News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd January 2003

Commencing

Arthur Rackham celebrates the work of one of the world's most popular artist-illustrators, who produced some of the finest colour book illustrations of the early twentieth century. His interpretations of Rip Van Winkle, Peter Pan, Alice In Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Wind In The Willows, have achieved classic status around the world. Trained as a black and white illustrator of magazines alongside Aubrey Beardsley, the influence of Art Nouveau permeates is work. A master of the grotesque, Rackham drew anthropomorphised trees, gnarled dwarfs and gnomish creatures to contrast with his childish, naive vision of the world. He chose well known classic folk and fairy tales, which he drew with a bold scratchy pen, and painted in pale washes. This is the first full scale exhibition of his work in Britain for over twenty years, and brings together over 70 original works, as well as sketches, landscapes and portraits from public and private collections, many of which have never been seen in public before. It provides for the first time, a survey of the full range of Arthur Rackham's artistic output, from juvenile sketches and illustrations to paintings and first edition books, highlighting his impish, childish nature through family photographs, travel sketches and scrapbooks compiled by his descendants. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 2nd March.

Shopping: A Century Of Art And Consumer Culture brings the nation's number one leisure activity into the art gallery. It is an exhibition that had to happen, now that shopping has overtaken the mere satisfaction of physical necessities, and the browsing, selection and purchase of commodities has become one of the defining activities of modern urban life. The show comprises over 240 works, beginning with 'Your Supermarket 2002' by Guillaume Bijl, a recreation of a Tesco Metro, with shelves of fresh food, drinks and household products - and even checkout tills - but nothing is actually for sale. There are photographs by Eugene Atget, Berenice Abbott and Walker Evans chronicling the disappearing world of small shops and specialist stores in Paris, New York and elsewhere. Early examples of art's crossover into the commercial sphere include Frederick Kiesler's studies of shop windows, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's application of Bauhaus principles to the presentation of objects, and highly theatrical window displays by The Surrealists. Installations include recreations of Claes Oldenburg's 'The Store'; Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein's 'The American Supermarket', where real foods such as Warhol's signed stacks of Campbell's soup cans are mixed together with works such as Robert Watts' chrome fruits and multicoloured wax eggs; and Damian Hurst's 'Pharmacy', where thousands of packets are arranged with clinical precision. Tate Liverpool until 23rd March.

Rewind provides an opportunity to revisit favourite television commercials, press and poster advertising campaigns, graphics and packaging from the sixties to the present, as well as study more recent examples of product, interactive and environmental design. In 1962, a group of designers and advertising art directors working in London joined forces to create a new organisation, British Design & Art Direction (D&AD). Since then, D&AD's annual award scheme has become an international barometer of changing trends. This exhibition shows winning work from the awards, rewinding across four decades to chart developments in design and advertising through a wide range of disciplines. From 'Beanz Meanz Heinz', through the Guinness 'Surfer' commercial, to the Apple iMac, this major retrospective, reflects the rise of Britain's creative industries. It also shows how design and advertising have become an integral part of the fabric of the world economy - and a reflection of the times in which we live. There is a People's Vote to chose the public's favourite campaign from the 43 Gold Award winners on show, which can be found on the V&A web site via the link opposite. Victoria & Albert Museum until 2nd February.

Continuing

Star Trek - The Adventure is a £24m 'multi-media interactive experience through four decades of Star Trek adventures, where stars, creators and state of the art technology will come together to reveal the secrets of the creative process'. The show is receiving its world premiere in a 7,000 sq metre 'hi-tech climate controlled environment' (that's tent to you and me) in Hyde Park - the biggest event to be staged there since the Great Exhibition of 1851. The extravaganza (at last something which actually deserves the word) offers the first chance for civilians to experience the interiors of various generations of the Enterprise at first hand, including a red alert on the bridge; the transporter room, where they can experience being 'beamed up'; and the engineering bay with the latest technology, together with hundreds of props, costumes and artifacts, and interactive demonstrations and simulators. Last (and by no means least) there is more merchandising on offer than you would think possible in one universe. "It's an exhibition Jim, but not as we know it." Entertainment crosses the final frontier. Star Trek - The Adventure, Speakers Corner, Hyde Park until 31st January.

A New World Trade Center - Design Proposals is the result of New York art gallery owner Max Protetch's invitation to some sixty architects and artists to submit ideas about how the site of the World Trade Centre might be redeveloped. The participants, some leaders in their fields, others up and coming practitioners and theorists, were selected for their imaginations and artistic accomplishments, rather than their ability to deliver practical solutions. There were no rules, regulations, or requirements, and this exhibition, comprising drawings, sketches, models, animations, photos, texts and even sound, reflects the diversity of the responses. Many of them attempt rethink the skyscraper - arguably America's greatest contribution to world architecture. Others look beyond buildable architectural forms, seeking to redefine the urban environment and reshape how we think about cities, imagining a new character for lower Manhattan. At a time when technological change is directly impacting on both the way architects design and builders build, these proposals encompass a broad swath of contemporary architectural thought and practice. This is only UK appearance for the exhibition, which was originally staged in New York in January. Cube Gallery, Manchester until 8th February.

Mies Van Der Rohe 1905 - 1938 looks at the early career of possibly the most influential architect of the 20th century. Famed for his ethos of 'less is more', his designs have reshaped skylines and revolutionised interior, urban and suburban space. This exhibition brings together 38 pivotal projects dating from Mies arrival in Berlin in 1905 to his departure for a new career in America in 1938, which are explored through over 200 drawings, photographs, models and virtual 'walk through' videos. Featuring elegant villas, prototype skyscrapers and his remarkable German Pavilion for the Barcelona International Exposition, it also includes the work of modern masters and contemporary artists inspired by his architecture. Mies enthusiastically embraced new technology, using materials such as glass, concrete and steel, which he saw as a 'means towards a spiritual purpose'. His proposal for a skyscraper in Berlin's Friedrichstrasse in 1921 was the first for a high rise building entirely clad in glass. Such innovative designs were often created for exhibitions or magazines, such as the famous G magazine - which brought together works and writings by artists such as Hans Arp, Theo van Doesburg, George Grosz and Man Ray, also included in the exhibition. The economic depression of the 1930s, coupled with the emergence of the National Socialist regime, resulted in a number of significant projects that were never built. Mies was the last director of the influential Bauhaus School of Art and Design, until its closure by the Nazis in 1933. Whitechapel Art Gallery until 2nd March.

Modern Times? People And Dress In The 1920s examines the people and fashions of one of the 20th century's most exciting and liberated decades. The 1920s was a transitional time for society, and this exhibition reveals how the changing attitudes of both men and women were reflected in many aspects of fashion. It spotlights women entering the workplace for the first time, responsible for the entirely new phenomenon of separates. Meanwhile, men returning from the First World War were fitted out for a civilian life of both work and sport. The exhibition is centred on twelve 'characters' from different strata of society, some based on real people, and others inspired by contemporary magazines such as Good Housekeeping and Woman and Home. They range from a well to do but conservative woman who dresses in Paris couture, through an enthusiast for new fashion ideas with a beaded dress, and a 1928 bride in her gown with items from her trousseau, to a 'modern' young woman in a short skirt and with shingled hair. The clothes are supported by a wealth of graphic material from the period. The Museum Of Costume, Bath until 4th November.

Albrecht Durer And His Legacy surveys the work of the man who became the first international artist. By exploiting the new technologies of printing, he ensured that his works were known across Europe, making him a master of the multiple image and an international celebrity four and a half centuries before Andy Warhol. His AD monogram became a trademark, recognised and respected across the Renaissance world. The exhibition looks at Durer's achievements as a draughtsman, engraver and printmaker, and how his widely disseminated and innovative imagery influenced not only his contemporaries, but also the artists and craftsmen of succeeding generations. Among the works included are: the earliest known group of watercolour landscapes drawn from nature to have survived in the history of western art, which he painted during his first visit to Italy; the virtuoso engraving 'Adam and Eve' with its numerous related studies; one of the largest prints ever produced, the 'Triumphal Arch' made for the Emperor Maximilian; the drawing 'Praying Hands', never before seen in this country; and the three master prints of 1513-1514, 'Knight, Death and the Devil', 'Melancholia' and 'St Jerome in his Study'. The impact of Durer's work on other artists is reflected in works from Germany, Holland and Italy (Rembrandt among them), and his long-standing influence on ceramic designs from 16th century majolica to 18th century Meissen. British Museum until 23rd March.

Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight: The John Hinde Butlin's Photographs returns us to the gentler age of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the John Hinde Studio produced a series of postcards to be sold at Butlin's holiday camps across the UK. This was Butlin's heyday, with over a million holidaymakers staying at the network of nine camps each year. With innovative use of colour and elaborate staging - the trademarks of a John Hinde postcard - the photographs show an idealised view of Britain at leisure. Each photograph is a narrative tableaux, elaborately stage managed, involving large casts of real holidaymakers acting their roles in Butlin's lounges, ballrooms, Beachcomber bars and pools. At the time they were not considered by Hinde to be work of any serious artistic or documentary interest - the simple intention was that the brilliance of the cards would make them leap off the postcard rack compared to their alternatives. Now they are a documentary record of a fantasy of class and period aspirations, and of Butlin's once revolutionary vision of leisure, as well as a hyperreal and fantastic rendition of an actual place at a particular time. In the faces, clothes and gestures, and in the quantity of detail recorded, they provide the raw material for an entire social archaeology of the period. This is probably best summed up by the image of a futuristic monorail soaring over a Morris Traveller. The Photographer's Gallery until 18th January.

Concluding

Somerset House Courtyard Ice Rink, is now as regular a Christmas feature in London as the Holiday Season outdoor skating arena at the Rockefeller Center in New York (although the skating is possibly not as stylish). The rink, which at 9000sqm is larger than ever and capable of accommodating some 2000 skaters a day, has been installed in the courtyard at a cost of around £300,000. It is open from 10am to 10pm, and as darkness falls the courtyard is illuminated by flaming torches and architectural lighting on the building's 18th century facades. A 40ft Christmas tree donated by the city of Basel has been erected at the north end of the courtyard. Both skaters and spectators can enjoy traditional hot snacks and drinks in the rinkside cafe. Tuition is available for beginners and ice guides can accompany inexperienced skaters. The rink is open throughout the Christmas and New Year period, closing only on Christmas Day. Somerset House until 26th January.

Marble Arch Ice Rink is also joining in the fun this year, with a 600sqm rink (complete with snowmen) under the arches themselves, open from 10am to 10pm. Spectators can watch from both an open air viewing area and an indoor rinkside cafe which serves hot snacks and drinks. As a bonus, Oxford Street is on the doorstep for Christmas and January Sales shopping. The rink is open throughout the Christmas and New Year period, closing only on Christmas Day. At last London can return to the Thames Frost Fairs of yesteryear. Marble Arch until 15th January.

2D>3D: Contemporary Design For Performance is a showcase for the work of British theatre designers. It aims to demonstrate the process by which the initial two dimensional sketch comes to life in three dimensional reality, with costumes, scale models, photographs, design drawings, story boards, puppets, masks and props. It also features interactive digital displays of lighting designs, so that visitors can run their own scenic and lighting changes. The exhibition includes work created by 151 designers for 217 productions made between 1998 and 2002, across the full range of drama, dance, musicals and opera. These range in scale from the bigger budgets of national and regional theatres, to the more modest achievements in community and educational theatre. There is also a section devoted to new talent with work by theatre design students from major colleges. The event is organised by the Society of British Theatre Designers and is accompanied by an extensive programme of conferences and workshops. Millennium Galleries, Sheffield until 12th January.

Americans is a celebration of Americans and American history through portraits from the painting and photographic collections of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. An astonishing diversity of subjects, from George and Martha Washington to Martha Graham and Audrey Hepburn, are recorded in a similarly diverse ways, from quintessentially staid 18th century portraits to arty 20th century photographs. Perhaps the one thing that these forms and faces share is a certain air of determination - a sense of the true grit of the frontier settler. There are representatives who have shaped every facet of American history, with Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln, Generals Custer and Sherman, Paul Revere and Davy Crockett, P.T. Barnum and Tom Thumb, Henry James and Mark Twain, George Gershwin and Tallulah Bankhead. For the early artists there were no art schools in America, and Charles Peale began as a saddle maker, graduated to sign writing, and was sent to London to study. His path was followed by Gilbert Stuart, who made an entire career out of painting George Washington, and John Singleton Copley, the most innovative of the group. An interesting accompaniment to the recent exhibition of heroic American landscapes. National Portrait Gallery until 12th January.