Here is a selection of pieces I've written in recent years for newspapers and magazines...
Olympians and Paralympians may go for gold, but sculptors prefer bronze. Hard, beautiful and possible to cast in the finest detail, this greyish copper alloy has been one of the most popular sculptural materials for centuries, as the Royal Academy’s … Continue reading
As you might expect, there’s not a lot to look at in the new exhibition, “Invisible: Art of the Unseen 1957-2012,” at the Hayward Gallery in London. It abounds in empty galleries, blank canvases and unoccupied sculptural plinths. A sensual … Continue reading
Martin Gayford talks to David Hockney about his new exhibition at the Royal Academy David Hockney, seen here with the author, is still frequently associated with Los Angeles, where he lived during the 1980s and most of the 1990s. However, … Continue reading
Painting, according to some, has long been as defunct and deceased as Monty Python’s parrot. That doesn’t stop this allegedly ex-art form carrying on regardless. The big new exhibition “Gerhard Richter: Panorama” at Tate Modern in London presents a life time’s tally … Continue reading
Almost 40 years ago, David Hockney made a marvellous etching of himself and Pablo Picasso. The two of them are sitting at a table in front of a window, the aged Spanish artist dressed in a stripy sailor’s shirt and … Continue reading
There’s a surprising vogue in London for exhibitions designed to make Britons look bad. Hard on the heels of “Picasso and Modern British Art” at Tate Britain — documenting how Pablo thought of everything first and did it better — … Continue reading
If nothing else, Damien Hirst is good at titles. His best-known piece, the shark in formaldehyde, is called “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.” As I walked round the retrospective of his career to date at … Continue reading
Is an art gallery the right place to look at old pictures?
“Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces Before 1500,” an exhibition at the National Gallery in London, raises that question. Museums are full of objects that some people would say are in the wrong context. They are no more natural a habitat for many of their exhibits than zoos are for tigers. Continue reading
The art duo Gilbert & George famously describe themselves as “two men, one artist.” What about the equally celebrated aesthetic twosome Jake and Dinos Chapman (who coincidentally once worked as assistants to G&G)?
I ask them that question in an interview. “We’re two boys, lots of artists,” Dinos replies Continue reading
The significance of the exhibition “Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters,” at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, changed abruptly a few days after it opened.
It was conceived as an exercise in compare and contrast between a contemporary artist and an old master (Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665). With the news of Cy Twombly’s death on July 5, the natural response of a viewer shifted. Instead, this became a mini-retrospective of a historic figure in modern art, paired with pictures by a predecessor he revered. Continue reading