Exhibition of the week
The fantastic visions of the most poetic of all special effects designers get a fine art retrospective. Relive your childhood dreams.
• Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two), Edinburgh, until September 2021.
Powerful paintings made from jute sacks used in Ghana’s cocoa bean industry, full of abstract atmosphere and suggestiveness.
• White Cube online until 17 November.
The Scottish poet’s personal art collection, including work by late, great Glasgow painter and novelist Alasdair Gray.
• Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, until 7 February.
Portraits and landscapes by this laconic and lovely painter of modern life.
• Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac online until 15 December.
The Remaking of Scotland
Explore the rise of modern Scottish identity as this museum’s splendid gothic building reopens.
• Scottish National Portrait Gallery from 8 November.
Image of the week
In the week of the US presidential election, the British Museum announced that an edition of Jasper Johns’ Flags I (1973) had been given to them by the New York-based collectors Johanna and Leslie Garfield. Said to be worth at least $1m (£770,000), it is one of the most valuable modern prints ever donated to the museum. Catherine Daunt, a curator of modern and contemporary art, said: “This is a hugely important print. It is beautiful, complex and technically a great achievement. We now have 16 works by Johns in the collection, all of which are outstanding in their own way, but visually this is undoubtedly the most spectacular.”
What we learned
Masterpiece of the week
The Entombment, about 1500-1501, by Michelangelo
This is one of Michelangelo’s first paintings. He made his name in sculpture, studying at Lorenzo de’ Medici’s garden academy in Florence where he is said to have delighted Lorenzo with an imitation of a classical faun’s face. His early sculptures, including The Battle of the Centaurs and Bacchus, brilliantly turn classicism into a dark and romantic art of self-expression. In this stab at painting, though, he’s much more hesitant. You can see the influence of his senior, Botticelli, in the graceful faces and dance-like movements of Christ’s mourners. But his sense of space is utterly original as Christ’s body seems to float rather than slumping in a world lighter than air. From this experiment Michelangelo would go on a decade later to paint the Sistine Ceiling with vertigo-inducing freedom.
• National Gallery, London.
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