Best of 2014: Art

The year hasn’t been short of blockbuster surveys and brilliantly curated displays, as well as smaller, more focused surveys that have been unjustly overlooked but which have proved quietly groundbreaking in their own way. The best exhibitions, which are not, of course, always the ones with the biggest fanfare, nor even the best loans, usually […]

Allen Jones, Royal Academy

A brilliant painter derailed by an unfortunate obsession. There’s no escaping it; Hat Stand, 1969, is a beastly object. The blank-faced mannequin is too literal to succeed as a sculpture, and the conceit is too nasty to be ignored. Her position – holding up her hands to receive our hats – recalls the torture meted […]

Georg Baselitz, Gagosian Gallery/British Museum

Georg Baselitz, the veteran German artist who likes to bait, provoke and raise hackles, most recently with an interview in Der Spiegel in which he said women artists couldn’t paint (he mentioned the few exceptions, which was generous of him), is enjoying a triple billing in London. His new paintings at the Gagosian Gallery adopt the Abstract […]

Martin Creed: What’s the point of it? Hayward Gallery

Silly, serious and a sensory delight. Work from the artist who won the Turner Prize turning the lights off and on. If you’re suffering from the January blues, hurry to the Southbank Centre where Martin Creed’s exhibition is bound to make you smile. The man best known for winning the Turner Prize in 2001 by […]

Big Brother Watching Me: Citizen Ai Weiwei, BBC Four

For a film that opened with Ai Weiwei’s statement, “Without freedom of speech, there is no modern world, just a barbaric one,” there was an irony in the fact that Andreas Johnsen’s Big Brother Watching Me… started practically without words. When the artist was freed in June 2011 following 80 days in prison, one of the conditions […]

Jake and Dinos Chapman: Come and See, Serpentine Sackler Gallery

The Chapmans not only are what they are, but they embody what they are to perfection. And just when you think you may have outgrown them yourself – like you might a lover whose jokes have grown wearisome, but really, it’s you, it’s you – they hijack your affections once more by being both brilliant and […]

Being Kazimir Malevich, in Amsterdam

All eyes were on the Rijksmuseum when it re-opened in April after a 10-year refurbishment, but across the Museumplein, Amsterdam’s gallery of contemporary and modern art, the Stedelijk, was already settling into its new look, unveiled six months before. With its world-beating collection and extended galleries, it is already an attractive destination, but a remarkable […]