Best friends, dark visions and wacky rococo – the week in art

Turner’s watercolours are unveiled once more in Edinburgh, while Beyond Caravaggio enters its final week – plus the rest of the week’s art happenings

Exhibition of the week

Turner in January
Start the year with a dose of JMW Turner’s luminous genius in this traditional January unveiling of some of his most wondrous watercolours.
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until 31 January.

Also showing

William Kentridge and Vivienne Koorland
A show by two important artists from South Africa, who also happen to be lifelong friends.
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until 19 February.

Beyond Caravaggio
Last chance to see this eye-opening encounter with Caravaggio’s followers in London, before it tours to Dublin and Edinburgh.
National Gallery, London, until 15 January.

Andy Warhol
See Warhol’s dark vision of the US as we await the presidential ascendancy of Donald Trump.
The Whitworth, Manchester, until 16 April.

Djordje Ozbolt
Wacky reinventions of rococo painting inserted into this tasteful collection of largely Georgian art and design.
Holburne Museum, Bath, until 5 March.

Masterpiece of the week

The Lower Falls of the Labrofoss, 1827, by Johan Christian Dahl.
The Lower Falls of the Labrofoss, 1827, by Johan Christian Dahl. Photograph: National Gallery

The Lower Falls of the Labrofoss, 1827, by Johan Christian Dahl
The dark trees, purple rocks and eerie distant luminosity of a landscape near Oslo give a melancholy dreaminess to this archetypal Romantic painting. Dahl was Norway’s answer to Turner and famous enough in the early 19th century for this to have been commissioned by a British fan. Created decades before Edvard Munch came along, it establishes the spooky magic of the north as a new territory for art.
National Gallery, London.

Image of the week

Deeds not Words, 2010: Corby Carnival Queens Go Bowling, 1.
Corby Carnival Queens Go Bowling, 1. Photograph: Mark Neville

Mark Neville’s new book, Fancy Pictures – featured on the site this week – contains images from his series Deeds Not Words, for which he travelled to Corby to document a town coping with the trauma of birth defects caused by toxic waste. It’s another of his socially engaged projects, which have taken place everywhere from Scotland to Helmand and Pittsburgh.

What we learned this week

The critic John Berger died this week. We examined his legacy, wondered how he would have analysed the images of today and heard memories from Simon McBurney, Geoff Dyer and others

Ali Smith, Alain de Botton, Natasha Khan, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Eimear McBride told us about the art they find inspirational

Simon Hattenstone talked to 101-year-old abstract artist Carmen Herrera in New York

The Observer picked its rising stars of 2017, including the artist Aaron Angell …

… and the architecture practice Interrobang

Martin Parr has made the new BBC1 idents

The V&A has returned a whole bedroom it acquired for £1,000 from Sizergh Castle in 1891

Keith Haring’s car canvases went on show

The ornate home of the Victorian painter David Parr has received a £625,000 lottery grant

Kate Middleton was honoured for her photography – and with good reason

Shirin Neshat told us about her best shot: a woman with a gun tucked in her veil

Glasgow University has warned theology students about distressing crucifixion images in film – but paintings are far more hardcore

Get involved

Book now for Guardian members’ events: a private view of the Australia’s Impressionists exhibition at the Royal Academy, in London; and a pair of events at London’s Science Museum, as part of next summer’s Robots exhibition.

Our A-Z of Readers’ Art series continued this week, looking at your artworks with the theme O is for Oracle – check out the best entries here.

We’ve also launched the theme for next month: P is for Portraiture. Send in your artworks with that theme, and the best will be exhibited in next month’s gallery.

Don’t forget

To follow us on Twitter: @GdnArtandDesign.


Jonathan Jones

The GuardianTramp

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