Exhibitions

The head of Jeremy Bentham, who died in 1832

What can we learn from Jeremy Bentham’s pickled head?

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Under the central dome of UCL — an indoor crossroads where hordes of students come and go on their way…

‘Les Modes se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas’, 1926, cover design for Harper’s Bazaar

The time is right for an Erté revival – a new hero for our gender-anxious times

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Erté was destined for the imperial navy. Failing that, the army. His father and uncle had been navy men. There…

‘Self-Portrait’, 1880–1, by Paul Cézanne

The most impressive array of work to be seen in London in years: Cézanne’s Portraits reviewed

11 November 2017 9:00 am

The critic and painter Adrian Stokes once remarked on how fortunate Cézanne had been to be bald, ‘considering the wonderful…

‘Portrait of a Lady (La Schiavona)’, c.1510-12, by Titian

The advantages of turning down the colour knob: Monochrome reviewed

4 November 2017 9:00 am

Leonardo da Vinci thought sculpting a messy business. The sculptor, he pointed out, has to bang away with a hammer,…

Choppy waters: installation view of Tracey Emin ‘My Bed’/JMW Turner

Emotional rescue

28 October 2017 9:00 am

In the 1880s the young Max Klinger made a series of etchings detailing the surreal adventures of a woman’s glove…

‘The First Days of Spring’, 1929, by Salvador Dalí

It’s the thought that counts

21 October 2017 9:00 am

During a panel discussion in 1949, Frank Lloyd Wright made an undiplomatic comment about Marcel Duchamp’s celebrated picture of 1912,…

Raw materials

14 October 2017 9:00 am

‘Art by its very essence is of the new… There is only one healthy diet for artistic creation: permanent revolution.’…

I spy

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Where was Degas standing as he sketched his ‘Laundresses’ (c.1882–4)? Did he watch the two women from behind sheets hanging…

‘The Angel of Mercy’, c.1746, by Joseph Highmore

Mothers’ ruin

23 September 2017 9:00 am

At the heart of Basic Instincts, the new exhibition at the Foundling Museum in London, is an extraordinarily powerful painting…

‘Untitled (Clear Torso)’, 1993, by Rachel Whiteread

Space odyssey

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Rachel Whiteread is an indefatigable explorer of internal space. By turning humble items such as hot-water bottles and sinks inside…

Still life: ‘A Kiss’, 1891, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Silent films

9 September 2017 9:00 am

On 15 September 1888 Vincent van Gogh was intrigued to read an account of an up-to-date artist’s house in the…

Moving pictures: ‘Achaean’, 1981, by Bridget Riley

Snap, crackle and op

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Stand in front of ‘Fall’, a painting by Bridget Riley from 1963, and the world begins to quiver and dissolve.…

‘Spray’, by Harold Williamson (1939)

Nothing is quite what it seems

19 August 2017 9:00 am

One day, somebody will stage an exhibition of artists taught at the Slade by the formidable Henry Tonks, who considered…

Matisse’s ‘Still Life with Shell’ (1940) with his beloved chocolate pot, top left

Object lesson

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Why did Henri Matisse not play chess? It’s a question, perhaps, that few have ever pondered. Yet the great artist…

A picture of pure energy: Watts’s ‘The Sower of Systems’, 1902

Maximum wattage

29 July 2017 9:00 am

On his deathbed in 1904, George Frederic Watts saw a extraordinary spectacle. He witnessed the universe coming into being: the…

‘Old Woman Wearing a Ruff and Cap’ (c. 1625–40), attributed to Jacob Jordaens

A game for two

22 July 2017 9:00 am

Some art can be made in solitude, straight out of the artist’s head. But portraiture is a game for two.…

‘Statue (Double Check by Seward Johnson), New York, 11 September 2001’, 2001, by Jeff Mermelstein

Repo women

6 July 2017 1:00 pm

Aren’t you getting a little sick of the white cube? I am. I realised how sick last week after blundering…

‘Untitled (Poor Richard)’, 1971, by Philip Guston

American quartet

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Politics and art can make for an awkward mix. Much more than with religious subjects it seems to matter whether…

‘Study for Charity’, c.1519, by Raphael

The better angels of our nature

17 June 2017 9:00 am

Late one afternoon, early in the year, I was walking through the Vatican Stanze with a small group of critics…

‘Venice: The Bacino di S. Marco on Ascension Day’, c.1733–34, by Canaletto

Dealer’s choice

3 June 2017 9:00 am

One evening a few weeks ago I was on my way to the opening of an exhibition at the Venice…

‘Man Pointing’, 1947, by Alberto Giacometti

Being and nothingness

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Size, of course, matters a great deal in art; so does scale — which is a different matter. The art…

Folly by Phyllida Barlow, British Pavilion, Venice, 2017

League of nations

20 May 2017 9:00 am

‘Are you enjoying the Biennale?’ is a question one is often asked while patrolling the winding paths of the Giardini…

‘The Caged Bird’s Song’, 2014–2017, by Chris Ofili

Put a spell on you

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Many of the mediums from which art is made have been around for a long time. People have been painting…

‘Rainstorm over the sea’, 1824–28, by John Constable © Royal Academy of Arts, London; Photographer: John Hammond

Constable on sea

22 April 2017 9:00 am

John Constable was, as we say these days, conflicted about Brighton. On the one hand, as he wrote in a…

Frankly dreadful: ‘The Renaissance of Venus’, 1877, by Walter Crane

The good, the indifferent and the simply awful

14 April 2017 11:00 pm

‘There is only one thing worse than homosexual art,’ the painter Patrick Procktor was once heard to declare at a…