arts and design

Fabergé’s trinkets, Frida Kahlo’s third eye and David Shrigley’s balls – the week in art


Exhibition of the week

Lubaina Himid
Painting, conceptual critiques and robust satire influenced by Hogarth all help make Himid one of the crucial artists of our time.
Tate Modern, London, 25 November to 3 July.

Also showing

David Shrigley
The surreal commentator on modern life invites you to bring your old tennis balls to swap for new ones in an installation he claims is a celebration of trade – but there’s bound to be a darker side.
Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, until 8 January.

Howardena Pindell
Survey of this radical artist that sets her abstract canvases alongside more polemical interventions, including her 1980 video Free White and 21.
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until 2 May.

Dürer’s Journeys
The timeless genius of Dürer’s prints is undimmed by this slightly meandering trawl through his travels.
National Gallery, London, from 20 November to February.

Fabergé in London
A trip to the gilded Edwardian age when wealthy Brits fell in love with Russian luxury.
V&A, London, from 20 November to 8 May.

Image of the week

An assistant at Sotherby’s displays the artwork entitled Diego y yo (Diego and I) by Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.
Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

An assistant at Sotherby’s displays Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait Diego y yo (Diego and Me, 1949), which went under the hammer on Tuesday and sold for $34.9m (£25m). This made it the most expensive Latin American work of art ever sold at auction – ironically beating the record previously held by Kahlo’s adulterous husband Diego Rivera, whose likeness occupies the position of Kahlo’s third eye in the painting. Read the full story here.

What we learned

Downing Street signalled a softer stance on returning the Parthenon marbles

Jesus College, Cambridge, wants to remove a memorial to a patron with links to slavery

and the Museum of the Home, in London, may move a statue of its founder for the same reason

Battles are looming over the use of works by long-dead artists

Dürer’s Journeys at the National Gallery in London opened to a sedate plod

Ai Weiwei’s memoirs are an assault on the censors

David Hockney finds wellness boring, bossy and ridiculous

Artist Yang-tze is making calligraphy cool

Celebrity beasts in art are being explored in Birmingham

Art from an acrimonious divorce raised $676m at Sotheby’s in New York

The Guardian gave its view on the true worth of Frida Kahlo

Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe’s vision is intense

Photographer Gordon Parks is celebrated a new HBO documentary

Alain Le Garsmeur’s best photograph was of a children’s funeral in Belfast

Terence Abela has photographed the abandoned spaces of the former USSR

A street art installation in Madrid has caused a political row

Katherine Anne Rose photographed the protest art at Cop26

Global heating is destroying rock art tens of thousands of years old

The documentary No Straight Lines explores the history of LGBTQ+ comic books

A documentary on mould-breaking queer New Zealand photographer Fiona Clark has been released

The north of England is full of exquisite treasures we don’t hear about

The royal family are putting their collection of Japanese art and artefacts on show

Wolfgang Fischer, co-founder of London gallery Fischer Fine Art, has died

Artist Nuits Balnéaires told the stories of N’zima Kotokô tribe families in Ivory Coast

Bangladeshi architect Marina Tabassum has won a medal for her humanitarian buildings

A New York billionaire want to build a controversial “temple for a titan” overlooking Central Park

Top photographers have donated prints to raise funds for a scholarship in photojournalism

Why pottery is enjoying a revival

and pictures of public benches are more popular than you may think

Music photographer Mick Rock, ‘the man who shot the 70s’, has died aged 72

Stained-glass artist Patrick Reyntiens, who realised Coventry Cathedral’s baptistery window, has died aged 95.

Shield of parade; depicts knight in Italian armour of c.1470
Photograph: © The Trustees of the British Museum

Masterpiece of the week

Parade Shield (northern Europe c 1470)
You can’t get a more perfect embodiment of late medieval chivalry than this painted shield in the style of the Bruges artist Hans Memling. A knight in full armour bends his legs down to pledge himself to his lady, vowing according to the shield’s French inscription: vous ou mort – “You or Death.” She gravely accepts his proffered love, standing over him in a long dress and a pointed hat called a hennin. They are enacting courtly love, the medieval ritual in which it was hard to tell fake passion from the real thing. Yet the game is given terrible intensity by the actual presence of Death. Taking the form of a skeleton, the reaper stands behind the knight, ready to snatch him at a moment’s notice should he fail to fulfil his vow. By mentioning Death, he has invited it.
British Museum, London

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