- Contemporary Artists
- Art & Education
- Contemporary Art
- Art & Ideas
- Other Writing
On the (Almost) Scrapping of Art History A-Level
What hurts about this decision is the timing. The Association of Art Historians has been making a point of opening the subject up to state schools.
The Radical Purpose of Museum Education Programmes
Are museum public programmes an extension of the discipline of art history, or can they have a more radical purpose?
What Art Historians Can Learn from Museum Education
Should we worry that art history as taught in secondary and higher education is weighted towards interpretation and contextualisation?
Box of Tricks: on Kiera Bennett
Instantly recognisable in Kiera Bennett’s paintings are the trappings and tropes of early modernism: the feathered lines of early cubism/late Cézanne, the vibrating geometry of Boccioni or Carrá, the pulsing colours and tabletop domesticity of early Matisse.
Vanishing Point: on Andrew Sendor
Andrew Sendor’s recent paintings describe the future in terms of the past.
‘Zombieland’: On Contemporary Painting
‘Painting is dead’ is dead, and now we can move on and discuss what it is, exactly, that keeps painting alive, despite everything.
Contemporary Art’s Language Problem
It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate: it takes guts to actually explain what the hell contemporary art is all about.
On Alexis Harding
Alexis Harding’s works – which ooze and drip paint off their bottom edges – form a collective proposal: that painting’s grappling with unruly matter is, at heart, an act of almost comedic abandon.
Ancient & Modern’s series of dialogues between artists of divergent generations continues in their show of Marco Chiandetti and Rudolf Polanszky, both of whom address Bruce Nauman’s legacy of the body caught in traces and objects.
On Paul Chan
In 'The 7 Lights,' Chan has made a comprehensive imaginative world with a specific iconography of suburban ephemera, entropic nature and fallen humans.
On Mark Wallinger
Wallinger’s London installation is something different - a monument to the idea of public protest against the war.
On Anthony McCall
The current show is McCall’s first major London exhibition, and a rediscovery of a body of film-based Post-Minimalist art of considerable note.
On Hans Schabus
For his installation in the Barbican’s Curve gallery, Schabus has attached 461 chairs to the wall of the crescent-shaped space.
On Catherine Story
Catherine Story’s show Angeles retells the synchronicities of early Modernism in works that evoke the recent aftermath of an archaeological dig.
On Guido van der Werve
Van der Werve's work encapsulates how we experience romanticism now: always filtered through self-deprecation and nudge-nudge irony.
On Tom Burr
Tom Burr is a sensual thinker. In his latest show at Modern Art, intellectual seduction comes in the form of draped and dangling textiles.
On Marcin Cienski
In Cienski’s paintings, the traumatic subject is always deferred. The viewer, like the TV detective, is always a couple of steps behind; looking is a hapless scramble for sense.
On Hugh Mendes
Hugh Mendes’ paintings are images not of people, but of people in the act of being remembered.
‘Upon Impossibility’: on Rachel Kneebone
The apparent serenity of Rachel Kneebone’s white porcelain sculptures is belied by the physicality of their making. “It’s war”, said the artist, when asked to describe her process.
A paperclip performs its own demise, but continually. It’s what a thought about loss might look like. Even its etymology embodies a perpetual performance of hold and release.
On Aliki Braine
Aliki Braine’s images look like landscapes. Their two-thirds sky, one-third land proportions nod to this.
On Thomas Struth’s ‘San Zaccaria’
Maybe Thomas Struth’s 1995 photograph of the interior of the church of San Zaccaria in Venice is too obvious a way to epitomise the relationship between contemporary art and the art of the past.
On Fred Sandback
The small installation of Sandback’s work currently on view at the Whitechapel Gallery is the best example of the late artist’s spatial alchemy you’re likely to see in the UK.
On Twombly and Poussin
The pairing of Cy Twombly and Nicolas Poussin reveals an embarrassment of shared interests. It's surprising they haven’t been paired before.
On Contemporary Art’s (Strange) Relationship to the Past
It’s sometimes surprising to realise that contemporary art is only the latest way of thinking visually we’ve been able to come up with.
On Tony Tasset’s ‘Judy’
Tony Tasset’s 'Judy', currently on show at the Leo Koenig Projekte Space in Chelsea, New York, is a six-second 35mm film of the artist’s artist wife, Judy Ledgerwood.
On Expensive Paintings as Metaphors of Themselves
It’s remarkable how often these performances of revealed beauty take center stage in major museum acquisitions of works of art.
On Vera Lutter
Vera Lutter made a camera obscura out of an old leather suitcase and took it with her to Egypt, surreptitiously making images of ancient monuments.
On Ai Weiwei
There’s no need to recapitulate the details of Ai’s detention by the Chinese authorities in Beijing (read Michelle Jubin’s excellent analysis here), but it is worth returning to Sunflower Seeds to consider art’s transformative powers, its ability to remake itself.
On Marcus Coates’ ‘The Trip’
'The Trip' is a 35-minute film by the artist Marcus Coates that consists of two long, still shots of the same thing: the interior of a room in a hospice in north west London.
On Peter Hildebrand
Hildebrand creates imaginary architectural structures, whose forms’ intricacies and details suggest vast, human-dwarfing scale.
On Cory Arcangel
Arcangel’s outstanding installation at the Curve gallery in the Barbican Centre, called Beat the Champ.