Exhibition of the week

Aubrey Beardsley
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.

Also showing

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk

A kimono entitled ‘Please let others sit comfortably’ by Japanese artists Yokoyama Yumiko and Kadowaki Takahiro



A cultural history … kimono by Yokoyama Yumiko and Kadowaki Takahiro. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Phoebe Davies
A film and soundscape study of female wrestling and the trauma of sports injury.
Site Gallery, Sheffield, until 17 May.

Barry Flanagan
Bronze animals by the Welsh nature sculptor.
Waddington Custot, London, 4 March to 18 April.

Image of the week

Climbing by Keith Ladzinski



Photograph: Keith Ladzinski

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

Celia Birtwell revealed all about being David Hockney’s muse

… and can be seen in our five-star review of the new exhibition of his life drawings …

… which includes one work that caused a family rift

Grayson Perry is the first British visual artist since Henry Moore to win the Erasmus prize

Life at home with the Picassos could be relaxing

Finnish-American photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a master of the surrealist self-portrait

… while Frank Blazquez tells the stories of young people in ‘the new Wild West’ of New Mexico

… and we celebrate the enduring appeal of the photobook in the digital era

The church is getting into property development

… and Tibetan objects made of human remains are going on show at the British Museum

There is an Indigenous slant to the art at Sydney’s Biennale

An energetic exhibition at RIBA is using bright carpets and virtual reality to decode architecture

Tate and MoMa are accused of ‘playing catch up’ with their collections of modern African art

The Barbican in London wants to know what it means to be a man

Chinese poster art has a long and powerful history

… while Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite has inspired a whole world of poster design

We reviewed the captivating scenes of Dutch master Nicolaes Maes

… while critic and curator Carlo McCormick picked the 10 best works from the 80s New York scene

Ghent is the fine art lover’s ideal holiday destination

A photography exhibition challenges beauty standards around the globe

Samuel Ryde’s pictures of hand dryers are a blast of fresh air

Masterpiece of the week

Ophelia Among the Flowers by Odilon Redon





Photograph: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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.

Don’t forget

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