At​ a recent event at the National Gallery in Washington, the painter Oliver Lee Jackson recalled hearing Charlie Parker and Max Roach play at nightclubs in the 1950s. Jackson, who was born in...

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Alice​ Paalen Rahon was a shape-shifter par excellence, who casually changed her date and place of birth (1904 in Besançon, not 1916 in Brittany), her name and nationality, sexual...

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In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard, 20 February 2020

The​ West Bund quarter of Shanghai runs along a bend of the Huangpu river, about eight kilometres south of the city’s downtown. There were once docks here, with a large facility for mixing...

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John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson, 20 February 2020

We’re not​ dealing with an ordinary man, or a conformist. There he is in the abandoned shell of Fort Point in San Francisco, this fierce and frightened man, looking like Lee Marvin. The...

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‘Cosmo’ for Capitalists

Stefan Collini, 6 February 2020

It may be satisfying, though it isn’t terribly surprising, to find that the Economist has mostly come down on the side of capital in the major political conflicts of the past. More interesting would...

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‘Parasite’

Michael Wood, 6 February 2020

The theme of social ascent, or social difference as a landscape, could hardly be more obvious, but we are beginning to get the movie’s idea: not to avoid stereotypes but to keep crashing into them.

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Kara Walker’s ‘Fons Americanus’

Cora Gilroy-Ware, 6 February 2020

Kara​ Walker’s Fons Americanus, currently on display in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall (until 5 April), is a towering monument – more than forty feet tall – based loosely on...

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The​ problem presented by Troy: Myth and Reality at the British Museum is not so much the myth as the reality (until 8 March). Troy was a tiny city in what is now the northwestern corner of...

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Boys in Motion

Nicholas Penny, 23 January 2020

It’s​ not hard to think of painters who took up sculpture: Raphael (probably), Guido Reni (at least once), Frederic Leighton, Degas, Renoir (unfortunately), Picasso. But sculptors have...

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At the British Museum: Käthe Kollwitz

Anne Wagner, 2 January 2020

The exhibition​ of etchings, lithographs and woodcuts by Käthe Kollwitz at the British Museum (until 12 January) confronts us with her characteristic, and still discomfiting, lack of...

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Pevsner's Hertfordshire

Gillian Darley, 2 January 2020

The volumes​ of the Buildings of England series initiated by Nikolaus Pevsner unsurprisingly confine themselves to buildings and their settings, but it’s tempting to be distracted by what...

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At the Ashmolean: Pompeii

Christopher Siwicki, 2 January 2020

The​ excellent exhibition Last Supper at Pompeii at the Ashmolean (until 12 January) is about much more than what Pompeians had for dinner. A fresco that once decorated the lararium (the shrine...

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Short Cuts: ‘Little Women’ Redux

Joanna Biggs, 2 January 2020

I envy girls their literature. There’s no literature about getting old, staying in (or leaving) a marriage, raising (or not raising) children comparable with that about growing up.

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At the Movies: 'Marriage Story'

Michael Wood, 2 January 2020

We​ have seen so many other worlds in movies recently that shabby domestic realism, showing the details of a marriage and its break-up, real streets and familiar furniture, can come as something...

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Did Leonardo paint it?

Charles Hope, 2 January 2020

There is no clear indication from the 16th century of the existence of a picture of the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo himself, and it is rather surprising that he should have made one given that his...

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Hilliard’s Trajectory

Charles Nicholl, 9 December 2019

The house​ was ‘at the sign of the Maidenhead’ in an alley off Cheapside called Gutter Lane. The address sounds disreputable but those who visited were not in search of bawdy...

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At the Jeu de Paume: Peter Hujar

Brian Dillon, 9 December 2019

The​ American photographer Peter Hujar once told a friend who was feeling unattractive: ‘As you’re walking along, say to yourself: I’m me.’ Hujar’s subjects seem to...

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Corridors

David Trotter, 9 December 2019

In​ the original film noir, John Huston’s Maltese Falcon (1941), private investigator Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) visits criminal mastermind Kasper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet) in his San...

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