Exhibition of the week
The Art of Innovation
Science has been inspiring art ever since Leonardo da Vinci tried to fly, and this exhibition surveys their interconnection from the Enlightenment to the age of the Hubble Telescope.
• Science Museum, London, 25 September to 26 January
The celebrated theatre and opera designer creates an epic installation about the nature of memory in the country house of architect Sir John Soane.
• Pitzhanger Manor, London, 26 September to 12 January
This is Hirst’s best exhibition in Britain for a long time – a concentrated and disciplined array of astounding butterfly art.
• White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, 20 September to 2 November
A Merseyside motorway bridge and memories of childhood feature in the Turner winner’s latest fusion of art and pop.
• Tate Britain, London, 24 September to 5 January
Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary
Sensual drawings and organic objects from a lifetime rebel against authoritarian regimes.
• Whitechapel Gallery, London, 25 September to 12 January
Masterpiece of the week
Rain, Steam and Speed: The Great Western Railway, 1844, by JMW Turner
One of the first locomotives in the Romantic age was called the Rocket, and that sense of speeding in a train being like flying in space is made vertiginously real in this painting of a black engine pulling passengers through a swirling void of misty light. The train is crossing a bridge over the Thames at Maidenhead while people watch from the riverbank below, but it might be soaring to the stars as it pushes the limit of human speed. When Turner was born, in 1775, it took several days to cross the country. This painting registers his awe at the new age he has lived to see, when human beings can attain dizzying speeds of 30 miles an hour.
• National Gallery, London
Image of the week
A hole in the Blenheim Palace floor where Maurizio Cattelan’s £5m solid-gold toilet stood before it was stolen in the early hours of Saturday. The art whizz and serial prankster panned claims he orchestrated the theft himself. “Who’s so stupid to steal a toilet?” he said. “I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action.” Read the full story.
What we learned
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