Steve McQueen’s school sensation, R2-D2 and a hi-tech Leonardo – the week in art


Exhibition of the week

Steve McQueen Year 3
Portraits of an entire generation of young Londoners – displayed on hundreds of billboards across the city – that foreground the future of Britain, just as it prepares to vote in a general election. Read more in this interview.
Tate Britain, London, 12 November to 3 May.

Also showing

A view of the National Gallery’s immersive Leonardo da Vinci exhibition.

A view of the National Gallery’s immersive Leonardo da Vinci exhibition. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece
A hi-tech exegesis of the most haunting painting in the entire National Gallery: Leonardo da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks.
National Gallery, London, 9 November to 12 January.

Prix Pictet
A diverse international shortlist for this socially conscious prize exhibit photographs on the theme of Hope.
V&A, London, 14 November to 8 December.

Hello, Robot
R2-D2 is in the building alongside the latest real-life droids in this exploration of science fiction and fact.
V&A Dundee until 9 February.

Antony Gormley
If you crave more after his Royal Academy blockbuster, here it is.
White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, 13 November to 18 January.

Image of the week

Detail of Lorna May Wadsworth’s 2009 reworking of Leonardo’s Last Supper, featuring model Tafari as Jesus.

Detail of Wadsworth’s 2009 reworking of Leonardo’s Last Supper, featuring model Tafari Hinds as Jesus. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

A bullet-hole in right side of Jesus is an “iconoclastic act”, says Lorna May Wadsworth. The celebrated portrait artist discovered the damage to her reworking of Leonardo’s Last Supper when her painting arrived in Sheffield for a retrospective of her work. “It really upsets me to think that someone was so aggrieved by my portrayal of Christ that they wanted to attack it,” said Wadsworth. Read more about this story.

What we learned

Pat Martin won the Taylor Wessing prize

Exploitation of elderly Indigenous artists in Australia is ‘modern-day slavery

Charlotte Salomon was an artist whose spirit the Nazis couldn’t erase

Saatchi is giving King Tut the Hollywood treatment …

… and Egypt hopes to benefit

Takashi Murakami is a cool cat

Aberdeen’s architectural reinvention is a work in progress

Germany’s cold war art heritage is battling ideology

Architects have breached the walls of Auckland Castle

Chichester is playing host to defiantly radical women

There are more ways than one to skin a car park

The Deutsche Börse is all blue skies and French dogs

Modern houses are pure escapism

Councils are repurposing car parks – with art and architecture

Amsterdammers are being offered a piece of history …

… while national collections are accused of theft

Indiana’s Univeristy of Notre Dame is publishing a history of photography

The Architectural Photography awards shortlist has been constructed

The National Portrait Gallery in London is closing for a revamp

A whippet is a gambler’s best friend

We remembered painter Ed Clark …

… and news photographer Stuart Heydinger

Masterpiece of the week

The Young Schoolmistress, about 1737, by Jean-Siméon Chardin.

Photograph: The National Gallery Photographic Department

The Young Schoolmistress, about 1737, by Jean-Siméon Chardin
The younger child’s face appears unformed in this image of education. Flabby and puffy, this child seems like a proto-person who will only take truly human shape by absorbing knowledge. Reading is central to that civilising process. The teacher looks more sharply defined, more of a person. She is a gentle teacher, a loving missionary to this infant savage. This painting is a perfect expression of the ideals of the Enlightenment, which, led by such thinkers as Voltaire and Diderot and taking its guiding light from Newton’s science, believed in redemption through reason. The apt pupil will grow up to read Rousseau, listen to Mozart and may live long enough to see reason die in the Jacobin Terror.
National Gallery, London.

Don’t forget

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