The horrors of dissection, Freud’s secrets and Deller’s map of the self – the week in art

·2 min read

Exhibition of the week

Anatomy: A Matter of Death and Life
This thought-provoking exhibition starts with an exquisite sample of Leonardo da Vinci’s dissection drawings and works up to the gothic horrors of Edinburgh’s Burke and Hare.
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2 July to 30 October.

Also showing

Howardena Pindell: A New Language
Stunningly beautiful abstract paintings and powerful denunciations of injustice from this great US artist.
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, 2 July to 30 October.

Lucian Freud: The Painter and his Family
A delve into the Freudian secrets of Sigmund’s artistic grandson puts painting on the couch.
Freud Museum, London, 6 July to 29 January.

Liquid Light: Painting in Watercolours
Tracey Emin, JMW Turner, Bridget Riley and the brilliant Romantic artist Thomas Girtin are among the artists here who use watercolour to scintillating effect.
Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, until 13 August.

Temporary Atlas: Mapping the Self in the Art of Today
Kiki Smith, Jeremy Deller and others use maps as images of self and society.
Mostyn, Llandudno, until 25 September.

Image of the week

Michael Eavis portrait by Peter Blake
Michael Eavis portrait by Peter Blake

A portrait of Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis by by founding father of English pop art Sir Peter Blake was unveiled at this year’s event in Somerset. It will be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in London when it reopens in 2023. Read the full story here.

What we learned

A digital database telling the stories behind thousands of UK public artworks has been created

We Are Invisible, We Are Visible is a one-day takeover of museums and galleries by disabled artists on 2 July

A painting by Boris Johnson’s late mother showing the infant future PM weeping stars in a show about loss

Artist Aïda Muluneh has made a startling image sequence addressing Ethiopia’s water supply issues

Tycoon Dimitris Daskalopoulos is giving away huge haul of starry modern art to museums

Architect Nigel Coates is hoping to “softly seduce” people with work once thought unbuildable

Unpublished photos by Dora Maar include intimate portraits of her lover Pablo Picasso

Painter Chaz Guest revealed his battles for truer representations of Black Americans

The op-art of George Westren, left in a skip after his death alone in a London flat, is thrilling social media

The V&A is to hold its first African fashion exhibition

The anarchic world of comic-book artist Steve Dillon, who shaped figures such as Judge Dredd and Punisher, is on display

Masterpiece of the week

Moby the Whale
This sperm whale skull appeared in the 2009 Turner prize exhibition in a work by shortlisted artist Lucy Skaer. Now it’s on permanent view in the National Museum of Scotland which, with its collections of natural history, archaeology, art and design, is something of a cabinet of curiosities. Moby (which seems a slightly unoriginal name for a whale) was a 40ft sperm whale beached in the River Forth in 1997. After efforts at a rescue failed, amid public mourning, the skeleton was preserved as a museum specimen. Skaer incorporated it into an installation that let you see only glimpses of the concealed leviathan. Today, this immense skull elicits wonder and contemplation of our kinship with this great creature.
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.

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