ART / Choice

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The Independent Culture
Painting, in its infinite variety, provides the theme for the first of the year's important exhibitions. In London, the Royal Academy hosts only the second chance ever to view the major paintings of Nicolas Poussin in one place (see feature, above). Further fascination for the power of paint is evident in the work of Sigmar Polke, whose relentless questioning of the nature of painting can at last be experienced by a British audience at the Tate Liverpool. This retrospective presents a range of work, from his neo-Pop paintings of the 1960s to his recent experiments with toxic substances and transparent "canvases".

At Christie's the painted image is used to celebrate the centenary of the National Trust in a small display of work which, on occasion, challenges the boundaries of topographical painting.