Stephen Bayley

Red panel (1936) by Alexander Caldwell

High wire act

11 November 2017 9:00 am

‘Mid-century modern’ is the useful term popularised by Cara Greenberg’s 1984 book of that title. The United States, the civilisation…

Man machine: Fritz Kahn’s ‘Der Mensch als Industrieplast’, 1926,which shows the body not so much as a sacred temple as as a churning and industrious factory

Vital signs

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Exhibit A. It is 1958 and you are barrelling down a dual carriageway; the 70 mph limit is still eight…

True or false? The Temple of Bel, Palmyra, before and after its destruction at the hands of Islamic State

Why confront the ugly lie of Islamic State with a tacky fake?

28 May 2016 9:00 am

There is fakery in the air. And maybe the French are done with deconstruction. A drone operated by a French…

‘Like Georgia O’Keefe, Mapplethorpe eroticised flowers — possibly finding them more biddable than his frisky partners in gimp masks and chains.’ Left: Self-portrait, 1982. Right: Calla Lily

Robert Mapplethorpe: bad boy with a camera

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Robert Mapplethorpe made his reputation as a photographer in the period between the 1969 gay-bashing raid at the Stonewall Inn…

Through a lens darkly: from the series ‘New Brighton’ , ‘The Last Resort’, 1985

‘I enjoy the banal’: Stephen Bayley meets Martin Parr

27 February 2016 9:00 am

‘I like ordinary people,’ says the extraordinary photographer Martin Parr, pushing a few high-concept smoked sprats around his plate at…

A fusion of ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’ and Dungeons and Dragons, Dashi Namdakov’s ‘She Guardian’ is a grotesque, inappropriate and embarrassing intrusion into London

What's that thing? Britain's worst public art

6 February 2016 9:00 am

There are, as adman David Ogilvy remarked, no monuments to committees. (That’s not quite true; Auguste Rodin’s ‘Burghers of Calais’…

Junk artist Bernard Buffet in his château

Bernard Buffet: painter and poser

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Bernard Buffet was no one’s idea of a great painter. Except, that is, Pierre Bergé and Nick Foulkes. Bergé was…

Britain is absent from the V&A’s new Europe galleries. Are they trying to tell us something?

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Before cheap flights, trains were the economical way to discover Europe and its foibles. Personally, I enjoyed the old fuss…

The rise and fall of Sony

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Here is a Japanese fairy tale for Christmas. An allegory of insight, opportunism and a fall from favour. It is…

Two wheels good: Belgian racing cyclist Eddy Merckx on the track, 1970

The bicycle may have triumphed over the car but it’s far from perfect

28 November 2015 9:00 am

It’s extraordinary that it took civilisation so very long to discover the benefits of putting little wheels on suitcases. We…

Franz Marangolo’s advertisement , 1950 (From The Life Negroni)

A soothing Negroni for la dolce vita

14 November 2015 9:00 am

The first draft of the famous story was called ‘A Martini as Big as the Ritz’. That’s not true, but…

Ferdinand Porsche, the inventor of the Doodlebug and the Panzer tank, was treated with rare deference by Hitler, bordering on idolatry

Ferninand Porsche: from the Beetle to the Panzer tank

7 November 2015 9:00 am

The aggressive character of the famous German sports car, in a sort of sympathetic magic, often transfers itself to owner-drivers.…

Hot seats: Charles and Ray Eames posing with chair bases

The couple behind the world’s most famous chair

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Peter Mandelson, in his moment of pomp, had his portrait taken by Lord Snowdon. He is sitting on a fine…

Yuri Gagarin in the cabin of Vostok, the spacecraft in which he made the first human journey to outer space on 12 April, 1961

When technology was art: Cosmonauts at the Science Museum reviewed

26 September 2015 8:00 am

‘The dominant narrative of space,’ I was told, in that strange language curators employ, ‘is America.’ Quite so. Kennedy stared…

‘Socialist realism and pop art in the battlefield’, 1969, by Equipo Cronica

The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern - our critic goes zzzzz

19 September 2015 8:00 am

The conventional history of modern art was written on the busy Paris-New York axis, as if nowhere else existed. For…

The master builder: Palladio’s villas in the Veneto, Italy — Villa Caldogno

Palladio was the greatest influence on taste ever – but his time is finally up

29 August 2015 9:00 am

Somewhat magnificently, I made the notes for this article sitting in the back of a Rolls-Royce travelling between London and…

The Heckler: architecture would be better off without Zaha Hadid

8 August 2015 9:00 am

Zaha Hadid is the most famous woman architect in the world. Would women or, indeed, architecture, be better off without…

The moral case for gentrification

27 June 2015 9:00 am

In its pomp, they used to say that what was good for General Motors, Detroit’s Medici, was good for America.…

Art has ceased to be beautiful or interesting — but we are more obsequious than ever to artists

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Two ambitious volumes of interviews with artists have just been published. They are similar, but different. The first is by…

‘Combs, Hair Highway’, 2014, by Studio Swine

Luxury isn’t the opposite of poverty but the opposite of vulgarity - but don’t tell the V&A

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Different concepts of luxury may be inferred from a comparison of the wedding feast of Charles Bovary and Emma Rouault…

The miracle of modern flight, by a 747 pilot with a poet’s sensibility

18 April 2015 9:00 am

With Alpine wreckage still being sifted, this is either a very good or a very bad time to write about…

Cars are our cathedrals

18 April 2015 9:00 am

Imagine for a moment Harley Earl, head of design at General Motors, Detroit’s wizard of kitsch. Standing before him, in…

A reliable escape: Mikrolimano

Grim, generous, decaying and hip: the paradoxical charms of Athens

7 March 2015 9:00 am

My first visit to Athens as a student gave me a set of impressions that the present crisis has only…

Crazy horses: Andy Scott’s Kelpies at sunset

The Spectator declares war on bad public art

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Like peace, love and lemon-meringue pie, ‘public art’ seems unarguably attractive. Who but a philistine curmudgeon would deny the populace…

Yoko Ono performing ‘Cut Piece’, where her outfit is cut down to her underwear by predatory snipping scissors

From classical to post-modern: a beginner’s guide

7 February 2015 9:00 am

My career at school and after was greatly enhanced by a series of books called The Bluffer’s Guide to….These gave…