Revolt and Revolution
Protest art from the Arts Council collection brings a radical start to the year on the rolling dales of Britain’s grandest sculpture park.
• Yorkshire Sculpture Park from 6 January until 15 April.
Tracey Emin’s My Bed /JMW Turner
Last chance to see the juxtaposed works of two artists closely connected with Margate, and compare the rumpled linen of Emin’s bed with Turner’s sprays of sea foam.
• Turner Contemporary, Margate, until 14 January.
There are still a few weeks to catch this survey of David Bomberg, one of the best British modernists on the eve of the first world war, and later a key influence of the young Frank Auerbach.
• Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 4 February.
Siberian legends haunt the work of this anthropologically minded Russian artist.
• Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, until 18 February.
El Médico (The Doctor), 1779, Francisco de Goya
This is one of the great images of winter. Goya may even have intended it as an allegory of the season, for it is a design for a tapestry to hang in the Spanish royal palace El Pardo, part of a series of such designs that were his first major commissions. The young Goya’s brightly coloured tapestry designs rejoice in (apparently) simple evocations of seasonal fun and festivals, like this portrayal of a country doctor warming his hands over a dish of hot coals while his two students huddle by him in the bleak midwinter. The fiery red of the doctor’s cloak contrasts brilliantly with a stark leafless tree behind him, while warm russet faces look out of the picture with a glow of winter cheer. This is an optimistic painting. It is not only an evocation of winter but of reason. Goya believed fervently in the scientific ideals of the European Enlightenment, which held that education and technology could improve life. When he painted this early work there were real hopes of the Enlightenment spreading to Spain. This doctor can stand the cold because he is warmed by reason, in the shape of the medical books that lie open in front of him. Goya would later see reason destroyed by war and smothered by superstition but in this heartwarming work he expresses his hope for humanity.
• Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.
The Dubai Frame
The world’s largest picture frame has been unveiled in Dubai. The 50-storey building is a tourist attraction intended to focus attention on the architecture of both the old city and its gleaming new skyscrapers. But the £50m project came under fire from Mexican architect Fernando Donis, who claims it was developed from a competition entry without his agreement.
Our A-Z of Art series concluded with your pictures on the theme of Z is for zero.
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