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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‘Multi-Saint’ (2013)

Heavenly Bodies: Michael Landy's artistic marriage made in heaven... and hell

YBA Michael Landy’s show Saints Alive at the National Gallery draws on details of the torture of the martyrs represented in masterpieces of the Renaissance. And the result, says Adrian Hamilton, is fascinating

Exhibition of the Week: Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan, Wellcome Collection, London NW1

Showcasing work from 46 artists living in or attending social welfare establishments across Japan, the curator Shamita Sharmacharja's exhibition highlights the pleasure that creativity gives the patients.

New Order: British Art Today/Gaiety Is the Most Outstanding Feature of the Soviet Union, Saatchi Gallery, London SW3 (saatchi-gallery.co.uk) to 9 June

New Order: British Art Today, at the Saatchi Gallery: this new order is far from sensational

The best that can be said for the works by young UK-based artists in a show at the Saatchi Gallery is that they're proficient. Adrian Hamilton misses the passion and provocation that the original YBAs inspired

Mum’s the word: Takako Shibata’s ‘Mother’ (1996-2001)

Beautiful minds: Outsider art at the Wellcome Collection

The first major exhibition of Japanese Outsider art in the UK brings together 46 artists who live on the margins of society. It's remarkable, says Adrian Hamilton

Rachel Whiteread: A lesson in how to think inside the box

Rachel Whiteread first won acclaim for her sculpture of a house’s interior. Two decades on, a new exhibition shows she is still a formidable artist, albeit a rather unemotional one,  says Adrian Hamilton

The Rijksmuseum from the canal

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum: Dutch art's high cathedral ushers in a new golden age

After 10 years and €375m, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam reopens this week. British museums could learn a lot from its tasteful, triumphant makeover, says Adrian Hamilton

Craigie Aitchison’s ‘Boat at Sunset’ (1990)

He comes in colours: Craigie Aitchison at the Waddington Custot Galleries

Scottish painter Craigie Aitchison was dismissed by some critics as twee. But the brightness and warmth in his work give it a compelling edge, as Adrian Hamilton discovers at the first show since the artist's death

Pope Francis and Xi Jinping

Super Power: The Pope and the Chinese President - two men who are leaders to over a billion people, but can they make a change?

This week, two very different men were elected to positions of dizzying influence. Each had worked his way up through a rigid, doctrinaire organisation. Each is now leader to more than a billion people. But can either of them realistically hope to achieve major change? Adrian Hamilton on a modern paradox

Exhibitions of the week: R B Kitaj: Obsessions, various venues

How Jewish was the art of R B Kitaj, one of the leading lights of postwar British art, who became so upset by the critical mauling he got that he left the country for his native America?

Pope Francis may do great things, but radical change won't be one of them

Nothing illustrates the chasm between secular and religious society better than the secular media's expectation that the new pope will do away with the old bureaucracy

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Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game