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Gallery-goers take a twisted trip and history’s visionaries set sail – the week in art

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Exhibition of the week

Dreamachine

A hallucinatory visual experience that promises to subvert your senses. Judging by the health form you have to fill in, it’s pretty intense.

• At various locations including London, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh from 10 May.

Also showing

Photo London

Nick Knight, Frank Horvat, Polly Braden and many more feature in this cornucopia of photography.

• Somerset House, London, from 12 to 15 May.

Victoria Cantons

Sharply painted, frank self-portraits that tell the transgender artist’s story.

• Flowers Gallery, London, from 11 May to 2 July.

Malevich and Raku Kichizaemon XV

Drawings by the great abstract artist are compared with Japan’s raku tradition of high-art ceramics.

• Annely Juda Fine Art, London, from 12 May to 9 July.

Seafaring

How artists have imagined life on salt water from JMW Turner to Cecily Brown and Maggi Hambling.

• Hastings Contemporary until 25 September.

Image of the week

Photograph: Krzysztof Dac/Alamy

Initially dismissed as the work of pranksters when they first emerged and injected some wonder into the 80s, awe-inspiring crop circles are now considered stunning examples of non-profit art for all. Read the full story here.

What we learned

Masterpiece of the week

Photograph: The National Gallery, London

John Constable’s The Hay Wain, 1821

Two rural workers labour to get their horse-drawn wagon across a millpond to collect hay from the fields in the distance. A woman on her hands and knees does laundry in the water. In the distance, a row of agricultural workers are cutting grass to fill the hay wain. John Constable grew up in Suffolk, and never tired of painting his childhood landscape. Yet this is not a sentimental fantasy. You can see how realistic the scenery is by visiting the still-preserved Flatford millpond and Willy Lott’s house. And the social world of the early 19th-century countryside is accurate, too. Far from concealing its harshness, Constable fills his pastoral with people doing exhausting tasks. Only the onlooking dog and the boy with a fishing rod are free.

• National Gallery, London.

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