ART: THE FIVE BEST SHOWS IN LONDON

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The Independent Culture
1

Charlotte Salomon Royal Academy

"Life? or Theatre?" is the first UK showing of Salomon's life in pictures: 405 raw gouaches tell the story of the Jewish girl's haste before Auschwitz - an expressionistic operetta in three colours. Ends tomorrow

2

Andreas Gursky Serpentine Gallery

Photographs 994-98: huge, wide-vision, high-finish, micro-detailed vistas of our world - stock-exchange floor, cityscape, airport, alpine valley - images filled with more than the eye can see. To 7 Mar

3

Luca Signorelli National Gallery

Paintings and drawings from British collections by the 5th/6th- century Italian master, best known for his apocalyptic frescoes in Orvieto. To 3 Jan

4

Grinling Gibbons V&A

Fruit, flowers and foliage - the finest chisel-work of the master 7th-century woodcarver, who made intricacy and the abundance of nature his trademark. To 24 Jan

5

Julian Schnabel South London Gallery

One for connoiseurs of reputation. In the 980s, this US painter was touted as the best since Picasso, then not shown here for 2 years. Portraits and abstracts. To 28 Feb

... AND BEYOND

Bridget Riley Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal

A small retrospective, spanning Riley's career as top British abstractionist - from the shimmering monochromes of her early Sixties Op Art fame, to colour, stripes, diagonals, curves. To 3 Jan

2

Patrick Caulfield

Assembly Rooms, Ludlow

A series of still-lives, illustrating the Symbolist poems of Jules Laforgue, these screen-prints show Caulfield's line and colour at their most vibrant. To 7 Feb

3

Chris Ofili Whitworth Gallery, Manchester

The 998 Turner Prize winner, this painter is an upbeat original, his surfaces dense and decorative, with swirls of dots, eyes, Afros and black icons, and incorporating balls of elephant dung. To 24 Jan

4

Oppe Watercolour Collection Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Classic 8th- and 9th-century British watercolours, including Alexander Cozens' blot-derived sketches, John Sell Cotman, Constable and Francis Towne. To 24 Jan

5

Edward Burne-Jones

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

The People's Pre-Raphaelite - the centenary exhibition gathers together many favourites, such as King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid. Ends tomorrow

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