Degas’s potent pastels and Basquiat’s furious daubs – the week in art

Kthe Kollwitz rages against poverty, Latino creativity blossoms in LA and Siberian nomads charge into battle all in your weekly dispatch

Exhibition of the week

Drawn in Colour: Degas from the Burrell
The intensity and sensuality of Edgar Degas, the great voyeur of late 19th century art whose pastels are as potent as his paintings, should scintillate in this exhibition of his works from Glasgow’s Burrell Collection.
National Gallery, London, from 20 September until 7 May.

Also this week

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Furious paintings that reinvented pop art and connected galleries with the energy of the city in a revolutionary way.
Barbican art gallery, London, from 21 September until 28 January.

Martin Boyce
Evocative and haunting sculptures by the Turner prize winner that revisit modern utopias.
Modern Institute, Glasgow, from 18 September until 4 November.

From the Vapour of Gasoline
The decline of America is chronicled by artists including Basquiat, Robert Gober, David Hammons, Bruce Nauman and Jenny Holzer.
White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, from 20 September until 21 October.

Arte Povera
Richard Long and Gavin Turk are among British artists influenced by the 1960s Italian movement, which collided natural processes with the modern world. This survey of arte povera and its British aftermath shows them alongside Mario Merz, Giuseppe Penone and other founders of the movement.
Estorick Collection, London, from 20 September until 17 December.

Masterpiece of the week

The Magdalen Reading by Rogier van der Weyden (before 1438)

The Magdalen Reading by Rogier van der Weyden (before 1438). Photograph: National Gallery

In this surviving piece of a lost painting, we glimpse a magical fusion of mysticism and real life. Mary Magdalene sits reading a religious work, dressed as a modern woman might be in 15th-century Flanders, in the kind of room you would see in a palace or rich merchant’s house, with solid wooden furniture and a view of a river going through green fields outside the window. Jan van Eyck was the first Flemish painter to picture the world in such photographic detail, but it was Rogier van der Weyden who gave naturalism a poetic depth and soulfulness. Even in this fragment, we get a strong sense of the woman’s inner emotional journey as she reads.
National Gallery, London

Image of the week

Black Dove by José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros (2014), from How to Read El Pato Pascual: Disney’s Latin America and Latin America’s Disney at Luckman Fine Arts. Photograph: José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros

The Pacific Standard Time LA/LA art carnival is underway in southern California, involving more than 70 galleries and museums, all addressing the theme of Latin American and Latino art in the context of Los Angeles. Among the shows over the next few months will be Ken Gonzales-Day’s photos of street murals, a display of treasures from the royal courts of the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs, an exhibition centred on the tour Walt Disney made south of the border in 1941 as part of a “good neighbour” exercise to counter Nazi propaganda, and Hollywood in Havana, which showcases the bold and witty graphic design of Cuban film posters for US films.

What we learned

South Africa embraces modern art in Cape Town’s new museum

A giant toddler has scaled the Mexico-US border wall

Athens is falling apart

How homes evolved over the past century

Britain needs new statues

… to replace its bad public art

The Chicago Tribune skyscraper competition has reopened

Open House London is 25

… but it’s unlikely to celebrate student housing

Rachel Whiteread turns everyday landscapes into something strange

Käthe Kollwitz was a masterly interpreter of trauma

Scythians ride into battle once more

The secret life of birds is full of surprises

Los Angeles and Latin America collide in Pacific Standard Time

Photos prove US students are a diverse bunch

Art from the frontline puts war reporting in perspective

Durham miners will get their own museum

Quentin Blake has found a new Roald Dahl character to draw

The Contemporary is colourful in Sydney

Evangelicals caused a Brazilian queer exhibition to close

Howard Hodgkin’s personal hoard is to be auctioned

Celebrity art dealer Jonathan Poole was jailed for four years

Get involved

On 24 September, art scholar Edgar Tijhuis will lead a full-day course on how to write about art and make money from it at Kings Place, London. Book now to secure your place.

Our A-Z of Art series continues – share your art with the theme W for women.

And check out the entries we selected for the theme V for value.

Don’t forget

To follow us on Twitter: @GdnArtandDesign

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