Ai Weiwei as Alan Kurdi

Ai Weiwei’s Aylan Kurdi image is crude, thoughtless and egotistical

1 February 2016 16:09

Last September a photograph of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body washed up on a beach near Bodrum made headlines around…


Biblical art, like Christianity, is always renewing itself

22 December 2015 13:22

This sign adorns a local church in Harlesden. I suppose it could be called a Pop Annunciation. Who says religious…

Turner Prize-winners Assemble

Giving Turner Prize to Assemble is like giving Booker to Thomas Piketty

8 December 2015 13:22

Within the first ten minutes of last night’s televised Turner Prize ceremony, someone had twice declared that the award was…

Pablo Picasso 'She-Goat' (1950). Photo: Estate of Pablo Picasso/MoMA/ARS

Picasso was a much better sculptor than a painter

5 November 2015 16:21

If you’re anywhere near New York soon, don’t miss the exhibition of Picasso’s sculptures at the Museum of Modern Art.…

Albert Geere's 'House No 16' (2015). Photo: Project Art Works

No, Radio 3, not everyone can be an artist

1 October 2015 13:23

Radio 3 on Saturday had interesting, if over-long programmes about the effect of music on the mind. In one of…

Frieze London, Regent's Park, October 2013

Frieze Week Diary: Will my marbles be the first to go, or my liver?

22 October 2014 18:47

This diary first appeared on Apollo Magazine’s website. Monday, 13 October There was something weird in the London air, and it wasn’t…

Cerith Wyn Evans's Frieze installation

The best of Frieze Art Fair was free

22 October 2014 17:10

Frieze and its ever-multiplying layers – some fantastically rich, others disappointingly dry – has expanded into a millefeuille so dense that you…


Postcard from Ukraine – meet the artists in exile from the People’s Republic of Donetsk

22 October 2014 10:25

It was Orthodox Trinity Sunday when Luba Michailova received word that separatists would soon occupy the premises of the Donetsk…

An 'English conversation', circa 1800, by Martinet (Image: Hulton Archive/Getty)

Bored bores boring – critics love the Dull Men’s calendar

14 October 2014 10:33

The Telegraph has a nice photo gallery featuring the specimens of the 2015 Dull Men of Great Britain calendar, which our…

Dr. Niraj Desai (L) sews in a kidney to

Have scientists really found proof of life after death?

13 October 2014 13:23

When I finally reached the hospital, my grandma had already lost consciousness. As soon as I saw her, I could…


Liechtenstein is utterly ridiculous – but that’s a big part of its appeal

7 October 2014 11:23

It’s official: Europe’s least visited country is unloved little Liechtenstein. Last year, a mere 60,000 tourists travelled to this absurd…

Brett Bailey's Exhibit B

By all means protest against Exhibit B, but do not withdraw it

23 September 2014 13:20

Having met with an equal mix of critical acclaim and revulsion at the Edinburgh Festival, Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B –…

National Gallery of Scotland (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Would Scottish independence compromise its museums and galleries?

1 September 2014 15:15

This article first appeared on Apollo Magazine’s website. The Scottish independence referendum takes place on 18 September. What would a ‘Yes’…

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’.…

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.…

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…

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…

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…


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,…

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’.…

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…

'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,…

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…

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…

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…