Exhibition of the week
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.
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.
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
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
Masterpiece of the week
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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