Organised K-os: ‘Hallyu! – The Korean Wave’, V&A, London

‘Hallyu’ – the eye-catching title of this big-ticket exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (‘V&A’) – translates as ‘Korean wave’, the phrase used to describe Korean culture’s steady rise to prominence over the last 25 years or so. Informed by a K-pop aesthetic, it’s a heady, day-glo, assault-on-the-senses experience. Throw yourself into it and…

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2022

The exhibition shows the work from two publications and two exhibitions of four nominees: Deana Lawson, Anastasia Samoylova, Jo Ractliffe and Gilles Peress. All four photographers challenge, in different ways, preconceived histories by using their own photographic evidence to posit alternative viewpoints.

Retrospecstive 2021: slight return

One more look in the rear-view mirror before 2021 disappears completely… After the multi-course blowout of choosing 25 recordings of the year, this is more of a digestif, if you will. A few events and developments that gave me cause for celebration: one each for pop, classical, TV, media and film. Bon ‘Voyage’: the return…

20 from 2020

However badly this year has treated us – and in the UK, it has treated those working in the arts very badly indeed – we have still been lucky enough to hear an astonishing amount of great music. Before joining ArtMuseLondon, I would normally assemble a couple of ‘round-up’ posts for my own blog ‘Specs’…

Over the Top with Everything They’d Got: British Baroque at Tate Britain

The new show at Tate Britain, British Baroque: Power and Illusion starts in another epoch when our relationship with Europe was a tad strained, let us say, and ends at the point when a German prince who spoke not a word of English was invited – if not begged – to take over the English throne. You’d almost think Tate Britain had timed this show deliberately.

Don McCullin

Don McCullin, who has a fair claim to the title of the UK’s greatest living photographer, was born in 1935 in Finsbury Park – a bloody tough area of London before the war, and even more so after, when much of it had been bombed flat. The first photograph McCullin was paid for, in 1958,…

Dior and the Story of the Perfect Dress

  In his autobiography Christian Dior tells the story of a fortune teller he met at a 1919 charity event for veterans of the Great War. He was an impressionable, imaginative young man. The fortune teller told him that he would suffer poverty earlier on in his life but that his luck would change and…

Sax and Jazz. Jean Toussaint Still Has Youth Appeal

  Sunday night in Camden. The temperature has plummeted and there are few people about on the high street. Outside the Jazz Cafe however there is a queue forming. I rush to join it and edge my way forwards between the metal barriers to get my wrist stamped. A young man runs alongside us peddling…