Critic's View: The Brit Awards, O2 Arena, London

It was crying out for Cocker, Ross... even Gervais

Damien Hirst at a preview for his exhibition 'Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011' at the Gagosian Gallery

Hirst rewards lovers of his hot spots

Intrepid fans who made 30,000 mile pilgrimage win prints that could be worth thousands

Damien Hirst's 'Myristyl Acetate' from The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011 at the Gagosian Gallery in New York

Still dotty about Damien Hirst

As Damien Hirst's Spot Paintings go on display at 11 Gagosian galleries worldwide, Adrian Hamilton visits the two London shows and finds real pleasure in their playfulness

Michel Hazanavicius' next film will be a remake of the 1948 film The Search
Pictures from home: Bamako, Mali 1948-1963, is a weighty new coffee-table book from Steidl that collects previously unpublished portraits from the archives of Seydou Keïta - whose stylised studio shots documented life in his hometown in the colony of French Sudan, then a bustling transport route to Dakar - with some of his most celebrated work. £86; steidlville.com

Letters: Hirst is no 'great', nor a craftsman

Michael Petry misses the point when he counters David Hockney's criticism of Damien Hirst by citing other artists who used assistants to help create their works ("Assistants were always used by the greats", 3 January).

Michael Petry: Assistants were always used by the greats

Most artists neither grind their own pigments nor make the canvas they use. The notion of the studio and assistants goes back hundreds of years.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living 1991

Has Damien Hirst jumped the shark?

Tate Modern will host the artist's first British retrospective next year. But critics are divided about whether he deserves it

Big space, big art, big ego

Jay Jopling is an unstoppable force in British art. As he prepares to open Europe's largest commercial gallery, Rob Sharp examines his influence

Big space, big art, big ego

Jay Jopling is an unstoppable force in British art. As he prepares to open Europe's largest commercial gallery, Rob Sharp examines his influence

Hirst returns to his home town to cries of 'spiritual bankruptcy'

Damien Hirst might have won over the most powerful figures in the art world with his provocative, if repetitive, imagery, but his former art college tutors are unimpressed with his morbid, money-obsessed style, claiming it is "spiritually bankrupt" and "unsexy".

Andy Warhol goes to work on an egg

As a new Tate exhibition will show, the godfather of Pop Art underwent a radical change of direction late in life. Andrew McCorkell reports

Skateboards: Hirst on wheels... yours for £1,200

Artist taps into the cool designer skateboard market, but the exorbitant prices he is charging have infuriated aficionados.
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee