Walk into a human body, ruined booksellers’ treasures and a 2D world – the week in art | art

Exhibition of the week

Wang Gongxin: In between
Multimedia installations that explore the ancient painterly problems of light and shadow using modern means.
White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, from January 19 to February 26.

Also on display

Alison Katz: Artery
Autobiographical art in an installation that suggests the inside of the human body.
Camden Art Centre, 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: Flatland
Video inspired by the Victorian fantasy novel Flatland and his vision of a two-dimensional world.
Tate Liverpool until June 5th

Fragmented Lighting: Cuttings of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
Beautiful images cut by saucy 19th century booksellers from some of the greatest medieval manuscripts.
Q&A, London, until May 8

Image of the week

An employee on a garden bridge on the opening day of the Monet's Garden exhibition in the Alte Muenze, Berlin.  The exhibition, on display in Berlin until March, offers an immersive experience into the work of the French 19th-century painter.

A collaborator of the recently opened Monet’s Garden immersive multimedia exhibition, dedicated to the work of the painter Claude Monet, in Alte Muenze, Berlin. The show runs until mid-March.

What we learned

A bitter inheritance feud rages over a Roman villa

A sculpture by Eric Gill on BBC Broadcasting House in London is reportedly damaged during a protest over the artist’s pedophilia

A René Magritte masterpiece is expected to fetch £45 million at auction

Art historian Christopher Wright discovered his £65 painting may be a Van Dyck

Cotswolds want Damien Hirst to fix up his crumbling country stock

Photographer Masterji’s portraits of immigrant life in Coventry will be on display…

… as West Midlands police artist Kay Rufai hopes to reduce youth violence and racial stereotyping

An exhibition of work by the American landscape painter Winslow Homer will open in London in September

Senegal has some of the most striking architecture in Africa…

… and artist, poet and singer, Dieynaba Sidibé, AKA Zeinixx, is the ‘first lady’ of graffiti in the country

Soviet avant-garde movie posters were as bold and innovative as the movies they advertised

Photographer Alec Soth is one of the most compelling chroniclers of American life

Foster + Partners architecture firm nearly doubled its 2020 profits thanks to Middle East expansion

Masterpiece of the week

A sparrowhawk Jacopo de 'Barbari 1510s
Photo: © The National Gallery, London

Jacopo de’Barbari: A Sparrowhawk, 1510s
Nothing is easier or more direct to observe than this slice of life from the Venetian Renaissance. It’s not an allegory, a reference to a myth or some other kind of symbol—as is so often believed that Renaissance art contains—but simply an act of observation. The artist looks clearly and carefully at a game bird perched on its perch. He catches his bright, fierce eye and tiger-striped breast feathers, the leather bracelets on his feet and bell to sound the alarm if he runs away. It waits alertly against an undecorated, meaningless wall. This is an art of description of the kind we associate with Northern European rather than Italian painters. Jacopo de’ Barbari even moved between north and south and worked in both Nuremberg and Venice. His sparrowhawk is about 150 years ahead of The Goldfinch, the painting by Carel Fabritius made famous by the novel by Donna Tartt. It is a memorial to an unnamed bird of prey that lived half a millennium ago.
National Gallery, London

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