Martin Gayford

‘Stonehenge’, c.1827, by J.M.W. Turner

There’s not a trace of shaving foam in sight in the early Turners on show at Salisbury Museum

18 July 2015 9:00 am

It has often been related how, towards the end of his long life, a critical barb got under J.M.W. Turner’s…

Detail of a maiolica vase, c.1565–1571, a star piece for both Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill and later for Baron Ferdinand at Waddesdon Manor

Forget Vienna - Britain now has its own chamber of curiosities at the British Museum

11 July 2015 9:00 am

Art is not jewellery. Its value does not reside in the price of the materials from which it is made.…

‘Untitled (Tilly Losch)’, c.1935–38, by Joseph Cornell

Poetic or pretentious? Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust at the Royal Academy reviewed

4 July 2015 9:00 am

Someone once asked Joseph Cornell who was his favourite abstract artist of his time. It was a perfectly reasonable question…

‘Sculpture with Colour (Deep Blue and Red) [6]’, 1943, by Barbara Hepworth

Was Barbara Hepworth a giant of modern sculpture - or a dreary relic of post-war Britain?

27 June 2015 9:00 am

In the last two decades of her life, Barbara Hepworth was a big figure in the world of art. A…

The artist who turned the Hayward Gallery into Disney World

20 June 2015 9:00 am

Gianlorenzo Bernini stressed the difficulty of making a sculpture of a person out of a white material such as marble.…

James Turrell interview: ‘I sell blue sky and coloured air’

13 June 2015 9:00 am

James Turrell gave me extremely precise instructions. After dinner, I was to walk out through the grounds at Houghton Hall…

Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition reviewed: a jumble sale with pizzazz

6 June 2015 9:00 am

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition has very little in common with the Venice Biennale. However they do share one characteristic.…

Grayson Perry - heir to Lewis Caroll and William Blake

30 May 2015 9:00 am

At the Turner Prize dinner of 2003, as the winner, Grayson Perry, took a photo call with his family wearing…

Welcome to Japan’s best kept cultural secret: an art island with an underground museum

23 May 2015 9:00 am

In his introductory remarks to the Afro–Eurasian Eclipse, one of his later suites for jazz orchestra, Duke Ellington remarked —…

One of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s Scots pines in the French Pavilion

Martin Gayford finds a few nice paintings amid the dead trees, old clothes and agitprop of the Venice Biennale

16 May 2015 9:00 am

At the start of Canto XXI of the ‘Inferno’, Dante and Virgil look down on the pit of Malebolge, the…

‘Claros’ (woodcut), 2015, by Gillian Ayres

Modernism lite? Modigliani at the Estorick Collection reviewed

9 May 2015 9:00 am

The British painter Nina Hamnett recalled that Modigliani had a very large, very untidy studio. Dangling from the end of…

‘Wrestlers’, 1914, by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska at Kettle's Yard reviewed: he's got rhythm

2 May 2015 9:00 am

One evening before the first world war, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, fired by drink, tried out such then-fashionable dances as the cakewalk…

‘Observer’s Post’, 1939, by Eric Ravilious

Irresistible: Ravilious at the Dulwich Picture Gallery reviewed

11 April 2015 9:00 am

The most unusual picture in the exhibition of work by Eric Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery, in terms of subject-matter…

Detail from the great and strange Altar of the Holy Blood by Tilman Riemenschneider at the Jakobskirche, Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Is this the greatest sculpted version of the Easter story? It's certainly the strangest

4 April 2015 9:00 am

In April 1501, about the time Michelangelo was returning from Rome to Florence to compete for the commission to carve…

Reimaging the lost masterpieces of antiquity

28 March 2015 9:00 am

For centuries there has been a note of yearning in our feelings about ancient Greek and Roman art. We can’t…

Richard Diebenkorn at the Royal Academy reviewed: among the best visual evocations of LA there are

21 March 2015 9:00 am

It is true that, like wine, certain artists don’t travel. Richard Diebenkorn, subject of the spring exhibition in the Royal…

Left: ‘Dream of a good witch’, c.1819–23, by Goya Right: ‘Bajan niñendo (They descend quarrelling)’, c.1819–23, by Goya

Flying witches, mad old men, cannibals: what was going on in Goya’s head?

14 March 2015 9:00 am

It is not impossible to create good art that makes a political point, just highly unusual. Goya’s ‘Third of May’…

Inventing Impressionism at the National Gallery reviewed: a mixed bag of sometimes magnificent paintings

7 March 2015 9:00 am

When it was suggested that a huge exhibition of Impressionist paintings should be held in London, Claude Monet had his…

‘The Great Elm at Lacock’, 1843–45, by William Henry Fox Talbot

Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain reviewed: entertainingly barmy

28 February 2015 9:00 am

In the centre of the new exhibition Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain there is a huge white elephant. The beast…

‘Group with Parasols’, c.1904, by John Singer Sargent

Sargent, National Portrait Gallery, review: he was so good he should have been better

21 February 2015 9:00 am

The artist Malcolm Morley once fantasised about a magazine that would be devoted to the practice of painting just as…

Marlene Dumas at Tate Modern reviewed: 'remarkable'

7 February 2015 9:00 am

‘Whoever wishes to devote himself to painting,’ Henri Matisse once advised, ‘should begin by cutting out his own tongue.’ Marlene…

Weight watching: ‘Three Bathers’, c.1875, by Paul Cézanne

Rubens and His Legacy at the Royal Academy reviewed: his imitators fall short of their master miserably

31 January 2015 9:00 am

The main spring offering at the Royal Academy, Rubens and His Legacy: Van Dyck to Cézanne, teaches two useful lessons.…

‘Pan and Syrinx’, 1617, by Peter Paul Rubens

How will the British public take to Rubens’s fatties?

24 January 2015 9:00 am

This week a monumental exhibition, Rubens and His Legacy, is opening at the Royal Academy. It makes the case —…

Geometry in the 20th and 21st centuries was adventurous - and apocalyptic

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Almost a decade ago, David Cameron informed Tony Blair, unkindly but accurately, ‘You were the future once.’ A visitor to…

‘Woman at Her Toilette’, 1875/80, by Berthe Morisot

2015 in exhibitions - painting still rules

3 January 2015 9:00 am

The New Year is a time for reflections as well as resolutions. So here is one of mine. In the…