Exhibition of the week
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.
Nick Knight, Frank Horvat, Polly Braden and many more feature in this cornucopia of photography.
• Somerset House, London, from 12 to 15 May.
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.
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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