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Art

Rare Roman Souvenir Acquired By The British Museum

The great David Ekserdjian deserves a museum of his own

8 August 2014 14:28

Ever since Mr Blair’s New Dawn of 1997, the dominant idea in public policy towards public collections has been ‘access’. The doctrine is more than half-right: art, antiquities etc paid… Continue reading

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Chapman Brothers show at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Picture: Hugo Glendinning

I take my kids to galleries to demonstrate my cultural superiority over the masses

5 August 2014 17:40

Jake Chapman, one half of the YBA duo the Chapman Brothers, has been rude about taking children to art galleries. He told the Independent that ‘it’s as moronic as a… Continue reading

3 Comments
Gilbert and George have not engaged in equal-opportunity blasphemy.  Not by a long shot. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Gilbert and George have lost their bottom over the burka

17 July 2014 12:52

Let’s brood, shall we, on the following report in the Evening Standard about an exciting new departure by the winsome duo, Gilbert and George, on the back of their new… Continue reading

15 Comments
3D-printed houses in China

Why Eric Gill would have enjoyed the 3D-printed dildo as much in principle as in practice

8 July 2014 11:05

‘At the Sign of the Cross in St James’s Street, When next you go thither to make yourselves sweet By buying of powder, gloves, essence, or so, You may chance… Continue reading

5 Comments
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed'. Picture: Getty Images

Why I love Tracey Emin’s bed

5 July 2014 13:10

My Bed, one of the works that failed to win Tracey Emin the Turner Prize (she lost to Steve McQueen in 1999), made £2.2m at Christie’s this week, going to… Continue reading

21 Comments
National_Gallery_London_2013_March

The next head of the National Gallery will be…

25 June 2014 16:00

Nick Penny announced that he is stepping down as head of the National Gallery. Next door, at the National Portrait Gallery, Sandy Nairne also announced that he is leaving. Could he be… Continue reading

1 Comment
Photograph © 2014 by Marco Anelli

Marina Abramović is no fraud – or no more so than any religious leader

17 June 2014 14:46

If art is the new religion, we were always going to end up here. With high priests, acolytes and ‘energy’. That’s the set up at the Serpentine Gallery at the… Continue reading

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Cloister Pic. 2 - With Kenneth Clark

Was Kenneth Clark wrong not to ‘understand’ the value of abstract art?

6 June 2014 13:58

Kenneth Clark’s view of culture may by now be ‘outmoded’, but I was surprised to read that it was also ‘narrow’. An exhibition at Tate Britain about Clark’s influence, Looking for… Continue reading

17 Comments
'My Bed', Tracey Emin's most notorious work of art, is for sale. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Tracey Emin’s knickers – a short history of contemporary British art

29 May 2014 16:04

Tracey Emin’s bed is to be sold at auction this summer with a guide price of £800,000 to £1.2 million, although the man who sold it to Charles Saatchi has… Continue reading

19 Comments
Gears of War 3

What makes art art? And why gaming may not make the grade

19 May 2014 18:37

Every now and then, you’ll come across an article which puts a case for something or other being taken seriously as an ‘art form’.  Designing computer games, cake-making, upholstery, you… Continue reading

40 Comments
Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis next to Henry Moore's 'Draped Seated Figure' at Tate Britain. Photo: Paul Grover

The problems at Tate Britain go beyond the director

3 May 2014 11:49

Last week, Tate Britain was one of six museums across the UK to be nominated for the Art Fund’s Museum of the Year award, an annual prize in which the… Continue reading

5 Comments
Photo: Landesmuseum Zürich

When Aachen was the centre of Europe – and Charlemagne ruled the known world

30 April 2014 10:50

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978, Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) will this summer become the focus of European attention. From June to September, the Aachen Palatinate, Europe’s best surviving Carolingian palace… Continue reading

2 Comments
Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra. Photo: PA

Morally, can we justify giving Luis Suárez a Player of the Year award?

26 April 2014 9:35

One of football’s many beauties is in encouraging us to forsake unfortunate strictures of accepted behaviour; as long as it’s at the game, we can sing, swear, cuddle strangers, and… Continue reading

35 Comments
SajidJavidF

Sajid Javid’s first task is to recognise that the price of a cultural asset lies in its value as art

12 April 2014 10:30

The suggestion, made by the poet Michael Rosen and others, that Sajid Javid is not sufficiently cultured to be Culture Secretary is as ludicrous as it is pompous. The secretary… Continue reading

59 Comments
Finally, Gerald Scarfe has made it: he has had a bar named after him. (JENS SCHLUETER/AFP/Getty Images)

A tipple and a scribble with Gerald Scarfe

8 April 2014 12:46

Mr Steerpike longs for the day that he has a bar named after him, so he went to doff his cap to Gerald Scarfe at Scarfe’s Bar last night. Cartoonist… Continue reading

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Mr S could have been an Ukrainian egg decorator, but he didn't have the minimum PTTLS. (DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/GettyImages)

Eggcellent openings in Westminster

2 April 2014 11:45

Westminster City Council is advertising the role (offered by the Westminster Adult Education Service) of tutor in ‘Ukrainian egg decoration’ – at £25 an hour. Anyone who thinks that the job… Continue reading

6 Comments
Alain de Botton. Photo: Francesco Guidicini

Alain de Botton: We need art to help us to live and to die

24 March 2014 9:55

The world’s big national museums are deeply glamorous places. We keep quiet in their hallowed halls, we wander the galleries in reverence, we look at a caption here and there,… Continue reading

24 Comments
Alain de Botton. Photo: Vincent Mentzel

Why Alain de Botton is a moron

19 March 2014 13:08

It’s become too easy of late to be rude about Alain de Botton. His banal aphoristic “insights” and homilies on Twitter, his efforts to turn the media away from “meanness”… Continue reading

193 Comments
Artist Lydia Corbett who modelled for Pablo Picasso in the early sixties

The Picasso muse who became an artist

14 March 2014 13:00

With her long blonde hair tied in a ponytail, Sylvette David is familiar from many of Picasso’s paintings. She met the artist in the South of France as a teenager… Continue reading

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Montpellier’s Antigone District by Ricardo Bofill. Photo: Patrick EOCHE/ Getty Images

France’s cultural excess is immoral (but I still love it)

21 February 2014 12:11

For a committed, if unsuccessful, capitalist, I enjoy French culture an embarrassing amount – every last state-funded drop of it. Give me five-act operas with cast lists the size of… Continue reading

12 Comments
Ai Weiwei's 'Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn' (1995). Photo: AP Photo/Keystone/Steffen Schmidt

Anything you can smash, I can smash better

20 February 2014 7:00

Art is under attack. Another week, another expensive poke in the eye. Last Sunday, Miami artist Maximo Caminero destroyed a $1 million vase by Ai Weiwei in protest at the… Continue reading

2 Comments
Turner Prize Exhibition Leaves England For The First Time

The Turner Prize lives the myth of constant renewal

3 December 2013 13:29

Let’s imagine for a minute that the Turner Prize is cancelled next year. Would anyone care? A few members of the artistic elite and a handful of artists perhaps, but… Continue reading

2 Comments
Hull docks circa 1829. It doesn't look like that now.

What is the point of having a ‘city of culture’?

20 November 2013 17:10

‘Hull has been named the 2017 city of culture. Better luck next year, Luton.’ So wrote the Telegraph’s Tim Stanley on Twitter. Nadine Dorries said: ‘Hull? City of culture? As… Continue reading

87 Comments
competition

Enter The Spectator’s Cartoon Competition and make £££s

25 October 2013 12:40

What does it take to be a cartoonist? Do you even care? You should, because you are about to enter the Spectator’s inaugural Cartoon Competition. Yes, you are. Don’t throw… Continue reading

4 Comments
play

Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

20 September 2013 17:16

Yorkshire, says William Cook, is the sculpture capital of Britain. It was the birthplace of ‘Britain’s greatest sculptors, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore’ – but is this just coincidence, or… Continue reading

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