Will Gompertz reviews Mantegna's two panels reunited at London's National Gallery ★★★☆☆

Mantegna panels reunited Image copyright BBC News

Each year I have to face an awful moment of truth.

It happens on the first morning of every summer holiday when I'm somewhere hot and sunny with friends and family. Drinks are flowing, music is playing.

Everybody is happy. Except for me.

I am as tense as one of Ed Sheeran's guitar strings.

In order to go swimming, which I really want to do, I will have to remove my shirt. In public.

Read full article Will Gompertz reviews Mantegna's two panels reunited at London's National Gallery ★★★☆☆

Will Gompertz reviews the restoration of Alexandra Palace's Theatre ★★★★★

Alexandra Palace restoration

"The Gents toilets are up the stairs, the Ladies are on the ground floor," said Emma Dagnes, deputy chief executive of Alexandra Palace, before adding, "that's what you get when you put women in charge of a project."

The project in question is the very expensively (approximately £10 million) refurbished Alexandra Palace Theatre in North London, which reopens today having been hidden from public view for around 80 years.

Read full article Will Gompertz reviews the restoration of Alexandra Palace's Theatre ★★★★★

Will Gompertz reviews The Girl in the Spider's Web starring Claire Foy ★★☆☆☆

The Girl in the Spider's Web

The omens weren't good.

It was the evening after the heavily advertised nationwide release of The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story, and the city centre cinema where I went to see the film was as empty as a trickster's promise.

Read full article Will Gompertz reviews The Girl in the Spider's Web starring Claire Foy ★★☆☆☆

Will Gompertz reviews David Hockney's record-breaking Portrait of an Artist ★★★★★

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)

I once asked David Hockney how memorable images are created. "I don't know," he said, "but I've made some."

And so he has.

Read full article Will Gompertz reviews David Hockney's record-breaking Portrait of an Artist ★★★★★

Will Gompertz reviews Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs ★★★★☆

Russia - Royalty & the Romanovs

This exhibition at The Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace starts with a huge painting of a huge man: the aptly-named Peter the Great of Russia, the first Tsar to leave his country in over 100 years.

The catalogue says it presents us with "a tall, virile, handsome warrior".

Image copyright ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST
Image caption Sir Godfrey Kneller's portrait of Tsar Peter I (1672-1725), who was the first Russian ruler to visit England

Read full article Will Gompertz reviews Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs ★★★★☆

Will Gompertz reviews Stormzy's new book Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far ★★★★☆

Rise Up The #Merky Story So Far by Stormzy

When Stormzy stood on stage at the BRIT Awards in February this year and delivered his stinging rap criticising the government's handling of the Grenfell Tower Fire, the then 24-year-old grime artist from Thornton Heath, south London, achieved something that is almost unheard of for a working-class, young black man from "a place where success doesn't happen."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stormzy at this year's Brit Awards asking: "Yo Theresa May, where’s the money for Grenfell?"

He had won.

Read full article Will Gompertz reviews Stormzy's new book Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far ★★★★☆

Will Gompertz on Oscar-winning Martin McDonagh's A Very Very Very Dark Matter ★★★★☆

A Very Very Very Dark Matter by Martin McDonagh

My wife has her own rating system for theatre shows: if you are thinking about the play as you leave the theatre then it must be good.

But if the only thing on your mind as you exit is trying to remember where you parked your car (or similar), the chances are the production wasn't up to much.

Read full article Will Gompertz on Oscar-winning Martin McDonagh's A Very Very Very Dark Matter ★★★★☆

Will Gompertz on Peter Jackson's WWI film They Shall Not Grow Old ★★★★☆

They Shall Not Grow Old

Times change, things go in and out of fashion.

Back in the 1970s, sensible people were seriously speculating about the Bay City Rollers being the "next Beatles".

Read full article Will Gompertz on Peter Jackson's WWI film They Shall Not Grow Old ★★★★☆

Will Gompertz on Banksy's shredded Love is in the Bin ★★★★★

Banksy

I admit it, I was wrong.

When I said a couple of weeks ago that for the past century artists have failed to outwit and outdo Marcel Duchamp (the French conceptual artist who placed a urinal in a gallery in 1917), I hadn't realised that there was an artwork hanging on the walls of a London auction house which was about to do just that.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Banksy's Girl With Balloon, 2006, estimated at £200,000 - £300,000

Read full article Will Gompertz on Banksy's shredded Love is in the Bin ★★★★★

Doctor Who: Will Gompertz on the new series with Jodie Whittaker ★★★★☆

Dr Who

Relax! Take the afternoon off. You don't have to vacuum behind the sofa. The new Doctor Who isn't that scary. It has its moments, of course, but a trip to the dentist is far worse - at least it would be if...well…

Let us not even take the smallest step down a road that might lead to a plot spoiler. Suffice it to say that in the opening episode of season 11 (starting from the 2005 re-boot) there are goodies and baddies and surprises (nice and not so nice) and some strange events and…a new Doctor.

Read full article Doctor Who: Will Gompertz on the new series with Jodie Whittaker ★★★★☆