Exhibition of the week
Young Bomberg and the Old Masters
David Bomberg depicted life in the Jewish East End of London in canvases of futuristic daring before 1914 – and drew on Renaissance art to do so, reveals this exhibition.
•National Gallery, London, until 1 March.
Theaster Gates: Amalgam
The American installation artist explores the forgotten history of a US multiracial experiment in the 19th century.
•Tate Liverpool 13 December to 3 May.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019
Amazingly, this survey of new art is in its 70th year – it has been defining the contemporary since 1949.
•South London Gallery until 23 February.
Feast and Fast
Images of food in European art from the Renaissance to the Romantic age.
•Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, until 26 April.
Image of the week
A new wave of indigenous art is heading for Britain, starting with Native American artists that are attempting to “reverse colonialism” in a show at Birmingham’s Ikon. Slaughter grounds thick with buffalo remains and a savaging of Thanksgiving myths are two of the highlights on display.
What we learned
Masterpiece of the week
The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello, circa 1438-40
“Come to bed, Paolo,” pleaded Uccello’s wife when he stayed up all night drawing – but he was too distracted by “this sweet perspective.” So says the 16th-century writer Vasari, and in this flamboyant painting we see the fruit of his studies of how to translate a 3-dimensional world onto a flat wooden surface. Uccello delights in rounded armour and lances, the curving solids of horses and helmets, and standards fluttering in deep space. But his understanding of the new science of perspective, which was theorised in early 15th-century Florence by Leon Battista Alberti, is incomplete. The hill in the background rears up like a flat tapestry, instead of receding to a vanishing point. This experimental quality makes Uccello’s martial masterpiece resemble early 20th-century cubist and futurist art.
•National Gallery, London
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