- Contemporary Artists
- Art & Education
- Contemporary Art
- Art & Ideas
- Other Writing
On Art and Tuition Fees
The dramatic escalation of tuition fees in the UK – which represents a sudden spike, rather than the gradual increases in fees that have taken place in US universities – will hit arts courses particularly hard.
‘Breaking Character’: an Essay on William Kentridge
Watching a William Kentridge animated film is like being read a meandering story that the teller only half-remembers.
On Christian Marclay’s ‘The Clock’
The Clock is a twenty-four hour long film which, unlike other very long art films, you might actually want to watch for more than ten minutes.
On René Daniëls
René Daniëls is a really, really good painter, maybe even a great painter, who stopped painting twenty-three years ago and has only resumed in the last two years.
Our relationship with reproductions of works of art is of a different and perhaps more profound calibre than our relationship with the real object.
On Rodney Graham and Mark Wallinger
The conceptual and aesthetic similarities of these two artists create for me a kind of ideal model of curatorial strategy.
On Alice Neel and Hannah Wilke
That Alice Neel is one of the very great post-war portrait painters should be cause for general celebration, but it’s only twenty-six years after her death that the first solo show of Neel is being held in London.
On the Saatchi Gift
The notion of national gifting becomes a questionable idea when the art itself has barely any foothold within the national imagination.
On Tate Modern at 10
Over the last decade, Tate Modern has engendered cultural events in Britain that bear its unmistakable hallmarks of accessibility, participation, and slightly irritating chumminess.
On John Gerrard
A new installation by John Gerrard, an Irish artist whose work is most often described as “time-based”, opened in Canary Wharf underground station.
On Beth Herzhaft
In Beth Herzhaft's series that she calls "area photographs", each image offers a cropped sliver of information: life through a letterbox.
On Rose Wylie and Angela de la Cruz
De La Cruz’s approach – asserting painting as an object in space, rather than as a window into a made-up world – provides a moment of pause for painting itself.
On Art and Corporate Patronage
The relationship between culture and commercialism is an implicit and ongoing subject in our contemporary society of late Romantic yearning for significance.
On Anish Kapoor
Anish Kapoor’s design for a monumental public sculpture for the 2012 London Olympic site, unveiled this week, is a sort of organic knock-off of Vladimir Tatlin’s spiraling lattices of iron and steel.
On Rebecca Nassauer
In Rebecca Nassauer’s new show, ‘Safekeepers’, at Josh Lilley Gallery, smallness is bigness, the insignificant significant.
On Ethics in the Art World, Part 2
Must art itself be ethical (or can it, maybe) or must the art world be ethical?
On Hugh Mendes and the Troubled Legacy of Photorealist Painting
Mendes’ paintings reproduce, in 1:1 scale, fragments from British newspapers. The paintings divide, roughly, into two categories: obituaries and world news.
On Ethics in the Art World, Part 1
If there’s a tipping point in the minds of those casually interested in contemporary art, it’s almost always on moral or ethical grounds.
On Joe Zane
Joe Zane’s portraits of famous art forgers, painted on commission in China, belong to a healthy tradition of outsourced art production that started in the early 1920s.
On Contemporary Art and Mannerism
Mannerism is the only pre-Impressionist “movement” that’s meant as an insult. It describes an art of high style and convoluted reference.
On Chris Ofili
The new Chris Ofili mid-career retrospective at Tate Britain feels like walking through a mixtape of semi-obscure black American music from the last 50 years.
On Avatar and Art
The arrival of cinema dovetailed with painting dismantling its own illusory apparatus: the shutting down of the circus. Avatar does what painting used to do before modernism popped all the balloons.
On Emily Prince
Emily Prince’s new installation at the Saatchi Gallery co-opts hoary old modernist plots to create a new kind of anti-memorial.
On the YBAs
A sense of relief – that contemporary British artists had finally 'settled down', like a 4-year-old falling asleep after a sugar rush – characterised the coverage of the Turner Prize this year.
What Does Contemporary Art Look Like?
Contemporary art anticipates a certain kind of critical position, a certain lexicon of interpretation, in sync with transformations in the way that art is made and shown.
On Art and Memory
What’s the quality of our experiences with art, and how can these be improved, given so many of them slip out of mind?
On Ron Crowcroft
In an increasingly sleek and streamlined art world, it’s good to feel a blast of genuine eccentricity every so often. Ron Crowcroft’s hilarious and melancholy conceptualism is a tonic for the browbeaten.
On The Museum of Everything
This collection, amassed by filmmaker James Brett, has no precedent in UK museums.
On Pop Life at Tate Modern
You’d have to have a heart of stone not to leave this collection of post-Warhol contemporary art without feeling that at least a little part of you had died.
On Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy
Kapoor's show is a reminder that large-scale “public” art can use scale and spectacle as transports of delight.
On Eva Hesse and John McCracken
The debut solo exhibition by Californian minimalist John McCracken is straight man to Eva Hesse’s knockabout clown.