Zoe Pilger

Zoe Pilger is an art critic for The Independent and winner of the 2011 Frieze International Writers Prize. Her first novel, Eat My Heart Out, will be published by Serpent's Tail in February 2014. She is also researching a PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London, on the subject of romantic love and sadomasochism in the work of contemporary female artists. She has appeared on BBC's The Review Show and Sky News

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Materia i diaris, 2009

Antoni Tàpies, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London

Antoni Tàpies was recovering from a lung infection in a mountain sanatorium during his late teens when he began reading the fiction and philosophy that would shape his later oeuvre. The year was 1942.

1975 Mirage (Jammer) by Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg, Jammers, Gagosian Gallery, London

There is a photograph of American artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) relaxing on a lilo in the swimming-pool of the Villa de Madame Sarabhai in Ahmedabad, India. The year is 1975.

Paul de Monchaux, Song School, 2009, 455 x 300 x 220 mm, Bronze

Paul de Monchaux, Fixing Memory: Sculpture 1986 – 2013, The Piper Gallery, London

According to Mayan legend, The Pyramid Of The Magician was created over a single night. Some versions state that the magician was a dwarf, hatched out of an egg under the spell of his mother, a witch.

Rosemarie Trockel, A Cosmos, Serpentine Gallery, London

Last month German painter Georg Baselitz dismissed female artists on the grounds that they lacked the instinct for creative destruction. His compatriot Rosemarie Trockel was a case in point. He said condescendingly: “There is a lot of love in her art, a lot of sympathy.”

Sarah Lucas Self Portrait with Knickers 1994

BP British Art Displays: Looking At The View, Tate Britain, London

To walk through this display of mostly British landscape artists from the Tate collection is akin to walking through the British countryside itself: bracing, meditative, green, and, at times, dull. However, many exceptional works are included.

Exhibition of the Week: Quitte le Pouvier: New Paintings by Aboudia, Jack Bell Gallery, London SW1

Still only 30, the Ivory Coast artist Aboudia has been compared to Jean-Michel Basquiat, which is fair. The power of these paintings hits you as soon as you walk in the gallery.

German painter Georg Baselitz is bogged down by macho notions of art as destruction

His claim that women are always bad painters is pure nonsense

Wildness by Wu Tsang

Wildness, Wu Tsang, The Tanks, Tate Modern, London

Nostalgia for more “urgent” times compelled artist and film-maker Wu Tsang, 31, to document the life of a transgender bar called the Silver Platter in MacArthur Park, L.A.

Aboudia, Quitte Le Pouvoir: New Paintings by Aboudia, Jack Bell Gallery, London

During the 10 day battle for Abidjan, when violence in the Ivory Coast turned into civil war, Ivoran artist Aboudia remained in the city and hid in his basement studio, listening to the sound of gunfire. He went outside to see what was happening and then returned to paint. That was in March 2011.

Gerard Byrne, State of Neutral Pleasure, Whitechapel Gallery, London

A country road. A tree. Evening. Irish artist Gerard Byrne has borrowed these stage directions from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot to title a series of photographs. They show just that – trees on roads in the evening.

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