Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
23 December 2014

The best of the NS in 2014: Arts

Our best pieces from the past year. In this selection, we've picked the best pieces about art and music.

By New Statesman

The awful cult of the talentless hipster has taken over

By Will Self.

Our generation is to blame – we’re the ones who took the avant-garde and turned it into a successful rearguard action by the flying columns of capitalism’s blitzkrieg.


Inside No 9; Bunkers, Brutalism and Bloodymindedness

By Rachel Cooke.

Two of the League of Gentleman offer up a sublime new series, while Jonathan Meades’s films about concrete architecture are his richest yet.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.


Content from our partners
How to create a responsible form of “buy now, pay later”
“Unions are helping improve conditions for drivers like me”
Transport is the core of levelling up

Poets and madmen: the art of Paolo Veronese

By Michael Prodger.

The Renaissance painter abhorred an empty canvas. Did his crowded scenes lack spiritual depth – or is it time to take a closer look?


Morph reborn: how everyone’s favourite plasticine man became a model for the digital age

By Anoosh Chakelian.

The last time Aardman’s little clay man Morph went on any new adventures was almost two decades ago. Why is he now returning with another series?


Why the suit is the greatest British invention ever

By A A Gill.

Nothing else that comes from this pathetically stunted island has had anything like the universal acceptance, reach or influence of the suit.


Stop clap-shaming first-time theatregoers who like Martin Freeman from off the telly

By Caroline Crampton.

So-called “seasoned theatregoers” have complained about the audience clapping during Martin Freeman’s West End appearance as Richard III, in what is nothing more than a display of blatant snobbery.


Britpop: an insider’s tale of music’s last great gold rush

By John Niven.

Twenty years ago, it felt like John Niven and his fellow indie kids had won pop’s cold war. But then the madness set in.


Who wants to live forever? The new frontiers of posthumous rock

By Kate Mossman.

In the next two decades there’ll be a mass departure of the people who brought us the best of rock’n’roll, but some bands are finding new ways to give their tunes eternal life.


The hunting of the snark: Friends, 20 years on

By Andrew Harrison.

Twenty years ago, a new sitcom was described as “not very entertaining, clever, or original”. But Friends went on to shape the way we live now.  


Kate Bush at the Hammersmith Apollo: the ecstatic triumph of a life’s work

By Tracey Thorn.

If we still ask, where has Kate Bush been all these years and why has she not done this before, my answer would be that I think she has been living the life that made this show possible.