Exhibition of the week
This retrospective of the surrealistic shed exploder and musical instrument crusher should be full of fun.
Tate Britain from 18 May until 16 October
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
Moving bird portraits by the artist and nature lover better known as Vic Reeves.
Grosvenor Gallery, London, until 28 May
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, one of the 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 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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