The art of a President Trump state visit

Donald Trump Image copyright Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A current family fad is playing that word-association game in which you respond to the previous player's word with a relatable one of your own, eg me: "Annoying." Son: "Dad." Wife: "Bald eagle."

And so on. We've played a lot recently, such that I've started to react to the daily news in a similarly tangential way, where related but seemingly random thoughts pop into my head over and above more conspicuous concerns.

For instance, while everybody else was discussing the significance of a potential state visit to the UK by President Trump, I had two immediate thoughts in my mind:

No need to dwell on point one.

One look at the photographs of Donald Trump's Manhattan Penthouse in Trump Tower confirms George IV's extravagant tastes and those of the current US President are simpatico.

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Is squatting art?

Squatters have turned the house into a homeless hostel Image copyright PA
Image caption The squatters have turned the house into a homeless hostel

I've been thinking a lot about ANAL today. That is the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians who are currently squatting in a whopping five-story house in Eaton Square, an upmarket part of London near Buckingham Palace.

According to the Guardian, the "1,329 square metre property has polished parquet floors, tasteful uplighting and a grand spiral staircase" and is owned by a wealthy Russian man (media shorthand: an oligarch) called Andrey Goncharenko.

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Artes Mundi winner is 'more important than ever'

Media captionThe video that won £40,000

A video art installation inspired by migration and religious persecution has won a £40,000 prize.

London-based film-maker John Akomfrah won the Artes Mundi award for his "substantial body of outstanding work", including his latest video installation - the 40-minute film, Auto Da Fe.

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Is Saatchi Gallery selfie exhibition just self-promotion?

George Harrison Image copyright Harrison family/PA
Image caption Taj Mahal Self-Portrait, a 1966 photograph by George Harrison that features in the exhibition

I have never taken a selfie. I'm far too ugly.

That said, I have ruined other people's, on those occasions when asked by a friend or arts fan to join them in a smartphone photo.

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Tristram Hunt inherits a V&A in pretty good shape

Image copyright PA

From what I saw of the V&A as a member of the Art Fund's judging panel for its Museum of the Year accolade last summer, Tristram Hunt is inheriting an organisation in pretty good shape.

After a bit of argy bargy over hot croissants and cold coffee, we judges decided to give the prestigious award to the South Kensington institution because it was unquestionably a centre of excellence serving an appreciative public to a high degree.

Read full article Tristram Hunt inherits a V&A in pretty good shape

Maria Balshaw is NOT the new director of Tate… yet

Image copyright Whitworth Gallery

Is Maria Balshaw the new director of the Tate? No.

Will she be? Probably.

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Arts news in 2016: Knocking on death's door

Will Gompertz with Huw Edwards on the BBC One Ten O'Clock News on the night of David Bowie's death
Image caption Will Gompertz appeared with Huw Edwards on the BBC One Ten O'Clock News on the night of David Bowie's death

Each specialism within journalism has its area of breaking news.

For foreign correspondents, it tends to be a conflict or catastrophe. Politicos deal in shock resignations or revelations. For us in the arts unit, it is award ceremonies - and celebrity deaths.

Read full article Arts news in 2016: Knocking on death's door

Art in 2017: A look ahead

Artist's impression of Stage @The Dock Image copyright Wykeland
Image caption Hull's new The Stage @The Dock has a decked performance space and terraced seating

2017 is going to be a Hull of a year. Really. Humble old Hull - a city once voted among the worst to live in Britain - has had a multi-million pound facelift, cleaned up its act, and is playing open house to the world as UK City of Culture 2017.

Do go. It's a fabulous place. And not a bit like some other cities one could mention, where a stranger saying "hello" either means you've been set-upon by a chugger or a performance artist. They're a friendly lot over on the blowy east coast of Yorkshire, and have put together a decent and diverse 12-month programme.

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Inside Dame Zaha Hadid's 'womb-like' Science Museum gallery

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery at the Science Museum Image copyright Jody Kingzett
Image caption A 1929 Handley Page bi-plane hangs in the gallery's entrance

The Science Museum in London has unveiled its new mathematics gallery, which was designed by the late architect Dame Zaha Hadid - the first of her projects to open in the UK since her death in March 2016.

Dame Zaha Hadid was a mathematics graduate and a master of the unexpected.

Read full article Inside Dame Zaha Hadid's 'womb-like' Science Museum gallery

The poetic puzzles of Helen Marten

Helen Marten's work Image copyright AP
Image caption Helen Marten wants to "throw you off balance"

For someone who would prefer her work to do the talking Helen Marten is spending a lot of time in the limelight.

Last month she made national news as the winner of the inaugural Hepworth Prize for sculpture, to which she has now added one of the world's highest-profile art accolades, the Turner Prize.

Read full article The poetic puzzles of Helen Marten