Exhibition of the week
On Your Face: Queer Reflections
A queer takeover that deconstructs this gallery’s “largely heteronormative” collection and opens up new ways of seeing art.
• Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea, until 18 September
Exciting, memorable abstract paintings by Scotland’s answer to Jackson Pollock.
• Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, until 24 September
Familiar and strange
Surrealist contemporary photographs by artists including Dafna Talmor, Mitch Epstein and Maurizio Anzeri.
• V&A, London, until 6 November
The woodpecker factory
A closer look at Victorian wood engravers the Dalziel brothers, who helped the Pre-Raphaelites reach a wide audience.
• British Museum, London, until 4 September
Picture of the week
These clay heads by Daria Koltsova are part of The Captured House, an exhibition of the work of around 50 Ukrainian artists, all made during and about the war. Koltsova escaped via Moldova to Palermo, where she began making a head for every Ukrainian child whose death made the news. The exhibition has opened in Brussels and intends to tour globally as part of a Ukrainian diplomacy. Read the whole story here.
What we learned
• The price gap between the sexes in the art world is truly shocking
• Antony Gormley’s latest proposed public sculpture may (or may not) feature a three-metre phallus
• Edinburgh Art Festival has something for every art lover
• The portrait of a tyrannical Trinidad governor removed in the wake of BLM protests is back on display in Wales
• The French graphic artist and painter Jean Jullien has returned to the beaches and landscapes of his youth
• The vibrant work of Ghanaian-born, London-based photographer James Barnor captured a different side of the swinging 60s
• The Danish photographer Krass Clement has rediscovered Belfast from the 1990s
• Paul Lowe’s best work captured a moment of innocence during the siege of Sarajevo
• The Female in Focus photography award captures the many faces of womanhood
Masterpiece of the week
St Hieronymus in penance, ca 1534-45, of Sodom
The Renaissance artist Giovanni Antonio Bazzi was nicknamed Il Sodoma because he was said to be a “sodomite”. There were no equivalents in pre-modern languages for terms like gay or queer. Homosexuality was equated with the deadly sin of sodomy and yet, at least in Italy, there was scope for alternative sexualities. Leonardo da Vinci was accused of sodomy, but escaped, and was rumored to love his assistants. As it happens, there are echoes of the Tuscan polymath in this painting: Leonardo had also portrayed a naked ascetic Jerome. There is no evidence that Sodom was gay, but this muscular painting has a deep feeling for the male form, and the fact that an artist could gain such a reputation without damaging his career speaks to the openness of Renaissance Italy.
• The National Gallery, London.
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