Features

Buchanan Castle, Stirlingshire, as it is today.

Are Scotland’s baronial castles worth saving?

The best of the Scotch baronial style epitomises the sophisticated planning that a mid Victorian household required. But many fine examples now lie in ruins

The week in art news – Ricardo Bofill (1939–2022)

Plus: Man attacks Eric Gill sculpture outside the BBC | Victoria Siddall steps down as global director of Frieze Fairs | and Stoke-on-Trent Museums plan to slash jobs and opening hours

14 Jan 2022
Progetto di piramide in vetro antiproiettile per l'isola di San Paolodi, di proprietà della Famiglia Beretta (2009), Riccardo Benassi.

Mission impossible – the museum for artworks that don’t exist

A modern-day Salon des Refusés saves and celebrates unrealised and rejected artworks in digital form

12 Jan 2022
David Oyelowo and Jessica Plummer in ‘The Girl Before’.

Do minimalist architects make the best murderers? – ‘The Girl Before’, reviewed

A dislike of frills can signal much more sinister tendencies – or that’s what a BBC adaptation of J.P. Delaney’s thriller ‘The Girl Before’ would have us believe

7 Jan 2022

Arty books and films to look out for in 2022

From a caper about the pensioner who swiped a Goya to the memoir of a curator who came in from the cold – the must-see movies and a first reading list for art lovers

7 Jan 2022
Stag plaque, 8th–6th century BC, Eleke Sazy burial complex, Kazakhstan.

Showing their metal – the glorious gold of the ancient Saka people

Burials uncovered in East Kazakhstan have revealed the nomadic Saka to be as skilled in gold-working as they were in horsemanship and war

4 Jan 2022
Installation view of Kara Walker’s ‘Presenting Negro Scenes Drawn Upon My Passage through the South and Reconfigured for the Benefit of Enlightened Audiences Wherever Such May Be Found, By Myself, Missus K.E.B. Walker, Colored’ (1997) and (above) Cauleen Smith’s ‘The Right Time, Before and After’ (2017) in ‘Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40’

Geniuses of the place – the award-winning artists standing their ground in Chicago

Rachel Cohen spends some quality time with a series of installations and exhibitions by MacArthur Award-winners set throughout the city

4 Jan 2022
The Lady and the Unicorn: À mon seul désir (c. 1500). Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris

The museum openings not to miss in 2022

The new-look Musée de Cluny and the Burrell Collection reopen, while there are also treats in store for fans of Bob Dylan and Serge Gainsbourg

3 Jan 2022
Sun, Moon and Five Peaks (detail; 19th/early 20th century), Korea. National Palace Museum of Korea, Seoul

Majestic heights – the art of kingship at the National Palace Museum of Korea

The museum in Seoul is dedicated to the Joseon dynasty who ruled for more than 500 years, but also contains reminders of Korea’s turbulent 20th-century history

2 Jan 2022
Reflection with Two Children (Self-portrait)

The major art anniversaries to look out for in 2022

The year ahead brings significant anniversaries and, consequently, blockbuster exhibitions for Lucian Freud, Piet Mondrian and Rosa Bonheur

2 Jan 2022

The fantastic beast that took Alice to meet the Mock Turtle

When John Tenniel drew the grumpy Gryphon in ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, he may have had a real heraldic monster in mind

1 Jan 2022

The fabulous films of Lotte Reiniger

The German director brought fairy tales to gorgeous, animated life with her silhouette films – the earliest of which is as remarkable now as it was in 1926

18 Dec 2021
The Rocchetta Mattei, begun by Count Cesare Mattei (1809–96) in 1850.

‘The Rocchetta Mattei is Italy’s Hearst Castle’

Max Norman visits the very peculiar home of an eccentric count who tried to derive electricity from vegetables

17 Dec 2021
(n.d.), Louis Wain. Bethlem Museum of the Mind, London.

Louis Wain, the man who drew cats

The artist’s commercial cat illustrations were hugely popular in his lifetime, but his series of psychedelic kitties have attracted rather more serious attention

15 Dec 2021
The Bruiser (detail; 1763), William Hogarth.

Hogarth’s love for his pug was a bone of contention among critics

The artist’s pampered pooch was often seen as an alter ego for the ‘pugnacious’ man himself

Red cabbages and onions (1887), Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Can machines do art history?

Art historians may be sceptical about artificial intelligence, but machine learning might enlarge our capacity for observation – and even revive connoisseurship

3 Dec 2021
Vinette Robinson and Stephen Graham in Boiling Point (2021). Image courtesy Vertigo Releasing

How to turn up the heat in a feature film? Make your actors cook in real time

Philip Barantini shot his 90-minute movie about the drama of a busy restaurant service in one take – and it’s nail-biting stuff

30 Nov 2021
A&E, Adolf/Adam & Eva/Eve

Performance anxiety – Paul McCarthy makes his audience incredibly uneasy

The artist’s first performance in a decade was a lot, even for the most ‘open-minded’ onlookers

26 Nov 2021
The new 13-storey MUNCH museum, designed by Estudio Herreros, on the waterfront in Oslo.

In Oslo, the mammoth new Munch museum is a surprisingly joyful affair

The vast waterfront complex is a fitting emblem of the painter’s outsized importance to the city

22 Nov 2021
Watercolor. No. 5 (1942), Raymond Jonson. Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento.

The artists who wanted to rise above it all

The Transcendental Painting Group in New Mexico was sidelined for its esoteric beliefs, but its members are slowly entering the mainstream

20 Nov 2021
The Road Menders (1889), Van Gogh. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

The museum that introduced America to modern art

As the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. celebrates its centenary, the museum is also looking firmly to the future

19 Nov 2021
A giant amethyst geode from Uruguay, installed in the Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History, New York. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Jewel identity – what can we glean from gems and minerals in museums?

In museums, minerals are both everyday matter and also objects of scientific interest – but they carry more intangible meanings too

18 Nov 2021
A billboard for Balenciaga on a church in Venice in 2017.

The billboards that are turning Venice into an eyesore

Luxury brands are certainly contributing to the conservation of Venice – but massive advertisements on historic buildings are starting to spoil the views

9 Nov 2021
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1872), Vasily Perov. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Dostoevsky’s distrust of the West ran deep – but so did his love of the Old Masters

The novelist revered Raphael’s Sistine Madonna – and Holbein’s Dead Christ almost induced an epileptic fit

3 Nov 2021