Cézanne bows out and Turner, Nash and co meander in Margate – the week in art

Iceland’s Ragnar Kjartansson brings Italian pop to Cardiff, ocean liners cruise into the V&A and the Ashmolean is simply divine – all in your weekly dispatch

Exhibition of the week

Journeys With The Waste Land
TS Eliot is the inspiration for a meandering river of an exhibition that includes gems such as JMW Turner’s painting The Golden Bough and a portrait by Peter Blake of Tracey Emin playing chess with Marcel Duchamp.
Turner Contemporary, Margate, 3 February to 7 May.

Also showing

The Sky in a Room by Ragnar Kjartansson at National Museum Cardiff.
The Sky in a Room by Ragnar Kjartansson at National Museum Cardiff. Photograph: Hugo Glendinning

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Sky in a Room
The Icelandic artist has arranged for the classic 1959 Italian pop song Il Cielo in una Stanza to be played for five hours a day on an antique organ.
National Museum, Cardiff, 3 February to 11 March.

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style
Immerse yourself in nostalgia for the art deco age of the great Atlantic liners, if that’s your idea of a good time.
V&A, London, 3 February to 17 June.

Cézanne Portraits
It’s the last week to catch this profound, beautiful and moving encounter with one of the greatest artists of all time.
National Portrait Gallery, London, until 11 February.

Madame Cézanne in a Yellow Chair, 1888-90 by Cézanne.
Madame Cézanne in a Yellow Chair, 1888-90 by Cézanne. Photograph: Art Institute of Chicago

Imagining the Divine
Religion has inspired most of the world’s greatest art, and here is an in-depth exploration of how sacred images developed in ancient times.
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 18 February.

Masterpiece of the week

The Parting of Hero and Leander, before 1837. Found in the collection of the National Gallery, London. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

The Parting of Hero and Leander by JMW Turner (before 1837)
A youth swims through fatal waters in a doomed quest to reach his lover. A city rises in sublime tottering masses of stone. The sky is a fetid evil mist, the sea a swirling murderous vat of mercury, the light poisonous and unearthly. In this tumultuous Romantic vision of sex and death, Turner probes to the psychic roots and deepest meanings of mythology. Christopher Marlowe and Cy Twombly were inspired by the same tragic love story. For Turner it becomes an image of the smallness and futility of human hopes.
National Gallery, London.

Image of the week

Hylas and the Nymphs, 1896, by John William Waterhouse

Hylas and the Nymphs, 1896, by John William Waterhouse
Hylas and the Nymphs is no masterpiece. But should it really have been removed from a show – as Manchester Art Gallery did in late January – and will the nudes of Titian and Picasso be next? Read the full comment

What we learned

Damien Hirst got a career boost from his elderly neighbour

A Hull window cleaner rescued a Banksy mural

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad died

… and we rated his 10 best products

The race is on to keep a Turner painting in Britain

Architects are going back to wood

Antony Gormley brings his feat of clay to choreography

Fashion has fallen for museum merchandise

George Butler’s Iraq drawings reveal the art of “reportage illustration”

Edmund Clark has a disturbing take on the war on terror

The National Portrait Gallery remembers its “hatchet fiend”

Secret tapes shed light on the Bacon-Freud feud

Margate is celebrating having inspired TS Eliot

Photographer Alan Schaller is inspired by Bauhaus

Charlemagne Palestine has a thing about stuffed toys

Great photographers’ visions of America are up for sale

35mm is back

A Boston exhibition challenges the whiteness of monuments

A new show will offer a graphic picture of North Korea

We remembered film designer Terence Marsh

Don’t forget

To follow us on Twitter: @GdnArtandDesign.


Jonathan Jones

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