News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd February 2000


Sir Arthur C Clarke, the science fiction writer and space guru, who accurately predicted such advances as communications satellites, is to open a futuristic exhibition centre on 1st January 2001. Uniquely, the project aims to celebrate both the scientist's and science fiction writer's view of the future. It will include interactive "visions of the next century" supplied by boffins from the government's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, along with displays by film industry special effects artists. The centre has received the support of both the Science Museum, which will be lending some exhibits, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. It will be located in Clarke's home town of Taunton, in a building where he carried out physical experiments when it was an education institute in the 1930's. The project is provisionally called Arthur C Clarke's World Of The Future, and is expected to cost about £5m in its first year, the majority coming from sponsorship.

Yayoi Kusama, who has been described as the Japanese Andy Warhol, receives her first major exhibition in this country, with work from her entire forty year career. She explores her obsessions of food, nets, dots and sex, in paintings, collages, watercolours, sculptures, performance events and installations, including an entire yellow room emblazoned with black polka dots. The centrepiece is a recreation of her 1966 work Driving Image "in which the surface of mannequins and household furnishings are entirely covered in her vibrant painted signature patterns and placed on a bed of broken macaroni". Ah, the '60's. Don't say you haven't been warned. Serpentine Gallery until 19th March.

Princes of Victorian Bohemia is a series of strikingly original photographic images created in the 1860s by the painter David Wilkie Wynfield. They are mostly portraits of his Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries, and his subjects include Millais, Holman Hunt and Manet. Wynfield used a narrow depth-of-field, dramatic close-ups, and historical costume to model his sitters in the image of the courtiers and noblemen painted by the Old Masters. He was one of the first photographers to use "soft-focus" as a means to create artistic photography, and his works inspired the rather better known Julia Margaret Cameron. National Portrait Gallery until 14th May.


Message To The Mayor looks at London Mayors past and present, surveying their plans and policies for "improving" the capital, with pictures, maps and interactive models. Not guaranteed to inspire confidence in the upcoming administration - whoever wins. Museum Of London until 20th February.

Audible Light is a series of installations and environments created by eight artists, with backgrounds in music, performance, film, video and architecture, from Britain and Europe. Each explores sonic illumination - the artificial generation and interaction of sound and light. Some pieces are interactive, and are affected by the movement of the viewer. Museum Of Modern Art Oxford until 19th March. 01865 722733.

Tempus: The Art Of Time is another millennial exhibition exploring time in art and science, from Ancient Egyptian sundials to thermoluminescence testing. Through calendars and diaries, paintings and the written word, it examines how cultures and civilisations down the ages have striven to record, measure or represent this elusive concept. Like the Royal Observatory, Cambridge can claim real credentials for staging such an exhibition, in their case thanks to Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Stephen Hawking. There is an accompanying programme of school and adult projects and events. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge until 30th April.

Picture Yourself turns the traditional notion of a portrait gallery - the great and good, famous and infamous - on its head. The installation artist Marty St James celebrates the millennium with a year long scheme to present the faces of the general public. Anyone wandering in off the street can have his or her portrait digitally recorded, framed and hung. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh until 31st December.

1900: Art at the Crossroads is a recreation of the exhibitions staged in the different national pavilions at Paris Exposition of 1900, effectively a survey of the art of the day, during the birth of modernism. It is a fascinating juxtaposition of now forgotten artists who were the toast of their time, and the usual suspects including Picasso, Monet, Munch, Klimt, Mondrian, Cezanne, Matisse and Kandinsky. The exhibition brings together hundreds of paintings and sculptures from all over the world, and is shown in all 12 galleries of Burlington House, with the works arranged in themes. Royal Academy until 3rd April.

Rene Magritte was the foremost exponent of the surrealist movement, and this exhibition contains 70 of his works, some of which are among the most memorable images of the 20th century. Clouds and bowler hats aplenty then - and the fact that he was Belgian somehow makes it even more surreal. The Dean Gallery, Edinburgh until 26th March.


Guildhall Art Gallery closed since 1941, was officially reopened on 2nd November, in a new £70m building designed by Richard Gilbert Scott. The collection ranges from scenes of the IRA bombing of Bishopsgate to the Great Fire of London, including events such as Bartholomew Fair (finally banned for being "raucous and disorderly") and The Calves Head Club (a group of Cromwell supporters, whose meetings were disrupted by mobs throwing rocks). The centrepiece is a huge 16ft by 27ft canvas by John Singleton Copley entitled The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, September 1782. Guildhall Art Gallery until 20th February.

Treasures Of The North is a public exhibition of private masterpieces, in aid of charitable causes. It features a wide variety of works, from Rosetti to Damien Hurst, including over l00 paintings and drawings, English and French furniture, historic jewels, rare silver and porcelain, drawn from historic collections in the North of England. Many of these have never been seen in public before. The exhibition moves on to the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester from 25th February to 9th April. Christie's, London until 13th February

The Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, as it works to the lunar calendar, so 5th February sees the start of 4698, which puts the fuss over Y2K into context. It will be a year of the Dragon (which is good) but an angry one (which is not so good). Chinese communities across the country will be celebrating with Lion dancing, firecrackers and food much in evidence. Thanks to Chinatown Online you can find out about the traditions, plus how and where you can join in the fun. Events across Britain 6th February.