Muhammed Ali up close and a mother's gaze – the week in art


Exhibition of the week

Chantal Joffe: For Esme – With Love and Squalor
Raw and expressive paintings of Joffe’s daughter Esme reveal a mother’s feelings as her child grows up.
Arnolfini, Bristol, until 22 November.

Also showing

Gordon Parks
Gordon Parks first met Muhammad Ali in 1966. The photographer hit it off with the radical boxer and produced two photo-essays for Life magazine that intimately capture the real man behind Ali’s charismatic image.
Alison Jacques Gallery, London, until 1 October.

re:rural
What is our imaginative relationship to the countryside? This show by Annalee Davis, Feral Practice, Deirdre O’Mahony and Pauline Woolley offers contemporary perspectives on land, space and climate.
Haarlem Artspace, Wirksworth, until 11 October.

The Glasgow Boys & Girls
Flora Macdonald Reid’s work is a highlight of a show that puts women into the picture of Scottish avant garde art 140 years ago, when Scotland saw some of the most vibrant British attempts to emulate French modernism.
Granary Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed, until 15 November.

Image of the week

Tavares Strachan Every Knee Shall Bow 2020



Photograph: Brian Forrest/Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Every Knee Shall Bow, 2020, by Tavares Strachan
Marian Goodman Gallery in London is offering the chance to enter the strange and enticing world of Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan, whose thrilling visions are on show in limited time slots until 24 October. With juxtaposed imagery, painting, sculpture and performance, the artist’s installation explores moments of forgotten history.

What we learned

Frank Gehry spoke about his new monument to Dwight D Eisenhower

With nightlife in limbo due to Covid, Berlin’s temple of techno has reinvented itself as a gallery

The Tate cut ties with controversial patron Anthony d’Offay

Dawn Mellor gave us a preview of her George Michael mural – and it’s massive

Guardian critics have leads on the autumn’s best culture

… and Observer critics gave us their take on what art to look forward to

Jim Broadbent is glorious in a movie caper about a real-life British art theft

Madeleine Waller took a close look at the mantelpieces of Bolton

… and there’s something strange in the Drawing Room

There’s a prize for comical animals – we take a look at the best shots

Diana Darke’s new book makes a persuasive case for the influence of Arab art

A new biography of Lucian Freud reveals the ruthlessness behind his brilliance

… and we saw the ruthlessly brilliant designs of Ken Garland – from CND to Hollywood

Images from the cancelled Photo Basel show found the light in Berlin

Chinese conceptual artist Maleonn made a moving documentary about his ailing father

Nicky Quamina-Woo photographed a city being swept out to sea

We profile one Papua New Guinean entrant for the Archibald prize

A German exhibition regards the changing face of Britain

Jürgen Schadeberg – who photographed the effects of apartheid on black South Africans – has died

Masterpiece of the week

Portrait of Felix Pissarro 1881by Camille Pissarro 1830 - 1905



Photograph: Peter Horree/Alamy Stock Photo

Portrait of Félix Pissarro, 1881, by Camille Pissarro
There’s a delicacy and vulnerability to this child. Pissarro’s third son turned seven in the year his father portrayed him, but this is no breezy painting of a boy at play. Félix is introspective behind big eyes. His father captures the reality of childhood rather than its myths. It’s a great example of the acute mind of Pissarro, who is often crudely described as an impressionist but in reality was one of the first in the movement to look beyond its obsession with fleeting appearances. In this portrait we may almost see the end of impressionist art, as Pissarro points to inner conflicts and mysteries that a simple joy in the visual cannot capture.
National Gallery, London

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