Exhibition of the week
Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters
An epic gathering of Indigenous Australian art, on tour from the National Museum of Australia, that gives a platform to the world’s most ancient living culture.
• The Box, Plymouth, until 27 February
Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules
Artists love the Beano as much as we all do. Sarah Lucas, Phyllida Barlow and many more join curator Andy Holden to celebrate it in a show to entertain all ages.
• Somerset House, London, until 6 March
The Rules of Art?
John Akomfrah, Picasso, Gwen John and Rembrandt are among the artists in this radical questioning of art’s hierarchies.
• National Museum, Cardiff, from 23 October to 16 April 2023
Atmospheric monochrome photographs of contemporary architecture celebrating buildings by the likes of Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind.
• Royal Academy, London, from 23 October to 23 January
Light shows and holograms to illuminate the autumn at one of Britain’s most beautiful and historic stately homes.
• Houghton Hall, Norfolk, until 23 December
Image of the week
On the harbour in Watchet, Somerset, where once a development of luxury flats was proposed, a group of local women have instead created the East Quay arts centre – a remarkable complex of galleries and studios, with a restaurant, classroom, geology workshop, print studio and paper mill, as well as some quirky holiday rentals, with help from a £5.3m grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.
What we learned
Masterpiece of the week
A Bacchanal, follower of Dosso Dossi, 1525
This orgy in the countryside is a raw and racy take on a classical theme. It’s set in a mythical golden age, or at least bronze age, inspired by ancient Roman poetry, where goat-legged satyrs hang out with cupids and nymphs. Bacchus was the god of wine and his followers drunken reprobates. Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne, perhaps the most famous depiction of bacchanalian behaviour, was painted as part of a series of mythic scenes for the Duke of Ferrara in the early 1500s (and today hangs in the National Gallery). This painting also from Ferrara, is in the fierce, intense style of local painter Dosso Dossi. But it playfully takes Titian’s classical revels into more pornographic territory, with dangerous liaisons everywhere you look.
• National Gallery, London
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