SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Miguel Cullen

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May 02, 2018
Is the Pope’s homeland about to liberalise abortion? With the exception of Uruguay, abortion laws in Latin America have always favoured the unborn child. That may be about to change. This June, in the Pope’s homeland, the lower house of Congress is due to vote on the legalisation of abortion up to 14 weeks. Preliminary
February 01, 2018
The Hayward Gallery was originally designed with 68 pyramidical roof lights, in 1968. Half a century on, the skylights that Henry Moore helped design are being restituted, replete with the mirrors that reflect the low southern arc of our London sun into the upper gallery. The Catholic Herald witnessed the fabulous refurbishment on launch night.
January 25, 2018
In The Cinema Travellers (PG, 136 mins, ★★★★) , we see Bapu, an itinerant Indian film-screener, unravel a loom of nitrate film with one leg squatted, one leg stretched; he looks like Gandhi, in his famous spinning wheel picture. Travelling cinemas are hardly revolutionary in India – they have been around for more than 70
January 18, 2018
Soutine’s Portraits: Cooks, Waiters and Bellboys Courtauld Gallery, London, until January 21 Last chance The Courtauld is missing the point. Its Soutine show is subtitled “Cooks, Waiters and Bellboys”, like a below-stairs Downton Abbey, disguised as the mock-creaky Parisian jeu de main of a melancholic ilustre: Soutine, darling of Roaring Twenties hostesses, set up today
January 18, 2018
Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11 Imperial War Museum, London, until May 28 “When I watch the towers fall … it cannot be denied … that as a spectacle it is a realisation of the mind” – the dolorous vocals play, primal and slowed down, over dubstep artist Shackleton’s eerie Blood on my Hands track.
November 02, 2017
Rembrandt’s Ecce Homo grisaille (1634) has a very striking appearance in one of the main rooms of Monochrome, the new exhibition at the National Gallery. The word “Tenebrae” can refer to the Holy Week service surrounding Jesus’s Passion, and originally comes from the Latin meaning “darkness”. This depiction of Pontius Pilate showing Jesus to his
September 21, 2017
If there exists, in insular London, an artistic “sceptre”, to use John of Gaunt’s phrase in Richard II, then it has changed hands many times and is now grasped by the Austrian dealer Thaddaeus Ropac, who has recently set up shop in Mayfair’s Ely House, which shares its name with where John of Gaunt died.
September 14, 2017
The Case for Christ (★★★, PG, 113 mins) might have the ring of a Da Vinci Code banalisation or of an anodyne, new-era American Evangelical film. Yet, while edging these barriers, it manages to create a religious film that doesn’t finagle us into believing. Western unrest in the 1930s created a vogue for horror films,
July 06, 2017
In Philip Guston’s pictures we see a panorama of scabrousness, of clogged desire, a cloaca of thwarted vigour, a pestilent ague. This is – perhaps surprisingly – a balsam to the nerves and over-active mind. Did Guston mean to depict Richard Nixon, his subject at Hauser & Wirth in London (until July 29), like this?
May 11, 2017
The Picasso: Minotaurs and Matadors exhibition at the Gagosian (London W1, until August 25) is a burdensome proposal. To face a Picasso is already difficult enough, let alone one depicting a Minotaur, with all its Spanish connotations as well as its mythological ones. The most startling series on show is 1935’s Minotauromachy, an intensely personal
March 23, 2017
Visiting American Dream: pop to present at the British Museum is a bit like solving a whodunit, cracking a finickity puzzle, or unmasking a villain, il capo di tutt’i capi. Finally, we see it all: the hand that holds the strings, where the real power resides – or resided – in international art. Warhol’s Marilyns,
March 16, 2017
Icíar Bollaín and Paul Laverty, a tight-knit duo with close links to Ken Loach, respectively direct and write the screenplay of The Olive Tree (★★★★, cert 15, 99 mins) – a tear-impelling study of the bonds forged between grandfather and granddaughter. At once a look at the Iberian economic crisis and the quick-fix loans that
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