visual art

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 —…

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…

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…

The earliest aerial drawing, made from a balloon basket, by Thomas Baldwin, 1785, left, and Apollo 8’s ‘Earthrise’, right, 50 years old

How the world was turned upside down by revelation of aerial perspectives

16 June 2018 9:00 am

Adam Begley explains how the world was turned upside down by the revelation of aerial perspectives

‘A Cellar Dive in the Bend’, c.1895, by Richard Hoe Lawrence and Henry G. Piffard

A short history of flash photography

18 November 2017 9:00 am

A short history of flash photography, by Kate Flint

‘Les Modes se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas’, 1926, cover design for Harper’s Bazaar

The time is right for an Erté revival – a new hero for our gender-anxious times

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Erté was destined for the imperial navy. Failing that, the army. His father and uncle had been navy men. There…

Cover illustration for the magazine Garm 1944, by Tove Jansson

A chance to see the Moomins’ creator for the genius she really was: Tove Janssons reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Tove Jansson, according to her niece’s husband, was a squirt in size and could rarely be persuaded to eat, preferring…

Before the larp: ‘Just the two of us’, 2013, by Klaus Pichler

The art of larp

18 November 2017 9:00 am

‘It’s all wizards and elves, right? Dungeons & Dragons stuff?’ Such is the general response when you mention larp, or…

The forgotten history of the Tube’s ‘poster girls’

4 November 2017 9:00 am

Lara Prendergast celebrates the ‘poster girls’, the little-known women artists who helped to emancipate the London Underground

Part elevation of a new house in New Delhi, 2017, by George Saumarez Smith

The architectural trads are back – we should celebrate

28 October 2017 9:00 am

I’m sitting across a café table from a young man with a sheaf of drawings that have an archive look…

‘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,…

Cultural regeneration is a racket

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Twenty years ago I wrote of the otherwise slaveringly praised Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao: I’m in a minority of, apparently,…

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.…

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…

‘Broadway’, 1954, by Marvin E. Newman

The forgotten photographer whose artistry is finally being celebrated

20 May 2017 9:00 am

New York photographer Marvin E. Newman has had to wait until the age of 89 for his artistry to be recognised. Laura Gascoigne spoke to him

Doodles by Winnicott’s child patients, including one (Fig. 9) by a boy who transformed the psychoanalyst’s squiggle into a sculpture

Why Britain's greatest psychoanalyst, Donald Winnicott, loved doodles

20 May 2017 9:00 am

Robert Adès explains why Donald Winnicott, one of Britain’s greatest psychoanalysts, loved doodles

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…

Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma, 1969, photography by Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson

The album art that dazzled a generation

29 April 2017 9:00 am

James Walton talks to Aubrey Powell, the man behind the album art for virtually every 1970s rock band you can think of

An early super yacht supplied with prostitutes: an artist’s impression of Caligula’s royal barge, 18th century

The allure of shipwrecks

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Daisy Dunn investigates the allure of shipwrecks – from Caligula to Damien Hirst

‘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…

Left: ‘Étude pour la tête d’Hamadryade’, 1895-1908; right: ‘La Valse’, 1889-1895

The sexual ecstasy of Camille Claudel – and why it proved too much for the establishment

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Camille Claudel’s extravagant talent proved too provocative for the male art establishment of her day, says Laura Gascoigne

‘Absent Friends’, 2000–1, by Howard Hodgkin

Howard Hodgkin claimed not to be an abstract artist. So what exactly was he?

25 March 2017 9:00 am

The late Howard Hodgkin stated emphatically that he was not an abstract artist. So what exactly was he? asks Martin Gayford

Jarvis Cocker: contrived or beguiling?

Why I revel in Jarvis Cocker’s pretentiousness

25 March 2017 9:00 am

When Wireless Nights hit the Radio 4 airwaves in the spring of 2012, I was not at all sure about…