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.…

Nordic light at Dulwich

  Celebrated in Norway, Nikolai Astrup (1880 – 1928) is barely known elsewhere, largely because all his work remains in his native country. The Dulwich Picture Gallery presents this landscape artist and innovative printmaker in Painting Norway (until 15 May). Astrup’s work has none of the depressively dark Scandinavian atmosphere the recent Munch show had.…

Delacroix’s impact on Impressionism

London’s art museums, with their rich treasure troves of paintings, are perfectly placed to instruct as well as entertain their audiences. The National Gallery has long proved adept at using what they own to educate the public in a superbly engaging manner. In Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art (until 22 May), the mastery…

Calder’s changing shapes at Tate

If I write the word sculpture, you probably think of something solid and heavy, the sort of thing you may find in an old park. Alexander Calder has changed that forever. His sculpture is light and ethereal, it floats and changes. The shadows you see will never quite be those that I have seen. It…

The politics of a global Pop

The world may seem in turmoil today, but that’s nothing on the late Sixties and early Seventies. Looking back at those days through the prism of Tate Modern’s The World Goes Pop (until 24 Jan 2016) is a harsh reminder of how close it all got to going up in smoke. Pop is generally associated…

Ai WeiWei wows London at Royal Academy

  China may be inclined to lock him up, but London has certainly laid out the red carpet for that thorn in the side of the Chinese government, Ai WeiWei. No matter that some over-zealous British official decided to refuse his visa initially, there has seldom been such a hero’s welcome for any artist. The…