Cerith Wyn Evans: Forms in Space … by Light (in Time) review – an optical trapeze act

The Welsh artist unveils 2km of neon suspended in mid-air – and it’s an adventure playground for the eyes. It all begins with a white neon O, hanging above our heads like the shape the lips make before an exclamation. Or a spyglass aimed at the chaos beyond.  Suspended partway down the long Duveen Gallery […]

America After the Fall review – upheaval in the home of the brave

Royal Academy, London Dance marathons, dustbowl farms, brawling sailors, impoverished cotton-pickers … Adrian Searle takes a journey through 1930s America in a gripping show. The sedan careers up the hill on a country road, slewing as a truck comes over the rise. We have a death’s-eye view, watching it happen. Everything slows down – a […]

Wolfgang Tillmans review – a rollercoaster ride around the world

Room after room, turn after turn, Wolfgang Tillmans’ Tate Modern exhibition teems with images large and small. Images alone and arrays of larger and smaller photographs, framed and unframed and attached to the wall with bulldog clips, hung high over doorways and shuffled on a table. A young man’s neck, a knee, a hand stuffed […]

Abstract Expressionism review – crammed in a room with the big men of US art

There are beautiful, marvellous and terrifying things in the Royal Academy’s much-trumpeted survey of Abstract Expressionism. What more could one ask in a show including the explosive and tender Jackson Pollock; De Kooning swerving and jumbling and dismembering his frightening figures of women; Rothko’s tangy brightness and trembling, tremulous darkness;Barnett Newman’s zips and planes and […]

Martin Creed interview: ‘Art is anything used as art by people’

I meet Martin Creed more than a week before his retrospective What’s the point of it? opens at the Hayward. The gallery is full of 25 years’ worth of improbable, witty, uplifting art; I am especially gladdened by a wall covered in 1,000 prints of broccoli. But the show is not ready yet: the atmosphere […]

Martin Creed @ Hauser & Wirth’s Somerset Gallery

Immaculate in a grey suit, Martin Creed strides towards me in the car park at Durslade Farm, home of Hauser & Wirth’s Somerset gallery. He could be a businessman out on his lunch break on a spring day. Then I notice the spatters and whiplashes of paint all over his clothes, the splodges of colour […]

Ai Weiwei review – momentous and moving

If there were any who doubted Ai Weiwei’s work matched his reputation, this rollercoaster of a show – racing between his time in jail, the Sichuan earthquake and 3,000 crabs – should silence them. Three-thousand porcelain river crabs clamber over one another in a great red, green and white sprawl of twitching legs and claws. […]

Ai Weiwei review – momentous and moving

Three-thousand porcelain river crabs clamber over one another in a great red, green and white sprawl of twitching legs and claws. Porcelain sunflower seeds are one thing, crabs another. Good thing they’re not quite real. This is but one small moment in the largest show Ai Weiwei has held in Britain. Not exactly a retrospective, […]

Kazimir Malevich: prisoner, revolutionary, suspected spy … artist

At the heart of Kazimir Malevich’s art is a statement so final that everything else orbits it. Emphatic, plain and declarative, his Black Square has a modest, expressionless presence. It seems like a last word. But what was it? An abstract icon? A tombstone for pictorial art? The portrait of an idea? Or a thing in itself? Perhaps not […]

Use your imagineering: Ryan Gander’s art world of pranks and puzzles

Eyes in the wall, coins glued to the floor: Gander’s new show at Manchester Art Gallery is full of spoof and childish wonder – he’s having a laugh, but is it at our expense? The eyes swivel and follow me round the room, blinking with an echoing clack! Insouciant eyebrows are raised then furrow with […]

Franz West review – his sculptures look like they’ve wandered in, up to no good

Showing the Austrian maverick at the temple to Britain’s greatest female sculptor reveals what a complex and joyous artist he was. If you stand among Barbara Hepworth‘s carved and rounded plaster and wood shapes at the Hepworth in Wakefield for long enough, you feel that time will wear a hole right through you. Hepworth’s art seemed to aim […]

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs review – ‘how rich, how marvellous, how alive’

Bees swarm, swallows swerve, a shark swims the wall … with a pair of giant dress-making scissors, Matisse cut himself free from the miseries of illness and old age, creating luscious cut-outs that unleashed a new art. Adrian Searle eats up a joyous show at Tate Modern. Scissors, paper, pins – these were all it […]

Martin Creed at the Hayward: the faeces, the phallus …

The Hayward’s Martin Creed show is more like a glorious tour of his mind. Adrian Searle has the time of his life squeezing through balloons, ducking a steel beam – and watching an endless erection. The variety of Creed’s work makes it hard to talk about touch, manner or voice. But they’re there all the […]

Full circle: the endless attraction of Damien Hirst’s spot paintings

The titles of Damien Hirst‘s spot paintings give them a slightly menacing, as well as a dangerously attractive, air: Cocaine Hydrochloride, Morphine Sulphate, Bovine Albumin, Butulinium Toxin A. Their relentless, insistent brightness feels almost bad for you. No wonder one group of paintings is called Controlled Substances. Yet they have no discernable secrets, and that’s part of the deal. […]