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Five art shows to see this week: Barbican Art Gallery, National Gallery, and more

11 – 18 February

Published 10 February 2017

From an unconventional Baroque masterpiece to curious sculptures of London’s landmarks, we guide you through the best art to see this week.

  • Guido Cagnacci: The Repentant Magdalene

    National Gallery, London, until 21 May

    Despite being relatively unknown in the UK, Guido Cagnacci was one of the most unconventional and provocative painters of the Italian Baroque period. The Repentant Magdalene – considered by many to be his masterpiece – is an unusual depiction of Mary Magdalene, in which the soon-to-be saint is lying on the floor, undressed, while the angel of Virtue fights away a tempting devil, Vice. After being at the Norton Simon Museum in California for over 30 years, this overlooked masterpiece is temporarily returning to the UK, showcasing Cagnacci’s sensual and unorthodox style.

  • Guido Cagnacci , The Repentant Magdalene After

    Guido Cagnacci, The Repentant Magdalene After, 1660.

    Oil on canvas. 229.2 x 266.1 cm. © Norton Simon Art Foundation.

  • Richard Mosse: Incoming

    Barbican Art Gallery, London, until 23 April

    You might remember photojournalist Richard Mosse’s surreal photographs of the recent conflict in Eastern Congo. Created using Aereochrome film – an infrared technology that turns certain colours bright pink – the images became famous for the way they depicted brutal realities in fairy-pink landscapes. For this new commission, Mosse has teamed up with cinematographer Trevor Tweeten and music producer and composer Ben Frost to create a multi-channel video installation for the Curve, Barbican’s immersive gallery space. For this new work, Mosse used a military thermal camera to film aspects of the international refugee crisis in several crucial locations around the world. Interested in challenging conventional forms of photojournalism, Mosse’s immersive installation presents a new and haunting representation of migrants’ experiences.

  • Richard Mosse

    Richard Mosse

    Still from ‘Incoming’, 2015–2016. Three-screen video installation by Richard Mosse in collaboration with Trevor Tweeten and Ben Frost.

    Co-commissioned by National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and Barbican Art Gallery, London. Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York and carlier|gebauer, Berlin

  • Paola Ciarska: Coming Along Nicely

    Globe Gallery, Newcastle, until 15 April

    Recent art school graduate Paola Ciarska creates miniature paintings and illustrations that humorously depict scenes from a young woman’s life. When asked about her practice, Ciarska commented, “I wanted to create a self-portrait that would also function as a mirror to whoever laid eyes on it”. Often set within bedrooms and kitchens, her work exaggerates the habits and rituals of a 21st century lifestyle, featuring selfie sticks, live-streamed internet interactions and lots of nudity. Every detail is meticulously painted, presenting the viewer with intimate and sometimes erotic scenes which seem to invite a closer look.

  • Paola Ciarska, Coming Along Nicely

    Paola Ciarska, Coming Along Nicely.

    Courtesy of the artist and the gallery.

  • Nathan Coley

    Parafin, London, until 18 March

    Known for illuminated text works installed within both urban and natural landscapes, and for scaled down models of towns installed within museums, Scottish artist Nathan Coley has always been interested in notions of public space. So it comes as no surprise that for his first London exhibition in five years, Coley is presenting a series of new works that question the symbolic meaning of two iconic institutions: Tate Modern and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The two sculptures of the London landmarks face each other, as they do in real life, but the artist has turned them into cabinets of curiosities. The models are open at the back and filled with numerous objects that carry allegorical meanings related to the buildings.

  • Nathan Coley, Tate Modern on Fire (detail)

    Nathan Coley, Tate Modern on Fire (detail), 2017.

    Stained timber, Perspex and mixed media. 170 x 100 x 90 cm. © Nathan Coley 2017. Courtesy Parafin, London. Photo: Peter Mallet.

  • Mark Neville: Child’s Play

    The Foundling Museum, London, until 30 April

    Mark Neville’s new photographic project is about the universality of child’s play. After spending several years immersing himself in different communities around the world, Neville has developed a compelling body of work advocating every child’s right to play, regardless of social status or geographical location. At the intersection between documentary and art, Neville’s photographs portray children at play in contrasting environments: from the safety of a public playground in London to the improvised games taking place in a refugee camp in Kenya.

  • Mark Neville, Arts and Crafts at Somerford Grove Adventure Playground

    Mark Neville, Arts and Crafts at Somerford Grove Adventure Playground, 2011.

    Courtesy Mark Neville.