Cinema’s finest dream-maker and sacks appeal in Ghana – the week in art | Art

Exhibition of the week

Ray Harryhausen
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.

Also showing

Ibrahim Mahama
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.

Edwin Morgan
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.

Alex Katz
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

Photograph: Jasper Johns/British Museum

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

Zanele Muholi talked about the dangers of recording queer life in South Africa …

… as Tate Modern unveiled a major show of their work.

Grayson Perry sparked a row about “dead wood” and the pandemic.

Times Square became an unlikely hub for resistance art …

… and street photographer David Godlis recalled his greatest New York moments.

The children of Somers Town, London, have a swanky new play space.

Artist Howardena Pindell talked about the trauma of racism …

… and Joy Labinjo reflected on opportunities for black British artists.

A Jewish family allege bias in a Dutch art-restitution case.

After 900 years, a Spanish cathedral stonemason had the last laugh.

Van Gogh’s final visions may have been the result of alcohol withdrawal.

Ladybird kids’ book spoofers illustrated the pandemic with humour …

… while Ricky Adams’ office plants have had a hard time of it.

We had a glimpse of the New East.

The occult has returned to art.

A corner of London’s Soho will become a giant canvas.

David Bailey published a memoir of swinging times behind the lens.

Laura Cumming found dissonance in Turner’s Modern World.

We took a fresh look at Leonard Freed’s civil-rights work.

Photographer Hannah Grace Deller caught a telling moment in the battle to beat Covid-19.

The 50 Windows of Creativity trail has turned Manchester into a huge open-air gallery.

Artist Richard Butchins considered whether you need good eyesight to make great art.

Photo Vogue festival is outdoors in Milan.

Photographers are selling prints to aid the worldwide fight against Covid-19.

Dalston’s vibrant Ridley Road has “a direct link to Africa”.

In Australia, the jacarandas are in bloom …

… and the skies are filled with startling meteorological phenomena.

Steven Berkoff revealed a passion for Hieronymus Bosch and Bruegel..

The LagosPhoto20 festival focused on the appeal of everyday objects.

We remembered Italian designer Enzo Mari.

Hannah Jane Parkinson found the fun in fancy fonts.

Masterpiece of the week

Entombment by Michelangelo; National Gallery, London
Photograph: Photo12/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

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.

Don’t forget

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