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exhibition of the week
Lynette Yiadom-Best of Lynette
Impeccable and fascinating paintings that create mystery and leave you haunted, like the covers of unwritten novels.
Tate Britain, London, until February 26.
friends and relationships
Four great painters – Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud and Michael Andrews – compete with each other to paint the unvarnished truth.
Gagosian Grosvenor Hill, London, until January 28.
Tony Swain: Desert View
Part collage, part painting, Swain’s art has a seedy, dilapidated grandeur.
Modern Institute, Glasgow, until January 14.
Colonial Botanical Symbolism is revealed by Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, Minji Choi and more.
CCA, Derry, until December 21.
Artists making books: from poetry to politics
Books by artists and bibliophile interventions from the contemporary Middle East, including Kareem Risan’s meditation on an explosion in Baghdad.
British Museum, London, until September 17.
picture of the Week
Martin Parr visited Athens in 1991. Copies of his session there became water damaged and he has now digitally scanned them to produce a series he has called Acropolis Now. “At first I panicked when I realized my prints had been damaged by a leak in my office,” says Parr. “However, I thought, these look interesting. In fact, to be brutally honest, they were better than the originals.” See the gallery here.
what we learned
masterpiece of the week
Head of a woman, c 1475, by andrea del verrocchio
Looking at this delicate vision of a young woman, it is easy to guess that Verrocchio was Leonardo da Vinci’s teacher. The intricacy of his hairstyle was still resonating in Leonardo’s art in the early 16th century when he drew similarly intertwined locks in his sketches of Leda and the Swan. There is also a realism in Verrocchio’s drawing that has much in common with Leonardo’s youthful portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci, which was done about the same time as this study: while at first glance it is easy to call Verrocchio’s portrait ” idealized”, actually colors his features with a fleshy truthfulness, and alludes to the inner life. This is reminiscent of Botticelli, who was also beginning to represent women with intense poetry at this time. In short, it is a jewel of Florentine Renaissance art and its worship of women.
British Museum, London
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