Abstract fantasies and a naked everywoman – the week in art

Walter Price will have you trying to fill in the blanks while Maggi Hambling’s tribute to Mary Wollstonecraft caused a furore – all in your weekly dispatch

Warmly coloured ... Florida man, 2019, by Walter Price.
Warmly coloured ... Florida man, 2019, by Walter Price. Photograph: Courtesy of the Artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd
Warmly coloured ... Florida man, 2019, by Walter Price. Photograph: Courtesy of the Artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd
Jonathan Jones

Last modified on Fri 13 Nov 2020 10.01 EST

Exhibition of the week

Walter Price
New York painter Walter Price unveils warmly coloured, apparently abstract fantasies that on closer inspection are full of horses, people and places that have you trying to fill in the blanks and interpret his stories.
The Modern Institute, Glasgow, until 16 January.

Also showing

Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings
Powerful films, paintings and drawings that explore sexual and gender identity in 21st-century Britain.
Mostyn, Llandudno, from 14 November to 18 April.

Amy Sherald
Michelle Obama’s official portraitist shows the paintings she created in lockdown earlier this year.
• Online at Hauser and Wirth.

French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
Cardiff’s National Museum is open and its outstanding collection of 19th-century avant-garde paintings by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh and others offers spiritual sustenance for a hard winter.
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.

Chila Kumari Singh Burman
While Tate Britain is closed you can see this year’s brightly coloured Winter Commission light up its classical facade with glowing references to Bollywood, mythology and politics.
Tate Britain, London, from 14 November to 31 January.n

Image of the week

Mary Wollstonecraft by British artist Maggi Hambling.
Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

A statue by Maggi Hambling that finally honoured the pioneering philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft sparked a backlash when it was unveiled in north London. The new sculpture, which shows a silvery naked everywoman figure held up by a swirling mingle of female forms, is the result of 10 years of persistent fundraising by the Mary on the Green campaign, which raised the £143,000 required for its creation. The piece dismayed some critics, who asked why it did not directly depict Wollstonecraft and why the “mother of feminism” had been celebrated with a naked female form. Read more here.

What we learned

Tracey Emin talked about her brutal summer of cancer treatment

Real-life Giacomettis took a rainy riverside stroll in Alan Schaller’s best photograph

Imogen Cunningham’s photography was pioneering

Readers shared their thoughts on Maggi Hambling’s controversial statue …

… and a sculpture twice as high as the Angel of the North could be built on the Scottish border

Aldo Tambellini, the experimental artist obsessed with black, died aged 90

Zanele Muholi’s images of South Africa’s black LGBT and township communities are an act of solidarity …

… while photographer Carlos Idun-Tawiah journeyed through Ghana’s feelgood fashion world

The face on a bodged statue in Palencia, Spain was likened to Donald Trump …

… as Madrid offered a surrealist escape from pandemic reality

500 painters joined artist Tom Croft to honour NHS workers

Cutting-edge California-style architecture has come to Surbiton

The 2021 Deutsche Börse prize shortlist raises big questions

The director of LagosPhoto festival wants to fight “afro-pessimism

A jailed Kurdish artist smuggled out her works as dirty laundry

The brutalist buildings of northern England look glorious on camera

Tristram Kenton’s archive gave us a look at stars before they were famous

We asked readers to tell us about their favourite public art across the country

A new study revealed that Australian female artists are paid 30% less than men

Elliott Erwitt revealed the secrets of his 70 year photography career

Artist Seth Bogart paid a clay homage to the countercultural books of his youth

Photographer Alys Tomlinson produced prom portraits from a lost summer

Vintage Nasa photos, including the first selfie, in space went up for auction …

… while a new set of images capture the International Space Station’s interiors

Masterpiece of the week

Portrait of a Woman (Marie Larp?), about 1635-1638, by Frans Hals
Photograph: The National Gallery Photographic Department/© The National Gallery, London

Portrait of a Woman (Marie Larp?), about 1635-1638, by Frans Hals
This painting shows why Hals is second only to Rembrandt as a portrait painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Red-cheeked and hearty, this woman regards us as if she’s chatting – a windblown, energetic personality. Hals seems to capture not just the appearance of his sitters but something more elusive, an inner electricity. This woman looks as if she has to be somewhere when the portrait session is finished: she’s got a life. And maybe a name. An old label on the back identifies her as Marie Larp and Haarlem’s town records reveal the existence of a Maria Larp, whose husband was also painted by Hals. So here is one of his rawly alive, almost impressionist records of the elite of the town where he lived, worked and was to die a pauper.
National Gallery, London.

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