News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st September 2010


London's Water: 400 Years Of The New River looks at this waterway's role in London's water supply, with the use of images and interpretive texts. The New River was constructed at the beginning of the 17th century to bring fresh water from springs in Hertfordshire to the New River Head reservoirs in Islington. It was built by the New River Company, which was to become the largest private water company in London. Among the paintings are 'Prospect of the City from the North' from around 1730, showing the newly created reservoir alongside Sadler's Wells, which was then one of a number of health resorts in Islington, with the recentlyly constructed St Paul's Cathedral in the background; and Samuel Scott's 'Entrance to the Fleet River' an almost Ventian view of the New River, which now only survives underground as a sewer.

The Story Of Smithfield Market tells the story of London's largest meat market and the historic Smithfield area. Once a site of execution, where heretics were burnt during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, Smithfield was also the venue for the lively and sometimes raucous Bartholomew Fair, shown in contemporary engravings. A livestock market was officially established at Smithfield in 1638 but as the City and the market itself expanded, problems including stampeding cattle and animal overcrowding arose. Finally in 1855 the sale of livestock was transferred to Islington, reflected in William Henry Davis's 'The Metropolitan Cattle Market', and Smithfield became a meat market, shown in 20th century works by Jacqueline Stanley and Hubert Andrew Freeth.

Guildhall Art Gallery, London, until March.

Edward Weston: Life Work is a retrospective of the work of the American who was regarded as one of the masters of 20th century photography. Edward Weston's legacy of carefully composed and superbly printed photographs has influenced photographers around the world. This exhibition is the largest ever to be shown in Britain. It contains 115 vintage prints from every phase of Weston's career, with previously unpublished masterpieces interspersed with signature images. Weston began his career as a relatively unremarkable commercial portrait photographer. A stay in Mexico heralded a new trimmed-down approach, which led on to his memorable still life photographs of the late 1920s. They in turn fed naturally into a remarkable set of sculptural nudes in the 1930s. Subsequently, Weston's style loosened as he turned to the open landscape. The exhibition is arranged in thematic sections: Early Work, Mexico, Portraits, Nudes, Still Life, Early Landscape and Late Landscape. Images include an important suite of six dune studies made near Oceano, California in 1934 and 1936; 'Excusado', the iconic photograph of a lavatory pan, and the bedpan on its side that looks like a bird; two nested nautilus shells; the nude-like 'Pepper No 30' and 'Anita (Pear-Shaped Nude)'; the 'Armco Steel, Middletown, Ohio' factory chimneys and 'Three Radishes'; and his final photograph, nicknamed 'The Dody Rocks'. A 30 minute video, Remembering Edward Weston, featuring interviews with family members accompanies the show. City Art Centre, Edinburgh, until 24th October.

Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory And War traces the complex intertwining of the documented, the remembered, and the imagined in published and unpublished writings of the First World War poet. The display looks at how the horrors of the war changed Siegfried Sassoon from being a patriot of his country, to being a stern critic of government and political leaders. The tension between life as he was living it and recollections of his former self lay behind much of Sassoon's writing, and memory - sensuously evoked but stringently selected - was central to his literary achievement. The material on view includes the pocket notebooks in which Sassoon kept a journal of his time on the Western Front, including diary entries for the first day on the Somme, and the moment when he was shot by a sniper at the Battle of Arras; autograph poems and letters home written while on active service in France; a verse letter from his friend the novelist and poet Robert Graves that Sassoon carried tucked inside his diary in his tunic pocket in battle; heavily-worked drafts of post-war poems and autobiographies; personal photographs and sketches; notebooks and diaries recording his sporting exploits, including fox hunting, riding and cricket; rare and annotated printed editions; the notebook in which he originally wrote his Soldier's Declaration, the iconic 1917 protest against the continuation of the First World War, still stained with the mud of the trenches, the telegram summoning him to Army HQ to explain himself when it became public, and his own printed copy. Cambridge University Library until 23rd December.


An Englishman In New York: Photographs By Jason Bell features a series of previously unseen portraits inspired by the 120,000 British men and women currently living in New York City. Jason Bell has lived between London and New York since 2003, and whilst shooting an assignment for American Vogue about anglophilia with English models in an English tearoom, he became interested in investigating the English people resident in the city. He went on to identify and photograph a cross-section of the leading British born figures living in New York, in locations appropriate to them. The 20 portraits on display include Thomas P Campbell, the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; writer Zoe Heller, on her stoop in Tribeca; artist Cecily Brown in her Flat Iron studio; Nicola Perry in her Tea and Sympathy teashop; lingerie designer Jana Kennedy in her cramped apartment workroom; musician Sting in Central Park; director Stephen Daldry in front of the theatre where Billy Elliott is playing; journalist and television presenter Tom Brook in Times Square; actress Kate Winslet on her roof terrace; model Lily Donaldson in Tomkins Square Park; Simon Noonan, Barney's window dresser and television pundit in a window display; Vanity Fair contributing editor Vicky Ward sunbathing in Hudson River Park; Sean Kavanagh-Dowsett in his A Salt & Battery fish and chip shop; and historian Simon Schama at the Columbia University subway station; plus the less well known helicopter pilot, spray tanner, deep-sea diver, detective, plumber, cab driver and rat-catcher. National Portrait Gallery until 17th April.

Another World: Dali, Magritte, Miro And The Surrealists is a comprehensive survey of surrealist art, arguably the most important art movement of the 20th century. The show features works by international artists including Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and Joan Miro, alongside their British counterparts such as Ronald Penrose, John Armstrong, Edward Wadsworth, Eileen Agar, and Ithell Colquhoun. Surrealism, meaning 'beyond realism', refers to the world of dreams, nightmares, the irrational and the strange. Presented chronologically, the exhibition is displayed in an unusual manner, with coloured walls densely hung, alongside display cases filled with books and manuscripts. Among the highlights are Man Ray's sculpture comprised entirely of wooden coat hangers; Marcel Duchamp's iconic 'Fountain'; Rene Magritte's 'Threatening Weather'; Yves Tanguy's 'Never Again'; Jackson Pollock's 'Birth'; and Eduardo Paolozzi's sculptures 'St Sebastian I' and 'His Majesty the Wheel'. These is also a substantial number of prints, sketches, photographs, archival material, periodicals, scrapbooks, letters and other publications, including several print portfolios that have never been shown before by artists such as Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy. Dean Gallery, Edinburgh, until 9th January.

The Language Of Line: John Flaxman's Illustrations To The Works Of Homer And Aeschylus marks the 200th anniversary of John Flaxman's appointment as the first Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy. Although recognised as one of the leading sculptors of his day, it was Flaxman's talent as a draughtsman that won him international acclaim. His dynamic yet understated outline illustrations to the works of Homer, Hesiod, Aeschylus and Dante were an immediate success when published as engravings and proved highly influential for generations of artists. This display features a selection of Flaxman's drawings for the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Tragedies of Aeschylus. The works reveal delicate modifications to the designs that offer insight into the Flaxman's creative process prior to the production of the engraved plates. His experimentations with pose and composition are resolved into an archetypal style of linear clarity in the engravings, highlighting the practice underpinning his ability to convey dramatic, emotive and even comic effect with a single line. Royal Academy until 29th October.

Life, Action And Sentiment: John Flaxman On The Art Of Modern Sculpture comprises many preparatory sketches Flaxman drew to work through his ideas on how to convey life, action and sentiment in three-dimensional form. Kept for reference at his studio, these informal, linear drawings are shown together for the first time. They reveal Flaxman's almost obsessive dedication to his cause, the creation of a modern school of sculpture. Strang Print Room, University College London, Gower Street WC1 until 17th December.

Romantics features paintings, prints and photographs exploring the origins, inspirations and legacies of British Romantic art. The exhibition focuses in particular on works from the 19th century, by artists such as Henry Fuseli, John Linnell and Samuel Palmer, when the ideal of the artist as an enlightened and inspired genius brought with it an interest in the power of visions, exacerbated by a trend for gothic literature and art. This freedom brought artists the opportunity to experiment with imagery and subject matter to create pictures of astonishing emotional intensity. Among the highlights of over 170 key works are: 8 'lost' spectacular hand-coloured etchings by William Blake, annotated with lines of his poetry, re-discovered by accident in the 1970s; Fuseli's 'Titania and Bottom'; Joseph Wright of Derby's 'Sir Brooke Boothby' John Constable's 'Beaching a Boat, Brighton', 'Cloud Study' and 'Flatford Mill'; Richard Dadd's 'The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke'; Henry Wallis's 'Chatterton'; and late works by JMW Turner, characterised by the experimental use of colour and the depiction of light, which were heavily criticised at the time, such as 'Norham Castle, Sunrise', 'Study of Sky and Sea, Isle of Wight' and 'Sun Setting over a Lake'; plus works by Neo-Romantics of the mid 20th century, Graham Sutherland and Paul Nash, who looked back to British Romantic visionaries. Tate Britain until 31st December.

Industrial Revolutionaries: People Who Shaped The Modern World spans 150 years of industrial history, looking at the personalities that helped create the modern world, and then fought to redress the resulting problems of inequality through radical social reform and political activism. Delving in to the lives of key individuals, and the movements they created, this exhibition reveals their influence, political history and global impact through over 70 objects, including Joseph Wright of Derby's portrait of Richard Arkwright; a model of Horrockses Yard Works; a Tee-Total teapot; a newly conserved tram wagon; Preston Prison whipping horse; specially recorded versions of street ballads; and unseen archive footage by filmmakers Will Onda and Mitchell and Kenyon. The individuals featured are: Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor of the water-frame, entrepreneur and developer of the factory system; Charles Dickens, who visited Preston during the lock-out and strike of 1853, influencing his novel Hard Times; Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who wrote about these events, seeing them as a test case for proletarian revolution; Elizabeth Gaskell, who fictionalised weaver and orator George Cowell in her novel North and South; Joseph Livesey, champion of the poor and temperence campaigner; Henry Hunt, a radical MP and people's hero; Father Joseph 'Daddy' Dunn, who was instrumental in Preston being the first gas-lit town in Britain; Rev John Clay, chaplain and reformer in crime and public health; Annie Hill, child mill worker whose portrait was painted by artist Patti Mayor; and John and Samuel Horrocks, industrial innovators who developed the Yard Works and created Britain's largest cotton-manufacturing company. Harris Museum, Preston, until 6th November.

Mapping Portsmouth's Tudor Past brings together for the first time a group of hand-drawn maps that give a unique insight into Tudor Portsmouth and a view of the world 500 years ago. The exhibition includes two large-scale maps of Portsmouth, one dating from 1545 (the year the Mary Rose sank defending the country from French invasion), which is the earliest scale map of an English town and one of the earliest in Europe, and the other dating from 1552, which was probably made for the visit of Edward VI; two maps of the Solent from the collection of William Cecil, Elizabeth I's Secretary of State, which were made to review the defences of Portsmouth Harbour, and highlight both fortifications and potential invasion beaches; the Brouscon tidal atlas of 1540, displayed with a tidal calculator recovered from the Mary Rose, demonstrating a sophisticated Tudor understanding of the tidal currents and timings around the British Isles; a chart of Portsmouth Harbour originally dated as c1620 on the basis of the ship depictions drawn on it, but now believed to be earlier, possibly as early as the pre-Armada 1580s; the Agnese atlas of c1535, open at the pages showing the 'known world', including the east coasts of America and Europe/Africa, through to India; a portolan chart of 1579 showing Spain up to the British Isles; and a first edition Waghenaer sea atlas of 1586, reputed to have been used by the Admiralty Board during the Spanish Armada battles two years later. The maps say a great deal about the state of the nation's defences, and show an impressive sophistication, but they also have a beauty that makes them works of art as well as planning documents for war. Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, until 17th October.


Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes And Discoveries celebrates the backroom work of art gallery scientists, conservators and historians. Using modern scientific methods, including infrared imaging, X-ray images, electron microscopy and mass spectrometry they provide insights into the materials used by artists, studio practice and the ways paintings can change over time. The exhibition explores this work by presenting the varied stories behind more than 40 paintings, divided into six categories: Deception and Deceit, from innocent misrepresentation to cunning forgery; Transformations and Modifications, revealing secrets lying underneath the paint; Mistakes, when the experts got it wrong, and how their mistakes were discovered; Secrets and Conundrums, solving puzzles and secrets hidden in Old Master paintings; and Redemption and Recovery, how paintings are restored to their former glory. The display features works by Raphael, Durer, Gossaert, Rembrandt, Botticelli and others. Among the works on view are: 'Woman at a Window', a provocative Renaissance depiction of a woman, which was dramatically altered in the 19th century to satisfy more restrained Victorian tastes, with the girl's hair changed from blonde to brunette, her expression made more innocent, and her bodice rendered less revealing; 'Portrait of Alexander Mornauer', by an unknown German artist that was altered to resemble a work by the more famous and collectable Hans Holbein, with a layer of blue paint applied over the original brown background, and the style of the sitter's hat altered; and 'An Allegory', originally thought to be a companion to Botticelli's 'Venus and Mars', but revealed as a pastiche, painted by a follower in the style of the master. National Gallery until 12th September.

Christopher Lloyd: A Life At Great Dixter presents a unique perspective on the life and work of one of the great characters of 20th century gardening. Christopher Lloyd lived and worked for most of his life at his family home, Great Dixter in Kent. It was there, through his adventurous changes and characteristic use of colour, that he created one of the world's best loved gardens. Lloyd's work there informed and inspired his distinctive writing, published in national press and numerous books, which made him a household name and the most engaging plantsman of his generation. The exhibition brings together personal objects from Great Dixter, recollections and stories from Lloyd's friends and colleagues, including Beth Chatto, Andrew Lawson, Anna Pavord and Stephen Anderton, examples of his writing, and stunning images of his garden, to piece together a picture of the life behind the garden wall. It is the first time that this selection of his and his family's possessions have been on public display, including his gardening galoshes and his Glyndebourne shoes, designs by Lutyens, and photographs from the family's private darkroom. From his childhood at Dixter, through his education as a gardener and the early days of the nursery business, to his later life and career, the exhibition examines the links between Lloyd's public persona and his private interests and enthusiasms, from his annual pilgrimages to Scotland and Glyndebourne, to cooking, contemporary design, and mischievous correspondence. It endeavours to place Christopher Lloyd's work in context, revealing why he was such an influential figure in 20th century gardening, and how his posthumous reputation will continue to endure. The Garden Museum, London until 12th September.

The Surreal House is the first exhibition to examine the significance of surrealism for architecture. Bringing together over 150 works, the exhibition also reveals the profound influence surrealism has had on a host of contemporary artists, filmmakers and architects. In an installation by architects Carmody Groarke, the exhibition is designed to be experienced as an extraordinary surreal house in its own right. All the exhibits show the significance of the unconscious world of dreams and desires, presenting extraordinary dwellings that reflect everything that the rational, sanitised house sacred to Modernism is not. Combining works of the imagination with important examples of actual 'surreal' houses, the exhibition presents a diverse range of paintings, photographs, films, models and installation from Britain, Europe, Canada and the United States. It brings together first generation Surrealists, precursors and close associates, with contemporary artists and architects. Iconic works by Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Alberto Giacometti, Man Ray and Rene Magritte are set alongside works by Giorgio de Chirico, Le Facteur Cheval and Edward Hopper, as well as contemporary works by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Sarah Lucas and Rachel Whiteread. Filmmakers include Maya Deren, Jean Cocteau, Andrei Tarkovsky and Jan Švankmajer, whilst modern and contemporary architecture is represented by John Hejduk, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Rem Koolhaas , Bernard Tschumi and Diller & Scofidio. Barbican Gallery, London, until 12th September.