Tim Smith-Laing holds a DPhil on early modern mythography from Merton College, Oxford

Temporary Enclosure of Carioca Building Construction Site (1971), Jirō Takamatsu.

The political backdrop to Jirō Takamatsu’s art

The Japanese artist deserves to be better known in Britain, but his playful, political work suffers out of context

19 Jul 2017
Prayer nut with The Nativity and The Adoration of the Magi (detail; c. 1510–25), Adam Dircksz and workshop

Small but perfectly formed

Examples of Dutch micro-carving on show at the Rijksmuseum are full of astounding detail

28 Jun 2017
Minotaure dans une barque sauvant une femme (1937), Pablo Picasso. Private collection. Photo: Eric Baudouin; Courtesy Gagosian; © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

What the Minotaur can tell us about Picasso

An exhibition documenting Picasso’s obsession with minotaurs and matadors is a curatorial triumph

2 May 2017
Apollo and Marsyas and the Judgement of Midas (1581), Melchior Meier. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Ovid’s Metamorphoses is the ultimate sourcebook for artists

Ovid’s epic mythological poem has fired the imaginations of artists since the Renaissance

22 Apr 2017

Up close and personal with illuminated manuscripts

This is a gem of a book, full of scholarly insight

25 Jan 2017
screestage (2013), Phyllida Barlow. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The Hepworth sculpture prize exhibition is completely baffling – in a good way

Materials range from concrete to soap bubbles; subjects include mass extinction and internet cats. This is a bizarre mix of work, but a fascinating one

23 Nov 2016
A RESTORATION (2016), Elizabeth Price, two-screen video still.

This is reckless restoration of the very best kind

Elizabeth Price’s new video is an audacious act of extrapolation, that asks deep questions about our impulse to preserve, restore, and destroy

1 Apr 2016

The brightly painted books that outshine Botticelli

An exhibition at the Courtauld proves few things are more tantalising than a beautiful manuscript under glass

4 Mar 2016

So who the hell was Hieronymus Bosch?

We misunderstand the artist if we fail to look past his grotesque beasts and monsters

1 Mar 2016

Finally, an Alec Soth show in London

This major solo show reveals just how much Soth’s frank stare pervades his photographs

21 Nov 2015