Reviews

The Eavesdropper (detail; c. 1656), Nicolaes Maes. The Wellington Collection, Apsley House (English Heritage), London

Nicolaes Maes – the Dutch painter who made a virtue of versatility

This pupil of Rembrandt has often been mistaken for other artists, but is there an unity to be found in his many styles?

25 Oct 2019
Installation view of DC Semiramis (2019) by Tai Shani at the Turner Prize exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate. Photo: David Levene; © Tai Shani

The Turner Prize has more of a purpose than it has had in years

Tai Shani, Oscar Murillo, Helen Cammock and Lawrence Abu Hamdan can be found in playful, reflective or forensic mode in Margate

25 Oct 2019
Limestone statue of Mary Magdalen (detail) (c. 1313), from the collegiate church at Écouis (Eure). Photo: © RMN-Grand Palais/Jean-Gilles Berizzi

Art that speaks for itself? – ‘Gothic Sculpture’ by Paul Binski, reviewed

A thought-provoking study considers what makes medieval European sculpture so memorable

22 Oct 2019
The Gleaners (1857), Jean-François Millet. Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Peasant company – Jean-François Millet among the moderns

How the Barbizon painter’s subversive rural scenes inspired artists from Van Gogh to Salvador Dalí

21 Oct 2019
Photograph from 1904/06 of ‘Steamboat ladies’ – women students from Cambridge who were awarded degrees by Trinity College Dublin in the 1900s. Girton College, Cambridge

‘Frustrate the Feminine Fanatics’ – how women overcame their critics at Cambridge University

It is 150 years since women first arrived at Cambridge – and the fight for equality has taken almost as long

18 Oct 2019
Installation view of ‘Kate Crawford, Trevor Paglen: Training Humans’ at Fondazione Prada, Milan, 2019. Shown are images from the ImageNet training set.

Trevor Paglen trains his sights on the rise of machine vision

What are the implications of using object recognition technology to classify human faces and emotions?

17 Oct 2019
The embrace (2015–16), Marlene Dumas, in Venus & Adonis (2019; David Zwirner Books).

Venus enlargement? Marlene Dumas takes on Shakespeare’s erotic verse

The artist is one of few to have attempted to illustrate Venus and Adonis

16 Oct 2019
A five thousand year old laugh (2019), Mark Bradford.

Mark Bradford descends into the hell of modern America

A new series of sprawling canvases by the Los Angeles-based artist takes inspiration from Cerberus, the mythical hound of Hades

15 Oct 2019
OSPAAAL poster (detail; 1969), Alfredo Rostgaard.

Public relations – solidarity posters from Castro’s Cuba

The 1960s and ’70s were a golden age for Cuban artists who designed striking graphics for liberation movements across the world

15 Oct 2019
Photograph of the saleroom of the Continental Havana Company in Berlin, designed by Henry van de Velde in 1899, and published in Innen-Dekoration, October 1899.

From schools to cigar shops – the eclectic vision of Henry van de Velde

The Belgian painter-turned-designer was a prominent figure in the early history of modernism – although his precise role is not so easy to pin down

9 Oct 2019
Stills from The Bad Feel Loop (2019), Benedict Drew.

Benedict Drew’s new film gives form to the anxiety of modern life

Currently on view at the Science Gallery London, The Bad Feel Loops is a nervous, nerve-wracking piece of work

3 Oct 2019
In the Bezestein, El Khan Khalil, Cairo (1860), John Frederick Lewis. Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery

Cairene conversions – the adopted identities of John Frederick Lewis

The Victorian painter certainly had a penchant for play-acting, but his depictions of Egypt remain something of an enigma

2 Oct 2019
Ansel Elgort in The Goldfinch (2019)

A filched finch that never really takes flight – The Goldfinch, reviewed

The film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s novel is visually enticing but unwieldy

1 Oct 2019
Woman Standing in Front of a Mirror (detail; 1841), C. W. Eckersberg.

The Danish artists who struck gold in the depths of disaster

Denmark was beset by catastrophes in the early 19th century – but its painters flourished

26 Sep 2019
Aizuhongo ware covered container (20th century), Japan. Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Tokyo

The East Asian and Nordic artists who found common ground

The West’s borrowings from Japanese modernism are well known – but an exhibition in Helsinki shows that the traffic moved both ways

25 Sep 2019
Alexander taming Bucephalus (c. 1800), Antoine-Jean Gros. Photo: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre)/Michel Urtado

Battle lines – the tortured genius of Antoine-Jean Gros

An exhibition of drawings at the Louvre reflects the artist’s struggle between his warring inclinations

13 Sep 2019
My Self-portrait (detail; 1927), Sarah Affonso.

A forgotten Portuguese modernist finally has her moment

Although she struggled to forge a career, Sarah Affonso never gave up making art, as two overlapping exhibitions in Lisbon reveal

12 Sep 2019

Tureen dreams – an extraordinary collection of delftware comes to light

A collection of Dutch delftware on long-term loan to the Gemeentemuseum den Haag is a feast for the eyes

4 Sep 2019
Timothy Spall as L.S. Lowry in Mrs Lowry and Son (2019)

Matchstick men at the pictures – Mrs Lowry and Son, reviewed

Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave co-star as the artist and his mother in this claustrophobic portrait of domestic dysfunction

2 Sep 2019
St Sylvester raising the Magi from the Dead (detail), c. 1340, Maso di Banco, fresco. Bardi di Vernio Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

Roger Fry, Renaissance man

The polymath’s taste-making had much to do with his intensive study of Italian artists such as Giotto and Piero della Francesca

Woman Reading (detail; c. 1880–81), Édouard Manet. Art Institute of Chicago

Making the case for late Manet

The painter’s once unfairly dismissed late works are full of possibilities he didn’t live long enough to explore

29 Aug 2019
Madonna at the Fountain (detail; 1439), Jan van Eyck.

Van Eyck does the best he can in Vienna

A focused display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum brings the painter’s ingenuity to the fore

28 Aug 2019
War (detail; 2003), Paula Rego.

Paula Rego pictures a world of pain

A survey of the artist takes us to a land of sinister magic not so different to our own

26 Aug 2019
Weeping Crabapple (2009), Helen Frankenthaler.

How Helen Frankenthaler made her mark on the world of printmaking

An initiative spearheaded by the artist’s foundation is spreading her passion for prints across the US

21 Aug 2019