The same but different – Hockney’s portraits

It’s quite an audacious project: 83 canvases of identical size, each portraying an individual looking at the viewer from the same chair with the same backdrop. If the artist were anyone other than David Hockney, it certainly would have bombed. As it is, while some portraits seem to capture the uniqueness of the sitter, they…

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…

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.…

Hepworth’s abstracts still look modern

Art exhibitions in London this summer seem to have gone beyond the mere two dimensional plane and need to be experienced rather than simply seen. Standing in front of Barbara Hepworth’s monumental hardwood carvings, peering through the hollows of the inside painted white surfaces which catch the light, one understands why this much-loved sculptor so…

Summer show a riot of colour

The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition (until 16 August) has drawn crowds for over two centuries and something in the eclectic mix ensures it continues to do so. Twelve thousand public send-ins are reduced to a whopping 1200 pieces that offer something for absolutely everyone. The show is a major fund-raiser for the Academy’s school, and…