The artists who destroyed their own work

Robert Rauschenberg in 1966 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Robert Rauschenberg, pictured in 1966, destroyed an artwork by Willem de Kooning

Douglas Gordon has used an axe to attack the wall of a theatre where he staged a new play to scathing reviews - but he is not the first artist to set about his own work.

There are countless instances of artists destroying their own work. If Louise Bourgeois disliked a small sculpture she'd been working on, she would simply shove it off the end of her kitchen table and watch it smash to smithereens.

Francis Bacon famously destroyed all his early work, and an impecunious Picasso would paint over pictures he thought unsuccessful because he didn't have the money to buy a fresh canvas.

When I visited the Belgian painter Luc Tuymans in his Antwerp studio earlier this year he told me that his $1m-plus paintings only ever took a day to paint. That is his way.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Luc Tuymans destroys his art if he does not like it

When he returns in the morning he either decides to send the finished painting to his dealer or destroy it. Fair enough. But that's tantamount to trashing a million bucks!

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Rarely seen Hepburn photos on show

Audrey Hepburn was a Hollywood legend, a style icon and in her later years an ambassador for UNICEF.

Her two sons have lent rarely seen photographs of Audrey Hepburn, from their personal collection, for a new exhibition.

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Slides and sky-high rides at Hayward gallery

For some, it is not enough to go and see an art exhibition - it is much more rewarding to become part of it.

The latest show by the artist Carsten Holler allows visitors to interact with large, moving sculptures.

Read full article Slides and sky-high rides at Hayward gallery

New Laureate urges children to draw

One of the UK's best known writers and illustrators has been named as the ninth children's laureate.

Chris Riddell, whose works include the Goth Girl series, takes over from Malorie Blackman for the next two years.

Read full article New Laureate urges children to draw

Can culture save cities?

Hull will be hosting the Turner Prize in 2017 - a double celebration for a city still jubilant after being awarded City of Culture status for the same year.

Like other places which have fallen on economic hard times, Hull is looking for a way out. Can culture can save it?

Read full article Can culture save cities?

Is this the new face of the £20 note?

The Bank of England has announced it is going to have a new face on its £20 note.

Out goes economist Adam Smith and in comes a famous, dead, British visual artist.

Read full article Is this the new face of the £20 note?

'Radical' Barenboim piano unveiled

Daniel Barenboim, one of the world's most distinguished conductors and pianists, has unveiled a new type of grand piano.

He says it is "radically different" to the standard concert grand as it is built with straight, parallel strings that produce a superior sound.

Read full article 'Radical' Barenboim piano unveiled

The complex world of art sales

Auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen calls for final bids on Pablo Picasso's Women of Algiers Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen calls for final bids on Pablo Picasso's Women of Algiers

So Picasso's Women of Algiers (version O) has been sold for a record-breaking sum - going for $160m (£102.6m) at Christie's in New York.

Other than the high price, the transaction appeared fairly straight-forward. There's a seller, an (anonymous) buyer and an auctioneer to conduct proceedings.

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What on earth is a dramaturg?

It is a word you might never have heard of, and a job you might never have known existed.

But dramaturgs are all the rage backstage in theatres, and even more traditional venues like the Royal Opera House.

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Trying to shine at Venice

Helen Sear Image copyright Helen Sear
Image caption Helen Sear of Wales is exhibiting large-scale video installations and stills photography

So far Sarah Lucas has received all the attention, her giant phallic sculptures overshadowing the exhibitions presented by her fellow Brits. Which is fair enough, she is in the main British Pavilion, after all. But now she's had her moment in the Venetian sun, it's time to shine a light on the work of her compatriots.

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