News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st June 2005


Gardens Of Glass: Chihuly At Kew is the first exhibition of its kind to be held in Europe, and Britain's first major garden installation by American avant-garde glass blower Dale Chihuly. A sequence of organically shaped and vibrantly coloured glass sculptures has been set throughout different environments in Kew's 300 acre garden landscape, and amongst the tropical plants inside the great glasshouses. Chihuly has designed the pieces to respond to the plants, trees, historic landscape, architecture and vistas, and their effect will alter by day and by night, and from season to season. The display includes Chihuly's newest series of works, 'Fiori', which has never been exhibited in Europe before, together with some of his best known series, including 'Macchia', 'Ikebana' and 'Chandeliers'. Site specific works have been created for the Palm House and Temperate House, and a traditional Thames skiff has been used to hold the glassworks for an installation on the pond in front of the Palm House. The signature piece of the display is 'The Sun at Kew Gardens', a Medusa like tangle of glass, reflecting the vibrant colours and monumental scale of Chihuly's work, which can be seen in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Standing over 13ft high and 13ft wide, and weighing 4,600lbs, it is made up of hundreds of pieces of hand-blown glass. A mini exhibition in the White Peaks Exhibition Space is devoted to Chihuly's working practices and the process of glass blowing. Royal Botanical Gardens Kew until 15th January.

Summer Of Love: Art Of The Psychedelic Era examines the coming together of contemporary art, popular culture, civil unrest and moral upheaval during the 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibition reflects psychedelic art as an international phenomenon, with works from Britain, America, Europe and Japan. It demonstrates how artists were deeply entrenched in popular culture, influenced by the effects of mind-altering of drugs, and participants in counter-cultural activities. Psychedelia manifested itself in all aspects of cultural production, ranging from art, music and film, to architecture, graphic design and fashion. The exhibition presents a selection of over 150 posters, album covers and underground magazines, in particular from San Francisco and London, plus paintings, photographs and sculptures by amongst others, Isaac Abrams, Richard Avedon, Lynda Benglis, Harold Cohen, Richard Hamilton, Robert Indiana, Richard Lindner and John McCracken. Numerous long-neglected artists are represented with rarely seen or specially reconstructed works and installations. A special emphasis is placed on environments, as well as film, video and multimedia installations, replicating the total experience of psychedelic light shows, large-scale projections and music performances. An accompanying film programme, with underground, experimental and mainstream films, includes works by Lawrence Jordan, Stan Vanderbeek, Andy Warhol, James Whitney, Jud Yalkut and Nam June Paik. Tate Liverpool until 25th September.

Colour After Klein reassesses the powerful and important place of colour in contemporary art, highlighting the rapport between the aesthetic and the conceptual, and the emotive responses colour arouses. It offers a fresh way of experiencing some 60 iconic works of painting, installation, photography and sculpture by some of the most significant artists of the 20th and 21st century. The exhibition takes its title from the artist Yves Klein, who 'patented' a particular strong blue - International Klein Blue or IKB - although he also worked in vivid pinks, greens and yellows. He became notorious for covering nude models in IKB and dragging them over canvasses to produce works of art. The exhibition highlights colour's relationship to desire, the body and utopias as demonstrated by works from twenty artists. These include Joseph Beuys's lemon powered light bulb, Louise Bourgeois's room with red objects on blue shelves, William Eggleston's scarlet bulb glowing in a scarlet ceiling, Dan Flavin's luminous light sculptures, Anish Kapoor's sculptures cloaked in powdery pigment, Bruce Nauman's burning neons, Pipilotti Rist's video of herself dancing and tumbling in scratch screens of hysterical colour, James Turrell's 'walk in' illusions of hovering vaporous colour, and shocking pink Andy Warhols. Barbican Gallery until 11th September.


Joshua Reynolds: The Creation Of Celebrity looks at Reynolds not just as a portraitist, but also an impresario and influential figure in society, rather than simply providing a general survey of his work. The exhibition brings together a selection of the greatest portraits by Reynolds, many of them depicting the most famous men and women of the eighteenth century, such as the writer Samuel Johnson, the actress Mrs Siddons, the political philosopher Edmund Burke, the actor David Garrick, the playwrights Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brindlsey Sheridan, the politician Charles James Fox, the Prince of Wales and Omai, the Tahitian prince who charmed London society, as well as courtesans, aristocrats and military and naval heroes. Collectively, they represented the cream of British society of the era. But Reynolds did not simply paint these individuals, he befriended them, brought them into contact with one another, and shaped their public images - not to mention his own. Indeed, one room in the exhibition is dedicated to Reynolds self-portraits, twenty-seven different works painted over a period of nearly half a century, continually refining his image. As a result, during his lifetime Reynolds was among the most celebrated artists in western Europe, and became the first president of the Royal Academy. In addition to paintings, the exhibition includes prints, caricatures and sculpture, comprising around ninety works in all. Tate Britain until 18th September.

Rush, the world's biggest speed swing, standing 65ft tall, opens this week, the first of its kind outside of America. Reaching up to 75ft in the air, with speeds of up to 40mph, and maximum G-force of 4, it gives riders moments of weightlessness, and more G-force than a NASA astronaut experiences on launching into space. It arrives hot in the footsteps of Slammer, Europe's first sky-swat ride, the ultimate full throttle free-fall experience as its victims are catapulted 360° forward towards the ground from 105ft in the air. Also new this year is Stuntzmania, a return to the good old days of Coney Island stunt shows, including The Wheel of Death, The Dive of Death, (is there a theme here?) Terror Globe Motorbikes and Jackass Car Jumpers. They join the existing Samauri, a pod ride that lifts and rotates, creating G forces of plus 5 and minus 3, as well as a centrifugal force that spins 360°; Colossus, a 10 loop roller coaster with speeds of up to 70mph, and a force of 4Gs; Nemesis Inferno, one of the world's most disorientating, leg dangling suspended experiences; Tidal Wave, Europe's tallest water drop ride; the stomach-churning human egg whisk Vortex, which makes 15 high speed rotations per minute while swinging back and forth 65ft in the air; the gravity-defying 100ft drop Detonator; and X: No Way Out, the world's first dark backwards coaster. All together they provide the most unpleasant experience you can have outside an Islamic fundamentalist regime. Thorpe Park, Chertsey until 31st October.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Exhibition not only brings Douglas Adams's iconic story to life through over 200 costumes, creatures and props from the film, but also explores the science featured in his work, from teleportation and supercomputers, to parallel universes and the big bang. The exhibition takes visitors on a journey from Arthur Dent's kitchen to the far reaches of outer space and back. Shown in recreations of settings from the film, such as the Vogon ship‚ the Heart of Gold and the Planet Factory Showroom‚ highlights include: the actual Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy used in the film; the 8ft tall Vogon Captain Jeltz‚ designed and built by Henson's Creature Workshop - plus footage illustrating the Vogons in action; Marvin the Paranoid Android's life-size costume; Deep Thought, the ultimate computer‚ complete with terminals allowing visitors to ask the 'ultimate question'; concept artwork commissioned and created for the film; behind the scenes footage of Garth Jennings‚ Nick Goldsmith‚ Stephen Fry and Martin Freeman; and - beware - a reading of Vogon poetry. In exploring the science behind the story, the exhibition also reveals how other science fiction writers in the past, such as Jules Verne‚ HG Wells and Arthur C Clarke, inspired scientists and inventors. Don't forget your towel - and Don't Panic. Science Museum until 27th November.

Style And Splendour: Queen Maud Of Norway's Wardrobe 1896-1938 is a display of the wardrobe of the British Princess (daughter of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) who became Queen Consort of the newly independent Norway in 1905. Queen Maud was renowned for her fashionable style, and her clothes document a revolutionary period of fashion history, from the elaborate decorative dress of the Victorian era, to the streamlined chic of the 1930s. This display includes some 50 outfits, ranging from her wedding trousseau of 1896 to the latest Worth designs purchased just months before her death in 1938. Queen Maud's wardrobe encompasses both her public and private lives, from coronation robes, sumptuous state gowns and elegant evening dresses for official occasions, to her riding habits, winter sportswear, and simple tailored suits for afternoons in the garden with her grandchildren. These are accompanied by a wide variety of gloves, hats, shoes and handbags that made the essential finishing touches to the ensembles. She engaged with contemporary fashion throughout her life, and commissioned the great couturiers of the day, notably the French houses of Worth and Morin-Blossier, and the British Redfern and Reville, as well as accomplished dressmakers such as Blancquaert and the Norwegian designer Sylvian. Her wardrobe illustrates the impeccable standards of couture dressmaking and tailoring of the period. Flawlessly beaded gowns, perfectly cut and hand-finished suits, beautifully embroidered and appliqued dresses all exemplify the superb workmanship of the era. Victoria & Albert Museum until 8th January.

Heroes & Villains is a collaboration between the caricaturist Gerald Scarfe and the National Portrait Gallery. It juxtaposes the pen and ink drawings of contemporary and historical figures by the illustrator, animator and designer with portraits from the National Portrait Gallery's collection. Scarfe's distortions of well known figures reveal the wit and vision of an exceptional draughtsman. This is a general retrospective, with subjects as wide ranging as Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Oswald Mosley, Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill, Graham Green, the Beatles, Margaret Thatcher and Diana, Princess of Wales. In the portraits the sitters are afforded dignity and grace, but then Scarfe tears into them with his customary savagery. Alongside Scarfe's work, there is a display of his historical influences, such as Hogarth and Gillray. In addition, visitors can delve into the world of caricature and portraiture through a range of hands on activities. Millennium Galleries Sheffield until 21st August.

C R Cockerell: The Professor's Dream is an exploration of Cockerell's contribution to British architecture in the early 19th century. Cockerell was one of the most talented British architects of his generation, best known for the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and the National Monument on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, as well as an archaeologist and a teacher. Before he was 25 or had designed a single building, Cockerell was famous throughout Europe for his part in discovering two of the most important and complete groups of ancient Greek sculpture ever found, the Ægina Marbles and the Phigaleian Marbles. Diaries and other records of his travels played an important part in his work as Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy Schools from 1839 to 1859. This display of plans, sketches, drawings, diaries, reconstructions, watercolours and plaster casts, recording Cockerell's archaeological expeditions, designs and subsequent lecture manuscripts, chart his travels, and how the knowledge he gained, was passed on in the training of architects in Britain. The exhibition takes its title from a spectacular watercolour that illustrates his vision of 4,000 years of Western architecture. In this synoptic image Cockerell shows the fundamental principles of the art of building well passing mysteriously (like the spark of artistic genius between generations) from structure to structure in hereditary succession. Royal Academy of Arts until 25th September.


Andreas Slominski is the first solo exhibition in London by the German artist who always shapes the works on view to the location in which they are seen. A notorious prankster, he likes to create an air of artfully manipulated mystery with his work, which is rooted in irrationality and spontaneity, with a dash of Dadaist humour. In his reaction against a world geared to streamlined efficiency and simplicity, Slominski consciously aims for maximum complexity, and uses deliberately labour intensive methods in the engineering of his pieces. He examines everyday activities, and creates preposterous inventions for carrying them out, derived from a fanatical attention to detail (hardly German at all). The other frequent component of Slominski's installations are his custom made traps and decoys, which are diverse in scale and form, depending on the prey for which they are intended - mice, birds, dogs, foxes, leopards or deer. Simultaneously sculptural and functioning objects with potential for brutality, they would work, but that is not the primary reason for their construction, as Slominski aims to ensnare onlookers through their curiosity. A unique opportunity to see objects, interventions and schemes that Slominski has devised specifically for this presentation, and experience the element of surprise that he continually delivers. Serpentine Gallery until 12th June.

Londoners At Work is an exhibition of eighty photographs, many of them on display for the first time, that capture over one hundred years of working life in London. They show the diversity of London at work - in offices and factories, warehouses and docks, on the river, in the street and at home, and in addition, chart the changing nature of work and workplaces over the period. In doing so, they portray authority, companionship, exploitation and emancipation, poverty and pride. Images such as Wolf Suschitsky's atmospheric 1930s photograph of men asphalting wooden blocks in the Charing Cross Road; and J Penry-Jones's West African seamen on the P&O Steamer Barrabool in Tilbury around 1925; or the many unknown photographer's pictures of a Bryant & May home worker and her children in Bethnal Green around 1910 making matchboxes for between eight and nine shillings a week (45p-50p), rows of typists in the factory-like book keeping machine room of the Port of London headquarters in the 1930s, and stevedores unloading a lighter in the London Docks in 1961, offer glimpses of lost worlds. With their focus on people and their relationship to work, a dominant part of everyone's lives, these images have the power to draw the viewer in, arouse their curiosity, amuse and even dismay. The Museum in Docklands until 5th June.

Ferdinand Columbus: Renaissance Collector is a partial reconstruction of the print collection of Ferdinand, son of Christopher Columbus, the earliest and certainly the largest Renaissance collection known to historians. Throughout his adult life, Ferdinand travelled continuously through Europe, mainly on missions for the Spanish court, during which he went on detours to buy books and prints. The prints themselves were dispersed long ago, but an inventory preserved in Seville from the time of his death describes 3,200 engravings, woodcuts and maps, in addition to a library of 15,000 volumes. This exhibition presents around 150 prints by all the most important Renaissance printmakers. They include works from Italy by Antonio Polllaiuolo, Marcantonio Raimondi and Giovanni Battista Palumba; from Germany by Albrecht Durer, Israhel van Meckenem, Albrect Altdorfer, Hans Baldung, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Weiditz; from Switzerland by Niklaus Manuel Deutsch and Urs Graf; and from the Low Countries by Lucas van Leyden, Jan Wellens de Cock and Jost de Negker. Many of the prints on display are great rarities (some survive in only one impression) and some, such as maps, are large format prints that have rarely been exhibited. One such highlight is a stencil coloured genealogical tree of the House of Charles V by Robert Peril that is 24ft long. British Museum until 5th June.