Art


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Video/History of Ideas

Why Socrates believed that sexual desire is the first step towards righteousness

2 minutes

Essay/Beauty & Aesthetics

The great swindle

From pickled sharks to compositions in silence, fake ideas and fake emotions have elbowed out truth and beauty

Roger Scruton

EXCLUSIVE
Video/Art

Go underground with a little known artist who’s dug caves by hand for 20 years

39 minutes

Idea/Art

The history of ugliness shows that there is no such thing

Gretchen E Henderson

Essay/Art

How wonder works

One emotion inspired our greatest achievements in science, art and religion. We can manipulate it – but why do we have it?

Jesse Prinz

Idea/Wellbeing

Feel-good fractals: from ocean waves to Jackson Pollock’s art

Florence Williams

Essay/Architecture & Landscape

Embracing the void

The ancients had pyramids to tame the sky’s mystery. We have Star Axis, a masterpiece forty years in the making

Ross Andersen

Essay/Art

Is it OK to make art?

If you express your creativity while other people go hungry, you’re probably not making the world a better place

Rhys Southan

Essay/Art

Eye candy

The pleasure we take in beauty must have been shaped by evolution — but what adaptive advantage did it give us?

Mohan Matthen

EXCLUSIVE
Video/Art

Long before internet posts of cute animals, there were Victorian taxidermy tableaux

19 minutes

Essay/Design & Fashion

What do clothes say?

Clothes can be forms of thought as articulate as a poem or equation. Why then does philosophy like to dress them down?

Shahidha Bari

Idea/Beauty & Aesthetics

The concrete buildings of Brutalism are beautiful

Barnabas Calder

Essay/Art

La bella vita

True beauty pleases the eye and the mind – but can it help us to become better people?

John Armstrong

Essay/Anthropology

Magic bowls of antiquity

Ancient Babylonia’s magic bowls offer a glimpse into the society of the Talmud, and today’s shadowy antiquities market

Samuel Thrope

Essay/Art

Head to head

Michelangelo and Raphael; Leibniz and Newton; Constable and Turner. Does every creative genius need a bitter rival?

Jacob Burak

Essay/Art

Sacred art

Fra Angelico’s frescos inspired generations of devotion. Can religious art still work its magic on the godless?

Pelagia Horgan

Essay/Art

Has art ended again?

Ever since Hegel, artists and critics alike have been claiming that art is finished. But what could that actually mean?

Owen Hulatt

Essay/Beauty & Aesthetics

It is and it isn’t

Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ is not just a radical kind of art. It’s a philosophical dialetheia: a contradiction that is true

Damon Young & Graham Priest

Essay/Art

Why people collect art

Collectors drive the art world, but what drives art collectors? It’s less about aesthetics than self-identification

Erin Thompson

Essay/Cultures & Languages

More than words

Human communication is a glorious chaos. And images, from art to emojis, sometimes say it so much better than language can

Thom Scott-Phillips

Essay/Art

Ink sessions

When a tattoo marks a personal transformation, or the reclaiming of an abused body, the tattoo artist becomes a healer

Margot Mifflin

Essay/Art

The Grand Tour, 2.0

Can today’s travel deliver on the promise of the Grand Tour – or is the idea of edifying travel utterly bankrupt?

Ted Scheinman

Video/Art

What can Ansel Adams’s enduring photography teach us in the age of Instagram?

6 minutes

Idea/Computing & Artificial Intelligence

There is no difference between computer art and human art

Oliver Roeder

Essay/Art

A fake of art

Museums display perfect reproductions of fragile works and visitors can’t tell the difference. Is nothing in art sacred?

Noah Charney

Essay/Art

Making good

Repairing things is about more than thrift. It is about creating something bold and original

Philip Ball

Essay/Art

Going to the chapel

Paul Simon’s album ‘Graceland’ is a joyous political statement. Does it strike the same chord in the sombre Rothko Chapel?

Nathan Dunne

Essay/Art

The arts electric

Digital art and culture mustn’t get caught up in the tools of its making or it will never transport us somewhere new

Tom Uglow

Essay/Art

Beauteous beasts

Humans have been breeding animals for beauty for centuries. But should we draw the line at genetically modified pets?

Emily Anthes

ORIGINAL
Video/Beauty & Aesthetics

Why do audiences thrill to the negative emotions of horror fiction?

6 minutes