Cover of Follies: An Architectural Journey by Rory Fraser

Fantasy land – a guide to English follies

A personal guide to the playful structures has much in common with its whimsical subject

21 Dec 2020

Prince Albert’s passion for Raphael

When it came to cataloguing the Royal Collection’s holdings of the Old Master, only the latest technology would do for the Prince Consort

18 Dec 2020
The Holy Shroud (detail; c. 1540), attrib. here to Giulio Clovio. Galleria Sabauda, Turin

‘It has all the twists and turns of a classic detective story’ – unwrapping the Turin Shroud

A scholar’s 40-year quest to trace the origins of the world’s most famous length of linen makes for a gripping read

12 Dec 2020
Shaun Parkes as Frank Crichlow, Altheia Jones as Letitia Wright, Malachi Kirby as Darcus Howe and Rochenda Sandall as Barbara Beese in Mangrove (dir. Steve McQueen).

Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ films are a great feat of storytelling

By bringing recent Black British history to life, the film-maker has also conjured up a world full of joy and anger

11 Dec 2020
An Experiment on the Bird in an Air Pump (1768), Joseph Wright of Derby. National Gallery, London

Night fever – the dark energy of Joseph Wright of Derby

A biography of the artist known as the ‘painter of light’ explores his fascination with gloomy subjects

9 Dec 2020
‘Cirque’ from Jazz (1947), Henri Matisse. Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The bookish pursuits of Henri Matisse

Matisse was already in his 60s when he began to design books – but this new direction would inspire some of his most engaging works

7 Dec 2020
Leola Pettway and Qunnie Pettway working at the Freedom Quilting Bee in 1972.

The Gee’s Bend quilt-makers are absolute masters of their craft

The quilts made in Gee’s Bend, Alabama are often compared with modern paintings, but should be seen as great works in their own right

4 Dec 2020
Crawley Edge Boatshed, Perth, WA, Australia, c. 1930s. Photographed by James Wong

How to see the world like Wes Anderson

All the world’s a set for the director’s films, according to an enjoyably idiosyncratic travel guide

3 Dec 2020
Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square (still detail; 1967–68), Bruce Nauman. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York; © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2020

From the ridiculous to the sublime – Bruce Nauman at Tate Modern, reviewed

This career-spanning survey presents an artist whose work consistently teeters between the absurd and the poetic

2 Dec 2020
A Young Lady with a Parrot (detail; c. 1730), Rosalba Carriera.

Fruitful pastels – the colourful career of Rosalba Carriera

A new study examines the 18th-century artist’s pioneering use of pastel and her capacity for self-promotion

27 Nov 2020
Chapel of St John the Baptist, Matlock Dale, Derbyshire, designed by Guy Dawber and constructed in 1897

Pulpit masters – the best of Arts and Crafts churches

Two welcome volumes survey how the movement made its mark on religious buildings across the UK

26 Nov 2020
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
Lionel Hampton Big Band concert, Houtrusthallen, The Hague (1956), Ed van der Elsken. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

From street parties to state visits – around the world with Ed van der Elsken

The globe-trotting Dutch photographer was always on the lookout for a good picture – and took some 100,000 of them

24 Nov 2020
Installation view of 'Bergama Stereotip' by Cevdet Erek, Arter, Istaanbul, 2019–20.

Stereo sound – echoes of the Pergamon Altar return to Turkey

A sound installation by the Istanbul-based artist Cevdet Erek draws on the complex history of the ancient monument

18 Nov 2020
The reconstructed ‘rose window’ at the archaeological site of Khirbat al-Mafjar (Hisham’s Palace), near Jericho (photo: 2017). Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images

Model buildings – when European architects looked to the Middle East

Diana Darke’s new book makes the case for the widespread influence of Islamic architecture on European buildings. But how convincing are her claims?

17 Nov 2020
Agnes and Catherine Gund.

How Agnes Gund became an art-world hero

A documentary directed by her daughter sets out just why the collector and philanthropist is beloved by so many

16 Nov 2020
Image courtesy IFC Films

Ottolenghi’s French fancies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A film about the Versailles-inspired desserts the chef makes for an event at the museum is a visual treat – albeit one with a bitter aftertaste

12 Nov 2020
Rose Horizontal (2018), Bridget Riley.

Lines of continuity – learning from Bridget Riley’s prints

An expanded catalogue raisonné of the artist’s prints sheds new light on her pioneering approach to colour and composition

11 Nov 2020
Langlands & Bell in the Library-Dining Room with Grand Tour (2020). Photo: Gareth Gardner

‘They show where the bodies are buried’ – Langlands & Bell at the Soane, reviewed

The duo’s wry installations uncover the realities architecture often hides – and examine how buildings can manipulate people

9 Nov 2020
Becoming Alluvium (2019), Thao Nguyen Phan. Installation view at Chisenhale Gallery, London, 2020.

A voyage along the Mekong River with Thao Nguyen Phan

A film and a series of watercolour-on-silk paintings at Chisenhale Gallery reflect on the ‘beauty and suffering’ of the Mekong River

3 Nov 2020
Untitled (n.d.), JB Blunk. Photo: Diego Flores; courtesy JB Blunk Collection and Kasmin

The mischievous and mysterious art of J.B. Blunk

After a lifechanging encounter with Isamu Noguchi, J.B. Blunk dedicated himself to carving out his own path

30 Oct 2020
'Me and Dali in New York', 1972, David Bailey.

Exposure time – David Bailey’s autobiography, reviewed

A memoir as raw and unfiltered as the photographs that made Bailey’s name at Vogue, this curious book offers up some brilliant anecdotes but ultimately lacks focus

29 Oct 2020
Self-Portrait as a Lute Player (detail; c. 1615–17), Artemisia Gentileschi. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford

Role model – ‘Artemisia’ at the National Gallery, reviewed

This much-anticipated exhibition does justice to the restless creativity of Artemisia Gentileschi in her many guises

26 Oct 2020
Anti-racism sit-down protest, Bethnal Green, London, 1978.

The photographers who wanted their subjects to be heard as well as seen

Radical collectives in the 1970s were keen to make documentary photography more democratic

22 Oct 2020