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At the Royal Academy

Daniel Soar: Renzo Piano, 3 January 2019

... rue des Archives in the Marais – in the shadow of the Centre Pompidou, which he designed with Richard Rogers in the early 1970s. At RPBW Genoa, on the coast just to the west of the city, meetings happen at a round table, with no notes taken: bad ideas are encouraged, because they’ll immediately be replaced by better ones as the collective musters its ...

Homage to the Provinces

Peter Campbell, 22 March 1990

Wright of Derby 
by Judy Egerton.
Tate Gallery, 294 pp., £25, February 1990, 1 85437 038 3
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... is similar to the one Ingres put M. Bertin the banker in) would be used again in the portrait of Richard Arkwright. Miss Cracroft from the same year is a tumble of satin and lace; a veil blows from her shoulder and flowers garland her bosom, but despite the mobile stuffs her face is as still, her back as rigid, as Anne Bateman’s. The catalogue suggests ...

Erasures

Mark Ford: Donald Justice, 16 November 2006

Collected Poems 
by Donald Justice.
Anvil, 289 pp., £15, June 2006, 0 85646 386 8
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... poems. His work exhibits little of the ostentatious virtuosity of better-known formalists such as Richard Wilbur and Anthony Hecht, with whom he is so often, and rather unfortunately, grouped. Rather, Justice’s poems delicately induce the hypnotic state that Bishop described as her artistic ideal in a letter to Anne Stevenson: ‘What one seems to want in ...

Global Style

Hal Foster: Renzo Piano, 20 September 2007

Piano: Renzo Piano Building Workshop 1966-2005 
by Philip Jodidio.
Taschen, 528 pp., £79.99, February 2005, 3 8228 5768 8
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Renzo Piano Building Workshop Vol. IV 
by Peter Buchanan.
Phaidon, 240 pp., £22.95, January 2005, 0 7148 4287 7
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... Yet Piano burst into public view with the Centre Pompidou (1971-77), which, designed with Richard Rogers, is the most celebrated of the high-tech megastructures of the period, and today he is also associated with large urban schemes, including the redevelopment of the old harbour in Genoa (1985-92) and Potsdamer Platz in Berlin (1992-2000), as well as ...

Yearning for Polar Seas

James Hamilton-Paterson: North, 1 September 2005

The Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of Thule 
by Joanna Kavenna.
Viking, 334 pp., £16.99, February 2005, 0 670 91395 2
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The Idea of North 
by Peter Davidson.
Reaktion, 271 pp., £16.95, January 2005, 1 86189 230 6
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... had done, tracing an imaginary path towards truth and insight. Instead, he travelled halfway up Hudson Bay on the Muskeg Express and recorded passengers talking about the North. The resulting programme was an extraordinary feat of tape-editing and soundtrack-laying, orchestrated as though it were a score, the voices weaving in and out of audibility in a ...

Thom Gunn in New York

Michael Nott, 22 October 2020

... opened: a members-only BDSM leather bar and sex club whose patrons included Michel Foucault, Rock Hudson and Freddie Mercury. Gunn was a regular: ‘At orgasm I notice something like seven pairs of hands at work on me.’ The dress code was macho and fetish, strictly enforced. ‘The Shaft is an amazing two-storey maze of ...

Bunny Hell

Christopher Tayler: David Gates, 27 August 2015

A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me 
by David Gates.
Serpent’s Tail, 314 pp., £12.99, August 2015, 978 1 78125 491 2
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Jernigan 
by David Gates.
Serpent’s Tail, 339 pp., £8.99, August 2015, 978 1 78125 490 5
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... with the open aim of reaching the sizeable audience that resurrected John Williams’s Stoner and Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road. All three books share an interest in sad marriages and a certain amount of diffuse self-pity, but strenuous Flaubertian realism as practised on a mid-20th-century American campus, provided in spades by Williams and ...

Murder in Mayfair

Peter Pomerantsev, 31 March 2016

A Very Expensive Poison: The Definitive Story of the Murder of Litvinenko and Russia’s War with the West 
by Luke Harding.
Faber, 424 pp., £12.99, March 2016, 978 1 78335 093 3
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... down the windows and a 13-foot Frank Gehry crocodile on the wall. Sexy Fish is the creation of Richard Caring, most famous for the Ivy, the restaurant in Soho that flaunts its exclusivity by being as apparently modest and downbeat as possible. That works for the posh English, but modern Mayfair money has another set of tastes to be pandered to. Crossing ...

But she read Freud

Alice Spawls: Flora Thompson, 19 February 2015

Dreams of the Good Life: The Life of Flora Thompson and the Creation of ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ 
by Richard Mabey.
Allen Lane, 208 pp., £9.99, March 2015, 978 0 14 104481 1
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... fiction. What she dreamed of escaping to is hard to say. One of the problems faced by Richard Mabey in his biography of Thompson, Dreams of the Good Life, is that Lark Rise to Candleford and its sequel, Heatherley, which wasn’t published until 1979, are almost the only sources we have. By the time she came to write them, the intervening ...

The Last Witness

Colm Tóibín: The career of James Baldwin, 20 September 2001

... unpatriotic act – that the American boy evolve into the complexity of manhood.’ In an essay on Richard Wright, published in 1951, he wrote: And there is, I should think, no Negro living in America who has not felt briefly and for long periods, with anguish sharp or dull, in varying degrees or to varying effect, simple, naked and unanswerable hatred; who ...

Cooking it up

Rupert Christiansen, 19 January 1989

Maria: Callas Remembered 
by Nadia Stancioff.
Sidgwick, 264 pp., £13.95, April 1988, 0 283 99645 5
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Callas at Juilliard: The Master Classes 
by John Ardoin.
Robson, 300 pp., £16.95, April 1988, 0 86051 504 4
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Callas as they saw her 
edited by David Lowe.
Robson, 264 pp., £6.95, April 1988, 9780860514961
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The Great Caruso 
by Michael Scott.
Hamish Hamilton, 322 pp., £16.95, June 1988, 0 241 11954 5
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Chaliapin 
by Victor Borovsky.
Hamish Hamilton, 630 pp., £25, April 1988, 0 241 12254 6
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... Opera became a sensitive field of ideological possibilities: the traditions associated with Richard Wagner, in particular, had to be reassessed in the withering light of Nazism, while in Italy the revival – begun under Mussolini as part of a nationalist cultural policy – of an apparently dead repertory of early 19th-century works led to a vogue for ...

Audrey and Her Sisters

Wayne Koestenbaum, 18 September 1997

Audrey Hepburn 
by Barry Paris.
Weidenfeld, 454 pp., £20, February 1997, 0 297 81728 0
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... then ‘Audrey pointed to one of Elizabeth’s enormous jewels and asked: “Kenny Lane?” “No, Richard Burton,” replied Taylor, and both stars screamed with laughter.’ It blows my mind – I don’t know a more proper way to say it – to imagine Hepburn pointing to Taylor’s jewels, as if the two were simply women at a party, not symbolic figures ...

Nature made the house

William Fiennes: Barry Topez, 29 July 1999

Arctic Dreams 
by Barry Lopez.
Harvill, 464 pp., £7.99, January 1999, 1 86046 583 8
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About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory 
by Barry Lopez.
Harvill, 275 pp., £12, January 1999, 9781860465659
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... of the Irish abbot Saint Brendan; the later expeditions of Martin Frobisher, John Davis, Henry Hudson (who became a bay), William Baffin (who became an island) and Vitus Bering (who became a strait). He describes Robert Peary claiming the North Pole for America, and how, to keep up the morale of his men, ...

In New York

Hal Foster: Plans for Ground Zero, 20 March 2003

... architects to collaborate was impressive, especially in the case of the ‘Dream Team’ of Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, Charles Gwathmey and Steven Holl. On the other hand, to be in the running one had to be a designated über-architect, presumably with the technical expertise required of grands projets: stock in the Dream Team, Lord Foster and the ...

McNed

Gillian Darley: Lutyens, 17 April 2003

The Architect and His Wife: A Life of Edwin Lutyens 
by Jane Ridley.
Chatto, 524 pp., £25, June 2002, 0 7011 7201 0
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Edwin Lutyens, Country Houses: From the Archives of ‘Country Life’ 
by Gavin Stamp.
Aurum, 192 pp., £35, May 2001, 1 85410 763 1
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Lutyens Abroad 
edited by Andrew Hopkins and Gavin Stamp.
British School at Rome, 260 pp., £34.95, March 2002, 0 904152 37 5
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... he christened Wrennaissance. He was mortified to lose, especially since one of the judges was Richard Norman Shaw, the living architect he most admired. But if Lutyens had been known solely for the unexceptional commercial offices and banks he produced in the interwar period, as he struggled to keep offices in London and India and support his family, he ...

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