George Ortiz was one of the great contemporary collectors. He came to public attention in 1994, when the Royal Academy showed his breathtaking collection of antiquities. Not all were impressed: Lord Renfrew criticised the show, talking of “the large-scale looting which is the ultimate source of so much of what he is able to exhibit.” This stung, because Ortiz’s collecting was guided by the concept of André Malraux’s Musée Imaginaire, where objects could be viewed without the preconceptions that grouped them by country and period – contrary to the traditional practice of curators and art historians.
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Sunday 03 July 2011
The official guidance at the start of the royal tour of Canada was that Kate would be seen and not heard. I wonder if Prince William was advised to be heard and not seen, for he has been edited out of most of the newspaper photographs.
Friday 01 July 2011
Saturday 25 June 2011
Like the movie stars who put it on the map, St-Tropez is smaller in the flesh than you might imagine. Watching locals play late-afternoon boules in the town square, dwarfed on every side by sea, sky and rugged Provençal mountains, it's hard to reconcile this place with its fabled excesses (until you realise that those rustic, cobbled alleys are lined with designer brands, or you take a closer look at the prices on the menus).
Sunday 19 June 2011
Living in London during the summer is something like living in the souks but with none of the exotic, spicy charm. About seven million of us crammed in higgledy-piggledy, in such close proximity to one another that no man's dinner remains unique, thanks to the person frying garlic on the ground floor. Even the rice pudding tastes of it.
Thursday 09 June 2011
The work of one of Azerbaijan's leading artists, at the centre of an embarrassing dispute at the prestigious Venice Art Biennale, has been removed from the festival after the country's President apparently intervened to say the works were distasteful.
Thursday 09 June 2011
Shelagh Wakely was an experimental artist who combined in a very personal and original way the worlds of visual art, architecture and design. She made many commissioned works for public spaces in Britain and abroad, among them Curcuma sul travertino, made up of loose turmeric scattered in baroque patterns on the travertine marble floors of the British School in Rome (1991). A scent of turmeric filled the air until the piece was swept up at the end of three weeks. More recently she designed a mosaic for the new south porch tympanum of the Royal Albert Hall, and an ambitious installation incorporating the shadow of a tree and glass paving slabs encapsulating aluminium leaf patterned by falling rain for the Marunouchi building in Tokyo.
Saturday 04 June 2011
The Azerbaijan government has staged a literal cover-up at this year's Venice Biennale, the world's most high-profile showcase of contemporary art, by hiding the work of one of its own artists beneath a piece of cloth.
Wednesday 01 June 2011
Ratko Mladic arrived in The Hague last night to face war crimes charges after a Belgrade court rejected his appeal against extradition.
Wednesday 01 June 2011
Tuesday 31 May 2011
As he awaited extradition to a UN tribunal, jailed war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic has been allowed to visit the grave of his daughter who committed suicide during Bosnia's war.
Tuesday 24 May 2011
New York Public Library celebrated its 100th anniversary yesterday. Its landmark Fifth Avenue building has nurtured generations of scholars and boasts such treasures as a Gutenberg Bible and an early copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Monday 16 May 2011
Sunday 15 May 2011
Monday 02 May 2011
Saturday 30 April 2011
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death