Adrian Hamilton

The Independent’s former comment editor, Adrian Hamilton writes a weekly column largely on international affairs with particular focus on the Middle East, Iran and foreign policy issues. Before joining the paper he was deputy editor of the Observer newspaper.

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Sugimura Jihei, mid-1680s

The largest show of Japanese erotic artworks ever seen

The British Museum's new exhibition may be hardcore, but it's the humour and humanity that really thrills, says Adrian Hamilton

Exhibition of the week: Australia, Royal Academy of Arts, London W1

The Royal Academy's show presents 200 works covering 200 years of a country which has long found expression in visual art. A glorious opening gallery presents the visitor with works by contemporary native artists of extraordinary breadth.

The wizardry of Oz: Charles Meere’s ‘Australian Beach Pattern’ (1940)

Australia’s day in the sun, at the Royal Academy of Arts

It’s been a long time coming, but the Royal Academy’s survey of Australian art hosts some glorious work, and tells the fascinating story of a country struggling with its identity – and reconciling itself with its past

Exhibition of the week: Tom Phillips, Flowers Gallery, London W1

Tom Phillips has been engaged in a kind of mad, off-kilter art-play all his life – he is 76 – a practice involving the refining and revisiting of favourite themes.

Crazy in the head: Yumiko Utsu’s ‘Octopus Portrait’ (2009)

A riveting return to Victorian values

Contemporary artists have drawn much inspiration from the fascinations, obsessions and contradictions of the Victorian age, as Adrian Hamilton finds out at the most enthralling exhibition of the year so far

Exhibition of the week: Eduardo Paolozzi: Collaging Culture, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

If Eduardo Paolozzi is remembered as a founding figure of Pop Art, it is not how he wanted to go down in art history. Nor should it be. If anything, he was, as this exhibition shows, what he said of himself: a Surrealist, playing games, mixing images and delving into the subconscious.

Eduardo Paolozzi, Real Gold, 1949, Printed papers on paper, Tate, Presented by the artist 1995

Eduardo Paolozzi: Living in a materialist world

The Scottish artist found fame as a Pop Art pioneer, but it is his colourful collages, poking fun at post-war consumer society, which catch the eye of Adrian Hamilton at a revealing show in Chichester

Exhibition of the week: Donald Judd, David Zwirner Gallery, London W1

The American artist Donald Judd is one of the most significant postwar sculptors, but the British have always found him a cerebral minimalist. Judge for yourself in the first gallery showing of Judd's work in Britain in 15 years.

Exhibition of the week: Mostly West: Franz West and Artistic Collaborations, Inverleith House, Edinburgh

Franz West, who died a year ago, was the most lovable of Austrian artists. Described as a prankster, he was engaging in the way that he worked to attract the viewer to interact with his sculptures and installations.

All in good taste: ‘Platonischer Mond’ (2002) by Franz West

Please do touch: Franz West brings mischief to Inverleith House, Edinburgh

A major exhibition at the Edinburgh Festival features the collaborative ventures of the late Austrian artist Franz West. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the works and Adrian Hamilton joins in the fun

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