Review

Review
Book Shorts

Postcards as art and the art of the postcard

Book looks at British Museum’s contemporary artists' postcards from 1960 to the present

Review
Exhibitions

Ben Quilty: an artist on the frontline

As the Australian artist's major retrospective opens in Adelaide, we speak to him about his time as a war artist in Afghanistan and his campaign against the death penalty

Review
Book Shorts

A book on birth and child-rearing before Dr Spock

The history—in images and works of decorative art—of giving birth and raising children before 1900

Review
Media & broadcast

Ruben Brandt, Collector is an animated art heist film bursting with references

The comedy is clever, playful and inventive—although the car chases are never-ending

Review
Renaissance

#Menudetoo: naked bodies in the Renaissance explored at the Royal Academy of Arts and in three new publications

Examining the many meanings—and inanities—ascribed to the unclothed human body in Western art

Review
Book Shorts

Dead kings and queens and where to find them

A dictionary of the burial places of the English and Scottish kings and queens (and their relations)

Review
Exhibitions

Jasper Johns’s latest work is unmistakably his own, transmitting traces of the past

From the very first painting in his show at Matthew Marks Gallery, visitors will find familiar themes

Review
Art market

This is African art's Golden Age, but can 1-54 Marrakech help build a sustainable domestic clientele?

Western interest in contemporary works from the continent is at a high, but that can be a double-edged sword

Review
Books

Scenography in contemporary Scandinavian opera and theatre take centre stage in new book

Lars-Ake Thessman on his set- and costume-designs

Review
Biennials & festivals

Hits and misses at Palm Springs's second Desert X biennial

Some half-baked works mean this year’s event fails to live up to the promise of the first edition

Review
Books

A hefty tome on the arts of the Austro-Hungarian belle époque

The extraordinary mitteleuropäische flourishing of all the arts from 1900 to 1914

Review
Media & broadcast

A man-made landscape is writ large on the screen in Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

After its US premier at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, the visually stunning documentary heads to Berlin

Review
Books

Wish you were here: revolutionary postcards in Imperial Russia

Book collects pictorially subversive propaganda in a populist medium

Review
Media & broadcast

In broad strokes, Velvet Buzzsaw slashes the art world, but without drawing much blood

It is during the film’s quieter moments that Jake Gyllenhaal’s critical character comes out and John Malkovich is shown to be a sensitive artist

Review
Exhibitions

Dawoud Bey brings viewers on an evocative journey along the Underground Railroad

The artist’s new series of nocturnal photographs, on show at the Art Institute of Chicago, vividly imagine the kinds of scenes escaping slaves might have seen

Review
Exhibitions

Madrid's small but perfectly formed Bartolomé Bermejo show is 'art history at its best'

Museo del Prado’s show on the 15th-century Spanish painter is elegant, intellectually incisive and rich in both news and rarely seen art

Review
Art market

Brafa fills a gap in the art fair market (yes, apparently there is one)

New exhibitors at Brussels event are targeting a strong European collector base seeking works priced under €1m

Review
Jasper Johns

Complex, ingenious, emotional: the concluding volumes of Jasper Johns’s catalogues raisonnés

Two further volumes comprehensively cover the artist's drawings and monotypes

Review
Books

Clement Greenberg: still waiting for sympathetic treatment

On the 110th birthday of the great American critic, we delve into our archive and discover that writings about him are either too academic or too sensationalist

Review
Exhibitions

Pakistani-American painter Ambreen Butt imbues traditional miniatures with timely social criticism

Her show Mark My Words is at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC—one of the museums still open during the shutdown

Review
Exhibitions

Essential viewing: Warhol from A to B and Back Again at New York’s Whitney Museum

The sprawling show is a needed revisit for those who remember Warhol as a living, brilliant savant, taste-maker and oddball

Review
Biennials & festivals

Environmental issues grow on the Taipei Biennale

Co-curators Mali Wu and Francesco Manacorda have invited Taiwanese indigenous land right protesters to occupy parts of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Review
Books

Close study of fashions in medieval manuscripts is key to understanding interactions of literature and dress

Book of illuminations show various fashions that shed light on literary styles

Review
Exhibitions

Skip the art history lesson—experience Picasso ‘intuitively’ at Musée d’Orsay's Blue and Rose blockbuster

The show promises a continuum in Picasso’s work, a gentle slide, rather than rigidly compartmentalised episodes

Review
Books

Southeast Asian illuminated manuscripts

Book looks at Thai and Burmese historic texts from the British Library

Review
Books

Book delves into the Rothschild collection of bizarre objects associated with death and dying

The collection was assembled by baroness Henri de Rothschild

Review
Books

First book on art collection of the draughtsman and cult figure Edward Gorey

Gorey inexplicably left his collection to the Wadsworth Atheneum

Review
Exhibitions

A dive into Bruce Nauman’s confounding, zigzagging career

Nauman's early artistic quandaries seem to have manifested larger cultural anxieties that have never really abated

Review
Books

Philippe Costamagna’s combination of autobiography, anecdote and single discovery told in his own words

The memoirs of the Pontormo expert and director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Ajaccio

Review
Exhibitions

Unlocking the secrets of China’s Qing dynasty empresses

From portraits to robes to jewelry, Peabody Essex Museum explores the intricate trappings of female power and influence

Review
Exhibitions

Big on Bruegel: Vienna museum assembles largest show on the artist

A literally once-in-a-lifetime exhibition at Kunsthistorisches Museum

Review
Books

Sidney Knafel's collection of French 16th- to 18th-century faïence promised to the Frick Collection

The collector's collection of 75 magnificent pieces

Review
Books

Renaissance prints as sources of images for maiolica and bronze reliefs

The interactions of Renaissance drawing, printing and ceramics

Review
Books

The influence of Klimt in Central European art after the First World War

The adaptations and expansions of the Austrian painter in the nations of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire

Review
Books

What books in paintings mean

The significance of books in works of art

Review
Books

Caucasian collecting: the Bodleian Library’s Georgian papers, books and medieval manuscripts

The collection amassed by Sir Oliver and Marjory Wardrop

Review
British Museum

British Museum’s Islamic art finally gets its fairy-tale ending

Restored Victorian galleries, funded by Albukhary Foundation and featuring screens by Ahmad Angawi, have transformed the presentation of the collection

Review
Books

A monumental study of the heyday of Historicist painting

This comprehensive volume looks at a genre popular in 19th-century Europe but long scorned in the art world

Review
Exhibitions

Tintoretto’s drawings bring new surprises and scholarship to his 500th birthday celebrations

An exhibition at the Morgan Library adds insight through the Venetian artist’s contemporaries

Review
Biennials & festivals

Pittsburgh’s Carnegie International is a DIY (Do Interpret Yourself) exhibition

The show’s curator Ingrid Schaffner has avoided an ill-fitting theme and allowed the art to speak for itself—sometimes this works and sometimes it does not

Review
Books

Jackson Pollock's art gets lost in academic theory in new book

This scholarly overview of the artist’s work is modishly opaque

Review
Books

Reputations redeemed by art: two books examine what made Charles I and II great collectors but bad rulers

Despite the failings of the Stuart kings, their art collections stand in their favour, as exhibitions in the UK this year have shown

Review
Gwangju Biennale

Gwangju Biennale's 11 curators delve into South Korea's hidden traumas

The theme of Imagined Borders addresses the fraught relationship with the North as well as global tensions surrounding migration and identity

Review
Exhibitions

An enigma solved: Old Masters and contemporary artists mix together well at David Zwirner

A show co-organised with the dealer Nicholas Hall demonstrates the endlessly exciting possibilities of blending the old and the new

Review
Exhibitions

In a troubled Iranian era, art defied darkness

A show at Toronto's Aga Khan Museum zeroes in on creativity in the Qajar Dynasty

Review
Art market

Beirut Art Fair gives helping hand to embattled Egyptian galleries

Lebanese event cuts 'special offer' to help Egypt's galleries exhibit abroad and invests $100,000 in outreach to encourage collectors from further afield

Review
Video, film & new media

Gael García Bernal’s new film Museo turns Mexico’s biggest art heist into a madcap caper

The Spanish-launguage movie follows two middle-class flunkies who somehow pulled off one the largest antiquities thefts in modern-day history

Review
Books

Chicago’s art history, revised

An essay collection illuminates a rich and, ultimately, countercultural legacy

Review
Books

Otto Marseus van Schrieck: introducing the inventor of the 'forest-floor' still-life

This splendid book uncovers the Dutch painter who brought the lowliest creatures of the forest ecosystem to life

Review
Books

Prefab(ulous): the story of an 18th-century chapel made entirely in Rome for a church in Lisbon

This fascinating survey offers both detailed commentary and lavish illustrations

Review
Abstract art

What debt does mid-century American abstract painting owe to Monet?

Exhibition in Paris attempts to draw connections between the Impressionist and Pollock, Rothko and friends—with mixed results

Review
Donald Judd

Settling into Donald Judd’s demanding furniture

A show at SFMoMA reminds a critic of his past experience with Judd and his creations

Review
Books

Telling us why and how: a groundbreaking study of Veronese’s techniques and paintings

These two books—very different in approach—analyse the process and works of the Italian Renaissance painter

Review
Books

Henry I of Haiti: the little-known story of a king and his amazing building spree

A short but fascinating book about a man immortalised through architecture

Review
Exhibitions

David Wojnarowicz was a poet, a fighter, a hustler, a survivor

The many sides of a complicated artist are explored with the freshness, polish, and insight in the Whitney Museum’s retrospective

Review
Books

The tortuous story of Gustav Klimt’s Nazi-looted, 100ft-wide Beethoven Frieze uncovered

New book exploring work's provenance is a must-read for those interested in the contentious field of art restitution

Review
Exhibitions

Nicholas Galanin remixes Native American identity at Phoenix’s Heard Museum

The artist, who is of Tlingit and Unangax descent, confronts the traumatic past in deeply affecting ways but does not wallow in it

Review
Books

Potty about pictures: ancient Athenian vases are an important historical resource—but this book fails to deliver

Large gaps in the material and a lack of thorough explanation make this volume less useful than it could be

Review
Exhibitions

John Akomfrah digs into history’s darkness at the New Museum

The British film-maker’s first US museum survey at the New Museum shows that he is one of the most forceful and stirring artists of the day—and one of our best social archaeologists

Review
Media & broadcast

Nico, 1988: the twilight after the spotlight

Susanna Nicchiarelli’s drama depicts the grim final years of the singer-songwriter

Review
Books

Very much an acquired taste: how did so many Italian baroque paintings end up in US museums?

Book provides a sampling of personalities, acquisition strategies and collections that many Europeans may not know

Review
Books

Picture perfect: a 'sumptuous' book on Pre-Raphaelite stained glass

While its terminology is unsteady, the scholarship and production values of this sequel volume are exceptional

Review
Books

How to force historians to use their eyes: book urges academics to 'take art more seriously'

Princeton University's Theodore K. Rabb says more visual materials—not only written records—should be explored

Review
Books

Many pictures but no big picture: book struggles to capture the extraordinary life of Harald Szeemann

Volume on pioneering curator takes an admiring, rather than a critically analytical, approach

Review
Books

Pull up a pew: vast volume surveys church cabinetmaking in 17th- and 18th-century Austria

Illuminating historical overviews and a mass of documentary research covers an under-studied subject

Review
Books

Thinking with pictures: how images were used for philosophical thinking in the Early Modern period

A rich and fascinating book on what can rightly be called the art of philosophy

Review
Books

A Käthe Kollwitz renaissance is under way (and about time, too)

A pair of publications shed new light on profoundly socially committed artist

Review
Exhibitions

Louvre’s Delacroix exhibition uncovers France’s superstar of the Romantic era

His boundless inventiveness as a painter—and not only—shines through in this ambitious survey

Review
Books

Before gardens had capabilities: book explores English landscaping in the 17th and early 18th centuries

After “Capability” Brown’s tercentenary in 2016, this volume looks at the places the landscape architect is often accused of destroying

Review
Media & broadcast

Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti is a sombre picture of the artist under the sun

There are few surprises in this boilerplate biopic based on the painter’s time in Polynesia

Review
Books

Cottaging—an acquired taste? New book looks at England’s once-popular Cottage Orné style

An enlightening survey on the story of English architecture and the quintessential country house

Review
ArtVilnius

Get over the unpronounceable names—go east for talented, smart artists at affordable prices

ArtVilnius fair has just held its tenth edition and is building the market for ex-communist countries with long artistic traditions

Review
Manifesta 12

Manifesta 12 makes the most of Palermo's botanical backdrop

Explorations of migration, slavery, memory and decay flourish in nomadic biennial’s botanic garden setting

Review
Exhibitions

Joaquín Torres-García, mapped and remapped

Acquavella Galleries’ exhibition of the Uruguay-born Modernist is a primer for the uninitiated and a treasury of rarely seen gems

Review
Exhibitions

Chicago’s Surrealists get the homecoming they deserve at the Arts Club

An exhibition at the historic private members club gives recognises a lesser known group of artists