Can reconstructing historic collections give us the wrong idea about the past?

Reuniting objects that belonged to important collectors can be a visual treat, but there are some intellectual traps to be avoided

30 May 2019

On the trail of Maria Lai in Sardinia

The folklore and customs of her island home provided rich material for the artist to spin her own yarns

29 May 2019
Moving Off the Land (2019), Joan Jonas. Performance with Ikue Mori and Francesco Migliacco, Ocean Space, Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Venice, 2019.

Politics, performance and porcelain – at the Venice Biennale and beyond

Themes of exile and migration thread their way through the works in the main exhibition, national pavilions, and elsewhere

15 May 2019
Modèle assise dans un fauteuil, se coiffant (detail; c. 1903), Édouard Vuillard.

Acquisitions of the month: April 2019

Paintings, prints and a vast video panorama – the best works of art to enter public collections recently

10 May 2019
Richard Sackville (1589–1624), 3rd Earl of Dorset (detail; 1613), William Larkin. English Heritage, Kenwood.

Behind the curtain – it’s time William Larkin finally got his due

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the great English court painter, long known only as the ‘Curtain Master’

9 May 2019
Rosso Plastica M3 (1961), Alberto Burri. © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello

The legacy of Alberto Burri burns bright – at home in Umbria, and in Venice

Some 50 works by the enigmatic artist have travelled from his hometown to Venice this summer

9 May 2019
Still from the digital video installation One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk (2019), by Isuma, the central work in the Canadian Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

Venice in furs – an Inuit collective at the Biennale

The Isuma collective’s new film draws on the history of coerced relocation of Inuit communities in Canada

8 May 2019
Left: Painted bowl with geometric design and possible flower images, Classic Mimbres period (1000–1130), New Mexico. Right: Painted bowl with composite animal figure, Classic Mimbres period (1000–1130).

Bowled over – the painted pots of the ancient Mimbres people

Around a thousand years ago in the American Southwest, a highly sophisticated ceramic tradition emerged

7 May 2019
Installation view of Synchronicity (2018) at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Tsuyoshi Hisakado.

What not to miss at the 58th Venice Biennale

From Ralph Rugoff’s main exhibition to the 35 national pavilions, there’s lots to see – so here are the expected highlights

6 May 2019
Spring Evening, Akerhus Fortress (1913), Harald Sohlberg.

The landscape painters who invented Norway

Harald Sohlberg and Edvard Munch inherited a lively tradition that helped define the new nation

4 May 2019
Jayne Wrightsman, photographed by Cecil Beaton for Vogue in 1963.

‘Wrightsman quality’ – a tribute to Jayne Wrightsman

The collector’s gifts of important Old Masters and outstanding French furniture transformed the Met

2 May 2019
‘Papillon’ ring designed by G (Glenn Spiro).

Magpies, rejoice – the V&A has revamped its jewellery gallery

There’s something for everyone among the 3,500 pieces on display, spanning three millennia of European design

29 Apr 2019
100 Hand-drawn maps of my country, India (2014), Shilpa Gupta. Galleria Continua.

A new home for South Asian art in Dubai

The Ishara Art Foundation opened its doors last month with a show exploring boundaries and belonging

24 Apr 2019
Detail of photograph of Lee Krasner in Springs, New York, 1972, by Irving Penn.

Getting to know Lee Krasner

It’s time to set the record straight on the life and legacy of the great Abstract Expressionist

23 Apr 2019
Portraits by Velázquez flanking Las Meninas (1656) in Room 12 of the museum, rehung in 2010

The Prado pulls out the stops for its 200th birthday

With its exceptional collection of Old Masters and rich history, the museum has plenty to celebrate

22 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
Okwui Enwezor in Venice in 2015.

‘The world was better because Okwui was around, fighting for what he believed’

Okwui Enwezor was not just an influential curator, but one of the most important public intellectuals of our time

16 Apr 2019
The Vampire of Notre-Dame, plate nine from Le Long de la Seine et des Boulevards (1890/1910), Louis Auguste Lepère, published by A. Desmoulins.

An elegy for Notre-Dame, in words and pictures

The great Gothic cathedral has inspired innumerable artists and writers over the centuries

16 Apr 2019

Little Britain – the Elizabethan passion for portrait miniatures

Flaunted in public and pored over in private, the portraits of Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver encapsulate their age

13 Apr 2019
Archaeological excavations from an underwater ceremonial location near the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia.

Discovering an underwater trove of gifts to the gods

An ancient ceremonial site at Lake Titicaca offers a glimpse into the lives and faith of a pre-Inca people

11 Apr 2019
The Moon (A Lua) (1928; detail), Tarsila do Amaral.

Acquisitions of the Month: March 2019

Grayson Perry’s Brexit vases and Tarsila do Amaral’s moon painting have entered public collections recently

8 Apr 2019
View of The Shed, from Hudson Yards.

A barnstorming debut for the Shed

The new arrival at Hudson Yards unites the performing and visual arts under one $500m roof

5 Apr 2019
After the Bath (2006)

‘Wry humour and a clarity that belied her years’ – remembering Rose Hilton

The late British painter was influenced by Bonnard and Matisse – and had to hide her work from her artist husband, Roger

2 Apr 2019
Stagecoach with horses (c. 1959-60), Antonio Ligabue.

The idiosyncratic painter hailed as the Swiss Van Gogh

Memories of his life in Switzerland pervade the paintings of Antonio Ligabue, who was expelled from the country in 1919

1 Apr 2019