Beuys’ dreams, jeweled paintings and Avatar for art lovers – week in art

exhibition of the week

Joseph Beuys: 40 Years of Drawing
Drawings and watercolors that reveal the myths and dreams behind this great artist’s sculptures.
• Thaddaeus Ropac, London, 19 January – 22 March.

Also showing

London Art Fair
A friendly art fair with a wide range of galleries, not just cool ones.
• Business Design Centre, London, 18-22 January.

rebel rebel

Soheila Sokhanvari’s beige jeweled paintings celebrate the women who became stars in Iran before the 1979 revolution and mourn their fate.
• The Curve, Barbican, until February 26.

Peter Liversidge
Fluxus-style propositions written down determine what this artist will end up with.
• Kate MacGarry, London, until 18 February.

Sahej Rahal: Myth machine
Legendary worlds created by digital technology and brought to life by sculpture. It’s like Avatar for art lovers.
• Baltic, Gateshead, until 12 February.

image of the week

The Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas today presents one of the first major surveys of the vibrant and hard work done by Native photographers. The Talking with Light exhibition features the work of more than 30 groundbreaking artists, including Zig Jackson, who took this photo. See more photos here.

what we learned

Banksy’s online auction for Ukraine targets Russia

A Van Gogh painting on display in the USA was allegedly stolen

William Hogarth’s works on the walls of a London hospital to be restored

Modern Britain on display in all its different glory

A Spanish artist has spent the last ten years embroidering buildings.

A new exhibition brings together the daring work of an artist who has overcome Nazi Germany.

The real reason why female artists love the cat muse

George Westren’s dazzling alien art almost made a splash.

Art helped Karla Dickens survive

masterpiece of the week

Anthony Van Dyck as Rachel de Ruvigny, Countess of Southampton, Fortune, circa 1638

Anthony Van Dyck as Rachel de Ruvigny, Countess of Southampton, Fortune, circa 1638

Rachel de Ruvigny, Countess of Southampton, as Fortune, circa 1638 by Anthony Van Dyck
The Countess of Southampton is depicted here as a god in the heavens, but more blasphemous than that. The sparkling blue of her undulating gown takes on the traditional color that the Virgin Mary wore in Renaissance paintings. This ethereal hue is revealed to the extreme by the divine golden rays bursting from the clouds and the reflective silver orb on which he rests his arm. At his feet is a skull to show that he has conquered death: this could mean that he was pictured posthumously, so this is his victory beyond. These flamboyant fittings are the epitome of the baroque style, the flamboyant, powerful style that made art big and bold in the 1600s. Rachel de Ruvigny has all the glitz of a statue by Bernini or a mythological scene by Rubens. But there is a realistic directness to all this fantasy. His face is salty, outspoken, and real, pulling you in with a cunning wit.
• Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

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