Raqib shaw

The jewel-bright, mesmerisingly detailed pictures by Raqib Shaw are a revelation

Describing the Venice Biennale, like pinning down the city itself, is a practical impossibility. There is just too much of it, tucked away, scattered throughout the maze of alleyways and canals. And the art is no longer confined to the Biennale’s national pavilions in the gardens. It has spread, via dozens of tagalong shows cashing in on the presence of the global art world, to a motley array of disused palaces, warehouses, churches, at least one shop and a hidden garden loggia. A good way to sample it is just to follow your fancy: step through an ancient doorway and find out what is on the other side. That’s how

Covid has been great for drawing

Amid the greatly exaggerated reports of the death of painting issued and reissued over the course of the past century, nobody thought to check on the health of drawing, perhaps because what artists did in the privacy of their own studios was considered to be no one else’s business. Drawing wasn’t a saleable commodity. Yes, Hockney’s portrait drawings attracted admiration, but most artists kept their scribbles to themselves. Then about 20 years ago, just after Saatchi’s 1997 Sensation exhibition seemed to have consigned all traditional art forms to the bin of history, it was noticed that drawing was alive and, if not kicking, showing unmistakable signs of continued health. It