Modernism

‘Sausage Shop’, 1951, by Stanley Spencer

In our fondness for his roses we have cut off Stanley Spencer’s thorns

2 July 2016 9:00 am

In our fondness for his roses we have cut off Stanley Spencer’s thorns. It’s time to see beyond the wisteria blossom, says Laura Freeman

Roland Penrose sculpting

The surreal life — and loves — of Roland Penrose

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Roland Penrose: The Life of a Surrealist

The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha: engraving of a drawing by Gustave Dore (1833–1883)

Cervantes was a genius, yes – but the inventor of fiction?

18 June 2016 9:00 am

Sam Leith admires a smart, thoughtful book with a big idea at its heart – marred only, perhaps, by its ambitious claims for Don Quixote

Cartoon for St Luke, Chichester Cathedral Tapestry, 1965, by John Piper

The shimmering, restless, groovy fabrics of John Piper

21 May 2016 9:00 am

A story John Piper liked to tell — and the one most told about him — is of a morning…

The confessions of Gerard Manley Hopkins

9 January 2016 9:00 am

‘I am 12 miles from a lemon,’ lamented that bon vivant clergyman Sydney Smith on reaching one country posting. He…

A crushing case for brutalism — with the people left out

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Elain Harwood’s flawed but impressive study of modernist architecture manages perfectly to reflect its subject, says David Kynaston

From top left: Lucian Freud, Rudolf Bing, Stefan Zweig, Walter Gropius, Rudolf Laban, Max Born, Kurt Schwitters, Friedrich Hayek, Fritz Busch, Frank Auerbach, Emeric Pressburger, Oskar Kokoschka

German refugees transformed British cultural life - but at a price

3 October 2015 9:00 am

German-speaking refugees dragged British culture into the 20th century. But that didn’t go down well in Stepney or Stevenage, says William Cook

‘Capel-y-ffin’, 1926–7 (watercolour and gouache)

David Jones: painter, poet and mystic

26 September 2015 8:00 am

David Jones (1895–1974) was a remarkable figure: artist and poet, he was a great original in both disciplines. His was…

The master builder: Palladio’s villas in the Veneto, Italy — Villa Caldogno

Palladio was the greatest influence on taste ever – but his time is finally up

29 August 2015 9:00 am

Palladio gave his name to a style that spread around the world. But was it too successful for its own good, wonders Stephen Bayley

‘Sculpture with Colour (Deep Blue and Red) [6]’, 1943, by Barbara Hepworth

Was Barbara Hepworth a giant of modern sculpture - or a dreary relic of post-war Britain?

27 June 2015 9:00 am

In the last two decades of her life, Barbara Hepworth was a big figure in the world of art. A…

Arch enemies: Euston Arch (left), torn down to make way for London’s most miserable train station (right)

Should Euston Arch be raised from the dead?

23 May 2015 9:00 am

Yes  William Cook Rejoice! Rejoice! Fifty-four years after its destruction, Euston Arch has returned to Euston. Well, after a fashion.…

Scapegoat for all of urban life’s ills: Le Corbusier, c.1950

How dedicated a fascist was Le Corbusier?

23 May 2015 9:00 am

The ‘revelations’, 50 years after he drowned, that Le Corbusier was a ‘fascist’ and an anti-Semite are neither fresh nor…

‘Claros’ (woodcut), 2015, by Gillian Ayres

Modernism lite? Modigliani at the Estorick Collection reviewed

9 May 2015 9:00 am

The British painter Nina Hamnett recalled that Modigliani had a very large, very untidy studio. Dangling from the end of…

‘Wrestlers’, 1914, by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska at Kettle's Yard reviewed: he's got rhythm

2 May 2015 9:00 am

One evening before the first world war, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, fired by drink, tried out such then-fashionable dances as the cakewalk…

‘Observer’s Post’, 1939, by Eric Ravilious

Irresistible: Ravilious at the Dulwich Picture Gallery reviewed

11 April 2015 9:00 am

The most unusual picture in the exhibition of work by Eric Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery, in terms of subject-matter…

Even a perfect opera such as Don Giovanni improves with a good red

4 April 2015 9:00 am

End of season is always bittersweet, the melting snows a bit like autumn leaves. But the days are longer and…

Geometry in the 20th and 21st centuries was adventurous - and apocalyptic

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Almost a decade ago, David Cameron informed Tony Blair, unkindly but accurately, ‘You were the future once.’ A visitor to…

Why Church music is back in vogue - and squeaky-gate music has had its day

6 December 2014 9:00 am

One of the growth areas of contemporary music is in setting sacred texts. It might be thought that I had…

The camera always lies

27 September 2014 9:00 am

Stephen Bayley explores how the camera shapes our relationship with architecture

‘Moonrise and Pale Dancer’ by Derek Hyatt

The man who brought Cubism to New York

20 September 2014 9:00 am

The American Jewish artist Max Weber (1881–1961) was born in Belostok in Russia (now Bialystok in Poland), and although he…

‘La Guingette à Montmartre’ by Van Gogh (1886)

Exactly how much fun was it being an impoverished artist in Paris?

30 August 2014 9:00 am

What he really wanted, Picasso once remarked, was to live ‘like a pauper, but with plenty of money’. It sounds…

What Quique Dacosta knows that Picasso didn’t

29 March 2014 9:00 am

Chefs have a problem. Think of much of the best food you have ever eaten. Caviar, English native oysters, sashimi,…

The Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York

The man who gave the world (but not London) the glass skyscraper

15 February 2014 9:00 am

Modern Architecture, capitalised thus, is now securely and uncontroversially compartmentalised into art history, its bombast muted, its hard-edge revolutions blurred…

A book on Art Deco that's a work of art in itself — but where's the Savoy, Claridge's and the Oxo Tower? 

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Over the past 45 years, there have been two distinct and divergent approaches to Art Deco. One of them —…

Roger Scruton’s diary: Finding Scrutopia in the Czech Republic

10 August 2013 9:00 am

Hay-making was easy this year, and over in good time for a holiday. I am opposed to holidays, having worked…