Exhibition of the week: Giorgio Morandi
Long before the rise of minimalism this hypnotic painter excluded action, mess, and the noise of the world from his art. Morandi’s still lifes and landscapes concentrate on simple visual facts, which he examines in silent, contemplative calm. His art has many echoes today, from the sculpture of Rachel Whiteread to the ceramics of Edmund de Waal. Here his drawings offer a close insight into the working methods of one of the 20th century’s true masters.
• Estorick Collection, London N1, from 16 January until 7 April
Other exhibitions this week
Powerful contemporary nudes by prize-winning photographer.
• Flowers Gallery, London W1S, from 11 January until 9 February
Aid and Abet
Artists take over this gallery famous for its beautifully presented collection of modernist sculpture.
• Kettles Yard, Cambridge CB3, from 12 January until 24 February
Quirky portraits of Southend-born star Helen Mirren.
• Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea SS2, from 14 January until 30 March
Masterpiece of the week
Hoa Hakananai’a, made on Easter Island around 1000 AD
This sculpture is such an unmissable sight in the main public thoroughfare of the British Museum it’s easy to take for granted. Very few such colossal carvings have ever left Easter Island itself. This one was brought to Britain by a Royal Navy ship in 1868. The power of the figure lies in its being both a person and a stone. European sculpture has often sought to overcome its materials – to shape stone smoothly and absolutely into a human figure as in the works of Canova. But this carving does not deny what it is made of. On the contrary, the artist seems to have found the face in the geological grain. This is a rock with a face.
• British Museum, London WC1B
Image of the week
What we learned this week
And finally …
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