News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 3rd January 2001

Commencing

The London Boat Show is the bizarre annual experience of central London's invasion by over eight hundred boats in an indoor arena for the delectation of its thousands of enthusiasts. The 47th event features the latest creations from the world's leading designers, ranging in size from two metres to too many to count. There are dinghies, motor cruisers, yachts and dream boats with price tags ranging from hundreds of £s to over £1m. Visitors can shop for all the latest gear, equipment and accessories for both sailing and a wide range of water sports, plus on-water holidays from Britain's inland waterways to the Caribbean. The Ocean Race Experience in the new central pool offers spectacular "Cirque du Soleil" style entertainment. There is free expert advice available for both newcomers and old hands. Earls Court 4th to 14th January.

In Memoriam showcases contemporary artists ideas of what constitute memorials, monuments and mementoes. The exhibition explores how we attempt to compensate for loss by creating something tangible. Works employing photography, sculpture, installation and video, range from sombre and moving to upbeat and ironic. Susan Hiller's "Monument - Colonial version of 1980-81" consists of a bench, a sound track and a series of commemorative plaques found in a London park honouring ordinary people who lost their lives performing courageous deeds. Alastair Maclennan's new installation, inspired by a neglected graveyard, comments on our ability to forget. Darryl Joe Georgiou's "Amniotic", looking at personal loss, is derived from the traumatic birth of his son. New Art Gallery Walsall until 21st January.

Lee Miller: A Life Less Ordinary is a collection of 38 images from Miller's extraordinary personal and commercial portfolio. Few other photographers have had a career than spans fashion shoots for Vogue and the documentation of concentration camps as an official American army war correspondent. Originally a Vogue cover model in New York herself, she fell in love with Surrealist artist Man Ray in the 1920s and moved to Paris. There, influenced by Ray, she developed her own unique style - bold, surreal and hard edged, experimenting with floating heads and negative images. Miller carried this approach over into her war pictures, creating images which give the reality of combat a further striking twist of horror. The Photographer's Gallery, London until 27th January.

Continuing

The 1940s House Exhibition recreates 17 Braemar Gardens - the pre-war suburban "semi" featured in a Channel 4 television series The 1940s House, to be shown in January. The series explores how a present-day family would adapt to life on the home front during the Second World War by observing a real family living under wartime conditions for two months. The house is furnished and equipped as it would have been in the 1940s. Visitors can tour both floors and part of the garden with a "Dig for Victory" vegetable patch and an Anderson Shelter. The exhibition includes an introductory section on the making of the television series, a reconstruction of part of a wartime grocer's shop and displays about life on the home front ranging from the Blitz to the blackout. Special events to accompany the exhibition will focus on rationing, popular music, cookery and entertainment, and films about life on the home front are also scheduled. Imperial War Museum until 3rd June.

Alphonse Mucha was one of the major figures in the Art Nouveau movement, which made such a strong mark on its period that it is easy to forget that 100 years ago it was considered dangerously avant-garde. Mucha moved in theatrical circles in Paris and was noted for his posters for the actress Sara Bernhardt and others. Such posters and decorative panels featured shapely half clothed women intertwined with florid motifs. They revolutionised poster design and led to work for many commercial clients, including Moet & Chandon. In the psychedelic 60's, Mucha found a whole new public when reproductions of his work decorated a million bedroom walls. They also provided an inspiration for the style of the legendary Biba. This is the most comprehensive exhibition of Mucha's work ever mounted in Britain, and includes pastels, drawings, oil paintings and photographs. Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, 01482 613902 until 28th January.

Slipstitch+ - New Concepts In Knitting offers needles and wool on steroids, giving them an Arnold Schwarzenegger edge. It features sculptural structures, furniture and other creations made from materials which include electro-plated polypropylene thread and industrialised closed cell polythene foamrod (whatever they are). These works by British and Dutch designers have more to do with the high tech, industrial, architectural and textural than homely jumpers by the fireside. Structural form and technical know-how shape the work of the modern knitter, whose concerns are 21st century materials and fantastical finishing processes. James Hockey Gallery, Farnham, Surrey, 01252 892668 until 10th February.

Future Perfect: Art On How Architecture Imagined The Future presents a series of idealistic visions of future living (that in retrospect are always endearing in their naivety) something which we no longer seem to produce. Realism now prevails, as perhaps experience has finally cured us of idealism. This exhibition spans utopian, fantastic and futuristic visions from Paris to Portmeirion and from South America to Southern India. It comprises the work of ten visionaries, including Archigram's "Walking City, New York", a world of bug like architectural robotics; Buckminster Fuller's ecologically aware explorations; and Liam Gillick and David Thorpe taking a sideways fictionalised look at utopian projects. The show encompasses plans, models, renderings, sculpture, photography, sound and film - a wonderful collection of surreal imaginings and period barminess. Cornerhouse, Manchester, 0161 200 1500 until 21st January.

Turner: The Great Watercolours marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Britain's greatest painter with the first exhibition devoted to J.M.W. Turner's exploration of the scope and potential of watercolour (rather than his better known work in oils). The exhibition includes many of his architectural and country-house drawings, and works from the "Picturesque Views in England and Wales" series, generally considered to be the finest views of the British landscape ever made. It culminates in a group of Swiss watercolours from the 1840's in which Turner captured the beauty, luminosity and space of the Alps. This is an unparalleled survey of 100 of the artist's finished watercolours (as opposed to sketches for future oils), dazzling in their breadth of scale, depth of tone, richness of colour and wealth of detail. Royal Academy of Arts until 11th February.

The Great Court at the British Museum creates a two acre square enclosed by a spectacular glass roof designed by Foster and Partners. It transforms the museum's inner courtyard, with the Reading Room at its centre, into the largest covered public square in Europe. The £100m project has been supported by £45.75m Lottery funding. Despite controversy over the stone used and height of the roof, once again Norman Foster has demonstrated his expertise in transforming existing structures with glass and steel. The Great Court will increase public space in the museum by fifty per cent, allowing visitors to move freely around the main floor for the first time in 150 years. Inside the courtyard two monumental staircases encircle the drum of the Reading Room and lead to the new Great Court Gallery and restaurant, from where a bridge link takes visitors into the upper galleries of the museum.

Human Image, the new gallery's inaugural exhibition illustrates how the depiction and definition of the body have been of fundamental concern in the communication of ideas and information across all world cultures. It explores the representation of the human form beginning with early artefacts from pre-historic Europe and ending with examples from contemporary China and Nigeria. British Museum - Human Images until 11th February.

Concluding

Rock Style: Music+Fashion+Attitude is the first major exhibition in Britain to chart the influence of rock and pop musicians on style over the last fifty years, ranging from Gene Vincent, through David Bowie and Punk, to the Spice Girls and Puff Daddy. It features iconic outfits such as Elvis Presley's white jump suit, the Beatles Sergeant Pepper uniforms, Madonna's gold bustier and Elton John's platform shoes. Complementing these are classic images by fashion and rock photographers including David Bailey, Art Kane, Mick Rock and Bob Gruen, plus original album covers, vintage style magazines and concert footage and video. There is also a dressing up area where visitors can transform themselves with suits, dresses, wigs, hats and shoes inspired by the exhibition.

The Wilde Years: Oscar Wilde And The Art Of His Time looks at Oscar Wilde's lesser known incarnation of art critic and journalist, and charts his growing prominence as an icon of the Asthetic Movement. It comprises paintings, sculpture, photographs and drawings by contemporaries who interested him, reflected his influence, recorded his presence, knew him as a friend (or enemy), or reflected artistic and social events of the time. The range of work includes a Beebohm cartoon of Wilde, Sargent's portrait of Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, Frith's "A Private View At The Royal Academy 1881", Beardsley's Salome, and Epstein's sculpture for Wilde's tomb, which was originally banned as indecent by the French authorities. Barbican Centre Galleries, Rock Style & The Wilde Years until 14th January.

Spectacular Bodies: The Art & Science Of The Human Body From Leonardo To Now charts the ark which the relationship between art and science has taken over the last 400 years. It stretches from the time when artists studied anatomy alongside medical students while human bodies were dissected, to today, when dissected animals in formaldehyde constitute art itself. (Presumably when he dies Damien Hurst will leave instructions to be "tanked" rather than buried or burned.) The exhibition has a unique combination of contents. It comprises not only works by old masters, including Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Durer and Stubbs, 17th century Dutch portraits of surgeons engaged in anatomy lessons, and contemporary artists including Bill Viola, Marc Quinn, Tony Ousler and Christine Borland, but also the saws, scalpels, forceps and other equipment actually used to get under the skin. Over 300 treasures in every medium, including many life size anatomical wax models, from 80 collections around the world, make this a gruesome, astonishing and definitive exhibition, which is contemporaneously real and surreal. A one hour audio guide is available, which is narrated by Jonathan Miller and includes interviews with the curators and artists (but not Leonardo - unless we're about to find out that he also invented the tape recorder). Hayward Gallery until 14th January.

Andrew Logan trained as an architect but gave it up to make camp his life's work, expressed through costume and interior design, sculpture, and performance and installation art. He employs mirrored and coloured glass pieced together using a mosaic technique to create images and sculptures. Logan's obsession is trinket art, which has been reinforced by his travels to India. This selection of his work, reflecting this love of the fantastical and sparkling, makes a perfect celebration for the festive season. Typical of the kitsch and glittering awfulness which abounds is Piano Peacock, a figure of Liberace with a keyboard fan tail. Cheltenham Art Gallery until 13th January.