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Surrealist games for lockdown and a Magritte masterpiece – the week in art | Art and design


This week, art games of the week

Surrealist games
The surrealist movement started out by playing games in Parisian cafes. They wanted to tap the creative potential of the unconscious mind, and games like Exquisite Corpse – the avant-garde answer to consequences – helped. Exquisite Corpse quickly turns into a swearing and obscenity contest, at least in my family, and is totally hilarious.

More ways to play

The Lewis Chessmen Chess Set
Support the locked-down British Museum and learn about medieval art by purchasing one of its chess sets featuring the famous feudal figures found in the Hebrides. Various sizes and prices from a children’s set up.

Masterpiece and its progeny
Art auctions have been a popular game idea since the old classic Masterpiece was played with the After Eights at sophisticated 1980s gatherings. You can only get Masterpiece second hand but there are several contemporary versions.

Splendor
Become a Renaissance merchant in this board game of global trade and cultural luxury in the age of Leonardo da Vinci.

Dalí Tarot
Play spooky prophetic games with these fantastical cards created by the self-consciously crazy Catalan.

Image of the week





Palm trees stand behind a street art piece by artist Pony Wave depicting two people kissing while wearing face masks on Venice Beach on 21 March 2020 in Venice, California



Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A mural by artist Pony Wave on Venice Beach in California. See our full gallery of topical, colourful and attention-grabbing street art about the coronavirus pandemic.

What we learned

Bob Colenutt’s new book puts developers squarely in the frame for Britain’s housing crisis

Designer Eileen Gray scared the pants off Corbusier – and made a chair worth €22m

A new exhibtions points the spotlight on the female cartoonists overlooked by history

Nan Goldin and Damien Hirst are among the artists raising money for coronavirus charities

Frida Kahlo is lockdown’s most inspiring artist

Artists have called on the government to prevent Britain becoming a ‘cultural wasteland’

One of the UK’s finest collections of ceramics end up in a council flat – but how?

Elaine Constantine, Martin Parr and Nadav Kander are among 160 famous photographers donating prints in aid of Trussell Trust food banks

Our now empty streets and buildings are pure sci-fi, according to Jonathan Jones

I can’t believe the things I write in my notebooks, admit our critic Adrian Searle

Historic England is asking people in lockdown to help ‘record history’

Artists are campaigning against Bristol Spike Island eviction of founding father Howard Silverman

We tell the real story of Marina Abramović’s 1988 walk along the Great Wall of China

Photographer Julia Zabrodzka has captured the world of Guatemala’s indigenous queens

Seattle artists have turned shuttered shops into uplifting murals

An online exhibition is showcasing 60 works from Australian photojournalists

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, the photographer and queer zine legend reinventing the nude

A virtual exhibition marks the centenary of the birth of travel writer Eric Newby

Photographer Stephen Lovekin has captured messages in the windows of his Brooklyn neighbours under quarantine

Hares, foxes and creepy crocs make for some fine 2020 GDT nature photographer of the year choices

Peter Beard was half-Tarzan, half-Byron – and an amazing photographer

Victoria Rose Richards creates embroidered landscapes based on Google Earth

Gillian Wise was an abstract artist and key member of the British constructivists group

Masterpiece of the week





A woman looking at The Magic Mirror (1929) by René Magritte.



A woman looking at The Magic Mirror (1929) by René Magritte. Photograph: Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images

René Magritte, The Magic Mirror, National Galleries of Scotland
Is this a mirror? It has a vaguely oval mirror-like frame with a rudimentary handle, painted a fleshy pink, supporting a grey “glass” surface. Yet this mirror shows your reflection in words instead of an image. Seeing your pink face, it registers your reality with the accurate idiocy of bad AI: “corps humain”, it decides, “human body”. Mirrors have been symbols of realistic representation in art ever since Magritte’s fellow Belgian Jan van Eyck painted one in The Arnolfini Portrait, but here the bowler-hatted surrealist playfully proposes one that stands reality on its head. Things dissolve into language in Magritte’s uncanny philosophical art game.

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