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Swedish Practices

Gunnar Pettersson, 26 October 1989

Under Fire: My Own Story 
by Simon Hayward.
W.H. Allen, 473 pp., £6.99, September 1989, 0 352 32588 7
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... On the day Simon Hayward was released from a Swedish prison and returned to England, the Independent reported that a senior official in the Swedish Justice Department had declared himself against punishing convicts who attempt to escape from prison, because it is ‘a natural reaction’: ‘If you were in a prison,’ he asked a seminar, ‘wouldn’t you start thinking of how to get out?’ The absurd reasonableness of this approach to prisoner care is in a way typical of what the world has come to expect from Sweden’s judicial system, and until quite recently it would have been met, at least among the liberal-minded, with a kind of sniggering admiration for a society which dared radically to question the orthodoxies of crime and punishment ...

Which play was performed at the Globe Theatre on 7 February 1601?

Blair Worden: A Play for Plotters, 10 July 2003

... there is no likelier a subject of a missing play or plays. We happen to know, from the diary of Simon Forman, that a play acted by that company in 1611 was called, or at least was about, ‘Richard II’. From Forman’s description the play was plainly not Shakespeare’s – or the play performed on 7 February 1601. Do the descriptions of the February ...

Picassomania

Mary Ann Caws: Roland Penrose’s notebooks, 19 October 2006

Visiting Picasso: The Notebooks and Letters of Roland Penrose 
by Elizabeth Cowling.
Thames and Hudson, 408 pp., £25, May 2006, 0 500 51293 0
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... was eager for no one to be sure what he would do next. Told that Joanna Drew, a curator at the Hayward Gallery, had found cocoons huddled in the slits of his Man with a Sheep, Picasso said that at Vauvenargues one day he had felt a wasps’ nest between the sheep’s legs; nothing more natural: animals lurking in the animal. Picasso always wanted the ...

What’s It All About?

Tom Lubbock, 6 April 1995

Shark-Infested Waters: The Saatchi Collection of British Art in the Nineties 
by Sarah Kent.
Zwemmer, 270 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 302 00648 6
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The Reviews that Caused the Rumpus, and Other Pieces 
by Brian Sewell.
Bloomsbury, 365 pp., £12.99, November 1994, 0 7475 1872 6
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... the art they’re against is now in, and the art they’re for is out. If it wasn’t for what the Hayward and the Serpentine show, what the Tate and the Arts Council collect and the British Council sends to Biennales, what’s shortlisted for the Turner Prize, no ‘conspiracy’ in little magazines and private galleries would matter. The Saatchi ...

Top Brands Today

Nicholas Penny: The Art World, 14 December 2017

The Auctioneer: A Memoir of Great Art, Legendary Collectors and Record-Breaking Auctions 
by Simon de Pury and William Stadiem.
Allen and Unwin, 312 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 1 76011 350 6
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Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers 
by Philip Hook.
Profile, 282 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78125 570 4
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Donald Judd: Writings 
edited by Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray.
David Zwirner, 1054 pp., £28, November 2016, 978 1 941701 35 5
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... Simon​ de Pury, assisted by ‘a regular contributor to Vanity Fair’, has written a book about his ascent to the top of the art world: the auctions he conducted, the deals he struck, the parties he attended. It resembles a board game, with smaller parts assigned to the ‘hedge fund overlord’, the ‘polo-playing playboy millionaire’, the ‘James Bond of the Russian oligarchy’, the ‘French luxury goods tycoon’ (also appearing as the ‘French luxury titan’), the ‘serial dater of supermodels’, and the ‘leveraged-buyout king ...

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