Exhibition of the week
The devil is in the detail of Victorian Britain’s most subversive artist. Prostitution, homosexuality and many more un-Victorian realities are portrayed in his black and white erotic reveries. Hogarth on absinthe.
• Tate Britain, London, 4 March to 25 May.
Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk
Japanese woodblock prints, Dutch 17th-century portraiture and Alec Guinness’s Jedi robe feature in a cultural history of this famous garment.
• V&A, London, 29 February to 21 June.
Among the Trees
Tacita Dean and Peter Doig lead the artists here celebrating our ancient connection with the greenwood.
• Hayward Gallery, London, 4 March to 17 May.
A film and soundscape study of female wrestling and the trauma of sports injury.
• Site Gallery, Sheffield, until 17 May.
Bronze animals by the Welsh nature sculptor.
• Waddington Custot, London, 4 March to 18 April.
Image of the week
For our series My best shot, Free Solo climbing star Alex Honnold is captured in mid-air as he falls, in an image by Keith Ladzinski, himself also a climber. “Alex was on vacation in Greece, but even on vacation, he still climbs. Fortunately, unlike in the film Free Solo, he’s on a rope here.” Read the interview here.
What we learned
Masterpiece of the week
Ophelia Among the Flowers, circa 1905-08, by Odilon Redon
The fantastical art of Aubrey Beardsley made a big international impact in the 1890s and 1900s as part of the Europe-wide symbolist movement. Symbolism looked inward, rejecting the observational reportage of realists and impressionists to linger in realms of dream and desire. A decade after Beardsley drew Salome salivating over a severed head, his French opposite number Odilon Redon broods here on the watery death of Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Contrast it with the meticulous detail of Millais’s famous painting of Ophelia in an English stream. Here, there is no attempt to depict nature precisely. Instead the flowers are explosions of wild colour and Ophelia floats in abstract space. Modernism is just a breath away.
• National Gallery, London.
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