Exhibitions

A brief introduction to Scottish art

28 May 2022 9:00 am

When Nikolaus Pevsner dedicated his 1955 Reith Lectures to ‘The Englishness of English Art’, he left out the Scots. The…

The jewel-bright, mesmerisingly detailed pictures by Raqib Shaw are a revelation

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Describing the Venice Biennale, like pinning down the city itself, is a practical impossibility. There is just too much of…

Fascinating exhibitions – clunky editorialising: Breaking the News at the British Library reviewed

7 May 2022 9:00 am

In The Spectator office’s toilets there are framed front covers of the events that didn’t happen: Corbyn beats Boris; ‘Here’s…

Evocative tribute to the orphaned caped crusader: Superheroes, Orphans & Origins at the Foundling Museum reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Instead of wasting money, like other museums, on extravagant architectural statements, the Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square has sensibly chosen…

The exquisite pottery of Richard Batterham

23 April 2022 9:00 am

Richard Batterham died last September at the age of 85. He had worked in his pottery in the village of…

Exquisite and deranged: two glass exhibitions reviewed

16 April 2022 9:00 am

A ‘Ghost Shop’ has appeared between Domino’s Pizza and Shoe Zone on Sunderland High Street. Look through the laminated window…

It’s a miracle this exhibition even exists: Audubon’s Birds of America reviewed

9 April 2022 9:00 am

In 2014, an exhibition of watercolours by the renowned avian artist, John James Audubon, opened in New York. The reviews,…

Fails to dispel the biggest myth of all: Whitechapel Gallery's A Century of the Artist’s Studio reviewed

26 March 2022 9:00 am

Picture the artist’s studio: if what comes to mind is the romantic image of a male painter at his easel…

Valuable reassessment of British art: Barbican's Postwar Modern reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Notoriously, the past is another country: what’s more, it’s a terrain for which the guidebooks need constantly to be rewritten.…

Renaissance radical: Carlo Crivelli – Shadows on the Sky at Ikon Gallery reviewed

12 March 2022 9:00 am

‘Camp,’ wrote Susan Sontag, ‘is the paintings of Carlo Crivelli, with their real jewels and trompe-l’oeil insects and cracks in…

Beautiful and revealing: The Three Pietàs of Michelangelo, at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Florence, reviewed

5 March 2022 9:00 am

The room is immersed in semi-darkness. Light filters down from above, glistening on polished marble as if it were flesh.…

How good is he? Pissarro: Father of Impressionism, at the Ashmolean Museum, reviewed

26 February 2022 9:00 am

Two markers: ‘Cottages at Auvers-sur-Oise’ (c.1873) is a sweet especial rural scene of faintly slovenly thatched cottages with, at its…

Part-gothic horror, part-Acorn Antiques: Louise Bourgeois, at the Hayward Gallery, reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Louise Bourgeois was 62 and recently widowed when she first used soft materials in her installation ‘The Destruction of the…

Astonishing and gripping: Van Gogh's Self Portraits at the Courtauld reviewed

12 February 2022 9:00 am

In September 1889, Vincent van Gogh sent his brother Theo a new self-portrait from the mental hospital at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. ‘You…

The fascination of house fronts: Where We Live at Millennium Gallery reviewed

5 February 2022 9:00 am

Paintings of houses go back a long way in British art: the earliest landscape in Tate Britain is a late…

An ouroboros of vacuity that is immune to its own failure: Kaws online at the Serpentine Gallery

29 January 2022 9:00 am

The second most interesting thing about this digital exhibition is that it is not for art critics like me. I…

Ethereal and allusive, all nuance and no schmaltz: Helen Frankenthaler, at Dulwich Gallery, reviewed

15 January 2022 9:00 am

In 1950 the 21-year-old painter Helen Frankenthaler, fresh out of college, went to an exhibition at New York’s Betty Parson’s…

A show of ample and eerie majesty: British Museum's Peru: A Journey in Time reviewed

11 December 2021 9:00 am

Growing up on a farm outside Lima, I was aware that indigenous Peruvians did not understand time in the same…

Ignore the wall text and focus on the magnificent paintings: Tate Britain's Hogarth and Europe reviewed

4 December 2021 9:00 am

There are, perhaps, two types of exhibition visitor. Those who read the texts on the walls and those who don’t.…

His final paintings are like Jackson Pollocks: RA's Late Constable reviewed

27 November 2021 9:00 am

On 13 July 1815, John Constable wrote to his fiancée, Maria Bicknell, about this and that. Interspersed with a discussion…

Small but perfectly formed: the Royal College of Music Museum reopening reviewed

30 October 2021 9:00 am

Haydn is looking well — in fact, he’s positively glowing. The dignified pose; the modest, intelligent smile: it’s only when…

Paintings dominate – the good, the bad and the very ugly: Frieze London 2021 reviewed

23 October 2021 9:00 am

There’s a faint scent of desperation wafting through the Frieze tent this year. Pre–pandemic, this was where you came to…

The frisky side of a classical master: National Gallery's Poussin and the Dance reviewed

16 October 2021 9:00 am

In the winter of 1861, visitors to the Louvre might have seen a young artist painstakingly copying one of the…

The genius of Frans Hals

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Since art auctions were invented, they have served to hype artists’ prices. It can happen during an artist’s lifetime —…

Fortifying snapshot of the gardener’s year: Saatchi Gallery's RHS Botanical Art show reviewed

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Elizabeth Blackadder, who died last month at the age of 89, was probably the most distinctive botanical artist of our…