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Toby Kamps

Toby Kamps is the director of external projects at White Cube Gallery and is an Editor-at-Large for the Brooklyn Rail.

In Conversation


London-based artist Michael Armitage speaks with Toby Kamps about growing up in Kenya, historical and mythological influences, and how his unique choice of canvas transformed his painting practice.

In Conversation

Sara VanDerBeek with Toby Kamps

At the heart of Sara VanDerBeek's two-dimensional and installation-based work is a fascination with photography's power as a form of mediation—between past and present, original and reproduction, and perception and thought. Her latest exhibition Lace Interlace at The Approach in London draws on her research into the work of early British photographers Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79) and Isabel Agnes Cowper (1826–1911) at that city's Victoria and Albert Museum.

In Conversation

AMY SILLMAN with Toby Kamps

In this interview, Amy Sillman discusses her first UK museum exhibition at London’s Camden Arts Centre Amy Sillman: Landline, (on view through January 6, 2019), her response to Trump’s election, and her interests in philosophy and comedy.

In Conversation


A painter and mixed-media and video artist with a unique, bifurcated practice, Howardena Pindell makes both sumptuous process-driven abstract works and pull-no-punches issue-based works that call out racism, sexism, and other injustices.

In Conversation

Charles Ray with Toby Kamps

In the middle of the pandemic Toby Kamps interviewed me in a live broadcast for the Brooklyn Rail. And now a year and a half later, the Brooklyn Rail asked if they could publish the interview. I’m not sure why, but I felt that interview should be left in the lockdown. We couldn’t go out, we were all at our screens, so perhaps it would be better to begin it again.

In Conversation

RICHARD HUGHES with Toby Kamps

Richard Hughes is realist and a fantasist. He is a sculptor who hand-makes true to life replicas of the worn out and thrown away things littering the urban environment: old shoes, dusty comforters, tattered “I’m with Stupid” t-shirts, melted plastic trash bins.

In Conversation

Letter from Dusseldorf

In the kitchen of a townhouse with a tall ceiling, Toby Kamps talks to Imi Knoebel, his wife Carmen, and his longtime manager and former proprietor of the city’s legendary art and music bar Ratinger Hof. Joining them is artist and activist Johannes Stüttgen, who was a classmate of Knoebel and who has remained a friend over the ensuing decades.

Michael Queenland: Rudy’s Ramp of Remainders Redux

Hermetic and mysterious, Michael Queenland’s Rudy’s Ramp of Remainders Redux at Maureen Paley tries to conjure hidden meanings from the stuff of everyday life.

Carey Young: Appearance

Appearance, British-American artist Carey Young's concise, striking survey at Modern Art Oxford brings together works made between 2005 and 2023 that consider power and the women who wield it. Early text-based pieces draw on Young’s ongoing interest in law as a material and subject for art. Later photographs and videos explore female agency in industry and the courtroom, as well as, in a brand-new series of still images, the similarities between recent Belgian prison architecture and abstract painting.

Mike Nelson: Extinction Beckons

As the exhibition’s title—an objet trouvé taken from a sticker the artist found on a motorcycle helmet—portends, the histories it conjures are of decline and desperation. Yet the mystery and madness pervading all of Nelson’s creations give them antic and subversive power.

Leonardo Drew

The format of 248A feels forensic, like a buried Viking ship or a crashed airliner being pieced back together. But the stories it conjures are more quotidian, speaking to the everyday experience of things falling apart. “Entropy,” Drew says, “is the baseline of my work.” Any apparent chaos in the work, however, is undergirded by a deep-seated order.

Mark Leckey: O’ Magic Power of Bleakness

In his engulfing, otherworldly video installation at Tate Britain, O’ Magic Power of Bleakness, Mark Leckey has transformed a cavernous gallery into a freeway underpass—specifically his childhood hangout under the M53 Motorway, which runs through his deindustrialized hometown on the Wirral Peninsula across the River Mersey from Liverpool.

Jannis Kounellis

Like the poems of another Greek exile, Constantine Cavafy, Kounellis’s works are spare and direct with no fancifying inflections of materials or handling.

Rachel Feinstein: Mirror

By painting on mirrors, Feinstein attempts an ambitious artistic feat: merging holy images made in an earlier time beset by plagues, famines, and wars with glimpses of our equally fraught, if more secular, moment.

Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution

Full of wonders sacred and profane, the British Museum’s sweeping survey Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution aims to reveal the history and tenets of a mysterious, transgressive spiritual tradition that has been intertwined with Hinduism and Buddhism for nearly a millennium and a half.

Guest Critic

Introduction: Toby Kamps with Anne Doran

The life and career of Walter Hopps is legendary. His obituary in The Washington Post described him as a “sort of a gonzo museum director—elusive, unpredictable, outlandish in his range, jagged in his vision, heedless of rules.”


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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