News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st February 2012

Commencing

Hajj: Journey To The Heart Of Islam examines the pilgrimage to Mecca, which is central to the Muslim faith. The exhibition considers the significance of the Hajj as one of the Five Pillars of Islam, exploring its importance for Muslims and looking at how this spiritual journey has evolved throughout history. It brings together a wealth of objects, including both important historic pieces and new contemporary art works, which reveal the enduring impact of Hajj across the globe and across the centuries. The exhibition has three key strands: the pilgrim's journey, with an emphasis on the major routes used across time (from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East); the Hajj today, its associated rituals and what the experience means to the pilgrim; and Mecca, the destination of Hajj, its origins and importance. At the heart of the sanctuary in Mecca lies the Ka'ba, the cube-shaped building that Muslims believe was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael. It was in Mecca that the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations in the early 7th century. The rituals involved with Hajj have remained unchanged since its beginning, and it continues to be a powerful religious undertaking that draws Muslims together from all over the world. The objects, which evoke and document the long and perilous journey associated with the pilgrimage, the gifts offered to the sanctuary as acts of devotion and the souvenirs that are brought back from Hajj, include archaeological material, manuscripts, textiles, historic photographs and art. The Hajj has a deep emotional and spiritual significance for Muslims, and continues to inspire a wide range of personal, literary and artistic responses, many of which are explored throughout the exhibition. British Museum until 15th April.

The Garden Of Forgotten Engineers, Smiths And Bicycles features a collection of monster sculptures made from scrap materials of all kinds. Serena Thirkell, a descendant of Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne Jones, creates strange metal mythical creatures and monsters from broken agricultural machinery, old garden tools and even dentist's equipment. The exhibition in the grounds of the gallery includes a rusty Belling heater that has become a bee; a potato lough transmogrified into a mantis; pipe benders that form a Trojan Horse; a vegetable steamer transposed into a Samurai family; bicycle gears and chain metamorphosed into a duck; and an old farmer's plough mould boards, a digger bucket and smith's tongs transformed into a huge helicopter called a 'Helicopterix'. A true British eccentric. Worthing Museum & Art Gallery until 5th May.

Meetings In Marrakech: The Paintings Of Hassan El Glaoui And Winston Churchill tells the story of the unlikely friendship of two very different characters. The exhibition brings together for the first time a unique collection of work by Winston Churchill and Hassan El Glaoui. Churchill, an accomplished amateur painter, first visited the Moroccan city of Marrakech in 1935. He developed a lasting affection for the city, considering it 'one of the loveliest spots in the whole world', and was inspired to produce many paintings of its buildings and people. During these trips he befriended Hadj Thami El-Glaoui, the Pasha of Marrakech - also known as the 'Black Panther'. Through Churchill's intervention, the Pasha's son, Hassan El Glaoui, was permitted to pursue his passion for painting, something that had not met with the Pasha's approval. Churchill's influence had significant results. El Glaoui was the first Moroccan artist to establish an international reputation, and today his work is among the most sought after contemporary North African art in the world. This exhibition demonstrates that for Churchill, Morocco provided an inspiration that was profound, and, despite such different starting points, a common sensibility and appreciation for the country is communicated in the work of both artists. In two different views of the same subject by two very different men, there are striking similarities in composition, subject matter and palate, if not in execution. Highlights include Churchill's 'River near Marrakech' and 'The Mosque in Marrakech' and El Glaoui's 'Les trois caleches' and 'Residence Styina a Marrakech'. Leighton House Museum, London W14, until 31st March.

Continuing

David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture demonstrates the Yorkshire artist's long exploration and fascination with the depiction of landscape. David Hockney's vivid paintings inspired by the Yorkshire landscape, many large in scale and created specifically for the exhibition, are shown alongside related drawings and films. Through a selection of works spanning 50 years, this new body of work is placed in the context of Hockney's extended preoccupation with landscape. Hockney's involvement with the depiction of space is traced from the 1960s, through his photo collages of the 1980s and the Grand Canyon paintings of the late 1990s, to the recent paintings of East Yorkshire, many of which have been made en plein air. These include 3 groups of new work made since 2005, when he returned to live in Bridlington, showing an intense observation of his surroundings in a variety of media, in the vivid colours he brought back from California. Hockney has always embraced new technologies, and recently he has used the iPhone and iPad as tools for making art. A number of the iPad drawings and a series of new films produced using 18 cameras are displayed on multiple screens, providing a spellbinding visual journey through the eyes of David Hockney. The exhibition reveals his emotional engagement with the landscape he knew in his youth, as he examines on a daily basis the changes in the seasons, the cycle of growth and variations in light conditions. Royal Academy until 9th April.

Bond In Motion marks the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series with the biggest exhibition of Bond vehicles ever staged. Cars used in films starring Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig all feature in the exhibition, including the record breaking Aston Martin DBS stunt car from 'Casino Royale'. The 50 vehicles in the display range from the real to merely fanciful, including the legendary Aston Martin DB5 seen in a number of films, with its many gadgets and ejector seat, alongside bikes, trikes, sleds and boats. Highlights include the Jaguar XKR with grille-mounted machine guns, a rear-mounted Gatling gun and boot-mounted mortars from 'Die Another Day'; the Lotus Esprit S1 that dived underwater in 'The Spy Who Loved Me'; the Fairey Huntress Speedboat from 'From Russia With Love'; Goldfinger's 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III; the AMC Hornet from 'The Man With the Golden Gun'; the Little Nellie autogyro from 'You Only Live Twice'; the Ford Mustang Mach I from 'Diamonds Are Forever'; the Citroen 2CV from 'For Your Eyes Only'; the folding Bede BD5 Acrostar Jet from 'Octopussy'; the SFX Cello Case Ski from 'The Living Daylights'; the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II from 'The World Is Not Enough'; and the Aston Martin DBS from 'Quantum Of Solace'. National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, until 17th January.

Stephen Hawking: A 70th Birthday Celebration acknowledges the landmark birthday of the world's best known physicist, exploring the relationship between the his scientific achievements and his immense success in popularising astrophysics. The display celebrates Stephen Hawking's life and achievements and features objects and papers primarily sourced from his own archives. Over a career that has lasted much longer than originally anticipated, Hawking has wrestled with the origin of time and the universe, and made many fundamental contributions to cosmology. In addition, he has probably done more than anyone else to popularise these extraordinary ideas, inspiring both the public and the next generation of scientists. The exhibition features two main strands: Hawking's scientific work and his public profile. It features audio, specially recorded by Hawking, and a projection of photographs from his life and career, many previously unseen, together with a new series of photographic portraits taken by Sarah Lee in his office at the University of Cambridge in December 2011. The show encourages visitors to reflect on the relationship between Hawking's scientific achievements, particularly the work that established his reputation in the 1960s and 1970s, and his immense success in popularising astrophysics. Science Museum until 13th April.

Scott's Last Expedition goes beyond the familiar tales of the 3 year journey to the South Pole, and the death of the polar party, to explore the Terra Nova expedition from different angles. The focus of the exhibition is on the everyday stories and activities of the people who took part, looking at what they ate, the clothes they wore, the tools they used, their scientific work, and the unforgettable human endurance. It also documents the huge amount of planning involved prior to the commencement of the polar journey. Captain Robert Falcon Scott stated that reaching the South Pole was one of the expedition's main aims, but an ambitious programme of scientific investigation and geographical exploration was also carried out. The scientific work by the team covered meteorology, geological and zoological studies and investigations into glaciers. The exhibition features documentary photographs and over 200 rare specimens and original artefacts, displayed alongside a life-sized representation of Scott's hut from the base camp at Cape Evans, which still survives in Antarctica. Among the objects on display are an emperor penguin's egg, one of 3 collected during the expedition, which remain some of the most precious ornithological specimens on the planet; a sea sponge, still green over 100 years on; and a Brittle Star star fish, which sports long flexible arms to capture prey, found throughout Antarctic waters. Many items, such as clothing, skis, food, tools and diaries are being shown together for the first time. Natural History Museum until 2nd September.

Tom Hunter: A Midsummer Night's Dream features a series of photographs inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and the paintings of the Romantic artist Henry Fuseli. Taking key moments from the play, Tom Hunter has distilled Shakespeare's work into images that weave together contemporary city life with that of the timeless tale of love and illusion. Hunter is best known for his photographic reworkings of old master paintings, and his take on the play focuses on real lives and communities in Hackney where he lives and works. By using different groups in his neighbourhood, new meanings are given to the everyday. In the photographs, commonplace environments and situations are transformed and put under the limelight to create a magical spectacle, encouraging the viewer to think of the ordinary as extraordinary. Hunter's Titania is an exotic samba dancer stretched out on a table at a local snooker hall, Helena is a pole dancer at a strip club, and the 'Rude Mechanicals' a female thrash metal band rehearsing in a back room Just as the characters in A Midsummer Night's Dream perform plays within a play, the models in Hunter's tableaux are players in their neighbourhoods. At first glance the images look contemporary and the subjects ordinary, but as the series unfolds so does the magic of Shakespeare's tale with its themes of love, lust, jealousy and illusion. Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon until 1st April.

Landscape, Heroes And Folktales: German Romantic Prints And Drawings explores the visual arts in Germany of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a time of great cultural flowering, complemented by a growing sense of national identity. The Napoleonic wars in Europe caused economic ruin and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, the medieval structure which had held the loose conglomeration of German states and principalities together for centuries, causing German artists to seek a new identity. Some returned to the values and techniques of medieval and Renaissance art as part of this process, particularly striking in the draughtsmanship of Peter Cornelius, or the work of Friedrich Overbeck, whose composition, 'Italia and Germania', epitomised the mood of the period. Schnorr von Carolsfeld spent most of his life working on designs for an ambitiously illustrated 'Picture Bible', all deeply imbued with Raphael's style. The most striking prints of the period were made in the recently invented technique of lithography, such as the 'Portrait of the Eberhard brothers' by Johann Anton Ramboux, or the set of landscapes of days of the week showing views around Salzburg by Ferdinand Olivier. In contrast to Italianate classical views so typical of the 18th century, delicate studies of plants and trees and large prints and drawings of a rugged countryside reveal a much deeper interest in Germanic landscape. A group of wildlife watercolours by Wilhelm Tischbein are remarkable for their freshness, and etchings by Carl Wilhelm Kolbe, show idyllic scenes of lovers in verdant woodland glades. The greatest and rarest of German romantic prints on view is 'The Four Times of Day' by Philipp Otto Runge. British Museum until 8th April.

Concluding

OMA / Progress is the first British examination of the work of one of the most influential international architecture practices working today. OMA (the Office for Metropolitan Architecture) comprises 7 partners and a staff of around 280 architects, designers and researchers working in offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing and Hong Kong. Known for their daring ideas, extraordinary buildings and obsession with the rapid pulse of modern life, OMA play an active role in the architectural, engineering and cultural ideas that are shaping the world. The exhibition, comprising a wide range of materials, relics, documentation, imagery and models, includes a browsable index of all OMA's projects, videos of lectures given by OMA partners from the 1970s to now, and an OMA shop including seminal books and an exclusive collection of prints. One gallery introduces OMA and their current preoccupations, including a raw sequence of every single image from OMA's server - almost 3.5m - that runs on a 48 hour loop. Another is dedicated to a collection of around 450 items that illustrate the history and current practice of OMA, ranging from the iconic - such as models of the Maison a Bordeaux and the CCTV headquarters in Beijng - and previously unseen before seen artefacts including unpublished manuscripts of a never completed book on Lagos, Nigeria. Another is a 'secret room', a space completely covered in the waste paper collected from the OMA offices over a month long period. Further highlights include samples of the skin of the Prada Transformer Pavilion in Seoul in 2009; paintings reproduced in fabric for a wall covering from Rothschild Bank HQ; insights into recent projects such as Cornell University's Milstein Hall; recent competition entries like the Broad Art Museum in Los Angeles; and also those that are on-hold indefinitely, like the Dubai Renaissance tower. Barbican Art Gallery until 19th February.

Edward Burra is the first major show for over 25 years of the work of one of the most individual British artists of the 20th century. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to reassess Edward Burra's extraordinary creativity and impressive legacy. Burra made modernist paintings in an eccentric style that had something in common with those of Stanley Spencer - but without the religious references. Sailors in dockside watering holes, Harlem strip joints, lorries and motorbikes were his kind of subjects. Burra's preferred medium was watercolour, but the results are not like the watercolours of other artists. His paintings are vital, crowded with detail, their urban men and women flattened and cartoonish in a gaudy palette, yet surprisingly, Burra remains something of a footnote in art history. This exhibition of over 70 works features some of Burra's best known images of everyday people at leisure in cafes, bars and nightclubs, and explores the influence on him of jazz music and cinema, as well as examples of his fascination with the macabre (including dancing skeletons) and dark sides of humanity, together with his later more lyrical depictions of the British landscape. In addition, the show also examines Burra's role as a designer for the stage, including ground-breaking sets and costumes for Frederick Ashton and Ninette de Valois, particularly a front cloth for Don Quixote. Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 19th February.

Leonardo da Vinci: Painter At The Court Of Milan examines the extraordinary observation, imagination and technique of possibly the world's greatest artist. The exhibition concentrates on Leonardo da Vinci's career as a court painter in Milan during the 1480s and 1490s, and is the first to be dedicated to his aims and ambitions as a painter. It comprises some 60 paintings and drawings by Leonardo, as well as pictures by some of his closest collaborators, some never seen in Britain before. Nearly every surviving picture that Leonardo painted in Milan is in the display, including 'Portrait of a Musician', 'Saint Jerome', 'Madonna Litta', 'Belle Ferronniere', the two versions of 'Virgin of the Rocks' and 'The Lady with an Ermine'. These pictures show how Leonardo, benefiting from his salaried position, used his artistic freedom to find new ways of perceiving and recording the natural world, focusing especially on the human anatomy, soul and emotions. Leonardo's time in Milan was the making of him, both as an artist and as a public figure. It was where executed his two profoundly different versions of the mysterious 'Virgin of the Rocks'; as well as the wall-painting of 'The Last Supper', represented in the exhibition by a near contemporary, full scale copy by his pupil Giampietrino; and 'The Lady with an Ermine', acclaimed as the first truly modern portrait, as the sitter's nuanced expression conveys her inner life, mind, soul - and what we would now call psychology. More than 50 drawings relating to the paintings are exhibited for the first time, including all the surviving drawings that are connected to the 'Last Supper' and the 'Madonna Litta'. National Gallery until 15th February.