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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Laura Knight's 'Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breechring' (1943)

Human touch: Laura Knight's National Portrait Gallery show is a timely reminder of her talent

She was once the best known female artist in Britain. After her death in 1970, she fell out of fashion, but a new show of her wartime paintings and sympathetic portraits is a timely reminder of her talent, says Adrian Hamilton

Exhibition of week: Ibrahim el-Salahi: a Visionary Modernist

Tate Modern, London SE1

Pictures of innocence: 'Female Tree' (1994)

Ibrahim el-Salahi: Out of Africa

As a student in London in the 1950s, Sudanese-born Ibrahim el-Salahi was influenced by Western art. But it is the images from his homeland that most fascinate, says Adrian Hamilton

Diego Rivera’s Dance in Tehuantepec

The Mex Factor: how Mexico's cultural revolution was inspired by the nation’s political and natural landscape

The Mexican civil war in 1910 sparked a cultural revolution. An enlightening exhibition shows how both home-grown and international artist responded

Exhibition of the week: Vermeer and Music: the Art of Love and Leisure

National Gallery, London WC2

Vermeer’s ‘The Guitar Player’ (c1672)

Vermeer hits the high notes at the National Gallery

The National Gallery's new summer exhibition devoted to the art of making music in 17th-century Netherlands makes the heart sing, says Adrian Hamilton

Exhibition of the week: Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis of Brilliance, 1908-1922, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London SE21

This show explores what the First World War did to a generation of young artists who came to it full of the joys of modernity and emerged with a sense of inadequacy.

David Bomberg’s ‘In the Hold’ (1913-14)

Brushed aside by the chaos of conflict: A Crisis of Brilliance at the Dulwich Picture Gallery

A new exhibition shows how the First World War crushed the ambitions of a generation of  talented artists, who felt they had failed to portray the full horror of the slaughter

Jessica Jackson Hutchins

Paper view: Turning a 2D sheet of parchment into a 3D delight

A new exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery demonstrates how unpromising materials such as old fast-food bags and stained newsprint can be transformed into art works of breathtaking beauty, says Adrian Hamilton

Exhibition of the week: Propaganda: Power and Persuasion, British Library

Propaganda has become a dirty word but it remains a much-employed tool, as this provocative show proves. Posters, films, cartoons and tweets expose the mind-boggling ways in which states from over the world have tried to exercise their powers of persuasion in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?