Life Pushed Aside: The Last Asylums

Clair Wills, 18 November 2021

I am haunted by the figure of Rolanda Polonsky, walking through the hospital corridors. If my eight-year-old self had opened the doors that frightened me I might have found her, back then, exactly as she...

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Fetch the Chopping Knife: Murder on Bankside

Charles Nicholl, 4 November 2021

The first true crime craze – the distant antecedent of our own docu-drama craze – proved to be an essentially Elizabethan phenomenon. I would place its high-water mark in the year 1599, when...

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At the Hunterian: Joan Eardley gets her due

Andrew O’Hagan, 4 November 2021

Joan Eardley’s paintings show decrepit buildings and startled faces, but also something more essential – movement, stillness. We see the spirit of young lives caught in meagre surroundings,...

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Diary: Media Theranos

Pooja Bhatia, 4 November 2021

I had left Ozy Media in 2017 without exercising my stock options, believing the likeliest outcome for the company was not an acquisition or an IPO, as Watson insisted, but slow shrinkage, dwindling...

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I hope it hurt: Nochlin’s Question

Jo Applin, 4 November 2021

Each generation seems to need to discover ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’ for itself, to work through its claims. But then art history is a discipline still shaped by what Linda...

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Amerikanist Dreams

Owen Hatherley, 21 October 2021

Constructivists and other avant-gardists found high architecture in the US – those skylines of cupolas and Gothic spires, draped over steel skeletons – gauche and illiterate, especially compared...

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Craxton liked small jokes, hiding the date of a painting in the label on a bottle of beer, or turning his signature into part of the pattern on a cigarette packet. His art had become a quest for colour,...

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At Sadie Coles: Helen Marten

Brian Dillon, 21 October 2021

‘There is something interesting to be said for everything around us,’ Charles Schulz’s Linus says in a Peanuts-derived commercial for Weber’s bread, first broadcast in the...

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At the Movies: ‘No Time to Die’

Michael Wood, 21 October 2021

The​ new Bond film, No Time to Die, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, begins inside a memory and ends with a kind of apocalypse. Sound familiar? Not really. Memory has never been a prominent theme...

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Unknowables: Antonello da Messina

Caroline Campbell, 7 October 2021

St Jerome sits reading at his desk on an elevated podium; other books and artefacts line the shelves around him. The architecture is lofty, gothic and fantastical. Framing the scene is a stone archway...

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I reach a familiar impasse. I have no words, or none that strike me as convincing, for the way Aesop looks – the way his features hover between irony and resignation – but that doesn’t...

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A Little Holiday: Ben Hecht’s Cause

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, 23 September 2021

Although Hollywood had a Jewish drama of its own, Jewishness wasn’t openly expressed and Jewish themes were neither the subjects nor the subplots of films. Success couldn’t buy you access to...

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At the Movies: ‘Annette’

Michael Wood, 23 September 2021

Songs​ by Sparks (or the Mael brothers) include ‘When You’re a French Director’, ‘Edith Piaf Said It Better Than Me’, ‘Angst in My Pants’, ‘Life...

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On Orford Ness: ‘Afterness’

Sam Kinchin-Smith, 23 September 2021

Afterness, Artangel’s latest installation of new artworks in ‘unexpected places’, opened in June on Orford Ness, a weather-beaten spit of Suffolk shingle a few miles downcoast...

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Learned Behaviour

Luke Jennings, 23 September 2021

There are few more exuberantly beautiful spectacles than the Royal Ballet’s dancers in flight. They describe their sense of comradeship, the joy they take in their work, the ideals they share. But...

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Thinking about people packed together, breathing together underground, brings the dark nights of the Blitz into the present. This world feels foreign, but also familiar. The very idea of shelter, sheltering,...

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At the Garden Museum: Constance Spry

Rosemary Hill, 9 September 2021

Somewhere between handicraft and hobby and associated mostly with women, flower arranging conjures up images of 1950s housewives filling the suburban afternoons or savage competition at the WI. Constance...

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The Caviar Club: Rebel with a Hermès Scarf

Azadeh Moaveni, 9 September 2021

‘Despite international rhetoric,’ the  V&A curators claim, ‘Iranian culture, even beyond fine art, travels well.’ They cite the films of Asghar Farhadi and the popularity...

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