Surreal snakes, nautical Dutchmen and a long march to the procession – the week in art

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Photo: Imageplotter/Alamy

exhibition of the week

Polly Morgan
Large Slithering Serpents – Morgan takes her surrealistic reptilian taxidermy to new heights of the strange with this exhibition and public sculpture that explores natural camouflage.
• Royal Society of Sculptors, London, 27 February to 29 April

also show

The Van de Veldes
The story of a father-and-son duo of Dutch naval painters who had a major influence on British naval artists, including Turner.
• Queen’s House, Greenwich, London, from 2 March

hey locke
Locke’s acclaimed Tate Britain work The Procession is coming to the North East of England.
• Baltic, Gateshead, until June 11th

Lynda Benglis
This renowned American sculptor of tacky, limp, anti-formal forms lets it all hang.
• Thomas Dane, London, March 3rd to April 29th

Daisy Parris
Visceral, passionate paintings with a theme of motherhood and love.
• Carl Freedman Gallery, Margate, 26 February to 16 April

picture of the week

Installation Triple Bluff Canyon by artist Nelson in London

Installation artist Mike Nelson opened a major exhibition, Extinction Beckons, at London’s Hayward Gallery, which clearly alarmed our critic Adrian Searle. He wrote: “You don’t enter through the usual doorway or take a familiar route around Nelson’s show. This adds to the confusion of a show where we scurry through dimly lit and gloomy labyrinths of small rooms and dingy corridors, and then find ourselves confronted with the harsh light of an indoor desert where a half-buried shack with a broken back stands on top of a sand dune , littered with shredded car tires and abandoned oil drums. The interior of the cabin feels like the show’s epicenter, one final redoubt.” Read the full article here.

What we learned

Nyugen E. Smith made fascinating uses of found objects

James Cook used typewriters to recreate masterpieces by Vermeer, Kahlo, and others

An art fair visitor smashed a $42,000 Jeff Koons sculpture by banging on it

Two new London footbridges are ‘brilliant and life-affirming’

Three of her models recalled how Alice Neel made her portraits so revealing

A lost sketch for the Sistine Chapel fresco by Michelangelo has been rediscovered

David Hockney took us through his massive new immersive show

A mobile gallery featuring works from the Tate Collection is touring the Liverpool area

A portrait of his daughter Isobel by Lucian Freud is set to fetch £20million at auction

A rare Frank Lloyd Wright home on the California coast has sold for $22 million

Ai Weiwei introduces a dive into witchcraft and strange nature in the West Country

masterpiece of the week

The Aldobrandini Madonna by Titian, c.1532

Look at the passionate Woman in Yellow leaning forward to look at the baby Jesus. Is she a saint or the “donor,” a portrait of someone who commissioned a religious painting? Either way, this vivacious character was painted from life and her performance as a close friend of Mary’s, even as the child’s loving aunt, breaks the fourth wall. She connects the Madonna and Child to real life through their overtly emotional relationship with Christ. But this is a painting full of rich effects. The brightness of the woman’s dress contrasts with lush aquatic blue, from Mary’s robe to the rain-filled sky and soaring mountains. The pastoral setting combines this religious moment with the art of rural escape developed by Giorgione and Titian in Renaissance Venice. Maybe it also reminds of his own childhood in the Dolomites – as if he were a little boy here, surrounded by loving women.
• National Gallery, London

Do not forget

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