Seeing Baya Anew

An exhibition of the Algerian painter’s work liberates it from the political symbolism of late colonialism.

Baya: Femmes en leur jardin [Baya: Women in Their Garden]

an exhibition at the Institut du monde arabe, Paris, November 8, 2022–March 26, 2023; and the Centre de la Vieille Charité, Marseille, May 11–September 24, 2023

Bump and Grind

That our former president is likely to be indicted for paying hush money to a porn star and lying about it shows the Trumpification of our politics: the relationship between reality and story has gone buck wild.

The Perpetual Provocateur

For generations, Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s prints of Roman views defined the popular image of the Eternal City. A profusion of new exhibitions and publications shows why he still speaks to us.

Sublime Ideas: Drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

an exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum, New York City, March 10–June 4, 2023

Piranesi and the Modern Age

by Victor Plahte Tschudi

Giovanni Battista Piranesi: Catalogue of the Complete Etchings

by Luigi Ficacci

Whose Constitution, Whose Democracy?

Many opponents of Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul have called for Israel to finally draft a constitution, but any serious attempt will mean choosing between a democratic state and one that privileges Jewish citizens above all others.

Art Is a Drug

General Idea’s art was poised on a razor’s edge between complicity and critique; it is an inescapable precedent for thinking about artistic production in the twenty-first century.

General Idea

an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, June 3–November 20, 2022; and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, March 11–June 4, 2023

Ecce Homo: The Drawings of General Idea, 1985–1993

an exhibition at the Drawing Center, New York City, October 7, 2022–January 15, 2023; and MAMCO Geneva, February 22–June 18, 2023

Yearning to Breathe Free

The opening of the Berlin Wall was a one-in-a-million piece of historical luck.

Mysteries of Use and Reuse

For the artists and patrons of medieval and early modern Rome, the repurposing of ancient objects involved a tangle of complex motives.

Recycling Beauty

an exhibition at the Fondazione Prada, Milan, November 17, 2022–February 27, 2023

A Profusion of Poets

In Chilean Poet, Alejandro Zambra goes beyond his habitual minimalism to portray the chaotic commotion of today’s Chile.

Chilean Poet

by Alejandro Zambra, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell

A Mind in Space

Adam Elsheimer’s painting Flight into Egypt is in many ways a witness to humanity’s developing grip on nature, though its origin isn’t straightforward.

Fascism Plucking the Strings

C.P. Taylor’s deeply disturbing play Good asks if an ordinary individual can be relied on to resist the blandishments of an evil regime.


a play by C.P. Taylor, directed by Dominic Cooke, at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London, October 5, 2022–January 7, 2023

Dreams of Painting Walls

Two new books document the centrality of decoration for the Impressionists, both in commissions for houses and public buildings and more broadly as a founding principle of the movement.

La Peinture impressionniste et la décoration [Impressionist Painting and Decoration]

by Marine Kisiel

Le Décor impressionniste: aux sources des Nymphéas [Impressionist Decor: The Sources of the Water Lilies]

an exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, March 2–July 11, 2022

Les Enfants Terribles

In Anne Garréta’s novels, her playful forms are the means of exploring and elucidating ideas about gender, consciousness, and memory.


by Anne Garréta, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan, with an introduction by Daniel Levin Becker

Not One Day

by Anne Garréta, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan and the author, with an afterword by Sarah Gerard

In Concrete

by Anne Garréta, translated from the French and with an afterword by Emma Ramadan

Escaping from Notes to Sounds

Albert Ayler was not the first to exploit the saxophone’s capacity for nontraditional noises, but he was the first to create a coherent musical language from them alone.

Spirits Rejoice!: Albert Ayler and His Message

by Peter Niklas Wilson, translated from the German by Jane White

Holy Ghost: The Life and Death of Free Jazz Pioneer Albert Ayler

by Richard Koloda

Revelations: The Complete ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght Recordings

an album by Albert Ayler

Of Crocodiles and Kings

Tony K. Stewart’s new translation of centuries-old Bengali stories reveals their rich and varied sources, including The Thousand and One Nights.

Needle at the Bottom of the Sea: Bengali Tales from the Land of the Eighteen Tides

translated from the Bangla by Tony K. Stewart, with contributions by Ayesha A. Irani

Resistance Pottery

Two recent exhibitions of the work of Black potters find political acts in the placid history of nineteenth-century American stoneware.

Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina

an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, September 9, 2022–February 5, 2023; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, March 4–July 9, 2023; the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, August 26, 2023–January 7, 2024; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, February 16–May 12, 2024

Crafting Freedom: The Life and Legacy of Free Black Potter Thomas W. Commeraw

an exhibition at the New-York Historical Society, New York City, January 27–May 28, 2023

Personal Histories

Drawing from sources both archival and personal, the photographer Sim Chi Yin explores the legacy of British colonialism and conflict in Malaya.

Sim Chi Yin: One Day We’ll Understand

an exhibition at Zilberman Gallery, Berlin, September 14–November 27, 2021

She Never Rode That Trishaw Again

by Sim Chi Yin


Climate change is rendering the winter season shorter, warmer, and more erratic. What are we losing beyond the alpine resort?

The Last Winter: The Scientists, Adventurers, Journeymen, and Mavericks Trying to Save the World

by Porter Fox

‘Looking Out’

The podcast Ear Hustle and the photographs and writing collected in The San Quentin Project reveal the granular details of prison life without glossing over its violence or obscuring the humanity of incarcerated people.

Ear Hustle

a podcast created by Nigel Poor, Earlonne Woods, and Antwan Williams

This Is Ear Hustle: Unflinching Stories of Everyday Prison Life

by Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods

The San Quentin Project

by Nigel Poor, with contributions by Reginald Dwayne Betts, George Mesro Coles-El, Rachel Kushner, Michael Nelson, Ruben Ramirez, Lisa Sutcliffe, and others

The Chilliest Mystique

Two exhibitions of computer and video art demonstrate that technological savvy and artistic naiveté all too often go hand in hand.

Coded: Art Enters the Computer Age, 1952–1982

an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, February 12–July 2, 2023

Signals: How Video Transformed the World

an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, March 5–July 8, 2023

Issue Details

Cover art
Elizabeth Peyton: Omai (Afterlife) After Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Portrait of Omai, 1776, 12 x 9 inches, 2023
(Elizabeth Peyton/David Zwirner); on view in “Angel,” an exhibition at David Zwirner London, June 7–July 28, 2023
Series art
Kaye Blegvad: Ornaments, 2023

Subscribe and save 50%!

Read the latest issue as soon as it’s available, and browse our rich archives. You'll have immediate subscriber-only access to over 1,200 issues and 25,000 articles published since 1963.

Subscribe now

Subscribe and save 50%!

Get immediate access to the current issue and over 25,000 articles from the archives, plus the NYR App.

Already a subscriber? Sign in