Pokémon in museums, Kahlo selfies and medieval beasts – the week in art

Witness the sensual wonders of the middle ages in Cambridge while the Baltic explores playground utopianism. All that and more in your weekly art dispatch

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Exhibition of the week

Alice Neel
Touching, intimate portraits of Americans by this powerful modern realist promise to be a highlight of this year’s Edinburgh art festival.
Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, 29 July to 8 October.

Also showing

Colour: The Art and Science of Medieval Manuscripts
Enter the unexpectedly sensual artistic world of the middle ages in this display of rarely seen manuscripts, including a local wonder, the Macclesfield Psalter, whose bizarre beasts were painted in 14th-century East Anglia.
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 30 July to 30 December.

The Playground Project
The utopian politics of playgrounds are explored in what may well be the perfect summer exhibition for families.
Baltic, Gateshead, until 30 October.

Some Are Nights Others Stars
Loss, memory and journeys are among the themes of this group show, featuring Michael Armitage, Ruth Claxton, Tiffany Chung, Siobhán Hapaska and Isaac Julien.
Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, 23 July to 25 September.

Tony Morgan and John Blake
Two pioneering conceptual artists and film-makers are celebrated in an exhibition of their thought-provoking photographic works.
Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, 29 July to 26 August.

Masterpiece of the week

A touch of the grotesque … Degas’s At the Café Châteaudun.
A touch of the grotesque … Degas’s At the Café Châteaudun. Photograph: National Gallery, London

 

Edgar Degas – At the Café Châteaudun (about 1869-71)
There are hints of the great caricaturist Honoré Daumier in this acute, even grotesque portrayal of two men doing business in a cafe who look like villainous characters in a novel by Zola. Some people still think Degas just did ballet dancers, but he is the most varied and risk-taking of all the impressionists.
National Gallery, London.

Image of the week

Plant Swimming Pool by Mária Švarbová
Plant Swimming Pool by Mária Švarbová
Photograph: Maria Svarbova

 

Slovakian photographer Mária Švarbová’s atmospheric shots of pastel-hued swimming pools, full of pristine waters and blood-red bathing caps, captured readers’ imaginations as our most popular photo gallery of the week.

What we learned

Tate Modern is finally the world-class modern art museum it was destined to be

Museums across the US are embracing the potential of Pokémon Go

BBC’s Fake or Fortune insists its painting is by Lucian Freud despite his denials

Guerilla Girls are getting their first dedicated show in UK – at the Whitechapel

Reading jail to host a two-month Oscar Wilde project by Artangel

Billy Name, photographer at Andy Warhol’s Factory, has died at the age of 76

Ex-KLF man Jimmy Cauty is touring the country with his miniature riot scenes

The National Portrait Gallery’s William Eggleston show is a five-star triumph

Ragnar Kjartansson at the Barbican is “a brilliant fusion of humour and sorrow”

A new show Fire! Fire! will mark 350 years since the Great Fire of London

San Francisco museum to host largest US collection of Mexican and Latino art

Friso Spoelstra photographs a pagan whipping ritual in the mountains of Sardinia

“I’ve seen horrible things,” says Laia Abril of her photo history of misogyny

We can’t look away from Frida Kahlo, the world’s first selfie superstar

An art student is hoping to clone Alexander McQueen’s skin for a handbag

Richard Lewer has won AU$100,000 for his paintings of sports stars in pain

Niki de Saint Phalle’s outsider art is getting a rare outing in a London gallery

Bernhard Lang’s aerial shots of tulip fields in Holland are simply stunning

And finally … the lucky recipient of Van Gogh’s ear has finally been named.