The Agenda: What To See This Week

The Agenda: What To See This Week

Sotheby's staff choose their current cultural highlights around the world
Sotheby's staff choose their current cultural highlights around the world

What's happening right now? Sotheby's staff present their pick of what's on their radars around the world!


(released in UK cinemas on 21 January)

Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper in Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley (Image courtesy of Searchlight Pictures) Kerry Hayes

Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro’s latest feature, Nightmare Alley arrives this week in UK cinemas and is generating a great deal of interest, being something of a departure from the Mexican filmmaker’s previous movies. Although del Toro is known for his love of monsters, Nightmare Alley is a neo-noir psychological thriller set in the seedy world of travelling carnivals. Proving that things don’t need to be supernatural to be monstrous, the film is as visually gorgeous and deliciously weird as you would expect from this master of cinema.


The Royal Academy, London (29 January – 17 April 17)

Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych 1944, 1988, Oil paint and acrylic paint on 3 canvases, 198 x 147.5 cm (each). Tate: Presented by the artist 1991 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd Francis Bacon

The long-awaited Francis Bacon show, delayed by Covid, finally opens at the RA and we are here for this gorgeously gory gallimaufry of full-fat Bacon beasts. The late artist was well-known for his anatomical dissections of emotional rawness, but this collection of work across 50 years, presents coruscating depictions of assorted creatures. They're extraordinarily powerul - Francis Bacon harnessed and expressed his inner turmoil and passion here, creating sinister distended forms that echo his explorations of human form. From chimps to bats, birds to bullfights - and Bacon’s final work - this remarkable show is going to be one of London’s most exciting retrospectives of 2022.


The British Museum, London (until 30 January)

Holusai, The Great Wave

Best known as the creator of The Great Wave, Katsushika Hokusai was one of Japan's most celebrated artists and a master of Japonisme. This weekend is the last chance to catch an exhibition of his rare drawings, created for an illustrated encyclopedia that was never published. The exhibition, at the British Museum, also showcases the working practices and woodblock print methods of Hokusai, who was often inspired by Japan's mysterious ghost stories.

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