Fisun Güner

On the trail of Piero

Piero della Francesca is today acknowledged as one of the foundational artists of the Renaissance. Aldous Huxley thought his ‘Resurrection’ ‘the best painting in the world’. His compositions marry art and science with cool precision and a sophisticated grasp of perspective — he was, after all, a mathematician. But he was only rediscovered in the

We are not all in this together

Not so long ago I stumbled into a little pop-up in Hoxton: a delightful tearoom hardly bigger than a walk-in wardrobe, all 1940s home-craft ‘boutique’ style. Nice table linen, a ‘make-do-and-mend’ tea service with artfully mix-matched china, victoria sponge slices, and the strains of some popular bygone tune in the background. I’m not sure I

Cultural boycotts are ineffective and wrong

Scotland’s national poet Liz Lochhead has been at it again. Two years ago she was petitioning against a dance company from Tel Aviv, this year it’s an Israeli theatre company that’s set to play the Edinburgh Fringe. Both companies are ‘guilty’ of being in receipt of state funding. So, we have another letter and another

Why I love Tracey Emin’s bed

My Bed, one of the works that failed to win Tracey Emin the Turner Prize (she lost to Steve McQueen in 1999), made £2.2m at Christie’s this week, going to an anonymous buyer. Charles Saatchi, who put it up for auction, had bought it for £150,000 in 2000. It has apparently lost none of its

What makes art art? And why gaming may not make the grade

Every now and then, you’ll come across an article which puts a case for something or other being taken seriously as an ‘art form’.  Designing computer games, cake-making, upholstery, you name it, sooner or later it’ll be up there with painting the Sistine Chapel. And the more elaborate or intricate the process of production, the

The problems at Tate Britain go beyond the director

Last week, Tate Britain was one of six museums across the UK to be nominated for the Art Fund’s Museum of the Year award, an annual prize in which the winner receives the not inconsiderable sum of £100,000. A couple of weeks earlier, Waldemar Januszczak, the Sunday Times’s ‘cor blimey’ art critic (don’t get me wrong,

Why do people always assume critics are male?

I offer you a riddle. It’s worthy of the Sphinx guarding Thebes, but if you’ve got half the brain of Oedipus you might get it. A father and his son are travelling in a car. The father loses control of the steering and the car crashes. The father dies at the scene but his son

Why Alain de Botton is a moron

It’s become too easy of late to be rude about Alain de Botton. His banal aphoristic “insights” and homilies on Twitter, his efforts to turn the media away from “meanness” (news should provide moral uplift and teach us how to be better people), his plea for museums to emulate churches by replacing their “bland captions”