Raphael and Balenciaga: this week’s best UK exhibitions

By Jonathan Jones

Passion and sensitivity shine through in the Ashmolean’s celebration of the Italian Renaissance, while surreal art meets high fashion at the V&A

In 1920, the surrealist photographer Man Ray took a picture of a huge piece of glass lying on the floor of his friend Marcel Duchamp’s studio, covered in dust. The glass panel was in fact part of Duchamp’s masterpiece-in-progress The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even, deliberately left to gather dust as part of Duchamp’s creative process. The photograph, entitled Dust Breeding, is a gothic celebration of decay that literally finds beauty in the dirt. Here it is the starting point for a history of modern dust involving such artists as Gerhard Richter, Walker Evans and Jeff Wall.
Whitechapel Gallery, E1, to 3 September

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