Art & Ideas


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 Sculpture Being Boring

Two exhibitions in London make different proposals about what sculpture today might be, and both leave the visitor with more questions than answers.

On Masterpieces

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 the Saatchi Gift

The notion of national gifting becomes a questionable idea when the art itself has barely any foothold within the national imagination.
Fischli and Weiss: 'Mick Jagger and Brian Jones going home satisfied after composing I Can’t Get No Satisfaction'

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.
Alfred Molina playing Mark Rothko in John Logan's play 'Red'

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 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.
Leo Tolstoy in his study, 1891

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?
William Scott self-portrait (Creative Growth)

On The Museum of Everything

This collection, amassed by filmmaker James Brett, has no precedent in UK museums.

On Glenn Beck and Art

Beck’s recent stab at art criticism has elevated heckles in many quarters.

On the Vandalism of Works of Art

Recently, Russian woman entered the Louvre in Paris and threw a small ceramic tea cup at Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

On Artists as Musicians (and Vice Versa)

News of artists famous in one field crossing over into another is very often met with public derision.