Exhibitions

‘The First Days of Spring’, 1929, by Salvador Dalí

As a visual experience it is less than overwhelming: Dalí/Duchamp reviewed

21 October 2017 9:00 am

During a panel discussion in 1949, Frank Lloyd Wright made an undiplomatic comment about Marcel Duchamp’s celebrated picture of 1912,…

‘Pastry Cook of Cagnes’, 1922, by Chaïm Soutine

The painter who devoted himself to turning kitchen-weary men into kings and popes

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Chaïm Soutine turned kitchen-weary men into monarchs and popes, says Laura Freeman

‘Self Portrait’, 1984, by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Where did it go wrong for Basquiat?

14 October 2017 9:00 am

‘Art by its very essence is of the new… There is only one healthy diet for artistic creation: permanent revolution.’…

Master of the zoom lens: Degas at the National reviewed

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Where was Degas standing as he sketched his ‘Laundresses’ (c.1882–4)? Did he watch the two women from behind sheets hanging…

War horse: horse headdress made of felt, leather and wood, late 4th–early 3rd century BC

Pot-smoking warriors who attached enemy bodyparts to their horses: Scythians reviewed

23 September 2017 9:00 am

You wouldn’t want to stumble upon the Scythians. Armed with battle-axes, bows and daggers, and covered in fearsome tattoos, the…

‘The Angel of Mercy’, c.1746, by Joseph Highmore

The painting that revealed the shocking truth of being a woman in Georgian society

23 September 2017 9:00 am

At the heart of Basic Instincts, the new exhibition at the Foundling Museum in London, is an extraordinarily powerful painting…

‘Untitled (Clear Torso)’, 1993, by Rachel Whiteread

At her best, Rachel Whiteread is almost edibly attractive – but less is more

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Rachel Whiteread is an indefatigable explorer of internal space. By turning humble items such as hot-water bottles and sinks inside…

Moving pictures: ‘Achaean’, 1981, by Bridget Riley

Snap, crackle and op: no one can beat Bridget Riley

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Stand in front of ‘Fall’, a painting by Bridget Riley from 1963, and the world begins to quiver and dissolve.…

‘Mum On The Couch’, 2017, by Gary Hume

‘The abstract paintings all went in the bin’: Gary Hume interviewed

26 August 2017 9:00 am

There is more to the artist Gary Hume than glossy surfaces, as Martin Gayford finds out when he meets him

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…

Plywood at its most curvaceous, acceptable and collectible: Alvar Aalto armchair, 1930 (left), and moulded plywood chair by Grete Jalk, 1963

How plywood helped us win the second world war

8 July 2017 9:00 am

The V&A’s Plywood show has much to teach us about human nature, says Tanya Harrod

‘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…

Star quality: competition design for the Roman Catholic cathedral, Liverpool, by Denys Lasdun, 1959

The greatest buildings Liverpool never built

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Liverpool has not treated its architects well. Stephen Bayley takes a tour of the bits of the city that were – regrettably – never built

In the digital age, you might expect the paper diary to be dying – not so

10 June 2017 9:00 am

By chance on Saturday morning, I tuned into Radio 4 and heard Professor Clare Brant talking on Saturday Live about…

‘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…

‘Choshi in Soshu province’, woodblock print from A Thousand Pictures of the Sea, c.1833, by Hokusai

How Hokusai achieved immortality

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Hokusai wanted to paint everything, says Laura Freeman, and at 70 he was only just beginning

‘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…

‘Children Playing’, 1953, by Kenneth Armitage

It’s about time we recognised the genius of Kenneth Armitage

20 May 2017 9:00 am

What is it about Yorkshire, particularly Leeds, that it has bred or trained such a succession of famous modern sculptors?…

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…

A load of old bull: Picasso wearing a bull’s head intended for bullfighters’ training, Cannes, 1959

John Richardson: Bullfighting with Picasso

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Picasso had a thing for bulls. Martin Gayford talks to the artist’s friend and biographer. Sir John Richardson about a lifelong obsession

‘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…