Inspiring the next generation – paintings for painters

What do painters put up on their walls? Is it only their own work, or do they also collect other artists, to admire and inspire them? The National Gallery continues its series of instructive exhibitions with this intriguing question in Painters’ Paintings: From Freud to Van Dyck (until 4 Sept). Sweeping across five centuries, it…

Nurturing contemporary art at grassroots level

By Nushin Elahi This May I was delighted to be one of an international panel of judges for the Cramum Prize, an Italian contemporary art prize in Milan. Visiting the city and talking to the organisers, contestants and others in the arts, I found a vibrant drive to create a new landscape for art in…

Artistic duos at RA Summer show

It’s a numbers game, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (until 21 Aug). Now in its 248th year, it is the only open submission show in the UK, and the largest in the world. Twelve thousand submissions get whittled down to 1200 entries, two thirds of which are from Joe Public. Last year’s exhibition was a…

Quirky stash of Found objects

It looks like a who’s who of British modern art today. In fact, it is Cornelia Parker’s long-term installation at the Foundling Museum, tucked away in a secluded corner of Bloomsbury where you can stroll through the museum and see the quirky, often funny, sometimes downright silly collection of Found (until 4 September) objects that…

Spectacular underwater finds

It seems the stuff of myth. Cities lost under the sea, now revealing their buried treasure. But this isn’t Atlantis, and it is not myth. The Nile delta over the past twenty years has given up secrets that have lain buried for thousands of years. Cities that were written about in the ancient world are…

Hatoum – a new look at the familiar

Sinister life-sized cheese graters, a wooden cabinet filled with coloured glass perfume jars in the shape of hand grenades, a Fifties kitchen interior that hums with the electricity which lights up certain parts of it – these are some of the familiar objects that Mona Hatoum casts in a new light in her retrospective at…

Focus on the Sixties at both Tates

Tate Britain seems to offer rather pedantic treatises on art, in an attempt to showcase its collection. Conceptual Art in Britain 1964 -1979 (until 29 August) is exactly this – a dull and boring collection of works from a largely self-conscious era where British artists agonised over the nature of art, rather than just creating it.…