Alice Spawls is an artist and writer. She works at the London Review of Books.

'Giselle' (1841), performed by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, London, in 2018, in a production using designs from 1985 by John Macfarlane, photo: Helen Maybanks; © ROH 2018

Creating a scene on stage

How set designers and scene painters have beguiled audiences through the centuries

27 Aug 2018
Girl Behind a Screen (detail; 1952), Leonard Rosoman.

The layered life of Leonard Rosoman

A fine, detailed biography convinces us to take another look at the oft-neglected British artist

14 Dec 2017
Hurvin Anderson photographed in his studio in London in August 2016. Photo by Jooney Woodward

‘It’s only in painting that you can do everything you want’

Hurvin Anderson discusses painting, places, and portraiture without the people

17 Sep 2016

‘Conservative in art, radical in politics’: James Boswell and the Artists’ International Association

Boswell’s acutely observed satires sum up the social and political issues of the 1930s

25 May 2016

Drawing in museums is a form of respect – let’s not ruin it

It’s annoying that we can’t sketch knickers at the V&A, but more annoying that footfall takes precedence over engagement

30 Apr 2016

Exhibition in Milan puts its art back to front

An intriguing exhibition in Milan questions which side of a painting we should look at

10 Feb 2016

Elizabeth Bishop: The Poet’s Eye

A look at the paintings of American poet Elizabeth Bishop

22 Aug 2015

Review: Paula Rego’s powerful pastels at Marlborough Fine Art

Playful and daring, Rego’s pastels and watercolours are a surprise

24 Oct 2014