Modernism

Why did David Bomberg disappear?

11 January 2020 9:00 am

David Bomberg was only 23 when his first solo exhibition opened in July 1914 at the Chenil Gallery in Chelsea.…

The man who built Britain’s first skyscraper

16 November 2019 9:00 am

In 2011 Britain’s first skyscraper was finally given Grade I listing. The citation for 55 Broadway — the Gotham City-ish…

How Camilla’s grandfather helped popularise the architecture Prince Charles detests

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Was the Bauhaus the most inspired art school of all time or the malignant source of an uglifying industrial culture…

Notre Dame from above (image: Lana Sator) and, right, Michel Virlogeux and Norman Foster's Millau Viaduct (image: Bernard Jaubert / Imagebroker / Rex / Shutterstock)

Notre Dame is an architectural nullity

27 April 2019 9:00 am

Notre Dame is only important from a Shakespeare’s-birthplace point of view. Architecturally it is a nullity beside the cathedrals of…

Dancer, choreographer, iconoclast: Merce Cunningham in 1962

Merce Cunningham’s work was magical, intangible, Einsteinian – revival is futile

13 April 2019 9:00 am

On Tuesday, thousands of miles apart, in three great cities, London, New York and Los Angeles, 75 dancers will dance…

Back to the future: ‘The Asset Strippers’, by Mike Nelson

Powerful elegy for a world that is slipping away: Tate Britain’s The Asset Strippers reviewed

30 March 2019 9:00 am

There was a moment more than 20 years ago when Bankside Power Station was derelict but its transformation into Tate…

Polite postmodernism: Burbridge Close, Dagenham, by Peter Barber Architects is a recent housing development for the elderly that Roger Scruton approves of

Here’s what I want from modern architecture, explains housing tsar Roger Scruton

23 February 2019 9:00 am

The creation of a commission to examine beauty in new building created a stir in the media, with the chairman…

‘Your Britain: Fight for it Now’, 1942, by Abram Games

Is modernist architecture unhealthy?

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Architects and politicians have a lot in common. Each seeks to influence the way we live, and on account of…

Modernist architecture isn’t barbarous – but the blinkered rejection of it is

25 August 2018 9:00 am

When I was younger, one of my favourite books was James Stevens Curl’s The Victorian Celebration of Death. His latest…

Villa Tugendhat, Brno, Czech Republic

Modernist architecture only worked for the wealthy

4 August 2018 9:00 am

It was Le Corbusier who famously wrote that ‘A house is a machine for living in’ (‘Une maison est une…

Vanessa Kirby as Julie and Eric Kofi Abrefa as Jean in Julie at the National Theatre. Photo: Richard H Smith

This adaptation of Miss Julie is a textbook lesson in how to kill a classic

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Polly Stenham starts her overhaul of Strindberg’s Miss Julie with the title. She gives the ‘Miss’ a miss and calls…

Embarrassing – but electrifying: Bernstein 100 reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

‘There is something enviable about the utter lack of inhibition with which Leonard Bernstein carries on,’ wrote the critic of…

The old ways

28 October 2017 9:00 am

I’m sitting across a café table from a young man with a sheaf of drawings that have an archive look…

Cartoon for St Luke, Chichester Cathedral Tapestry, 1965, by John Piper

The shimmering, restless, groovy fabrics of John Piper

21 May 2016 9:00 am

A story John Piper liked to tell — and the one most told about him — is of a morning…

The confessions of Gerard Manley Hopkins

9 January 2016 9:00 am

‘I am 12 miles from a lemon,’ lamented that bon vivant clergyman Sydney Smith on reaching one country posting. He…

A crushing case for brutalism — with the people left out

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Elain Harwood’s flawed but impressive study of modernist architecture manages perfectly to reflect its subject, says David Kynaston

From top left: Lucian Freud, Rudolf Bing, Stefan Zweig, Walter Gropius, Rudolf Laban, Max Born, Kurt Schwitters, Friedrich Hayek, Fritz Busch, Frank Auerbach, Emeric Pressburger, Oskar Kokoschka

German refugees transformed British cultural life - but at a price

3 October 2015 9:00 am

German-speaking refugees dragged British culture into the 20th century. But that didn’t go down well in Stepney or Stevenage, says William Cook

‘Capel-y-ffin’, 1926–7 (watercolour and gouache)

David Jones: painter, poet and mystic

26 September 2015 8:00 am

David Jones (1895–1974) was a remarkable figure: artist and poet, he was a great original in both disciplines. His was…

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

Palladio gave his name to a style that spread around the world. But was it too successful for its own good, wonders Stephen Bayley

‘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…

Arch enemies: Euston Arch (left), torn down to make way for London’s most miserable train station (right)

Should Euston Arch be raised from the dead?

23 May 2015 9:00 am

Yes  William Cook Rejoice! Rejoice! Fifty-four years after its destruction, Euston Arch has returned to Euston. Well, after a fashion.…

Scapegoat for all of urban life’s ills: Le Corbusier, c.1950

How dedicated a fascist was Le Corbusier?

23 May 2015 9:00 am

The ‘revelations’, 50 years after he drowned, that Le Corbusier was a ‘fascist’ and an anti-Semite are neither fresh nor…

‘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…