Britain’s most brilliant abstract artist returns with new works created in the past four years. Riley’s intelligence is a marvel to behold.
• David Zwirner gallery, London, 19 January to 10 March.
The tournaments and chivalry of the French Renaissance are preserved in Caron’s fascinating 16th-century drawings.
• Courtauld Gallery, London, 18 January to 15 April.
Turner in January
Turner’s watercolours are magic windows glowing with light and atmosphere. This annual unveiling is a winter wonder.
• Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until 31 January.
The Business of Prints
Rembrandt and Goya are among the great artists in this survey of how images were reproduced before the photographic age, from the Renaissance to the early 19th century. Last chance to catch it.
• British Museum, London, until 28 January.
The strange and fascinating tradition of drawing from the life model is brought up to date, including nude studies of Iggy Pop.
• Royal Academy, London, until 11 March.
Clothes on the Grass: Study for Bathers at Asnières, 1883, by Georges Seurat
When Bridget Riley was developing her scientific conception of abstract art she closely studied and copied the work of Seurat. That was because this short-lived experimental artist (born in 1859, died in 1891) analysed the visual world like a chemist. Seurat’s pointillist fields of coloured dots break up visual experience into its myriad constituent parts and reveal the complex nature of perception. Yet his art is not cold or clinical. On the contrary, Seurat’s carefully planned compositions are full of emotional power. This study for his great 1884 painting Bathers at Asnières – which the National Gallery owns – is poignant and disconcerting. A heap of clothes abandoned on the shore could belong to a swimmer or a suicide. The shimmering river isn’t saying. Over this ambiguous pastoral moment, the tall thin chimneys of factories pump their grey smoke into the pale air. It looks as if someone has swum away to escape the prison of modern life.
• National Gallery, London.
Day Into Night, New York, by Scott Mead
The US photographer specialises in taking photos of the views through aeroplane windows. Works from his book, Above the Clouds, are on show at Hamiltons Gallery, London, until 19 January.
• See gallery of images from the exhibition.
London’s theatres are a dazzling spectacle in themselves
Our A-Z of Art series concluded with your pictures on the theme of Z is for zero.
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