Matthew Sperling is the author of the novels ‘Astroturf’ and ‘Viral’ (both published by riverrun).

Beatriz Milhazes brings a touch of Brazil to Margate

The artist’s colourful paintings have transformed Turner Contemporary inside and out

31 Aug 2023

Self awareness – Alice Neel at the Barbican, reviewed

The painter who never stopped seeing her subjects as individuals described her works as ‘pictures of people’ rather than ‘portraits’

27 Apr 2023

Beneath the surface of Photorealism

The genre has often been dismissed as a kind of copying – but at their best, these paintings make us look again at the act of looking

26 Apr 2023
Cicely Hey (detail; 1923), Walter Sickert. The Whitworth, University of Manchester

Acting out with Walter Sickert

A triumphant survey at Tate Britain – the largest in 30 years – revels in the British artist’s painterly games

30 May 2022
Patricia Highsmith (detail; 1942), Rolf Tietgens.

Queen of suspense – the art of Patricia Highsmith

The novelist’s Ripley thrillers explore deceit like no others – but her candid drawings tell a different story

12 Jan 2021
Femmes à leur toilette (1937–38), Pablo Picasso.

Material benefits – ‘Picasso and Paper’, reviewed

The pleasure Picasso took in paper as a medium was palpable in the Royal Academy’s recent show

18 Apr 2020
Camp Nou, Barcelona in 2014.

Messier and Messier – at the FC Barcelona Museum

A visit to Camp Nou – where Lionel Messi’s boots can be found alongside works by Miró, Dalí and Tàpies

12 Oct 2019
Billboard poster for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin, spring 2019.

Boris Johnson and the Backstreet Boys – Berlin’s take on Brexit

From political billboards to karaoke-fuelled performance art, Brexit is a looming presence in the city

25 Apr 2019
Seamus Heaney (1939–2013) at home in Dublin

In search of Seamus Heaney

A literary centre in the village of Bellaghy, County Derry returns visitors to the roots of Heaney’s poetry

19 Apr 2019
The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven) (2011), David Hockney.

Nature boys – Hockney and Van Gogh in Amsterdam

Hockney has followed the Dutch painter’s lead in his intensely coloured responses to the call of the wild

7 Mar 2019

‘Tell me who Kandinsky is’: T.S. Eliot among the artists

Can T.S. Eliot’s poetic experiments be read alongside parallel developments in the visual arts? And how much has he influenced artists?

10 Feb 2018
Wader (1963), Milton Avery/. Courtesy The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation and Victoria Miro, London.

Milton Avery’s unique American modernism

An exhibition of the artist’s works at Victoria Miro – the first in London in over a decade – is a lesson in painterly deftness

23 Jun 2017

The pull of Hockney’s pool paintings

David Hockney found his great inspiration in the backyards of California – creating a look that influenced generations of artists

4 Feb 2017

When Derek Walcott met Peter Doig

The only living poet to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature responds to one of the greatest living painters

19 Jan 2017

David Hockney and Alex Katz: two great colourists on top form

Neither painter seems afraid of trying new things in their respective shows at the Royal Academy and Serpentine Gallery

27 Jul 2016
Boat in Harbour, Brittany (1929), Christopher Wood.

Poetry, painting and the world of Christopher Wood

Several notable modern poets have been attracted to the freshness of Wood’s artistic vision and the romantic glamour of his short life

27 Jun 2016

Berlin’s wartime bunkers are becoming unlikely havens for art

Désiré Feuerle is the latest person to move his art collection underground

28 Apr 2016

Rocking out in Berlin

Copying prehistoric rock painting was an art in its own right – and one that had a striking impact on modernism

14 Mar 2016

Readings Held Worldwide for Condemned Poet and Artist Ashraf Fayadh

Hundreds attended events in support of Ashraf Fayadh, who faces the death sentence in Saudi Arabia

17 Jan 2016

Drinking scenes: the relationship between artists and alcohol

The Romantic association between creativity and alcohol has no foundation, but alcohol and its effects have proved a rich subject for artists

17 Dec 2015

Ruins and reconstruction at the Neues Museum

The building is simultaneously remnant and monument, a showcase for historical artefacts which itself embodies Europe’s disastrous history

30 Nov 2015

Time is Ripe for a David Jones Revival

His literary and profoundly religious approach to art put Jones out of step with modernism. Can two new exhibitions revive his reputation?

3 Oct 2015

Autumn Art Highlights: Berlin

Berlin Art Week kicks off the season, while the art fair ‘abc’ (art berlin contemporary) promises corners without walls…

9 Sep 2015

Centenary show proves Ben Uri Gallery deserves a permanent home in London

Too many masterpieces from this collection are stuck in storage

21 Aug 2015