public art

Moore’s art has never looked more in context than it does here, undulating in the spring sunshine with Palladian architecture on one side and vistas of greenery on the other: ‘Large Reclining Figure’, 1984

Moore’s art has never looked better: Henry Moore at Houghton Hall reviewed

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Henry Moore was, it seems, one of the most notable fresh-air fiends in art history. Not only did he prefer…

The man who never cried

9 February 2019 9:00 am

It was odd listening to Jim Al-Khalili being interviewed on Radio 4 on Tuesday morning rather than the other way…

‘One World’ by Mark Wallinger

The winner of the 2018 What’s That Thing? Award for bad public art is…

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Not a bad year for the award. Honourable mentions must go to the landfill abstractions of Oxford’s new Westgate Centre,…

Ivory plaque of a lioness mauling a man, ivory, gold, cornelian, lapis lazuli, Nimrud, 900 BC–700 BC. [© The Trustees of the British Museum]

The Assyrians of Ashurbanipal’s time were just as into pillage and destruction as Isis

1 December 2018 9:00 am

The Assyrians placed sculptures of winged human-headed bulls (lamassus) at the entrances to their capital at Nineveh, in modern Mosul,…

An artist of the floating world: Christo’s ‘Mastaba’ on the Serpentine Lake

Appealingly meaningless and improbable: Christo at the Serpentine Lake reviewed Plus: memorably pointless paintings at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery

7 July 2018 9:00 am

It’s not a wrap. This is the first thing to note about the huge trapezoid thing that has appeared, apparently…

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’…

Monumental change: the overthrow of the statue of Napoleon I, which was on top of the Vendôme Column. The painter Gustave Courbet is ninth from the right

A short history of statue-toppling

9 January 2016 9:00 am

One of the stranger disputes of the past few weeks has concerned a Victorian figure that has occupied a niche…

Power tool: Elisabeth Frink carving ‘Dorset Martyrs’, c.1985

The work of Elisabeth Frink is ripe for a renaissance

21 November 2015 9:00 am

In a converted barn in Dorset, not far from the rural studio where she made many of her greatest sculptures,…

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…