Exhibition of the week
Art & Language
The conceptual art pioneers merge Picasso’s Guernica with Jackson Pollock’s drips in a provocative visual “essay” on the history of modern art.
• Sprovieri Gallery, London, from 17 January until 13 March.
It’s as if the ghost of Salvador Dalí is haunting Hollywood (where the Catalan surrealist did some delirious work in the 1940s) in Israel’s self-portraits of his head full of hyperreal California scenes.
• Gagosian Grosvenor Hill, London, from 16 January to 14 March.
Illuminating the Self
Artists Susan Aldworth and Andrew Carnie work with Newcastle University scientists to reveal the mysteries of the human mind.
• Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, from 18 January to 19 May.
London’s drowning … listen to 70 old songs about the capital in a jukebox installation by an artist whose eerie work suits this archaeological site.
• Bloomberg Space, London, from 22 January to 11 July.
Minimalist installations that suit a purgative January mood.
• Annely Juda Fine Art, London, until 22 February.
Image of the week
Monument #32: Helter Shelter by Callum Morton
The US president’s head has surfaced in Australia. The sculpture-cum-thinking space has been touring the country, and found its latest home in Ballarat, Victoria – and is proving a confrontational hit with visitors stopping to peek inside.
What we learned
Masterpiece of the week
Inkstand with a Seated Satyr, c.1540-50, from the workshop of Desiderio da Firenze
All art is quite useless – unless it’s an inkstand. But how utilitarian, really, is this intricate bronze delight made for a Renaissance desktop? This everyday masterpiece reveals two things about sculpture in 16th-century Italy. First, art in this era was so sophisticated and skilled that even a trinket for a study could exhibit the superb anatomical detail and intense imagination of this sensual luxury. Yet even as Italian art reached such heights of accomplishment, artists and their audience became divorced from the moral and political values their forerunners believed in. Art was enjoyed for art’s sake. The name for this movement in 1500s Italy is “mannerism” and this wonderful absurdity is a gorgeous example of it.
• Wallace Collection, London
To follow us on Twitter: @GdnArtandDesign.
Sign up to the Art Weekly newsletter
If you don’t already receive our regular roundup of art and design news via email, please sign up here.