Michelangelo's friend and Canada's punk conceptualist – the week in art

The ambition of Renaissance Rome, Rodney Graham paddling into Gateshead, revolutionary Russian architecture and South African sensuality – all in your weekly art dispatch

Exhibition of the week

Michelangelo and Sebastiano
A fascinating closeup on Michelangelo’s genius in the years when he competed with Raphael and collaborated with his friend Sebastiano del Piombo in the intensely ambitious atmosphere of High Renaissance Rome.
National Gallery, London, 15 March-25 June

Also showing

Untitled 2017.
Untitled 2017. Photograph: Mark Blower/Lisa Brice and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

Lisa Brice
The colour is blue, the mood is sensual in this South African artist’s new paintings.
Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, 17 March-22 April

Imagine Moscow
The visionary architectural projects unleashed by the Russian revolution are explored in this show that marks the centenary of 1917.
Design Museum, London, 15 March-4 June

Lucio Fontana
Four centuries after Michelangelo’s death the slashed canvases of Lucio Fontana put Italy back at the forefront of art. Yet, as this exhibition shows, he was also a gifted ceramic sculptor.
M&L Fine Art, London, until 12 May

Masterpiece of the week

Portrait of a Young Man in Red by Ghirlandaio.
Portrait of a Young Man in Red by Ghirlandaio. Photograph: Heritage Images/Getty Images

Domenico Ghirlandaio, Portrait of a Young Man in Red, c1480-90
The eminent Florentine artist Ghirlandaio ran a large, profitable studio, and one of his pupils was the young Michelangelo - but was he grateful? When Giorgio Vasari revealed his apprenticeship to Ghirlandaio in The Lives of the Artists (1550), Michelangelo was furious and got his next biographer, Ascanio Condivi, to deny he was ever anyone’s apprentice. Yet he was, and this almost sculptural portrait shows the muscular style he picked up from his first master.
National Gallery, London

Image of the week

Paddler, Mouth of the Seymour 2012-13 by Rodney Graham.
Paddler, Mouth of the Seymour 2012-13 by Rodney Graham. Photograph: Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Rodney Graham
The gravity and wit of Canada’s punk conceptualist gets a major showing in Gateshead this spring.
Baltic, Gateshead, 17 March-11 June

What we learned this week

The great Howard Hodgkin has died, aged 84

You could have knocked on Paula Rego’s studio door with a broken leg but she wouldn’t have let you in

One illustrator has turned iTunes’ terms and conditions into a graphic novel

Yan Wang Preston won photography’s Syngenta award

Isis’s second occupation has destroyed even more of Palmyra’s ancient treasures

Sculptor Tony Cragg was inspired by fossils

Jenny Holzer will be the next artist to adorn Blenheim Palace

London nearly got a Mies van der Rohe skyscraper

Gillian Wearing gave us a glimpse of her older self …

… and the National Portrait Gallery gave us Claude Cahun’s past masquerades to compare Wearing to

Japan’s architects think small to when crafting beautiful homes

The German government is attempting to trace looted Nazi art …

… while art historians want British treasures back from America

We remembered Gustav Metzger

Get involved

Book now for a Guardian members’ event: a private view of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation prize at the Photographers’ Gallery, London.

Don’t forget

To follow us on Twitter: @GdnArtandDesign.


Jonathan Jones

The GuardianTramp

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