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Articles on UK arts reviews

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Joaquin Phoenix plays hippy private eye Doc in Inherent Vice. Warner Bros. Pictures

Inherent Vice: how to adapt a difficult book for the screen

In a revealing moment from Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 “nostalgia-noir” novel, hippy private eye Doc Sportello speaks to a client, Trillium Fortnight, who is able to diagnose the whereabouts of…
Dóra Maurer, Seven Rotations 1–6, 1979. Collection of Zsolt Somlói and Katalin Spengler © Dóra Maurer

100 years on a black square is as adventurous as it was in 1915

Kazimir Malevich unveiled his now iconic pared down painting of a black square on a white background in 1915. This was a moment that not only represented a turning point in art, but in politics too. This…
Black holes aren’t black. Warner Bros.

Interstellar gives a spectacular view of hard science

Note: this article has spoilers. In Interstellar’s near-ish future, our climate has failed catastrophically, crops die in vast blights and America is a barely-habitable dustbowl. Little education beyond…
Shell shock? BBC/Big Talk/Robert Viglasky

BBC explores the therapeutic origins of a 1930s zoo

The history of zoos is eccentric, erratic; spotted with the spectacular as well as the cruel. But one of the more interesting beginnings of a zoo has to be that of Chester Zoo. And this is the story that…
Yearning for the past. Beamish, The Living Museum of the North Photo: Tate Photography

The Tate taps into nostalgia, but don’t forget the future of folk

Folk is fashionable. Its latest manifestation at Tate Britain is only the most recent of stirrings – it been on the up for a number of years. Perhaps most obviously is the resurgence of folk music, which…
Reconstruction of 26 rue du Depart, Paris. © 2014 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/oHCR InternationalUSA. Photo by Paul Delbo

Piet Mondrian’s homeless abstraction comes to Liverpool

Tate Liverpool’s latest exhibition, of which I am a co-curator, is of the work of Piet Mondrian, the Dutch painter and pioneer of modern abstract art who is probably best known today for his iconic grids…
John Constable, Sketch for ‘Hadleigh Castle’, c.1828–9. Tate

Kenneth Clark – the last art historian in pursuit of beauty

There is currently something of a Kenneth Clark renaissance, with an exhibition devoted to him just opened at Tate Britain, and a new Civilisation planned by the BBC. If there is anything to be gained…
Sandro Botticelli, Three Miracles of Saint Zenobius, c. 1500. © The National Gallery, London

National Gallery bid to set stage doesn’t quite build full picture

A painting is often like theatre. There are actors, who give expression to a narrative. They are distributed across a stage floor and positioned against a scenic backdrop. The artist is both the stage…
Henri Matisse, The Horse, the Rider, and the Clown 1943-4. © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Claude Planchet © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2013

Matisse cut-outs stun with colour, scale and ambition

The Tate Modern’s incredible new exhibition brings together more than 130 works by the French artist from public and private collections worldwide. It is a once in a lifetime show that focuses on Matisse’s…
Striding back on to our screens. Sky Atlantic

Review: Game of Thrones season four opener

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season four, episode one. When we first met Charles Dance’s Tywin Lannister back in season one he was gutting a stag – a none-too-subtle…

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