Monday, June 27

Munch masterpieces, open-air Emin and a pint-pulling EastEnders jamboree – the week in art | art and design


Exhibition of the week

Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen
Some of Munch’s most powerful and bleakly beautiful paintings in a quietly devastating display.
Courtauld, London, until 4 September

Also showing

Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin’s I Lay Here for You at Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh. Photograph: Allan Pollok-Morris/Courtesy Jupiter Artland

As her colossal statue The Mother is unveiled at the Munch Museum, Oslo, this is a chance to explore Emin’s sculptures in a pastoral setting as well as see her latest works.
Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh28 May to 2 October

David Hockney: Love Life
Hockney draws better than Bacon or Freud. This show of his sketches of him from the 1960s and 70s is guaranteed to delight.
Holburne Museum, Bathuntil September 18

Stanley Schinter: The Lock-In

Queen Elizabeth II (left) in the Queen Vic pub during a visit to Elstree Studios where EastEnders is filmed.
Queen Elizabeth (left) in the Queen Vic pub during a visit to Elstree Studios in 2001. Photograph: Fiona Hanson/PA

A 96-hour video compiled entirely from EastEnders scenes set in the Queen Vic, screened in pubs over the Jubilee weekend and beyond.
london pub1 June to 1 July, then at the Barbican through July

Mary Gillick
The sculptor who created the young Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait for British coins.
British Museum, London2 June to 31 July

Picture of the week

Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) Self-Portrait before her painting slope c 1825
Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) Self-Portrait before her painting slope. Photographer: National Portrait Gallery

Sarah Biffin was born without arms or legs and was put on show in touring fairground attractions billed as The Limbless Wonder, but her outstanding talent as a painter disability shattered Victorian ideas about. Read the full story here.

What we learned

The fraudulent US art dealer Inigo Philbrick was sentenced to jail

LA’s film-star bridge has a thrilling sequel – on seismic springs

A modernist art show in New York offers optimism and rare diversity

Greece has rejected the British Museum claim that the Parthenon marbles were “removed from rubble”

Why art sale prices are going through the roof

Cornelia Parker creates a poetry of objects

The Royal College of Art’s Herzog & de Meuron studio building, is a business-facing behemoth

Camille Pissarro has been brought into the light

Designers have created self-shaping furniture

Masterpiece of the week

The queen from The Lewis Chessmen, British Museum.  Chess piece;  walrus ivory;  queen wearing floriated crown over veil, mantle;  holding horn;  right hand placed on cheek;  seated in chair ornamented on back with adjacent leaf scrolls with animal-heads on top of uprights;  chair sides: interlace ornament.
Photograph: Trustees of the British Museum

Queen from The Lewis Chessmen
(Probably made in Scandinavia, circa 1150-1175)

The Queen has been drinking. She holds a drinking horn in her left hand, while her right palm de ella supports her face de ella as she slumps miserably on her throne de ella. This is a tremendously vivid portrait, or caricature, full of life – yet it’s part of a hoard of chess pieces made for playing with, not looking at. There are no other medieval chess pieces as fine as these. Discovered in Uig on the Isle of Lewis in 1831, they were probably carved in the recently Christianized Norse regions and abandoned by a merchant ship. This masterpiece of medieval art is also an emblem of emotion. The Queen’s pose of her, with her face of her on her hand of her, was the symbol of the melancholy humor, seen too in Renaissance art and even Munch’s painting Melancholy. Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown.
British Museum, London

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