As his biography of Benjamin West PRA is published, Loyd Grossman reveals how this founding member of the Academy broke with the past like no other artist of his era.
Ma Jian is renowned for his novels exploring subjects censored in China, where his books are banned, and he has been barred from entering the Chinese mainland. Ahead of Ai Weiwei’s RA retrospective, we asked the writer about his admiration for the artist, and about the limits of free expression in China.
The Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard was one of the great portraitists of the Enlightenment. Christopher Baker introduces the idiosyncratic Orientalist whose travels through the courts of Europe and beyond resulted in works of exceptional delicacy.
Fearless and uncompromising, Ai Weiwei’s art challenges cultural values, confronts injustices and pushes materials to their limit. Sam Phillips talks to the artist about his show at the RA, which he was not expecting to be able to attend.
The late John Hoyland RA told Damien Hirst about meeting Francis Bacon, and what it is to be a painter.
Chris Wilkinson RA has continued to value hand drawing in an age where digital software prevails in architectural offices. Hugh Pearman meets him as a show opens at the RA to accompany the publication of his sketchbooks.
The intensely wrought paintings of Frank Auerbach find their match in Giacometti’s sculptures, as two shows reveal, says Simon Wilson.