Exhibition of the week
Tokyo: Art and Photography
Exciting and eye-opening survey of one of the world’s great art cities, from 17th-century paintings of courtesans and samurai to a stuffed specimen of today’s urban super-rats.
• Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 29 July to 3 January.
Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour
A new 10-screen video portrait of the 19th-century justice campaigner and former slave Frederick Douglass.
• Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 29 July to 10 October.
Hetain Patel: Trinity
A cinematic installation that strives for the spectacular, including its own gift shop merchandise.
• John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, 3 August to 30 October.
Sean Lynch: Tak’ Tent O’ Time Ere Time Be Tint
Artwork that contributes to current debates around statues by excavating monumental stories.
• Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, 29 July to 29 August
Haegue Yang: Strange Attractors
Surreal fluffy objects that bring an uncanny mood to this seaside museum.
• Tate St Ives, until 26 September
Image of the week
Sydney photographer Joel Brian Pratley’s image of a lone farmer immersed in a dust storm in drought-stricken Australia has won the 2021 National Photographic Portrait prize. Titled Drought Story, the image shows David Kalisch captured amid a sudden dust storm on his 1,000-acre farm in Forbes, New South Wales. Pratley said his subject’s stance reflected the resilience of a man pushed to the limits by an unforgiving climate: “David’s composure during the storm was surreal, because he is just so used to it. For me, it was like being on Mars.”
See all the finalists’ work here.
What we learned
Masterpiece of the week
Homage to a Poet by follower of Giorgione (early 1500s)
The Renaissance artist Giorgione was good-looking, seductive and not only a brilliant painter but a talented lutenist and ardent lover – so the story goes. But he died young from plague and since the heyday of his fame, one after another of his masterpieces have been reattributed. Could this be a real Giorgione? It has his interest in poetry, which is also to be seen in his famous, unquestioned work Laura, in which a woman poses bare-breasted among laurel leaves, the symbol of poetry. It also has the mystery of his painting The Tempest, which is just as hard to decode. But the style is a bit hard and dry for him. So maybe it was a friend, pupil or imitator who put together this strange group of characters in a meadow, surrounded by animals. The lute player could even be the doomed Giorgione himself. This may be an allegory of his genius by someone who hero-worshipped him.
• National Gallery, London
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