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I have to say it: there is something undeniably and deeply sinister about much of folk art. Sinister and yet magnetically compelling. Brilliant crudity is the almost constant hallmark, a charming and disarming naivety – the work of seemingly grown-up...
Student protests, anti-capitalist demonstrations and a yearning to comprehend, if not reinvent, post-war society were common preoccupations throughout 1960s Europe. Nowhere was this more evident than in West Germany, where a young generation struggled...
ART AND LIFE: 1920-1931
A lively group of young artists – Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis and William Staite Murray, who worked and exhibited together during the 1920s, shared the aim of producing forms of art that were innovative, yet...
Malevich: Revolutionary Of Russian Art
Kazimir Severinovich Malevich is nothing short of an explosive genius. No matter what one’s personal tastes in art it is impossible not to appreciate his audacious vivacity and soaring imagination. Born in Kiev in 1879, the eldest of 14 siblings, his...
Art & Life: The Paintings of Beryl Bainbridge
In the window of Beryl Bainbridge’s house there sat a life-sized male mannequin she baptised Neville Chamberlain. He was there to see off burglars. He was also there because she just liked him. Like the stuffed fox on the sofa or the life-sized dead...
Cézanne And The Modern
You may be forgiven if the connection between one of our most respected art museums and a New York businessman with an interest in cold-storage facilities is one that does not readily spring to mind. Indeed, the link might never have developed had it...
Television reviews: 23 March
I watch a lot of television. It's something of an occupational hazard. So when I saw that the BBC had scheduled an ensemble drama about a group of supermarket workers whose lives are transformed by a lottery win, I had a fair idea of what it might be...
In the 1960s, David Hockney gave up on our grey skies and headed for California. The result gave us his Splash series of paintings, and in particular, A Bigger Splash – the iconic canvas that lends its name to this exhibition. The flat, acrylic surface...
Barbara Hepworth and the Development of British Modernism
Art fairs can be a trial even for the most committed groupie. The works jostle for position in overheated exhibition halls and the close proximity of the stands means that only the real gems (or the crowd-pulling headliners) shine out. In a bid to...
Giorgio de Chirico: Myth and Mystery
Born in Greece at the close of the 19th century, the Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico lived to be 90 years old and is credited with influencing the surrealists – Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst both adopted his unique way of seeing. This exhibition, in...
Van Gogh’s Sunflowers
When McDonald’s opened its first shop in Russia in 1990, people queued for four days for their taste of beefy pleasure. It’s worth keeping this in mind if you are planning to pop along to Room 46 at the National Gallery to see the two Van Gogh...
Hockney, Printmaker
David Hockney once said that you have to plan to be spontaneous and anyone who doubts the rigorous application in his seemingly fluid brushstrokes is simply not looking at the right picture. Which is not that the works are contrived; just that they are...
Richard Hamilton
The year before he died, an 88-year-old Richard Hamilton sat down at his computer and composed an image of Tony Blair as a middle-aged cowboy. The life-sized computer generated ‘painting’ entitled Shock And Awe (2010) is one of the crowd-pleasers of...
Long overshadowed by his Venetian contemporaries, Titian, Tintoretto and latterly Caravaggio, Paolo Veronese comes to the fore in this powerful new exhibition, the first ever in London and sponsored by Credit Suisse. Five rooms on the main floor (to...
The First Georgians
The Georgian period: a phrase that conjures up images of landscape-hugging rectories or town houses lit by elegant sashes. In short, the Hollywood version of an English idyll. But the First Georgians, George I and George II, did little to alter the...
An intensely detailed show, this magnificent focus on chiaroscuro (which literally means light-dark), reminds the viewer of the strident efficacy of this medium. The images in this exhibition were produced during the 16th century and are a celebration...
In 1914, bus B43 left the depot in Willesden and headed for the Western Front. It (and its driver) didn’t return for four years, during which time they served in Ypres, Amiens and the Somme. On its return to normal service, a grateful nation christened...
Kenneth Clark: Looking for Civilisation
When Kenneth Clark’s great grandfather invented the cotton spool, he didn’t just change British manufacturing, he changed the culture. His fortune – a substantial one – enabled his aesthete grandson to amass one of the most important private...
Ursula von Rydingsvard
Peter Murray, the founder and executive director of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, has long been an admirer of the work of the European-born, New York-based sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard, and had already secured two of her impressive sculptures as...
The Lod Mosaic
The Lod Mosaic In 1996, a group of manual workers were digging up a road. So far, so normal, even if the road was in the Israeli city of Lod. As the Kango drills battered the scorched concrete they hit resistance: 1,700 years of resistance, in fact....

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