Articles on Art history

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Artist Jennifer Rubell hired a model to vacuum for two hours each night from Feb. 1 to Feb. 17. Ryan Maxwell Photography

Ivanka and her tower of crumbs

A new piece of performance art features a lookalike Ivanka Trump vacuuming crumbs. Not only is it a cutting commentary on labor and gender, but it also highlights the complicity of the viewer.
‘Girl With a Balloon’ was renamed ‘Love Is in the Bin,’ after it self-destructed at a Sotheby’s auction on Oct. 5. Sotheby's

Banksy and the tradition of destroying art

When artists destroy their works, it's usually to express their disdain for critics, dealers and curators. But does this get lost in the attention, hype and money that follows?
Detail from Little Big Woman: Condescension, Debra Keenahan, 2017. Designed and made by Debra Keenahan, Photograph by Robert Brindley.

Friday essay: the female dwarf, disability, and beauty

For centuries, women with dwarfism were depicted in art as comic or grotesque fairytale beings. But artists are challenging these portrayals and notions of beauty and physical difference.
The Robert E. Lee statue for which the ‘Unite the Right’ rally was organized to protest its removal in Charlottesville, Virginia. EPA/TASOS KATOPODIS

From Charlottesville to Nazi Germany, sometimes monuments have to fall

The violence sparked by the removal of Confederate statues in the US shows the ideas that collect around historical monuments. Sometimes it's better to remove them; yet they can be an important way of remembering trauma.
Is there a geometry lesson hidden in ‘The Last Supper’? Wikimedia Commons

Did artists lead the way in mathematics?

Mathematics and art are generally viewed as very different. But a trip through history – from an Islamic palace to Pollock's paintings – proves the parallels between the two can be uncanny.
‘Maus’ and ‘Watchmen’ are two of the most well-known graphic novels. Ken Whytock/flickr

How the graphic novel got its misleading moniker

The graphic novel has become a literary phenomenon, but the name doesn't adequately describe the medium's flexibility, diversity and potential.
Watercolour painting of a Haida painted wooden mask. Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford 2014.89.1a

Here’s why you should care about the scrapping of A-level anthropology

With the refugee crisis, Brexit, and the rise of populist extremism, we must defend the teaching of anthropology. And in doing so, we might expand and rethink ideas of "the humanities".

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