Exhibitions

Paintings dominate – the good, the bad and the very ugly: Frieze London 2021 reviewed

23 October 2021 9:00 am

There’s a faint scent of desperation wafting through the Frieze tent this year. Pre–pandemic, this was where you came to…

The frisky side of a classical master: National Gallery's Poussin and the Dance reviewed

16 October 2021 9:00 am

In the winter of 1861, visitors to the Louvre might have seen a young artist painstakingly copying one of the…

The genius of Frans Hals

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Since art auctions were invented, they have served to hype artists’ prices. It can happen during an artist’s lifetime —…

Fortifying snapshot of the gardener’s year: Saatchi Gallery's RHS Botanical Art show reviewed

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Elizabeth Blackadder, who died last month at the age of 89, was probably the most distinctive botanical artist of our…

The yumminess of paint

18 September 2021 9:00 am

‘Painting has always been dead,’ Willem de Kooning once mused. ‘But I was never worried about it.’ The exhibition Mixing…

Deserves to be much better known: Sophie Taeuber-Arp at Tate Modern reviewed

28 August 2021 9:00 am

Great Swiss artists, like famous Belgians, might seem to be an amusingly underpopulated category. Actually, as with celebrated Flemings and…

Glorious: Bernardo Bellotto at the National Gallery reviewed

14 August 2021 9:00 am

What is the National Gallery playing at? Why, in this summer of stop-start tropical storms, is the NG making visitors…

Hugely pleasurable – a vision of summer: Jennifer Packer at the Serpentine Gallery reviewed

7 August 2021 9:00 am

We need to talk about Eric. In Jennifer Packer’s portrait of her friend and fellow artist, Eric N. Mack sits…

Rich and strange: Eileen Agar at Whitechapel Gallery reviewed

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Heads turn, strangers gawp, matrons tut or look in envy. A man doffs his bowler hat knowing when he is…

Full of masterpieces: Paula Rego at Tate Britain reviewed

24 July 2021 9:00 am

The Victorian dictum ‘every picture tells a story’ is true of Paula Rego’s works, but it’s only part of the…

The magical art of boxer, labourer & sometime gravedigger Eric Tucker

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Artists’ estates can be a curse on a family. The painter dies, leaving the house stuffed with unsold canvases. What…

Covid has been great for drawing

19 June 2021 9:00 am

Amid the greatly exaggerated reports of the death of painting issued and reissued over the course of the past century,…

An immensely rich show – though it consists of only two paintings: Rubens at the Wallace Collection reviewed

5 June 2021 9:00 am

‘When pictures painted as companions are separated,’ John Constable wisely observed, ‘the purchaser of one, without being aware of it,…

Rodin was as modern as Magritte and Dali, but more touching and troubling than either

29 May 2021 9:00 am

Rodin’s studio at Meudon in the suburbs of Paris is huge and filled with light — a sort of combined…

How has this complete original been sidelined?

22 May 2021 9:00 am

A party of disorderly couples has gatecrashed the Picture Gallery at Bath’s Holburne Museum, climbing on to the antique furniture,…

The politics of handbags

9 January 2021 9:00 am

‘Of course, I am obstinate in defending our liberties and our law — that is why I carry a big…

One of the greatest of all outsider artists: Alfred Wallis at Kettle’s Yard reviewed

31 October 2020 9:00 am

Alfred Wallis (1855-1942) should be an inspiration to all late starters. It was not until he had passed the age…

Entertaining – but there's one abomination: National Gallery's Sin reviewed

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Obviously, we’re living through an era of censorious puritanism. Granted, the contemporary creeds are different from those of the 16th…

A high-end car-boot sale of the unconscious: Colnaghi’s Dreamsongs reviewed

17 October 2020 9:00 am

In 1772 the 15-year-old Mozart wrote a one-act opera set, like The Magic Flute, in a dream world. Il sogno…

Spectacular and mind-expanding: Tantra at the British Museum reviewed

3 October 2020 9:00 am

A great temple of the goddess Tara can be found at Tarapith in West Bengal. But her true abode, in…

As immersive art goes, nothing can compete with Berghain

26 September 2020 9:00 am

In Geoff Dyer’s Jeff in Venice, the protagonist, at the Venice Biennale, muses on installations. ‘Ideally, the perfect art installation…

The beautiful upside-down world of Georg Baselitz

19 September 2020 9:00 am

The hand is one of the first images to appear in art. There are handprints on the walls of caves…

Imagine being married to Stanley Spencer

5 September 2020 9:00 am

It sometimes rains in Cookham. It rained all day when I visited the Stanley Spencer Gallery to see the exhibition…

We're wrong to think the impressionists were chocolate boxy

22 August 2020 9:00 am

One Sunday evening in the autumn of 1888 Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin went for a walk. They headed…

Looking at Barnett Freedman makes me weep at the government's dismal graphics

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Among the spoils of a lockdown clear-out was a box of my grandmother’s books: Woolf, Austen, Mitford and The Complete…