arts and design

From a Dada pioneer to a tragic goldfish bowl – the week in art


Exhibition of the week

Sophie Taeuber-Arp
An overdue fresh look at this modernist pioneer who helped invent both Dada’s punk ethos and abstract art’s spiritual calm.
Tate Modern, London, 15 July-17 October.

Also showing

British Art Show 9
Michael Armitage’s paintings of surreal nature, Tai Shani’s Dracula and a talking dog are among the highlights in this survey of the state of British art.
Aberdeen Art Gallery, 10 July-10 October, then touring.

Horace Walpole’s Goldfish Bowl
A small but fascinating exhibition about the Chinese porcelain bowl in which an 18th-century cat drowned, inspiring a poem by Thomas Gray and beautiful illustrations by William Blake.
Strawberry Hill House, London, until 30 September.

Indeterminate Line, 2016-20, by Bernar Venet
Indeterminate Line, 2016-20, by Bernar Venet showing at Albion Fields. Photograph: Jonty Wilde/Courtesy of the artists and Albion Barn Photo

Albion Fields
Ai Weiwei, Richard Long, Ryan Gander and more show their art in a field for summer – all very folkloric and hippy, except it’s all on sale.
Albion Fields, Oxfordshire, inaugural exhibition until 25 September.

Rachel Kneebone
Like a cross between Rodin and the Chapmans, this ceramic sculptor creates orgies and horrors in porcelain.
White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, until 4 September.

Image of the week

Moonrise, 2020.
Moonrise, 2020. Photograph: Jasper Goodall

Jasper Goodall captures the deep, dark loveliness of Britain’s woods and moors at night. The nocturnal landscapes in his exhibition Twilight’s Path, at London’s MMX Gallery, evoke the feeling of reconnection many Britons have experienced as they explored lonely and forgotten places during months of pandemic isolation.

What we learned

The faces of 850 trans people and an anticolonial rebel will be displayed on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth

Damien Hirst’s cherry blossom paintings might please his mum

Wall colours at Tate Britain’s Paula Rego show are a ‘random, neurotic assault’

and Rego told the Observer: ‘I make women the protagonists because I am one’

The Prix Pictet shortlist offers challenging and lyrical works inspired by fire

The Princess of Wales sculpture is the latest example of our strained relationship with statues

while the toppling of the giant statue of Saddam Hussein was a myth created by American soldiers

Researchers have found 14 living descendants of Leonardo da Vinci

Australian photographer Wayne Quilliam has distilled his work with Indigenous peoples into a book

The V&A is to highlight the creativity of African fashion designers in a 2022 exhibition

A bass guitar smashed at at a Clash gig has been added to the Museum of London’s permanent collection

An abandoned labour camp in Estonia was Rafał Milach’s best shot

Melbourne is experiencing augmented reality art

and Edinburgh has a poo emoji on its skyline

Abraham Poincheval spent a week inside a sculpture of himself

Exhibits breed like rabbits at California’s Bunny Museum

The Public Library of the Year award shortlist has been announced – an architectural feast

and Australian sustainable architecture designs have been recognised

Tove is an an impassioned portrait of the Finnish artist and Moomins creator Tove Jansson

The computer restoration of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch shows the benefits and risks of AI

… but Manchester’s Poet Slash Artist exhibition makes the future of art seem bright

Alison Morton was one of the finest linen weavers

… and artist Elaine Wilson explored how women look at themselves and are looked at

Pat Wingshan Wong traded sketches for stories at Billingsgate fish market in London

‘Exquisite’ studies of birds by ornithologist John Gould have been banned from export

and Pieter Hugo’s outsiders are on show at Arles photography festival

We remembered the artist Elaine Wilson

Masterpiece of the week

Col Alexander Ranaldson Macdonell of Glengarry c.1812 by Henry Raeburn
Photograph: Jack MacKenzie/National Museum of Scotland

Colonel Alastair Ranaldson Macdonell of Glengarry, 1812, by Henry Raeburn
This is a beautiful illustration of how modern nationalism was born in the Romantic age. Raeburn was Scotland’s greatest Romantic painter, a visionary of glen and loch who turned his portraits into symbolically and emotionally charged images of states of mind. Here he wallows in nostalgia and Highland tradition in a tartan-themed picture of a military man and landowner who was a friend of the historical writer Sir Walter Scott. The archaic clan weapons on the wall connect modern military skills with ancestral prowess and proud national myth. Raeburn is doing in paint what Scott did in his novels and giving Scotland new pride in its past.
National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh.

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