Reviews

Installation view of Claudia Fontes’ exhibition at the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo, ‘Affective Affinities’, 2018.

Artists are taking back control at the São Paulo biennial

The displays curated by artists at this year’s event are a welcome change from the traditional biennial format

18 Oct 2018
Small photograph with analysis of drawing by (1935), Reuben Mednikoff.

Psychorealism by the sea with Grace Pailthorpe and Reuben Mednikoff

André Breton once described the pair as the ‘best and most truly Surrealist’ of British artists

17 Oct 2018
The City (still; 2018), Rossella Biscotti.

Digging down into Turkey’s Neolithic city

Communities past and present are explored in Rossella Biscotti’s film of the excavations at Çatalhöyük

13 Oct 2018
Fan tile panel (detail; 1872–1904), William De Morgan.

The dizzying mathematical designs of William De Morgan

The kaleidoscopic effects in the designer’s ceramics are largely down to his love of geometry

11 Oct 2018
The Mango Trees, Martinique (detail; 1887), Paul Gauguin.

How four months in Martinique helped Gauguin make his name

The artist saw himself as an exotic outsider, and his voyage to the Caribbean in 1887 as a transformative experience

10 Oct 2018
Installation view of ‘Wetwang Slack’, Barbican Centre, London, 2018.

The colourful craft of Francis Upritchard

An inventive installation fills the Barbican’s Curve with a parade of handmade pots and hippyish characters

8 Oct 2018
Fog x Hill (2018), Fujiko Nakaya. Installation view at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston.

Fujiko Nakaya fills Boston’s parks with fog and shadows

Boston’s Emerald Necklace is an ideal setting for the Japanese artist’s enchanting fog sculptures

5 Oct 2018
Flock of sheep (2017), Judith Hopf. Installation view of ‘Knock Knock’ at the South London Gallery, 2018.

Concrete sheep and sleeping clowns at the South London Gallery

The theme of humour in contemporary art yields as many unnerving moments as laughs in a show across the gallery’s two sites

4 Oct 2018

Reading the dreams of Robert Crumb

The great cartoonist is publishing 40-years’ worth of dreams and nightmares – and they’re every bit as crude as you’d image

27 Sep 2018
Installation view of ‘Mika Rottenberg’ at Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, 2018.

The weird and whimsical worlds of Mika Rottenberg

The artist brings the contradictions and absurdities of global capitalism out into the open

27 Sep 2018
Gold and agate brooch (1865), made by the Phillips Brothers.

The hidden gems of the Fitzwilliam Museum

The museum is showing off its collection of jewels and metalwork, from neo-gothic to art nouveau

21 Sep 2018

Haute couture and holy robes at the Met

High fashion turns out to be no match for some lavish loans from the Vatican

19 Sep 2018
Ground – Thread Bearing Witness (detail) (2018), Alice Kettle.

Alice Kettle’s textiles stitch together the stories of refugees

An exhibition of the artist’s new large-scale textiles in Manchester bears witness to the migrant crisis

17 Sep 2018
Arthur Rimbaud in New York, 1978–79, courtesy the Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W. Gallery, New York

David Wojnarowicz’s art is as urgent now as it was in the 1980s

The playful, elegaic and militant qualities of the artist’s work make a powerful impression at the Whitney

17 Sep 2018
Installation view of Sensorial Estates by WE-Designs, LAByrinth PROJECT (Hong Kong) at the London Design Biennale

Emotional intelligence at the London Design Biennale

Projects from over 40 countries and cities examine the links between design and emotion

13 Sep 2018
Eyrecourt, Co. Galway (n.d.), John Nankivell.

The drawings that capture Ireland’s crumbling castles

John Nankivell has specialised in recording decaying historic buildings, but his work also provides some reasons for hope

12 Sep 2018
The Liberty of London department store on Regent Street, London, in c. 1925, Regent Street, London.

How Liberty looked to the past to imagine the future of fashion

More than a century’s worth of Liberty fabrics and designs make for an enjoyable survey of the brand’s history

10 Sep 2018

Gutenberg’s printed Bible is a landmark in European culture

A new facsimile edition of the Gutenberg Bible represents a huge scholarly achievement

8 Sep 2018
Renais sense (White Mask) (detail; 1974/2014), Ulay.

The many different faces of drag

How artists such as Ana Mendieta and Ulay have used drag to explore ideas about identity

5 Sep 2018
Ranger’s House in Blackheath.

Strange splendours at Ranger’s House

The diamond magnate and collector Julius Wernher was drawn to what he described as the ‘splendidly ugly’

4 Sep 2018
The Marquise de Pompadour, (1752–55), Maurice-Quentin de la Tour. Musée du Louvre, Paris, photo: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre)/Laurent Chastel

In praise of the Louvre’s unparalleled collection of pastels

There’s nothing insipid about the museum’s outstanding holdings in the medium

3 Sep 2018

Jiří Kolář’s collages cut up reality to devastating effect

The Czech artist’s unsettling work includes a vivid record of the crushing of the Prague Spring

23 Aug 2018
The Bridge at Grez, Roderic O'Conor

What Roderic O’Conor learned from Van Gogh

The Irish painter takes his place among the Post-Impressionists in the first major survey of his work in many years

21 Aug 2018
Shah Jahan receives his three eldest sons and Asaf Khan during his accession ceremonies from the Padshahnama manuscript (detail; c. 1630–40), Bichitr and Ramdas, Mughal.

The Royal Collection puts its South Asian art on show

Art from the Indian subcontinent, from Mughal manuscripts to a peacock-shaped inkstand, makes a splash

17 Aug 2018