No More D Minor: Tallis Survives

Peter Phillips, 29 July 2021

The comparison with Holbein, whose political agility and artistic range – from grand public portraits to miniature devotional images – allowed him to fashion the age, is a fair one. Tallis’s...

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At the Barbican: Jean Dubuffet

T.J. Clark, 29 July 2021

Afew​ weeks ago, I came across a young poet saying that the book he had been turning to during Covid was Francis Ponge’s Le Parti Pris des choses. (Siding with Things, the translation of...

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True Bromance: Ravi Shankar’s Ragas

Philip Clark, 15 July 2021

The rules stated which notes needed to be emphasised; the stress on certain notes locked others out of the design, thus creating the melodic shapes that gave each raga its personality. In performance,...

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Thomas Becket​ was not the first archbishop of Canterbury to meet a violent end – Archbishop Alphege was killed by Vikings in 1012 – but he was unique in other ways. Unlike his...

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Short Cuts: Nautical Dramas

Jeremy Harding, 15 July 2021

One​ of the most seductive items for sale on the website of Arthur Beale, yacht chandler, is a ‘chart work pack’ for just under thirty quid. It includes an elegant course plotter,...

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If​ you don’t especially like car crashes, exploding buildings and the overuse of assault weapons, you may want to stay away from the cinema for a while. Well, you could have started to...

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At Charleston: Nina Hamnett

Emily LaBarge, 1 July 2021

A sense of interiority and self-possession is common to all Nina Hamnett’s portraits: they hold the viewer at a distance. Like her still lifes, they are anti-mimetic, creating the impression...

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At the Hayward: Matthew​ Barney

Freddie Mason, 17 June 2021

Matthew​ Barney is back. It’s been ten years since his last exhibition in London, and his new show at the Hayward opens with an unapologetic display of phallocentrism. It’s a...

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At the Whitechapel: Eileen Agar

Francesca Wade, 17 June 2021

Odd choices and uncanny juxtapositions demonstrate  Eileen Agar’s eye for the incongruous: the artfully placed leaf, the splodge of a wax seal, a snakeskin frame. Agar’s work is an invitation...

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Four Moptop Yobbos

Ian Penman, 17 June 2021

Even on the lip of apocalypse, might the Beatles remain one of the last things we can all agree on? Are they the no man’s land on Christmas Day, where both sides might pause, put down their weapons...

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At the Movies: ‘Mandabi’

Michael Wood, 17 June 2021

Ousmane​ Sembène’s Mandabi (1968), now available in a restored print, was the first full-length feature film whose characters speak an African language. Small bits of French...

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How peculiar it is: Gorey’s Glories

Rosemary Hill, 3 June 2021

Edward Gorey’s imagery is in debt to the Surrealists, and, at times, in its use of line, to Aubrey Beardsley, but insofar as Gorey belongs to a genre it is the Romantic picturesque with its mood...

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In the Studio: Howard Hodgkin

Rye Dag Holmboe, 3 June 2021

Howard Hodgkin unapologetically propagated the idea of the studio as a sacred site. In a way, his decision to conceal paintings in progress with linen canvases contributed to this, as did his reluctance...

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At the Movies: ‘Nomadland’

Michael Wood, 20 May 2021

The​ first thing that dies in Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland (which will be in cinemas from 17 May) is a town called Empire, in Nevada. The life-supporting sheetrock plant shuts down, the...

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At the V&A: ‘Bags: Inside Out’

Susannah Clapp, 20 May 2021

The quickest way to signal middle-aged female distress on stage is to show a woman rummaging frantically in a bag. Irritating though this is, there is some truth in it. Losing something in your bag is...

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At the Half

Andrew O’Hagan, 20 May 2021

Mark Rylance’s gaze suggests he’s an actor who, at the half, is more than halfway into character, already unto the breach, where ‘all the youth of England are on fire.’ There are...

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Coloured marble can be veined, streaked, clouded, mottled, or it could be a breccia – that is, with irregular, sometimes jagged, inclusions. The Mount Athos enkolpion is of breccia corallina. The...

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Shaka King’s​ Judas and the Black Messiah (available on Amazon Prime) leaves us in no doubt as to who is the more interesting character. This preference is obscured (or perhaps...

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