visual art

‘Night in Marrakesh’, 1968, by Brion Gysin

Cut-ups, hallucinations and Hermann Goering: the extraordinary life of Brion Gysin

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Among my more bohemian friends in 1980s London, Brion Gysin was a name spoken with a certain awe. He was…

Detail from Gundestrup cauldron, 100 BC–AD 1

The British Museum's Celtic masterpieces aren't Celtic - but they are fabulous

26 September 2015 8:00 am

‘Celtic’ is a word heavily charged with meanings. It refers, among other phenomena, to a football club, a group of…

‘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…

How silverpoint revolutionised art

12 September 2015 9:00 am

Marshall McLuhan got it at least half right. The medium may not always be the entire message, but it certainly…

Ravilious in Essex: ‘Two Women in the Garden’, watercolour, 1932

The only art is Essex

29 August 2015 9:00 am

When I went to visit Edward Bawden he vigorously denied that there were any modern painters in Essex. That may…

‘Turning Road (Route Tournante)’, c.1905, by Paul Cézanne

I can’t stop thinking about the Courtauld’s Unfinished exhibition

15 August 2015 9:00 am

A while ago, David Hockney mused on a proposal to tax the works of art stored in artists’ studios. ‘You’d…

Richard Long installing the large slate cross, Time and Space (2015), at the Arnolfini

Richard Long interview: ‘I was always an artist, even when I was two years old’

8 August 2015 9:00 am

William Cook explores the elemental art and Olympian walks of Richard Long

‘Marie-Anne Françoise Liotard with a Doll’, c.1744, by Jean-Etienne Liotard

The forgotten Swiss portraitist and his extraordinary pastels: Jean-Etienne Liotard at the Scottish National Gallery reviewed

8 August 2015 9:00 am

This is not the biggest exhibition at Edinburgh and it will not be the best attended but it may be…

‘The Wilderness, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire’ by Balthasar Nebot

Why is the garden absent in English painting?

8 August 2015 9:00 am

One of the default settings of garden journalists is the adjective ‘painterly’ — applied to careful colour harmonies within a…

Whole worlds are conjured up in a few strokes: Watercolour at the Fitzwilliam Museum reviewed

1 August 2015 9:00 am

I learnt to splash about in watercolour at my grandmother’s knee. Or rather, sitting beside her crouched over a pad…

The artist who only turned into a major painter once he became a homicidal maniac

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Charles Dickens’s description of Cobham Park, Kent, in The Pickwick Papers makes it seem a perfect English landscape. Among its…

John Waters: ‘I’m a good uncle — I’ll get you an abortion, I’ll get you out of jail, I’ll take you to rehab.’

John Waters interview: ‘We can’t make fun of Bruce Jenner?’

11 July 2015 9:00 am

No one does transgression like the filmmaker John Waters. Jasper Rees talks to him about political correctness, post-ops and pubes

Detail of a maiolica vase, c.1565–1571, a star piece for both Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill and later for Baron Ferdinand at Waddesdon Manor

Forget Vienna - Britain now has its own chamber of curiosities at the British Museum

11 July 2015 9:00 am

Art is not jewellery. Its value does not reside in the price of the materials from which it is made.…

‘Untitled (Tilly Losch)’, c.1935–38, by Joseph Cornell

Poetic or pretentious? Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust at the Royal Academy reviewed

4 July 2015 9:00 am

Someone once asked Joseph Cornell who was his favourite abstract artist of his time. It was a perfectly reasonable question…

As blatant rip-offs go, this one is shaping up nicely: Odyssey, BBC2, reviewed

4 July 2015 9:00 am

This week’s Imagine… Jeff Koons: Diary of a Seducer (BBC1, Tuesday) began with Koons telling a slightly puzzled-looking Alan Yentob…

‘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…

The artist who turned the Hayward Gallery into Disney World

20 June 2015 9:00 am

Gianlorenzo Bernini stressed the difficulty of making a sculpture of a person out of a white material such as marble.…

James Turrell interview: ‘I sell blue sky and coloured air’

13 June 2015 9:00 am

Martin Gayford talks to the artist James Turrell, who has lit up Houghton Hall like a baroque firework display

Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition reviewed: a jumble sale with pizzazz

6 June 2015 9:00 am

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition has very little in common with the Venice Biennale. However they do share one characteristic.…

Welcome to Japan’s best kept cultural secret: an art island with an underground museum

23 May 2015 9:00 am

In his introductory remarks to the Afro–Eurasian Eclipse, one of his later suites for jazz orchestra, Duke Ellington remarked —…

Renzo Piano’s new Whitney Museum is very good news - for the Met

23 May 2015 9:00 am

About six years ago the first section of the now celebrated High Line was opened in New York and made…

One of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s Scots pines in the French Pavilion

Martin Gayford finds a few nice paintings amid the dead trees, old clothes and agitprop of the Venice Biennale

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Martin Gayford finds a few nice paintings amid the dead trees, old clothes and agitprop of the Venice Biennale

‘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…

‘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…

Inventing Impressionism at the National Gallery reviewed: a mixed bag of sometimes magnificent paintings

7 March 2015 9:00 am

When it was suggested that a huge exhibition of Impressionist paintings should be held in London, Claude Monet had his…