Author Archives: martin

RA Magazine Presents: An Evening with Martin Gayford – Tuesday 8th November

As his book of conversations with David Hockney RA is published, critic Martin Gayford discusses art – and the art of interviewing artists – with Sam Phillips, editor of RA Magazine. Read more about the event and book tickets here.

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The Capability controversy

Three hundred years after the gardener’s birth, debates still rage over whether his ruthless landscaping led to something beautifully harmonious or just a bit dull   The Capability Brown-landscaped garden at Prior Park, near Bath, and the first know image … Continue reading

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‘Everything needs to be centred on humanity’: Interview with Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis photographed at the Monnaie de Paris, March 2016. Courtesy Monnaie de Paris; photo: Manolis Baboussis; © Jannis Kounellis   A few months ago, the Greek artist Jannis Kounellis (b. 1936) was in Sicily, talking to the students of … Continue reading

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David Hockney: “Photography has been making the world a bit too dull”

The following is an edited transcription of the conversation I had with David Hockney while recording the Radio 4 Documentary “Back in LA” Martin Gayford There are 82 portraits (and one still life) in your new exhibition at the Royal … Continue reading

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The over-exposure of Georgia O’Keeffe

‘New York Street with Moon’, 1925, by Georgia O’Keeffe   In 1927, Georgia O’Keeffe announced that she would like her next exhibition to be ‘so magnificently vulgar that all the people who have liked what I have been doing would … Continue reading

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Bologna with Gilbert & George

Bologna’s core: grand in the renaissance manner   Sooner or later, no matter where you are travelling on Italian railways, you are likely to pass through Bologna Centrale. The city is the main junction between the north and south of … Continue reading

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It’s time to split the Tate again

‘Babel’, 2001, by Cildo Meireles   In 1992 I wrote a column that was published under the headline ‘It’s Time to Split the Tate’. To my absolute astonishment, shortly afterwards it was announced that this would actually happen (no doubt … Continue reading

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My pilgrimage to see the world’s greatest male nudes

One of the two bronze statues of Greek warriors found in the sea off Riace, on display for the first time at the presidential palace in Rome, 1981 Initially it must have been a nasty surprise. On 16 August 1972 … Continue reading

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Poetic or pretentious? ‘Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust’ at the Royal Academy

‘Untitled (Tilly Losch)’, c.1935–38, by Joseph Cornell   Someone once asked Joseph Cornell who was his favourite abstract artist of his time. It was a perfectly reasonable question to put to a man who numbered Piet Mondrian, as well as … Continue reading

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Forget Vienna – Britain now has its own chamber of curiosities at the British Museum

Detail of a maiolica vase, c.1565–1571, a star piece for both Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill and later for Baron Ferdinand at Waddesdon Manor   Art is not jewellery. Its value does not reside in the price of the materials … Continue reading

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