A sense of purpose puts emerging world in the picture

Art from developing nations has a relevance and energy that have been missing from much of western culture

A figleaf for the Parthenon Marbles

The otherwise worthy journey of Ilissos to Russia would not merit any further comment were the statue not part of the most controversial group of art works of our time

Songs in the key of later life

Great artists find new ways to visit their own past, and make it fresh all over again

Krystana Janda in the second episode of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue’

Moral complexity in the age of Mr Bean

In December 1989, Poland’s television viewing public was treated to the first episode of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s ‘Decalogue’

Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘La Nona Ora’ (1999)
©Zeno Zotti/Maurizio Cattelan’s Archive

Maurizio Cattelan’s interview and new show

‘Every reign needs its jester’, says Italy’s best-known contemporary artist and chief joker

To sell or not to sell

The very idea of a pop star ‘selling out’ has gone the way of Victorian brown furniture. To sell is to sell, period

Taylor Swift performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" in Times Square on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, in New York
©Greg Allen/Invision/AP

A Swift end to streaming, a long goodbye to the stage

One is turning into an unstoppable hit factory; the other has to stop, facing the inevitable consequences of physical decline

Illustration for a review pf Richard Ford's book 'Let Me Be Frank With You'
©Nick Oliver

Richard Ford’s ‘Let Me Be Frank with You’

Frank Bascombe resumes his negotiations with the ageing process in a fine new story collection

Bob Dylan in Woodstock, 1968
©Elliott Landy/Magnum Photos

Bob Dylan’s legendary Basement Tapes

Almost 50 years after they were recorded, the songs from the famous Big Pink sessions can now be heard in full for the first time

'Latent Forms' by Zhanna Kadyrova

Premonition: Ukrainian Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, London

An uneven attempt to link contemporary artists with political events

Moves will be bust, bones will be broken

Hip-hop and martial arts are perfect bedfellows because they both channel violent impulses

Germany: Memories of a Nation, British Museum, London

An object-based show that spans 600 years of history and is rich with metaphorical pickings

Memoirs: John Lydon, Vivienne Westwood

The alchemy of punk was shortlived but potent – as ‘Johnny Rotten’ and the fashion designer reveal

Christopher Hampton’s dangerous liaison

The playwright, scriptwriter, librettist and translator talks about his latest Kafkaesque challenge

Flux and the city

Art stimulates brains and economies. Win-win. But take a closer look: these works are not celebrations so much as signs of nervous breakdown

Steve McQueen interview

The Oscar-winning director of ‘12 Years a Slave’ is champion of the huge – and dark – subjects that others avoid

Interview: Travelex chief/theatre sponsor Lloyd Dorfman

The businessman and arts patron awaits the debut production of the venue being renamed after him

Into the ninth decade, with a Red Needle

Cohen said he was unflustered by the idea of death, but retained some concern over its ‘disagreeable preliminaries’

Growing pains

Perhaps the wretchedness and sadness of the whole affair is a commentary on the hellishness of Miley Cyrus-level celebrity

Sun, sea and tragic wisdom

Is cultural tourism another form of vacation kitsch?

ABOUT PETER

Peter AspdenPeter Aspden is the Financial Times’ arts writer, having previously been its arts editor for five years. He joined the paper in 1994, as deputy books and arts editor and a general feature writer on Weekend FT. He has written on numerous subjects, including travel, religion, politics, history, most art forms and sport: he covered the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, and the World Cup in France in 1998.

He was educated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, before going into journalism. He joined the Times Higher Education Supplement in 1985, where he went on to become deputy editor. He has been writing a weekly column on contemporary culture since January 2004; it appears in the Life & Arts section every Saturday.

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