Souls of the south, a migration celebration and 60 years of nude men – the week in art

Exhibition of the week

Souls Grown Deep Like the Rivers: Black Artists from the American South
The art of resistance in the former Confederate states of the US uses whatever lies to hand in the back yard. Found stuff and craft skills are deployed here by artists from Thornton Dial to the Gee’s Bend quilt-makers to assemble a Black vision of the south.
Royal Academy, London, until 18 June

Also showing

Rites of Passage
Tell the home secretary! Migration is celebrated by this group show that includes Elsa James’s Ode to David Lammy MP as well as works by Patrick Quarm, Adelaide Damoah, Phoebe Boswell and more.
Gagosian Britannia Street, London, until 29 April

Painted Prints
Print-maker Jimmy Merris uses deeply built up colours to create his funny-sad philosophical cartoons. Also featuring Liorah Tchiprout and the late Gillian Ayres.
Marlborough Graphics, London, until 22 April

A Hard Man is Good to Find!
A survey of 60 years of gay nude photography that includes Patrick Procktor, Cecil Beaton and Angus McBean.
Photographers’ Gallery, London, until 11 June

Paradise Found
Contemporary artists explore the Blackdown Hills, a favourite landscape of the Camden Town Group more than a century ago. Is it still a “paradise”?
Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton, Devon, from 18 March to 3 June

Image of the week

A Banksy mural has been demolished along with a derelict farmhouse in Herne Bay, Kent. The image of a boy with a cat, opening curtains to greet the day, appeared on the side of the building only days before it was due to be torn down. When the artist claimed the work, following its destruction, the property owner and demolition contractors were both reported to be ‘gutted’. Another Banksy recently caused controversy a few miles along the coast at Margate. It is hoped both works could be recreated at the town’s Dreamland amusement park.

What we learned

Sculptor Phyllida Barlow, who died this week aged 78, always went big

The architecture of LA’s boutique cannabis stores is wild

A new tower in LA is a menacing cyberpunk creation

Genius ceramicist Lucie Rie defied convention and the Nazis

Leonardo da Vinci was drawn as much to the grotesque as he was to beauty

A Banksy mural has been demolished along with a derelict farmhouse in Herne Bay

Artists in UK public sector make far below minimum wage

The Parthenon marbles won’t be returning to Greece any time soon

Artists and footballers are teaming up for the Manchester international festival

Karolina Wojtas broke all the rules in her Polish school photos

The Gherkin may have been inspired by a Bond villain’s lair

Paddy Irishman is taking on a racial stereotype

LA’s twisted new high-rise is a grotesque monument to its creator’s ego

Masterpiece of the week

Rembrandt, Old Man and Child, about 1639-40

Rembrandt’s compassion and empathy inhabit the quickest lines and simplest sketches. These drawings of an old man playing with a child effortlessly combine precise observation, allegorical symbolism and sheer insight into the human condition. The man’s walking stick invites us to see this as an emblem of youth and age, a telling study of time’s effects – yet any cold analysis is undermined by the child’s irrepressible playfulness and the elderly companion’s obvious enjoyment of such high spirits. This was drawn almost 400 years ago in a world very different from ours yet the everyday fun it shows could be any family snapshot, yours or mine.
British Museum, London

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