Refugees, aristocrats and modern British painters – the week in art
Exhibition of the week
Refugees: The Lives of Others
This exhibition looks at German artistic émigrés to Britain – from Frank Auerbach, who came to Britain as a child to escape the Holocaust that killed both his parents, to the expressionist painter Ludwig Meidner, who fled Hitler as a mature and well-known artist. Eva Frankfurther, who has a parallel show until 18 June, came as a child, studied alongside Auerbach and painted immigrant communities in London’s postwar East End.
•Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, London, until 4 June
Constable and McTaggart
John Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (1831), lent by Tate, and William McTaggart’s The Storm (1890) are tumultuous masterpieces of English and Scottish landscape painting linked by their sense of nature’s power.
•Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until 25 March 2018
Last few weeks to see JMW Turner’s series of landscape prints that map his vision of art in the town where he fell in love.
•Turner Contemporary, Margate, until 7 May
Painting a Century
Modern British painters including Sandra Blow, Merlyn Evans and Victor Pasmore, shown alongside sculpture by their peers and contemporaries.
•New Art Centre, Salisbury, until 30 April
See how the other half dress in this exhibition of aristocratic fashion in one of Britain’s most spectacular stately homes.
•Chatsworth House, Bakewell, until 22 October
Masterpiece of the week
Portrait of a Man (‘Léal Souvenir’), 1432, by Jan van Eyck
This painting insists on its own power to preserve memory and record truth. The words Léal Souvenir – loyal remembrance – are engraved into a stone parapet, as they might be on a tombstone, under the lifelike portrait of an unknown young man. He must surely have died, and this is a memorial to him – or was he a merchant setting out on a voyage who wanted to be remembered exactly like this by friends and loved ones? Van Eyck has written the exact day on which the portrait was made: “Done in the year of Our Lord 1432 on the 10th day of October by Jan van Eyck.” Painting of this mirror-like accuracy was a new invention, a new technology. Van Eyck offers it as a way to preserve what otherwise will slip away.
•National Gallery, London
Image of the week
Jeff Koons announced his latest artworks this week – a series of bags for Louis Vuitton emblazoned with old masters’ names and paintings. As I said in a comment piece: “Koons is sharing the art he most loves. The power of Rubens, the sensuality of Titian and the naughty painterly pastries of Fragonard clearly fascinate him, and he wants other people to see what he sees. This is not simply a line of luxury bags. It is an artist’s meditation on the masters, in handbag form. Picasso copied and reworked great paintings in his later years. Koons is offering a different kind of art lesson, and it is a joy.”
What we learned this week
Graham MacIndoe told us about his best shot, of Quentin Crisp in his New York apartment – and about his heroin addiction and imprisonment
Gillian Wearing will become the first woman to create a statue for Parliament Square, with suffragist Millicent Fawcett honoured
A major Jasper Johns retrospective is coming to the Royal Academy
Tania Bruguera has moved into theatre directing, with a production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame – she discusses how it helps dismantle power
The Observer’s Laura Cumming had mixed feelings about Tate Britain’s Queer British Art exhibition
Oliver Wainwright explored the designs for Trump’s border wall with Mexico
He also spoke to the designer behind sous vide food to be cooked in washing machines
The National Portrait Gallery has acquired Tracey Emin’s Death Mask
Nosheen Iqbal met Ekin Onat, the Turkish artist taking on Erdoğan
A new exhibition of Eric Gill’s works asks: how far should an artist’s life affect our judgment of their work?
A new book, Pics Or It Didn’t Happen, reclaims Instagram’s censored art
We showed off your photos on the theme of diversity
Shia LaBeouf’s latest art stunt is staying alone in a Lapland cabin for a week
One of Henry Moore’s earliest works has gone back on display – a wooden honour roll for his school
Our A-Z of Readers’ Art series continues – please submit your artworks on the theme of S Is for Spray Paint. You can also share your photos on the theme of endurance.
Guardian members can book now for these exclusive private views: Michelangelo & Sebastiano at the National Gallery, London, and True Faith, a group show exploring the impact of Joy Division and New Order on the art world, part of Manchester international festival.