News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st March 2006


The Cartoon Museum, which has just opened, is the first of its kind in London, exhibiting examples of British cartoons, caricature, and comic art from the 18th century to the present day. It will provide a regularly changing display of more than 250 original cartoons; together with 3,000 books in the Heneage Library available for research; a dedicated comics library; a shop with books, prints, cards and cartoon ephemera; a Young Artists Gallery with facilities for drawing and learning about cartoons; and a programme of children's and adult cartooning and animation classes. Among the highlights of the opening display are: rare and original artwork on loan from The Beano, the Dandy, and Topper featuring all the favourite characters; classic works by Gillray including 'The Plum Pudding', 'John Bull - taking a luncheon', and 'The Zenith of French Glory'; 3D cartoons including Gerald Scarfe's Chairman Mao caricatured in a leather armchair; joke cartoons by Larry, Kipper Williams, Tony Husband, Nick Newman and many more; Roland Emett's working 'Fairway Birdie', made by the eccentric cartoonist who specialised in wacky contraptions; war cartoons including Sir David Low's 'All Behind you, Winston', and Bruce Bairnsfather's, 'If you know a better 'Ole...'; a colour mural painted by cartoonists including Steve Bell, Dave Brown, Martin Rowson, Peter Brookes, Chris Riddell, MAC and Hunt Emerson; and annual cover drawings by Carl Giles, featuring the Giles family and his immortal Granny. The Cartoon Museum, London WC1 continuing.

Mark Titchner: It Is You features the artist whose works explore systems of belief - both secular and spiritual - often focusing on discredited or marginalised ideologies and objects. Using language and motifs taken from advertising, religious iconography, club flyers, Trade Union banners, political propaganda and occultism, Titchner's works demand attention, yet despite their directness, remain curiously ambiguous - attempting to address the big questions yet falling short of answering them. Working across a number of media, including print, wall drawing, video, sculpture and installation, this exhibition brings together works produced over the last decade, including Titchner's recent major multi-media installation 'When we build let us think that we build forever', shown in Britain for the first time. It also features two new commissions: 'How to Change Behaviour (Tiny Masters of the World Come Out)', and 'The Invisible Republic'. Titchner employs writings and texts from sources as diverse as Martin Heidegger, Wilhelm Reich, The Silver Jews, Emmanuel Swedenborg, Fugazi, The Old Testament, William Blake, Kabbalah and corporate manifestos. The works in this show address themes ranging from the fiction and folly of permanence, expressed through a kind of psychotic modernism, to the collective power of psychic amplification, from a lament to the failure of utopian socialism, to the decoding of the universe by a desktop PC. All human life and more besides etc, etc. Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol until 23rd April.

Winslow Homer: Poet Of The Sea is the first solo exhibition in Britain of a painter who is a household name in his native America, and considered by many to be America's greatest artist. All the more surprising since it was the inspiration he found in Britain that produced his greatest works, seascapes of Northumberland, which he produced in the 1880s, before returning to build a studio on a similarly desolate coastline in Maine. Homer's accent is uniquely American, and his vision has become part of America's pioneering self-image. He painted fine military scenes, inventive images of domestic life and work, portrayals of black experience, but he is at his most magical in his landscapes and seascapes, both in oil and watercolour featured in this exhibition. Homer realistically captures the hard life of the fishermen, the women who waited for them and processed their catches, and the life and death dramas engendered by the wild storms of the North Sea and Maine coasts, especially in works such as 'Blown Away', 'Life Line, 'Beach Scene', 'The Wreck of the Iron Crown' and 'Sharks, or The Derelict'.

In The Age Of Winslow Homer: American Prints 1880 - 1900 is an accompanying exhibition of 50 prints produced during what became known as the Etching Revival, which saw a dramatic increase in the production and purchase of prints. Many of the new etchers chose similar subjects to Homer - harbour views, seascapes, ships at sea, landscapes and scenes they saw on their


Dulwich Picture Gallery until 21st May.


Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake And The Romantic Imagination explores the birth of the Gothic movement, the taste for fantastic and supernatural themes that dominated British culture from around 1770 to 1830. Featuring over 140 works by Henry Fuseli, William Blake and their contemporaries, the exhibition presents an image of a period of cultural turmoil and daring artistic invention. The central exhibit is Fuseli's 'The Nightmare', which draws on folklore and popular culture, medicine, concepts of imagination, and classical art to create a new kind of highly charged horror image. The most extensive display of Fuseli's paintings and drawings seen in Britain for a generation includes 'The Weird Sisters', the two canvases showing Titania and Bottom from 'The Midsummer Night's Dream', and 'Macbeth and the Armed Head', as well as his rarely seen erotic designs - shown tastefully behind a gauze curtain. Works by Fuseli's contemporaries and followers, dealing with themes of fantasy, horror and perverse sexuality, include over 25 watercolours and paintings by Blake, among which are 'The Night of Enitharmon's Joy', 'The House of Death', 'Ghost of a Flea, The Whirlwind: Ezekial's Vision', 'The Witch of Endor Raising the Spirit of Samuel' and 'Death on a Pale Horse', together with works by Joseph Wright of Derby, George Romney, James Barry, Maria Cosway, John Flaxman, Theodore von Holst, and James Gillray. The exhibition also presents a recreation of a 'Phantasmagoria' - a kind of animated slide show with sound effects and shocking images - providing an opportunity to experience the same chills and thrills as in the 1800s. Tate Britain until 1st May.

Pre-Raphaelite Drawings is a rare chance to see some of the gallery's Pre-Raphaelite drawings and watercolours, which are so delicate and rare that they are normally kept in storage to preserve them from fading. The star turn is a recent acquisition, John Everett Millais's early ink on paper drawing 'Cymon and Iphigenia', which is on public display for the first time. Millais later revisited the subject in oils, which can be seen alongside the drawing. The exhibition includes 35 pencil, charcoal, chalk, ink and watercolour drawings, and is a mixture of preparatory studies for well known paintings, including precise sketches of Holman Hunt's 'The Scapegoat', together with stand alone works, both portraits (often studies of fellow Pre-Raphaelites as well as family and friends) and landscapes that exemplify the 'truth to nature' aesthetic. It explores the development of the style of the movement, from their brightly coloured early works displaying precision and detail, based on realistic observation of specific things and places, to the later, looser and more generalised, works, depicting imaginary scenes and poetical concepts, which are more muted in colour. There are contributions by many of the Brotherhood, including Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Frederick Sandys, Edward Burne-Jones, George Price Boyce, Daniel Alexander Williamson and Marie Spartali Stillmann. Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight until 14th May.

Life At Sea celebrates Britain's long and intimate relationship with the sea, which, as well as playing a vital role in our heritage and national identity, continues to influence 95% of everything we eat, wear, drive and sell in the UK. The exhibition touches on a diverse range of subjects and themes relating to the maritime sector, from the experiences of fishermen on the British coasts, the off shore workers on oil and gas rigs in the North Sea, and the men and women of the Royal Navy who defend peace and security around the world, through the hardships faced by British explorers travelling in hostile environments in the past, to the 21st century luxuries experienced by pleasure seekers on ' floating hotel' cruise ships, and the more active pursuits of sailing and racing, as well as demonstrating its importance to communities and economies across Britain. In addition to myriad evocative images of all kinds, highlights from more than 120 objects include: a gold pocket watch presented to First Mate George Morgan who took command of the Rifleman en route to Sydney after the grisly murder of her captain; a tin fiddle made by a fisherman frustrated by the effect of the sea on traditional wooden instruments; a piece of shrapnel recovered from the deck of HMS Colossus, the first vessel to be hit in the Battle of Jutland; and an empty soup tin taken on John Franklin's final expedition to find the North West Passage, which may have unwittingly contributed to the death of the crew. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich until 23rd April.

The Time Galleries are the first stage of the Time And Space Project, aimed at better explaining the story of time at Greenwich, which will ultimately include a new planetarium. These new galleries are divided into four themes. Time And Longitude explores British solutions to the longitude problem, through detailed mapping measurements of the night sky at Greenwich, and the development of an accurate, portable clock that worked on board ships - the Harrison marine timekeepers - with exhibits including the H4, the most important timekeeper ever made, which solved the problem and finally won Harrison the Longitude Prize, together with earlier and later chronometers and sextants. Time And Greenwich looks at the need to develop increasingly accurate time keeping, with the machines that measured the time and the people who used them, with exhibits from the Shepherd master clock installed at the Royal Observatory, which was the heart of the world's first time distribution network, sending time signals around the UK, to the actual GPS receiver used by Robin Knox-Johnston on his round the world voyage of 1994. Time For The Navy considers the provision of accurate timekeepers for the Royal Navy, with marine chronometers, regulator clocks and deck watches, used for navigation from the 1820s until the 1950s. Time In Society examines the role of timekeeping in our everyday lives, with exhibits including sundials, compendiums, clocks, wristwatches and calendars of all periods. Royal Observatory, Greenwich continuing.

Witness commemorates the 90th anniversary of both the battle of the Somme, and the appointment of the first officially commissioned war artists, recognising that art could and should be used to record war and human experience. Oils, watercolours, prints and sculpture from the First World War are displayed alongside first hand accounts of experiences, from battle and its aftermath, to life on the home front. The exhibition features around 50 works from established artists such as William Orpen to young futuristic painters such as Christopher Nevinson, including both internationally renowned paintings such as 'We Are Making A New World' and 'Over The Top' by Paul Nash and 'A Battery Shelled' by Percy Wyndham Lewis, and lesser known but important works of the period, such as 'Women's Canteen at Phoenix Works Bradford' by Flora Lion, Gassed and Wounded' by Eric Kennington and 'The Underworld: Taking Cover In A Tube Station During A London Air Raid' by Walter Bayes. Many of the artists had seen active service: William Roberts and Wyndham Lewis as gunners, Kennington, Paul and John Nash as infantry, and Nevinson in the medical corps, which gives their work added authority. Accompanying first hand eyewitness accounts, taken from letters, diaries and memoirs, detail the experiences of those both living through and fighting during the war, from land girls and nurses, to Tommies, fighter pilots and the artists themselves. Imperial War Museum North, Manchester until 23rd April.

Ugo Rondinone - zero built a nest in my navel is the first major UK exhibition of the leading Swiss artist, who has been described as 'a visionary trapped by reality'. Working across a bewildering range of different media and styles, Rondinone references literature, music and theatre as well as the visual arts, to create sensory and theatrical installations. He came to prominence in Europe in the early 1990s with installations combining photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, light and sound. Rondinone's exhibitions can include India ink landscapes in the Romantic tradition and target paintings recalling the images of 1960s psychedelia. Pop art inspired works with an up beat feel are often contrasted with the longing of photographs of a man and woman who never meet, or films of clowns slumped in the corner of the gallery. For this exhibition, Rondinone has created a new installation that centres on a large structure in reflective Perspex, like an open ended maze, which frames a series of masks and sculptures that project an interior mental state onto a spectral, Gothic landscape. Pre-recorded dialogue of a man and woman arguing loops in a darkened sensory environment, and like a Beckett play, presents a never ending circle of disconnection. Then there's the giant 6ft light bulb hanging from the roof. The exhibition title is taken from a number of haikus Rondinone has been writing every day like a diary, and transferring onto canvas and other materials, which are scattered around the walls. Whitechapel Gallery until 26th March.


Embracing The Exotic: Jacob Epstein And Dora Gordine provides an opportunity to view the work of two contrasting, British based emigre sculptors, Jacob Epstein, and his lesser known female contemporary, Dora Gordine. Comprising more than 40 sculptures and drawings, alongside ethnographic pieces that inspired them, this exhibition examines how Epstein and Gordine both responded to, and were inspired by, non-western cultures in much of their work, despite their radically different working methods. Epstein, one of the most significant figures in British sculpture in the first half of the twentieth century, was a great admirer of African and Oceanic sculpture. This 'primitive' influence, linked to his revival of the methods of direct carving, and his contact with the Paris artists Brancusi and Modigliani, is obvious in sculptures. It is also apparent in his often-explicit drawings and carvings on themes of fertility and birth. Epstein's preference for models of non-European origin was often controversial during his lifetime, but resulted in some of his most striking pieces. Dora Gordine, a self taught sculptor, designer, collector and society figure, began her career in Paris, where she was encouraged by Maillol, and travelled widely, concentrating from the outset on models of non-European origin. Her first solo exhibition in London included heads of Indian, Chinese, Cingalese, Javanese, Malay, Iranian and Greek models. Highlights here include her bronze bust 'The Chinese Philosopher' and the lifesize 'Javanese Dancer'. This is a rare opportunity to see Gordine's unjustly neglected work. Ben Uri Gallery,108A Boundary Road, London NW8, 020 7604 3991, until 19th March.

Prefabulous London explores how a new wave of modern house types may make living in a box desirable, by showcasing the modules, pods and panels that are transforming perceptions of factory-built living. From pre-assembled, fully-fitted, transport-ready house modules, to flat-pack kit homes from well-known retailers such as the German Hufhaus, modern methods of construction are increasingly being applied by developers to create contemporary, affordable and sustainable homes. The display shows how existing London housing projects from the pioneering Murray Grove to futuristic new concepts of compact-living can remove the stigma surrounding traditional prefabs, and help towards meeting the demand for an additional 32,000 new homes in the capital per year. Starting with 'A for Affordability' through 'M for Modular' to 'Z for Zero defects', the exhibition examines the implications of these innovative methods of housing construction and component manufacture. Through partnerships between manufacturers, architects and housing associations, new methods of construction are maximising design, finishes and performance to reflect higher consumer expectations and greater demands for energy efficiency. The display shows that, from demountable homes providing temporary low cost housing, to liftable, individual roof-top extension modules solving problematic access, the applications of off-site construction are broad, and have the ability to tackle many issues of modern city living. New London Architecture at the Building Centre, London until 18th March.

Diann Bauer - bludgeonerator is a new monumental piece by the American born but London resident artist, whose works bring together violent images from a number of diverse cultures to create large scale paintings and installations. The integration of varied visual styles in Bauer's work generates a sense of confusion and dissolution between space, object and subject, suggesting a narrative that seems graspable, but is just out of reach. Combining source material from nineteenth century Japanese woodcuts, European Baroque painting and experimental contemporary architecture, Bauer creates a swirling visually complex representation of space, time and movement. She presents spectacle, and her images - not for the faint hearted - feature Samurai warriors and fire breathing dragons fighting battles against apocalyptic backgrounds of atomic clouds and nuclear explosions, represented in her characteristic colours of tangerine, petrol blue, black and white. This new work comprises a large, elaborately detailed wall drawing, executed on aluminium panels forming a wall that cuts into the gallery space. By blurring the boundaries of where the work ends and the gallery space begins, it plays with expectations of the distinction between the work and the built environment. This is Bauer's first solo show in a publicly funded London gallery. The Showroom, 44 Bonner Road, London E2, 020 8983 4115, until 12th March.