Contemporary art

Games without frontiers: Ian Cheng’s ‘Emissaries Guide – Narrative Agents and Wildlife’ (2017)

The artist who creates digital life forms that bite & self-harm. Sam Leith meets him (and them)

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Digital art is a crowded field. It’s also now older than I am. Yet despite a 50-year courtship, art galleries…

‘Majesty’, 2006, by Tacita Dean

Intelligent, poetic and profound: Tacita Dean at the National and National Portrait galleries

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Andy Warhol would probably have been surprised to learn that his 1964 film ‘Empire’ had given rise to an entire…

‘The Appearance’, 2018, by Eric Fischl

Surreal jokes and juicy strokes: Martin Gayford on the power of paint

17 March 2018 9:00 am

René Magritte was fond of jokes. There are several in René Magritte (Or: The Rule of Metaphor), a small but…

Choppy waters: installation view of Tracey Emin ‘My Bed’/JMW Turner

Emotional rescue

28 October 2017 9:00 am

In the 1880s the young Max Klinger made a series of etchings detailing the surreal adventures of a woman’s glove…

‘The Japanese’ by Hans Makart, 1870–75

Fickle fortune

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Here’s an intriguing thought experiment: could Damien Hirst disappear? By that I mean not the 52-year-old artist himself — that…

‘Untitled (Clear Torso)’, 1993, by Rachel Whiteread

Space odyssey

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Rachel Whiteread is an indefatigable explorer of internal space. By turning humble items such as hot-water bottles and sinks inside…

‘Spray’, by Harold Williamson (1939)

Nothing is quite what it seems

19 August 2017 9:00 am

One day, somebody will stage an exhibition of artists taught at the Slade by the formidable Henry Tonks, who considered…

‘Oh god, ma tutto occupato’ (Ach herrje, ma tutto occupato), 2016, by Georg Baselitz

As he approaches 80, the German master Georg Baselitz contemplates the end

21 May 2016 9:00 am

‘In many ways,’ Georg Baselitz muses, ‘I behaved against the grain of the times I grew up in.’ The era…

Pharmacy 2 makes me like Damien Hirst

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Pharmacy 2 is the reanimated child of Damien Hirst; it lives inside the Newport Street Gallery in a forsaken patch of…

James Turrell interview: ‘I sell blue sky and coloured air’

13 June 2015 9:00 am

Martin Gayford talks to the artist James Turrell, who has lit up Houghton Hall like a baroque firework display

Welcome to Japan’s best kept cultural secret: an art island with an underground museum

23 May 2015 9:00 am

In his introductory remarks to the Afro–Eurasian Eclipse, one of his later suites for jazz orchestra, Duke Ellington remarked —…

One of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s Scots pines in the French Pavilion

Martin Gayford finds a few nice paintings amid the dead trees, old clothes and agitprop of the Venice Biennale

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Martin Gayford finds a few nice paintings amid the dead trees, old clothes and agitprop of the Venice Biennale

This radio programme almost made me like Piers Morgan

9 May 2015 9:00 am

An extraordinary black-and-white photograph of a young black boy taken on the Isle of Wight by Julia Margaret Cameron in…

The Heckler: Curators were once donnish scholars. Now they’re hip illiterates

25 April 2015 9:00 am

As a purveyor of lairy souvenirs Venice outdoes even Lourdes. The scores of shops and booths that peddle this lagoonal…

Left: ‘Dream of a good witch’, c.1819–23, by Goya Right: ‘Bajan niñendo (They descend quarrelling)’, c.1819–23, by Goya

Flying witches, mad old men, cannibals: what was going on in Goya’s head?

14 March 2015 9:00 am

It is not impossible to create good art that makes a political point, just highly unusual. Goya’s ‘Third of May’…

‘Me as Dorothy’ by Grayson Perry —but what’s with the frocks?

If you hate art-world show-offs, Grayson Perry, what's with the frocks?

20 September 2014 9:00 am

At the time it was all too easy to get sucked in by the hype. In 2013, Grayson Perry was…