Enter a human body, the vandalized treasures of bookstores and a 2D world – art week | Art
Exhibition of the week
Wang Gongxin: In Between
Multimedia installations that explore ancient pictorial issues of light and shadow in modern ways.
White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, from January 19 to February 19.
Alison Katz: Artery
Autobiographical art in an installation that suggests the interior of the human body.
Camden Center for the Arts, London, until March 13.
Betsy Bradley: Chasing Rainbows
Subtle and contemplative abstract paintings and sculptures, including a swing for imaginative escape.
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, until February 13
Emily Speed: Flat Ground
Video inspired by the Victorian fantasy novel Flatland and its vision of a two-dimensional world.
Tate Liverpool until June 5
Fragmented Illuminations: Cuttings from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
Beautiful images cut by brutal 19th century book dealers from some of the greatest medieval manuscripts.
V&A, London, until May 8
Picture of the week
A staff member at the new immersive multimedia exhibition Monet’s Garden, dedicated to the work of painter Claude Monet, in Alte Muenze, Berlin. The show lasts until mid-March.
What we learned
A bitter inheritance dispute rages around a Roman villa
A sculpture by Eric Gill at the BBC Broadcasting House in London is said to have been damaged during a protest against the artist’s pedophilia
A René Magritte masterpiece set to fetch £45m at auction
Art historian Christopher Wright discovered his £65 painting could be a Van Dyck
Cotswolds want Damien Hirst to fix his crumbling country pile
Photographer Masterji’s portraits of immigrant life in Coventry will be on display…
…while West Midlands Police artist-in-residence Kay Rufai hopes to reduce youth violence and racial stereotyping
An exhibition of works by American landscape painter Winslow Homer opens in London in September
Senegal has some of the most striking architecture in Africa…
… and artist, poet and singer, Dieynaba Sidibé, alias Zeinixx, is the “first lady” of graffiti in the country
Soviet avant-garde film posters were as bold and innovative as the films they advertised
Photographer Alec Soth is one of the most compelling chroniclers of American life
Architecture firm Foster + Partners almost doubled its profits in 2020, thanks to expansion in the Middle East
masterpiece of the week
Jacopo de’ Barbari: A Hawk, 1510s
Nothing could be simpler or more directly observable than this slice of Venetian Renaissance life. It is not an allegory, a reference to myth or any other type of symbol – as Renaissance art is so often supposed to contain – but just an act of observation. The artist looks clearly and attentively at a hunting bird on its perch. He captures his keen, fierce eye and tiger-striped chest feathers, the leather bracelets on his feet, and his bell to sound the alarm if he takes flight. He waits alert against an undecorated, meaningless wall. It is an art of depicting of the kind we associate with northern European painters rather than Italian painters. In fact, Jacopo de’ Barbari traveled between the north and the south, working both in Nuremberg and in Venice. His sparrowhawk is about 150 years ahead of The Goldfinch, the painting by Carel Fabritius made famous by Donna Tartt’s novel. It is a memorial to an unnamed bird of prey that lived half a millennium ago.
National Gallery, London
do not forget
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