Refugees, aristocrats and modern British painters – the week in art

Ben Uri Gallery’s exhibition of German artist émigrés opens this week, while the Scottish National Gallery shows off two masterpieces of nature’s power – all in your weekly dispatch

Exhibition of the week

Refugees: The Lives of Others
This exhibition looks at German artistic émigrés to Britain – from Frank Auerbach, who came to Britain as a child to escape the Holocaust that killed both his parents, to the expressionist painter Ludwig Meidner, who fled Hitler as a mature and well-known artist. Eva Frankfurther, who has a parallel show until 18 June, came as a child, studied alongside Auerbach and painted immigrant communities in London’s postwar East End.
Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, London, until 4 June

Also showing

Constable and McTaggart
John Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (1831), lent by Tate, and William McTaggart’s The Storm (1890) are tumultuous masterpieces of English and Scottish landscape painting linked by their sense of nature’s power.
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until 25 March 2018

Liber Studiorum
Last few weeks to see JMW Turner’s series of landscape prints that map his vision of art in the town where he fell in love.
Turner Contemporary, Margate, until 7 May

Painting a Century
Modern British painters including Sandra Blow, Merlyn Evans and Victor Pasmore, shown alongside sculpture by their peers and contemporaries.
New Art Centre, Salisbury, until 30 April

House Style
See how the other half dress in this exhibition of aristocratic fashion in one of Britain’s most spectacular stately homes.
Chatsworth House, Bakewell, until 22 October

Masterpiece of the week

Portrait of a Man (Léal Souvenir), 1432.
Portrait of a Man (Léal Souvenir), 1432. Photograph: Print Collector/Getty Images

Portrait of a Man (‘Léal Souvenir’), 1432, by Jan van Eyck

This painting insists on its own power to preserve memory and record truth. The words Léal Souvenir – loyal remembrance – are engraved into a stone parapet, as they might be on a tombstone, under the lifelike portrait of an unknown young man. He must surely have died, and this is a memorial to him – or was he a merchant setting out on a voyage who wanted to be remembered exactly like this by friends and loved ones? Van Eyck has written the exact day on which the portrait was made: “Done in the year of Our Lord 1432 on the 10th day of October by Jan van Eyck.” Painting of this mirror-like accuracy was a new invention, a new technology. Van Eyck offers it as a way to preserve what otherwise will slip away.
National Gallery, London

Image of the week

Louis Vuitton’s latest artist collaboration, Masters with Jeff Koons.
Louis Vuitton’s latest artist collaboration, Masters With Jeff Koons. Photograph: Louis Vuitton

Jeff Koons announced his latest artworks this week – a series of bags for Louis Vuitton emblazoned with old masters’ names and paintings. As I said in a comment piece: “Koons is sharing the art he most loves. The power of Rubens, the sensuality of Titian and the naughty painterly pastries of Fragonard clearly fascinate him, and he wants other people to see what he sees. This is not simply a line of luxury bags. It is an artist’s meditation on the masters, in handbag form. Picasso copied and reworked great paintings in his later years. Koons is offering a different kind of art lesson, and it is a joy.”

What we learned this week

Graham MacIndoe told us about his best shot, of Quentin Crisp in his New York apartment – and about his heroin addiction and imprisonment

Gillian Wearing will become the first woman to create a statue for Parliament Square, with suffragist Millicent Fawcett honoured

A major Jasper Johns retrospective is coming to the Royal Academy

Tania Bruguera has moved into theatre directing, with a production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame – she discusses how it helps dismantle power

The Observer’s Laura Cumming had mixed feelings about Tate Britain’s Queer British Art exhibition

Oliver Wainwright explored the designs for Trump’s border wall with Mexico

He also spoke to the designer behind sous vide food to be cooked in washing machines

The National Portrait Gallery has acquired Tracey Emin’s Death Mask

Nosheen Iqbal met Ekin Onat, the Turkish artist taking on Erdoğan

A new exhibition of Eric Gill’s works asks: how far should an artist’s life affect our judgment of their work?

A new book, Pics Or It Didn’t Happen, reclaims Instagram’s censored art

We showed off your photos on the theme of diversity

Shia LaBeouf’s latest art stunt is staying alone in a Lapland cabin for a week

One of Henry Moore’s earliest works has gone back on display – a wooden honour roll for his school

Get involved

Our A-Z of Readers’ Art series continues – please submit your artworks on the theme of S Is for Spray Paint. You can also share your photos on the theme of endurance.

Guardian members can book now for these exclusive private views: Michelangelo & Sebastiano at the National Gallery, London, and True Faith, a group show exploring the impact of Joy Division and New Order on the art world, part of Manchester international festival.

Don’t forget

To follow us on Twitter: @GdnArtandDesign.


Jonathan Jones

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Ming bling and Apocalypse Now – the week in art
Jonathan Jones: The V&A launches a blockbuster exhibition of amazing artefacts from the Ming dynasty and Fiona Banner is inspired by Francis Ford Coppola. Plus Mad Men, the birth of the world’s best-loved logos and vomiting dogs

Jonathan Jones

12, Sep, 2014 @1:46 PM

Article image
Jeff Koons' Louis Vuitton bags: a joyous art history lesson
In championing the likes of Fragonard, Rubens and Titian, Jeff Koons’ line of Louis Vuitton accessories brings high art to the high street – and shows off his sincere passion for painting

Jonathan Jones

12, Apr, 2017 @9:01 AM

Article image
Caravaggio contested and bacon-smelling boxers – the week in art
The British Museum explores Sicily’s gorgeous heritage, east London bids farewell to an anarchic venue and the V&A strips to its smalls – all in your weekly art dispatch

Jonathan Jones

15, Apr, 2016 @3:55 PM

Article image
Simon and Garfunkel, selfies and fibreglass KitKats – the week in art
Meades on Mussolini, Antony Gormley’s verdict on Brexit, and the high society grotesque of Cindy Sherman – all in your weekly art dispatch

Jonathan Jones

03, Jun, 2016 @3:43 PM

Article image
Syria, sculptural surrealism and Lenin's library pass – the week in art
Ed Ruscha’s urban surrealism heads to Edinburgh, while Norfolk welcomes Richard Long’s contemplative landscape art – all in your weekly dispatch

Jonathan Jones

28, Apr, 2017 @3:11 PM

Article image
Blackpool goes pop and Frieze invades Regent's Park – the week in art
Tracey Emin’s alfresco sculpture heads to Frieze, Oxford explores early life on Earth and Kubrick’s spooky masterpieces are on show in London

Jonathan Jones

16, Aug, 2019 @10:21 AM

Article image
Ravishing Riley, seaside celebrations and anti-Trump seesaws – the week in art
Landscapes in Orkney, bouncy abstracts in St Ives, and a wealth of artworks between and beyond

Jonathan Jones

02, Aug, 2019 @12:47 PM

Article image
Revolutionary Flemish painting and Richard Serra's dark thoughts – the week in art
Anthony McCall’s psychedelic light sculptures, Van Gogh’s arrival at the Tate Britain and a celebration of Virginia Wolf – all in your weekly dispatch

Jonathan Jones

16, Feb, 2018 @2:13 PM

Article image
Sublime seascapes, 3D Bowling, female truckers and portals to beyond – the week in art
Frank Bowling makes a switch to sculpture, Milton Avery creates ‘Rothkos with people in them’ and the Tardis opens its doors

Jonathan Jones

15, Jul, 2022 @11:00 AM

Article image
Dust on a Duchamp, Grayson's pots and radical painting – the week in art
Richard Wright beguiles Glasgow, modern art takes London, and a dog urinates in New York – all in your weekly dispatch

Jonathan Jones

02, Jun, 2017 @12:34 PM