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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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

R B Kitaj’s ‘The Wedding’ (1989-93)

R B Kitaj retrospective comes to London a decade after he fled Britain over 'anti-Semitism'

An American who spent his life in England, the artist Kitaj was so incensed by “anti-Semitic” reviews of his Tate show in 1994, he left the country. Six years after his death, a pair of shows reassess his legacy

Turner-Prize winning artist Simon Starling (right) stands in front of his new film installation Phantom Ride commissioned by Tate Britain which shows images of artworks that been shown at the Tate in the past.

Art review: Tate Britain's self-reflexive new commission 'Phantom Ride' by Simon Starling is elegantly executed but too restricted

Public galleries make much of their artist commissions these days. The more traditional their collections, the more directors want to give a contemporary zing to their establishments by presenting a new work by a contemporary artist. But they are, by nature constrictive. You ask an artist to make a statement about the collection, the edifice or whatever, but too often it remains just that: a statement rooted to a place by the terms of the deal.

Exhibition of the week: Barocci: Brilliance and Grace, National Gallery, London WC2

British museums are short of paintings by the Italian mannerists and post-Renaissance artists, and Federico Barocci was recognised by his peers as the finest of his generation.

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Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star