Robert Hanks is a freelance writer based in Cambridge

Art is all about human touch – and right now that’s more disturbing than it sounds

With human contact all but banned, an exhibition about touch was always going to provoke mixed feelings

18 Mar 2021
Ship with seven men, net and gull (n.d.), Alfred Wallis.

Ship shapes – the nautical art of Alfred Wallis

Kettle’s Yard shows off its unrivalled collection of work by the mariner-turned-painter, for whom every boat had ‘a beautiful soul shaped like a fish’

24 Nov 2020
Conrad Veidt in The Man Who Laughs (detail; 1928).

‘The Man Who Laughs’ is a cautionary tale about grinning and bearing it

The inspiration behind Batman’s Joker and many a monster movie, Paul Leni’s ‘The Man Who Laughs’ is a masterpiece of Expressionist cinema

19 Aug 2020
Karl-Bertil Nordland and Barbora Kysilkova in The Painter and the Thief.

Stolen glances – The Painter and the Thief, reviewed

A documentary about the unlikely friendship between an artist and the man who stole her work raises tantalising questions about image-making and ownership

19 Jun 2020
Kirk Douglas (1916–2020) as Van Gogh in Vincente Minnelli’s Lust for Life (1956).

When Kirk Douglas played Van Gogh

A celebration of the late actor’s star turn as the tormented artist in Vincente Minnelli’s biopic of 1956

10 Feb 2020