Weird dreams, the ruins of Palmyra and Dippy the dinosaur – the week in art

Louise Bourgeois and Edvard Munch get existential, the ancient ruins destroyed by Isis briefly rise again and a giant dinosaur skeleton moves in to Norwich – all in your weekly dispatch

Exhibition of the week

Chikako Yamashiro
This Japanese artist explores the history of her birthplace, the island of Okinawa, which remained under American control from 1945 to 1972 and is still home to several US airbases.
Dundee Contemporary Arts until 21 November

Also showing

Christen Sveaas Art FoundationThis Is the Night Mail Selected by Ida Ekblad
Dark and dreamy art that explores existential themes, from Edvard Munch and Giorgio de Chirico to Louise Bourgeois and Francesca Woodman.
Whitechapel Gallery, London, until 2 January

Victoria and Albert
Art collected by Queen Victoria and her consort, including watercolours of the Scottish landscapes they loved.
Queen’s Gallery, Edinburgh, until 3 October

Dippy on Tour
The surreal sight of a giant dinosaur skeleton inside a gothic cathedral comes to Norwich, on tour from the Natural History Museum.
Norwich Cathedral until 30 October

Orkney and the Artist
A survey of how the landscapes and seabound setting of Orkney have inspired artists including Sylvia Wishart, Gunnie Moberg and Ian MacInnes.
Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, until 6 November

Image of the week

Curtain Call, Variations on a Folly by Abbas Akhavan, at Chisenhale Gallery.
Curtain Call, Variations on a Folly by Abbas Akhavan, at Chisenhale Gallery Photograph: PR

The Iranian-born, Canada-based artist Abbas Akhavan has individually sculpted, out of straw, mud and clay, each column of the colonnade that led to the Arch of Palmyra before Isis destroyed the monuments in the Syrian city in 2015. The installation forms the major part of his current show at the Chisenhale Gallery. Read the Observer’s review here.

Masterpiece of the week

Claude, The Mill 1648.

Claude: Landscape with the Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah (“The Mill”), 1648
Claude paints landscapes for the mind to escape to. This French artist who settled in 17th-century Rome and endlessly drew its scenery and surroundings is a merchant of dreams, putting together timeless visions from his Italian sketches. Here, a wedding is being celebrated on a tranquil shore. Nature mirrors the happy moment: a perfect blue sky dappled with cotton wool clouds is suspended peacefully over a turquoise bay and rolling hills decorated with soft trees. The biblical story it illustrates seems to be just an excuse to paint a beautiful world and invite us in.
National Gallery, London

What we learned

That this autumn promises to be filled with great art and exhibitions

That the shadow child poverty secretary says Tory cuts to arts for kids are nauseating

Chuck Close, the photorealist and portrait artist, has died aged 81 …

… and our critic Adrian Searle’s wrote an appreciation of his work

That Gilles Peress has produced the ultimate photographic statement on the Northern Irish Troubles …

… while Stéphan Gladieu has been photographing the people of North Korea

That Bill Brandt, Brassaï and Ansel Adams, three greats of photography, had a meeting of minds in 1976 …

… and the winners of the Mono awards for black-and-white photography were announced …

… as were the winners of the Australian Geographic nature photographer of the year awards

That the National Gallery is planning a Lucian Freud show for the artist’s centenary

The Forensic Architecture research group responded to public calls to reinstate a pro-Palestinian artwork in their exhibition at Manchester’s Whitworth gallery

That the National Youth Theatre has had a £4m architectural overhall

How artists and activists are challenging the way we reuse and reimagine broken objects

The Guardian gave its view on the Art Fund Museums prize

What will be in the V&A’s theatre and performing arts ‘major refresh’? Clue: kinky boots and Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds Are Forever pantsuit

A new catalogue with images of paintings by Leon Kossoff, stolen in 1972 and never returned to the artist in his lifetime, hopes to help recover the works

Ulrike Ottinger’s new film delightfully captures her journey into art, culture and politics in 1960s Paris

Perpignan’s Festival of Photojournalism 2021 features more than 25 exhibitions throughout the city

A New York exhibition tells the incredible stories behind recovered Nazi-looted art

The swing bridge on the River Tyne that doesn’t work, in spite of a £1m upgrade

Roger Deakins, the Oscar-winning cinematographer of Sicario and Skyfall, also takes beautiful still photographs

John Stillman, an architect whose good-looking, modernist designs transformed postwar Britain, has died aged 101 …

… and John Graham, one of the architects behind Harlow new town in Essex, has died aged 93

Children’s illustrator and writer Jill Murphy, creator the Worst Witch books, has died aged 72

… she gave one of her final interviews to the Observer …

… and we reprinted some of her best illustrations

Nature painter Dame Elizabeth Blackadder – the first woman to be elected to both the Royal and Royal Scottish academies – has died aged 89

Ikea’s Symfonisk hides a wifi speaker in a picture frame: we gave it a 4-star review

Tsitsi Dangarembga is the latest author to have contributed to artist Katie Paterson’s century-spanning Future Library project

Don’t forget

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