Detail from Victor Arnautoff’s The Life of Washington mural at George Washington High School in San Francisco.

The George Washington murals are meant to make viewers uncomfortable

A public high school is the perfect place to consider the flaws of America’s founding fathers

22 Aug 2019
Trilogy (Part One), Woman in Blue; Trilogy (Part Two) Woman in Black; Trilogy (Part Three) Woman in Red (1982–86), Claudette Johnson. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. © Claudette Johnson

Claudette Johnson’s body of work feels as necessary as ever

The artist’s depictions of black women and their experience are on show at Modern Art Oxford

28 Jun 2019
Monotype #19 (2018), Julie Mehretu.

Julie Mehretu makes her mark at Kettle’s Yard

A series of pared-back monotypes and drawings signals a new phase in the artist’s work

13 Feb 2019

Martin Puryear may prove the ideal choice to represent the US at Venice

The sculptor has made quietly effective political work in the past. Will he do so again next year?

20 Aug 2018
NSA-Tapped Fiber Optic Cable Landing Site, Keawaula, Hawaii, United States (2016), Trevor Paglen. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Trevor Paglen reveals the hidden networks that rule our lives

The artist’s subjects include drones, undersea cables and a sculptural satellite in space

16 Jul 2018
Barack and Michelle Obama at the unveiling ceremony for their portraits at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C., on 12 February 2018.

The crowd-pulling power of the Obama portraits

Form an orderly queue to see Barack and Michelle Obama’s official portraits

6 Mar 2018
Pickett’s Charge (Battle) (detail; 2016–17), Mark Bradford.

Mark Bradford confronts the myths of America’s past

The artist draws on 19th-century battle scenes to create a very different historical narrative at the Hirshhorn

16 Jan 2018
Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance) (detail; 2013), Amy Sherald. Frances and Burton Reifler. © Amy Sherald

How paintings of the Obamas will shake up American portraiture

Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have won the commissions to paint the former U.S. president and first lady

25 Oct 2017
National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C. Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC

America needs its history museums more than ever

The discovery of a noose at the National Museum of African American History and Culture is a grim justification of its existence

15 Jun 2017
The surface of the diorama being removed from Grant Park for its transfer to the Atlanta History Center. Photo: © Atlanta History Center

The battle to save ‘The Battle of Atlanta’

The Battle of Atlanta belongs to an extinct genre, but the historical questions it raises are still relevant today

23 Feb 2017
National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C. Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC

Telling the story of the African American experience in Washington

Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture offers a history lesson for all

18 Feb 2017