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Crumpled trumpets and state-sponsored psychedelia – the week in art

By Jonathan Jones
Musical flats … Perpetual Canon (2004), showing in the Cornelia Parker retrospective at Tate Britain.
Musical flats … Perpetual Canon (2004), showing in the Cornelia Parker retrospective at Tate Britain. Photograph: Collection of Contemporary Art Fundación “la Caixa”, Barcelona/ © Cornelia Parker

Exhibition of the week

Cornelia Parker
This retrospective of the surrealistic shed exploder and musical instrument crusher should be full of fun.
Tate Britain from 18 May until 16 October

Also showing

Tutankhamun: Excavating the Archive
Arresting photographs and other documents reveal the true story of the most famous archaeological exploit of all time.
Bodleian Library, Oxford, until 5 February 2023

Jim Moir
Moving bird portraits by the artist and nature lover better known as Vic Reeves.
Grosvenor Gallery, London, until 28 May

Alex Katz
More birds, this time by an enduring giant of American art.
Timothy Taylor, London, until 25 June

In the Air
Tacita Dean and Forensic Architecture are among the artists exploring our atmosphere.
Wellcome Collection, London from 19 May to 16 October

Image of the week

Dreamachine. Photograph by David Levene 4/5/22

Dreamachine, one of 10 national projects in Unboxed UK (formerly known as the Festival of Brexit) offers a free trip inside your own head courtesy of a flashing light technique pioneered in the 1960s, and it is as close to state-funded hallucinogens as you can get. Read our full review here.

What we learned

A buried owl has been baffling French puzzlers for 30 years

The death of comic book artist Steve Dillon inspired his brother Glyn to paint

Jake and Dinos Chapman, court jesters of the YBA generation, have split up

Andy Warhol’s Marilyn is the most expensive piece of 20th-century art ever sold

The Photo London photography fair is back

Turner-winners turned a Nottingham gallery into a soft-play area

Jarvis Cocker has interviewed Peter Blake and five more collectors about their obsessions

Bob Dylan unveiled his largest ever sculpture – in a French vineyard

Eric Johnson’s best shot was of 90s hip-hop’s golden couple

Matisse’s gamechanging Red Studio is on display in New York

A painting traded for a grilled cheese sandwich in the 70s could fetch thousands

A museum dedicated to Weimar sketcher George Grosz has opened in Berlin

Masterpiece of the week

A Shepherd with his Flock in a Woody Landscape, Peter Paul Rubens, circa 1615-22.

A Shepherd with his Flock in a Woody Landscape by Peter Paul Rubens (1615-22)
This knotty, tangled landscape of blues and greens lit by a blazing low sun takes you into a luxuriant, oily recreation of nature. It is a recognisably northern European scene, wet, woody and clouded. Rubens relishes its leafy, shady subtleties. Landscape art was still new when he painted this pastoral moment. The first pure landscape in European art is a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, but it was northern artists such as Albrecht Altdorfer and Pieter Bruegel the Elder who made it a genre in its own right. Rubens is recognisably indebted here to his Flemish predecessor: the birds in the trees and the figure of the shepherd are very Bruegelian. Rubens was friends with Pieter Bruegel’s son Jan: perhaps he knew the father’s great landscape drawings whose rich dense thickets this painting echoes. It’s a painting to enjoy on a rainy day, when its dreamy depths at once warm and refresh.
National Gallery, London

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Dive Deeper:
Floods inspire Blak Douglas’ Archibald win
Indigenous painter Blak Douglas has won the prestigious Archibald Prize for his portrait of fellow artist Karla Dickens during the…
Art Institute showcases Cezanne in museum’s first exhibit of Post-Impressionist icon in 70 years
The show, titled simply “Paul Cezanne,” will run through Sept. 5, with 80 paintings, 37 watercolors and drawings, four watercolor…
Floods inspire Blak Douglas' Archibald win
Indigenous painter Blak Douglas has won the prestigious Archibald Prize for his portrait of fellow artist Karla Dickens during the…
Archibald prize 2022: Blak Douglas wins $100,000 for portrait of Lismore artist Karla Dickens
The unanimous decision was announced on Friday at the Art Gallery of NSW, where all finalists will be exhibited from…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
From gum trees to cities to sweeping deserts: how 125 years of the Wynne Prize traces Australia's shifting relationship to our landscape
It is fair to say that Richard Wynne, who died in 1895, would not recognise many recent entries in the…
From Everything Everywhere All At Once to Architectural Digest: a complete guide to this week’s entertainment
Whether you want to go far out or snoop at someone else’s home, our critics will keep you busy for…
Get all your news in one place