Figures and forms

To the Royal Academy on a Friday evening, joining those neglectful souls rushing to see the Bill Viola / Michelangelo exhibition before it closes (on March 31st). It was very impressive – it could hardly have been otherwise. The exhibition bringings together the work of video artist (for want of a better term) Bill Viola,Read More

Looking at paintings

There was a piece in The Times recently in which assorted experts – artists, art historians, gallery owners, critics – were asked to tell us the best way to appreciate a painting. Their responses ranged from the practical (choosing the picture you admire and devoting deep time to it), to the impractical (visit the galleryRead More

Journeymen

Cricket is first and foremost a dramatic spectacle. It belongs with the theatre, ballet, opera and the dance … It is so organized that at all times it is compelled to reproduce the central action which characterizes all good drama from the days of the Greeks to our own; two individuals are pitted against eachRead More

Kurt’s barn

The jazz singer and art lover George Melly was fond of telling a story about when he was confronted by some thugs with broken bottles outside a Manchester club. Running not being much of an option for the rotund Melly, and fighting or negotiating still less so, he chose instead to give a recitation ofRead More