Hilliard’s Trajectory

Charles Nicholl, 9 December 2019

The house​ was ‘at the sign of the Maidenhead’ in an alley off Cheapside called Gutter Lane. The address sounds disreputable but those who visited were not in search of bawdy...

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At the Jeu de Paume: Peter Hujar

Brian Dillon, 9 December 2019

The​ American photographer Peter Hujar once told a friend who was feeling unattractive: ‘As you’re walking along, say to yourself: I’m me.’ Hujar’s subjects seem to...

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David Trotter, 9 December 2019

In​ the original film noir, John Huston’s Maltese Falcon (1941), private investigator Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) visits criminal mastermind Kasper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet) in his San...

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Hey, Blondie!

Jenny Turner, 9 December 2019

How cool does a woman have to be, I remember the young me thinking in the 1980s, to chuck in the sex-symbol stuff to look after her sick boyfriend, then come back as a musical-comedy pantomime dame?

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The​ Jalori Pass in Himachal Pradesh, northern India, is ten thousand feet above sea level: there was snow on the ground when I crossed it on foot in May 1982, on a trek in the Himalayas with a...

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Elton Took Me Hostage

Colm Tóibín, 9 December 2019

‘Imagine six apartments, it isn’t hard to do, one is full of fur coats, another’s full of shoes.’

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The Nolde above the sofa

Adam Tooze, 25 November 2019

The story of Emil Nolde's opposition to the Third Reich, which informed his pictures for so many viewers, is a fantasy with its own basis in nationalism.

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Pockets, like Novels

Freya Johnston, 25 November 2019

Pockets, like novels, can enclose a story about the lost and found. Just as characters in 18th-century fiction are often begged to provide the histories of their lives and adventures, so too they may be...

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Gauguin’s​ 1893 painting of Tehamana, the teenager with whom he cohabited during his first visit to Tahiti, shows her seated facing forward, yet her eyebrows no more match than the share...

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Renovating Rome

Anthony Grafton, 25 November 2019

One of the chief mysteries of late Renaissance Rome is that beauty and order emerged from the chaos and incompetence of planning.

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At the Movies: ‘The Irishman’

Michael Wood, 25 November 2019

The​ camera proceeds down a corridor in a nursing home. It isn’t in a hurry but it is looking for someone. It veers slightly to the right towards an alcove, decides it doesn’t need...

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A Key to Brando

David Thomson, 25 November 2019

It’s a regret that no one ever found a way to harness his wild comic impulse. He was taken so seriously. He became a Hollywood actor, without ever trusting that system, or forgiving it for his weakness...

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At Tate Modern: Nam June Paik

Eleanor Nairne, 19 November 2019

In​ the first room of the Nam June Paik retrospective at Tate Modern (until 9 February), an 18th-century carved wooden Buddha sits on an oblong plinth. Facing him is an image of his own face,...

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Cole Porter’s secret songs

John Lahr, 19 November 2019

Of​ the many remedies Cole Porter used to kill pain – boys, drink, luxury – the most powerful was song. In October 1937, at the age of 46, out for an early morning canter at the...

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John Lanchester, 19 November 2019

The modern mode​ of watching television, largely uncoupled from broadcast schedules, makes a programme’s transition from critical acclaim to audience approval to mass adoption more...

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J. Hoberman, 19 November 2019

To leaf through NeoRealismo feels a bit like being inside a Neorealist movie.

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Gwydir Street​ in Cambridge, just off the appealingly scruffy Mill Road, is a narrow street of Victorian terraced houses. In the 1980s my secondary school English teacher lived there: he would...

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Change at MoMA

Hal Foster, 7 November 2019

All the change is good, but not if we lose the plot altogether; there is no need for MoMA to mix and match to the extent that Tate Modern does.

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