Antique Tears: Consumptive Chic

Kate Retford, 3 December 2020

Thin, skimpy dresses left women cold and more susceptible to illness (flu was ‘muslin disease’), perhaps even to consumption, which was believed to bring women to the peak of beauty before...

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At the Movies: ‘Time’

Michael Wood, 19 November 2020

It’s​ an old narrative device and a very effective one: to provide the day or month without mentioning the year. Garrett Bradley’s new feature-length documentary, Time (on Amazon...

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Figureheads

Clare Bucknell, 19 November 2020

In​ 1660, a Commonwealth warship called HMS Naseby sailed to the Dutch Republic to bring the new king-in-waiting home to England. During its journey the ship was renamed the Royal Charles in...

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At the Pace Gallery: Trevor Paglen

Daniel Soar, 19 November 2020

Trevor Paglen’s works are information sublimated: the learning they represent could be conveyed in words – thousands of them – but as images they’re wired direct to the brain.

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Diary: Alone in Venice

Colm Tóibín, 19 November 2020

Suddenly,​ there was nothing to complain about. No cruise ships went up the Giudecca Canal. There were no tourists clogging up the narrow streets. Piazza San Marco was often completely deserted....

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Summarising Oneself: Degas’s Vanity

Julian Barnes, 19 November 2020

Degas’s notion of success was particular to him. He wanted only artistic success, of which he was the sole judge. But he was absolutely, ruthlessly uninterested in fame, in social conquest, in honours,...

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Diary: The only girl in the moshpit

Joanna Biggs, 5 November 2020

I am the feminist killjoy of Caitlin Moran’s nightmares, scratching my biroed objections all over the book, making a reading list for her in my head. She wrote her first book to eliminate people...

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Book Reviewing: On the ‘TLS’

Stefan Collini, 5 November 2020

In July​ 1921, Alfred Harmsworth – by then ennobled as Viscount Northcliffe, proprietor of the Daily Mail, the Times, and numerous other publications – wrote in irritable mood to the...

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Short Cuts: Fox News

Deborah Friedell, 5 November 2020

Trump is known to watch so much Fox News (up to seven hours a day, coded on his schedule as ‘executive time’) that some advertisers – farmers seeking subsidies, airlines opposed to foreign...

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Rosa Bonheur exemplifies the problem of the ‘exceptional’ woman painter, whose extraordinary success was interpreted as an anomaly. She styled herself as a Romantic genius like George Sand,...

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At the HKW: Aby Warburg

Chloe Aridjis, 5 November 2020

From a distance some panels resemble a deconstructed frieze, or funerary stele. As you draw closer, you become aware of the many strange marriages and collisions. Aby Warburg believed that modernity was...

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He dis­liked autograph-hounds and being ident­ified wherever he went – but he would have been lost without these things. When a passer­by told him he didn’t look like Cary Grant,...

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At the Movies: ‘Enola Holmes’

Michael Wood, 22 October 2020

It’s​ not the main function of great fictional characters to provide platforms for the careers of others, but they do the job very well. In a new film, Sherlock Holmes walks into...

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Goldfish are my homies

John Lahr, 22 October 2020

Fish sleep with their eyes open: not our kind of sleep, more like our kind of daydream. Awake but not awake, just like me; living to eat and conserve energy, just like me; devoid of answers, just like...

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Dada invited outrage – its primary aim was to shock people out of aesthetic complacency – and to this day many art lovers dismiss Duchamp and company as so much blague. But Walter Serner ups...

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At the Shrink

Janique Vigier, 22 October 2020

Some days appear as condensed photo-essays (taxi cabs, sunsets, newsstands, parking lots, luminous white clouds), visual counterparts to her riffs on colour and sensation. In Bernadette Mayer’s...

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I’m being a singer: Dandy Highwaymen

Andrew O’Hagan, 8 October 2020

What was this nonsense all about? What about Marc Almond’s ‘Sex Dwarf’? What happened to the youth-club boys in their mothers’ ruffled blouses tottering around in heels and shouting...

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The idea of dismantling such an intricate historical building, transporting it across the ocean and recreating it in an institution may seem anachronistic, even reckless. But the architectural ethos behind...

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