Arts & Culture

Camille Redon Reading by Odilon Redon

Art and Memory

Julian Barnes

9 May 2024

We think we remember works of art rather well; and probably assume that the greater the work of art, and the more powerfully it strikes us, the more accurate our mental image of it must be. But memory is such a shifty and shifting process, constantly duping us.

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‘Lacan: L’Exposition’

Francis Gooding

9 May 2024

Culebras,​ or ‘snakes’, come in a twist of three, tightly plaited and bound by ribbon. Their history is obscure: perhaps the style arose because parsimonious cigar-factory bosses wanted to restrict . . .

Writing with Godard

Michael Wood

9 May 2024

‘When I wrote film criticism,’ Jean-Luc Godard said in 1978, ‘I never saw the difference between talking about a film and making one.’ There was a serious difference, as he well knew, since at . . .

Where does culture come from?

Terry Eagleton

25 April 2024

In​ Jude the Obscure, Jude Fawley finds himself living in Beersheba, the area of Oxford we know as Jericho, home at the time to a community of craftsmen and artisans who maintained the fabric of the . . .

On Shuvinai Ashoona

Emily LaBarge

25 April 2024

Ablue creature​ – part platypus, part squid, part amorphous squiggle – scuttles behind a pale three-headed figure with one webbed foot. A naked human form being consumed by (or is it wearing? becoming . . .

Picasso and Tragedy

T.J. Clark, 17 August 2017

Perhaps, then – though the thought is a grim one – we turn to Guernica with a kind of nostalgia. Suffering and horror were once this large. They were dreadful, but they had a tragic dimension.

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Ian Penman, 2 July 2015

Sinatra’s sexual charge was like his song: underplayed, tinged with unflappable cool picked up second-hand in the shady cloisters of jazz.

Read more about Swoonatra

Is Wagner bad for us?

Nicholas Spice, 11 April 2013

Wagner’s work is everywhere preoccupied with boundaries set and overstepped, limits reached and exceeded.

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At the End of My Pencil

Bridget Riley, 8 October 2009

As I drew, things began to change. Quite suddenly something was happening down there on the paper that I had not anticipated. I continued, I went on drawing; I pushed ahead, both intuitively and consciously. The squares began to lose their original form.

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It’s a playground: Kiarostami et Compagnie

Gilberto Perez, 27 June 2002

A photograph of Abbas Kiarostami in Hamid Dabashi’s book shows him crouching over a frying pan that has two eggs in it. Beside him, and like him focused on the eggs, is the original movie camera invented by Lumière.

Read more about It’s a playground: Kiarostami et Compagnie

That Wooden Leg: Conversations with Don Luis

Michael Wood, 7 September 2000

‘Studio Vingt-Huit – high up a winding street of Montmartre, in the full blasphemy of a freezing Sunday; taxis arriving, friends greeting each other, an excitable afternoon...

Read more about That Wooden Leg: Conversations with Don Luis

Noovs’ hoovs in the trough

Angela Carter, 24 January 1985

The true foodie knows there is something not quite ... about a coconut kirsch roulade as a concept. It is just a bit ... just a bit Streatham. Its vowels are subtly wrong. It is probably related to a Black Forest gâteau.

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The Raphael Question

Lawrence Gowing, 15 March 1984

When I used to give a survey course for first-year students, I dreaded December. That was when I reached the High Renaissance and my audience fell away. It was not only the alternative seasonable...

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Dressing and Undressing

Anita Brookner, 15 April 1982

Fashion,​ according to Baudelaire, is a moral affair. It is, more specifically, the obligation laid upon a woman to transform herself, outwardly and visibly, into a work of art, or, at the very...

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No Taste: Above the Altar

Charles Hope, 25 April 2024

The idea of a church as a place for the dead as much as for the living has now largely disappeared, but it was central to religious thought and practice in the Renaissance and later. The living prayed...

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At the Movies: ‘The Delinquents’

Michael Wood, 25 April 2024

Rodrigo Moreno’s​ The Delinquents has been described as a heist movie and a comedy. These labels are appropriate only if every bank robbery is a heist, and if we call films comedies when we can’t...

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Remembering the Future

Hazel V. Carby, 4 April 2024

I am reminded of the first maps I saw as a child, hanging on the walls of British classrooms. Of course, the colour that occurred most often on those maps was red, not white, a difference in surface but...

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‘Replay’ is Kruger’s term for her reworkings of the early iconic screen prints, transferred from their original formats to free-standing LED video screens. This is the Kruger blueprint: levity shot...

Read more about At the Serpentine: On Barbara Kruger

At the Movies: ‘American Fiction’

Michael Wood, 21 March 2024

The film keeps threatening to come apart, almost unable to juggle its sorrowful realism with its wild farce. It doesn’t come apart, though, and the survived threat is part of the unshakeable discomfort...

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Too Big to Shut Down: Rave On

Chal Ravens, 7 March 2024

Acid house wasn’t a genre of dance music so much as a new way of experiencing it: audiences dressed down, parties ran all night and – so dancers reported – social divisions disintegrated, helped...

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At the Pompidou: On Posy Simmonds

Susannah Clapp, 7 March 2024

Simmonds’s books and newspaper strips have been a compass for generations of British women, as sure a gauge of who and where they are as Marks and Spencer knickers.

Read more about At the Pompidou: On Posy Simmonds

On the Wall

Nicholas Penny, 7 March 2024

The urge to register one’s presence, even if only with a pseudonym, is a powerful factor in the history of graffiti. It is found when some forbidden or previously inaccessible territory is being explored.

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On the Red Carpet

David Thomson, 7 March 2024

The crack in the promise of the Academy Awards is that American pictures don’t cut it any more. ‘Hollywood’ (if you are prepared to believe that kingdom still exists) doesn’t know how to deliver...

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Ben Walker, 22 February 2024

Despite the mistakes, video assistant refereeing works. A 2020 study showed that overall decision accuracy improved with the use of VAR from an already high 92.1 per cent to 98.3 per cent. So what’s...

Read more about On VAR

Fans and Un-Fans

Ferdinand Mount, 22 February 2024

In its modern incarnations, sport is a spontaneous thing, blowing wherever the fans fancy. Even the impulses that have transformed Britain into a nation of joggers and gym bunnies remain mysterious. They...

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At the Movies: ‘The Zone of Interest’

Michael Wood, 22 February 2024

It’s not that the locals are in denial about what is going on in the camp. Everyone seems to have incorporated the horrors as real but ignorable aspects of regular existence. Höss and Hedwig not only...

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The torture that comes with Ronnie O’Sullivan’s freakish gift is partly down to the fact that he is playing a game where the stakes have become, for most people, so low. But for the fans, the magic...

Read more about Clunk, Clack, Swish: Watching the Snooker

At the Kunsthalle: On Caspar David Friedrich

Michael Hofmann, 8 February 2024

You can’t own what he shows. Clouds are common property. Phenomena such as sunsets and moonrises suspend distinctions anyway. So much in him is planetary as much as local. There are no frontiers, no...

Read more about At the Kunsthalle: On Caspar David Friedrich

In Surrey Quays

Owen Hatherley, 8 February 2024

By the 1950s Scandinavian design principles dominated British architecture schools, and were taken to be the natural model for the new towns, new housing estates and new universities. The frustrated young...

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At the Barnes: On Marie Laurencin

Bridget Alsdorf, 25 January 2024

Marie Laurencin’s independence and her refusal to pander to her patrons only makes her more compelling as a ‘femme peintre’. Like Helena Rubinstein and Coco Chanel, she was ambitious and not always...

Read more about At the Barnes: On Marie Laurencin

At the Movies: ‘Poor Things’

Michael Wood, 25 January 2024

Is Bella Baxter an unruly kind of feminist? Yes, in a way, but before we make this claim we need to understand what else she is – principally an uninformed child in an adult body. 

Read more about At the Movies: ‘Poor Things’

As always in Guston, there is a sense of what cannot be shown, or has been erased, and can only be gestured towards: ropes instead of lynchings, clubs and sticks instead of beatings. But the props look...

Read more about I smell mink coats: Philip Guston goes rogue

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