‘I get to some point in the design and I laugh…

Astonishing splashes of colour: ‘Square Green with Orange, Violet and Lemon’, 1969, by Patrick Heron

Patrick Heron’s paintings are exhilarating – his colours dance, pulse & boff you on the nose

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Patrick Heron’s paintings of the 1950s melt like ice creams. You want to run your tongue along the canvas and…

Wood and ivory figure group depicting a tooth extraction, 17th century

The troubling history behind the healthy, happy smile

19 May 2018 9:00 am

In his Physiognomische Fragmente, published between 1775 and 1778, the Swiss physiognomist Johann Kaspar Lavater insisted that ‘clean, white and…

‘Office at the Mühling prisoner-of-war camp’, 1916, by Egon Schiele

Animals, tourists and raptors: the hazards of being a plein-air artist

12 May 2018 9:00 am

A conservator at Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum was recently astonished to find a tiny grasshopper stuck in the paint of…

‘Little Girl in a Blue Armchair’, 1878, by Mary Cassatt

No one can beat Mary Cassatt at painting mothers and children

5 May 2018 9:00 am

A lady licking an envelope. An intimate thing. It might be only the bill from the coal-man she’s paying, but…

‘The Orange Chair’, 1944, by Cedric Morris

The artist more fond of flowers and vegetables than people – and who can blame him

28 April 2018 9:00 am

I have occasionally mused that there is plenty of scope for a Tate East Anglia — a pendant on the…

Why it’s bad for potters to think of themselves as artists

21 April 2018 9:00 am

A friend of mine once owned a vase by the potter Hans Coper — until, that is, her teenage son…

The Church at Vétheuil, 1878

The public are quite right to love Monet

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Think of the work of Claude Monet and water lilies come to mind, so do reflections in rippling rivers, and…

Once seen as the coming force in British painting, John Craxton deserves another look

7 April 2018 9:00 am

In late April 1992, I was in Crete, interviewing the painter John Craxton. It was the week that Francis Bacon…

The glorious history of Chatham Dockyard, as told through the eyes of artists

31 March 2018 9:00 am

‘Ding, Clash, Dong, BANG, Boom, Rattle, Clash, BANG, Clink, BANG, Dong, BANG, Clatter, BANG BANG BANG!’ is how Charles Dickens…

‘Majesty’, 2006, by Tacita Dean

Intelligent, poetic and profound: Tacita Dean at the National and National Portrait galleries

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Andy Warhol would probably have been surprised to learn that his 1964 film ‘Empire’ had given rise to an entire…

‘The Appearance’, 2018, by Eric Fischl

Surreal jokes and juicy strokes: Martin Gayford on the power of paint

17 March 2018 9:00 am

René Magritte was fond of jokes. There are several in René Magritte (Or: The Rule of Metaphor), a small but…

‘Melanie and Me Swimming’, 1978–9, by Michael Andrews

Magnificent paintings – oddly curated: All Too Human reviewed

10 March 2018 9:00 am

In the mid-1940s, Frank Auerbach remarked, the arbiters of taste had decided what was going to happen in British art:…

Every picture tells a story: ‘Maximilian Schell as Redl’, 1968, by Leonard Rosoman

The strangely unique vision of Leonard Rosoman

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Leonard Rosoman is not a well-known artist these days. Many of us will, however, be subliminally familiar with his mural…

Worth a trip for the David Joneses alone: Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

To bleak, boarded-up Margate — and a salt-and-vinegar wind that leaves my face looking like Andy Warhol’s botched 1958 nose-peel…