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...

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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. 

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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

Rock crystal’s status stemmed from its rarity and its extraordinary beauty, made even more glorious through carving and polishing. But above all it was the stone’s unparalleled clarity that provoked...

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Netflix has reversed the classical publishing strategy of throwing content at the wall of public indifference in the hope something will stick. It sees a scattered public whose attention can be pinned...

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I don’t know what it looks like: Brutalist Paris

Madeleine Schwartz, 14 December 2023

Although they were designed to elevate the periphery by decentring the city, the villes nouvelles achieved the opposite effect: alienating a rapidly impoverished ring from the core. The suburban monorail...

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At the Movies: ‘Napoleon’

Michael Wood, 14 December 2023

In spite of various attempts to make Napoleon work as a biopic, the film doesn’t have a bio. It has a general of genius, something like a sports figure who is alive only in games or tournaments. 

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On Yevonde

Susannah Clapp, 14 December 2023

When​ Yevonde made the new case for colour in photography, she also made the case for women behind the camera, controlling the views. Who better to advance the art and push colour into a black and white...

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At Piano Nobile: On R.B. Kitaj

John-Paul Stonard, 14 December 2023

R.B. Kitaj’s bookishness wasn’t only a matter of literary references, which recur in his work; he also drew on the photographic reproductions that transformed art books during his lifetime, particularly...

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Diary: Aboriginal Voices

Rosemary Hill, 14 December 2023

The defeat of The Voice leaves Aboriginal culture stuck in the same queasy relationship to the white nation and its essentially European notion of history that it has been in since the early 20th century,...

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One​ of the abiding mysteries in presenting music from the past is what the singers sounded like. There is no evidence for it, apart from written descriptions, all of which fall far short of telling...

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Monet was always more than just an eye. He was a painter of heart and brain, feeling and memory. Late in life, when working on his Water Lilies, he told his friend Gustave Geffroy: ‘They’re beyond...

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Go for it, losers: Werner Herzog’s Visions

David Trotter, 30 November 2023

Documentary has customarily been regarded as a genre duty-bound to deal in facts. But the only duty Herzog has ever felt as a filmmaker is, as he puts it, to ‘follow a grand vision’.

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At the National Gallery: On Frans Hals

Julian Bell, 30 November 2023

So often Hals’s portrait subjects seem all too up for this charade, insufferably brash and loud. But it’s like any party: individuals are various, you hunt for those you get on with.

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It’s too late in the day, and too late in the genre, for a gangster movie to be anything other than ironic in relation to morality. But then Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon is not only a gangster...

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Neither modern nor ‘postmodern’ quite describes Madelon Vriesendorp’s odd, outlier objects. No manifesto here, they quietly do their own thing, and are all the better for that. 

Read more about At Cosmic House: On Madelon Vriesendorp

Among the Rouge-Pots: ‘Yellow Book’ Lives

Freya Johnston, 16 November 2023

At a time when there was no female equivalent of the gentleman’s club, the Yellow Book offered a congenial literary space in which men and women could joke, flirt and briefly imagine themselves free...

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