Reviews

Back cover for ’The Portable Hairy Who!’ (1966), Karl Wirsum.

Cartoons and camaraderie – the Chicago Imagists, reviewed

In the 1960s and ’70s Chicago was the home of a movement that gleefully broke all the rules of good taste

27 Apr 2019
© Gerhard Richter 2018 (28112018)

Gerhard Richter, Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt put on a show

Their joint commission for the Shed includes choirs, orchestras and lots of colour – but is it smaller than the sum of its parts?

26 Apr 2019
Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea (detail; 1958), H.C. Westermann. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

H.C. Westermann’s sinister visions of post-war America

His experiences as a marine gunner in the Second World War and Korea made a lasting impact on Westermann’s art

25 Apr 2019
The Three Sisters (1955), Balthus. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

‘How do you solve a problem like Thérèse?’ – Balthus in Madrid reviewed

Balthus’ strange, dream-like paintings deliberately set out to unsettle viewers

17 Apr 2019
Detail from a page of the Codex Mexicana, c. 1541, created as a handbook for Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and king of Spain, providing him with information about his new province. The writing is in the Mexica language, Nahuatl, and Spanish. Image courtesy Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

A new tower of Babel rises in the Bodleian Library

We know what translation can do – but what does it look like? Eight centuries of multilingual activity is on show in Oxford

17 Apr 2019
Collateral (2007), Sheela Gowda.

Sheela Gowda shows her extraordinary works made out of everyday materials in Milan

The artist’s installations seem completely at home in the HangarBicocca

15 Apr 2019
Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh in ‘At Eternity’s Gate' (2018)

Julian Schnabel makes us see through Van Gogh’s eyes – At Eternity’s Gate reviewed

The film tries to imagine what being the painter was like – the results are as stressful, and appealing, as you might expect

12 Apr 2019
Piazza Navona (detail; 1699), Caspar van Wittel. Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, on loan to the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

The Dutchman who shaped our view of Italy

Celebrated abroad, but little known at home, Caspar van Wittel more or less singlehandedly invented view painting

11 Apr 2019
Lagoon (2015–17), Nick Goss.

Flooded streets and cars at sea – the watery world of Nick Goss

Goss experiments with traditional painting techniques to depict scenes of everyday life with a dreamlike twist

5 Apr 2019
The Four Ages of Man: Youth (detail; by 1735), Nicolas Lancret. National Gallery, London

Channel crossings – Britain’s patchy history of collecting French art

A catalogue of the National Gallery’s 18th-century French paintings points to past peculiarities of British taste

3 Apr 2019
Seven Rooms of Hospitality: Room for Deportees (2017), Siah Armajani.

Siah Armajani’s language of exile

The Iranian-born sculptor gets his first retrospective in his adopted home country of America

2 Apr 2019
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation (detail; 1980), Robert Mapplethorpe. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Seeing past the shock value of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs

The photographer’s formally composed, sometimes graphic work is still hard to pin down

30 Mar 2019
Porthcurno, Cornwall, England (2017), Martin Parr.

Martin Parr takes on Brexit Britain

The photographer’s survey of the British at home and abroad takes on a suitably surreal air at the National Portrait Gallery

28 Mar 2019
Laren Landscape with October Sun (1910), Jan Sluijters. Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.

Dutch courage – Jan Sluijters, Holland’s little-known modernist

After flirting with Fauvism and other French modes in Paris, the painter brought home a dazzling palette – only to bottle it later on

27 Mar 2019
Emma Kunz at her working table, Waldstatt, 1958.

The kaleidoscopic visions of Emma Kunz

The Swiss spiritualist used drawings to diagnose patients, but her works are now regarded as art

27 Mar 2019
The Lister sisters' handcoloured engraving of a bear paw clam, after Wenceslaus Hollar, published in the 'Historiae Conchyliorum' (1685-92).

Shell company – how a family of naturalists captured marine life

Science, art and natural history are intertwined in the Lister family’s monumental Historiae Conchyliorum

25 Mar 2019
Painter Working, Reflection (1993), Lucian Freud.

The sitting targets of Lucian Freud

In his unsparing portraits, Freud pursued his mission to describe things exactly as they are

21 Mar 2019
Panorama of London (1815), Pierre Prévost. Museum of London

Rediscovering a lost view of London

When Prévost painted his panorama from the tower of St Margaret’s Church, he captured a city on the cusp of change

20 Mar 2019
Portrait of Henry Moore with Helmet Head No. 2 (1950) in 1967.

The European armoury that inspired Henry Moore

It was on visits to the Wallace Collection that the sculptor first became fascinated with the form of the helmet

19 Mar 2019
Dining Room in the Country (detail; 1931), Pierre Bonnard. Minneapolis Institute of Art.

How Pierre Bonnard became carried away by colour

The more you look, the more mysterious the bright landscapes and paintings of his wife in the bath seem

16 Mar 2019
Spatial Concept (Concetto Spaziale) (1964-65), Lucio Fontana.

A chameleon who never lost his feeling for clay – Lucio Fontana at the Met

The Italian artist was a breathtakingly gifted ceramicist who flirted with too many other mediums

15 Mar 2019
The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven) (2011), David Hockney.

Nature boys – Hockney and Van Gogh in Amsterdam

Hockney has followed the Dutch painter’s lead in his intensely coloured responses to the call of the wild

7 Mar 2019
Battle of the Nudes (1470s), Antonio Pollaiuolo. The Albertina Museum, Vienna

Voluptuous Venuses and sexy Sebastians – the Renaissance nude at the RA

The rediscovery of classical art in Europe transformed depictions of the naked body

7 Mar 2019
The Poor Cat, (1832), Louis-Léopold Boilly. The Ramsbury Manor Foundation, photo: © The trustees of the Ramsbury Manor Foundation

The painter who took a prudent approach to the French Revolution

Louis-Léopold Boilly was a peculiarly adaptable painter in turbulent times

6 Mar 2019