A dance with Rothko plus Gilbert and George explore Covid chaos – the week in art

Mark Rothko’s chapel turns 50, the British Museum examines the male and female lives of the Chevalier d’Éon and Britain’s favourite odd-couple artists capture the new normal – all in your weekly dispatch

Exhibition of the week

Gilbert and George: The New Normal Pictures
Psychedelic hallucinations of the London streets in lockdown that capture the sheer strangeness of our time.
White Cube online from 2 March (and later at White Cube Mason’s Yard)

Also showing

Group Show
Calm yourself with this virtual visit to an abstract group show of mellowing, richly textured sculpture and painting by artists including Mark Handforth, Sarah Rapson and Phillip Lai.
Modern Art online until 11 April

Jakob Kudsk Steensen
Immersive digital landscapes on the frontier between romantic nature and video games.
Serpentine Galleries online until 31 May

Rothko Chapel Anniversary Service
It’s 50 years since Mark Rothko’s vision of a chapel shaped around his abstract art was fulfilled in Houston, Texas. This inter-faith anniversary event includes Sufi dancing.
Rothko Chapel livestreaming 28 February, 2-4pm

The Chevalier d’Éon
Explore the story of the Chevalier d’Éon, who lived both as a man and woman in 18th-century Europe in this online gallery.
British Museum online

Image of the week

Vincent van Gogh’s Scène de rue à Montmartre .
Vincent van Gogh’s Scène de rue à Montmartre. Photograph: WestImage - Art Digital Studio/Sotheby’s

Scène de rue à Montmartre by Vincent van Gogh has been part of the same French family’s private collection for more than a century, but is now about to go on public display for the first time. It is part of a rare series depicting the celebrated Moulin de la Galette, and was painted in 1887 during the two years the Dutch artist spent sharing an apartment in Paris with his brother Theo. It will be exhibited in London, Amsterdam and Paris before being sold by Sotheby’s in March when it is expected to fetch between €5m (£4.3m) and €8m. Read more here.

What we learned

Berlin’s new €47m faith centre will welcome Christians, Jews and Muslims under the same roof

Insiders revealed vast staff cuts are imminent at the V&A

Philip Guston’s daughter is worried his work is being misconstrued in the wake of Black Lives Matter

We explored how John Keats’s death mask became a collector’s item

The Scream’s “madman” inscription appears to be by Edvard Munch himself

After New York, London is getting its own Highline

A 17,300-year-old kangaroo is Australia’s oldest rock artwork

Parklets, play streets and repurposed parking spaces let kids’ imaginations run wild

Homeware design is becoming more sustainable

A Lithuanian bus station is up for a top European architecture award

Beat artist Harry Smith used to collect paper aeroplanes on the streets of New York

The respect Salvador Dalí showed for Renaissance mathematical ratios

Thirteenth-century Islamic Persia had an astrological counterculture

A shot of a curious polar bear was a winner at the 2020 Frank Hurley awards

Zohra Bensemra captured atmospheric images of Senegal’s most promising jockey

Victoria Miro gallery’s new virtual show highlights the power of blue

Photographer Ruth Maddison reimagined the years her father was spied on

The Courtauld has a haul of new drawings by Cézanne, Klee and others

The crumbling charms of photographer Nick Meyer’s Massachusetts hometown

Junior doctor Robert Blomfield was a secret chronicler of Edinburgh life

Photographer Irina Rozovsky’s trip to Prospect Park, Brooklyn was a revelation

How to transport 61 National Gallery masterpieces to Australia

The Great British art tour visited Glasgow, London, Bristol and Aldeburgh

A century ago, the avant garde made a dramatic sweep through Georgia

We remembered Gerard Hemsworth, a key figure in a new kind of British conceptualism

Masterpiece of the week

Marriage a-la-mode: 6. The Lady’s Death by William Hogarth

Marriage A-la-Mode: 6, The Lady’s Death, about 1743, by William Hogarth
This is the squalid conclusion to Hogarth’s tragicomic series of modern history paintings that tell of a loveless arranged marriage in 18th-century high society. The City of London merchant who hoped to make it into the upper echelons by marrying his daughter to a decadent aristocrat removes her ring after her suicide back in his miserly home overlooking the grey Thames. Her orphaned child suffers from hereditary syphilis. A dog tugs at a sow’s ear that’s been proverbially exchanged for a silk purse. The art on the walls is Dutch and homely, reflecting the merchant’s dry worldliness. It’s a novel come to life on the gallery wall, by the first artist to capture the laughter and tears of London.
National Gallery, London

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Jonathan Jones

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