News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 3rd September 2008

Commencing

The Courtauld Cezannes features the Gallery's entire collection of works by Paul Cezanne, hailed as the finest in Britain, on show together the first time, revealing the development of his ideas. The seminal paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints from the major periods of Cezanne's long career include 'Montagne Sainte-Victoire', 'Card Players', 'Still Life with Plaster Cast', 'Lac d'Annecy', 'Man With a Pipe', 'L'Etang des Souers, Osny', 'The Turning Road', 'Apples, Bottle and Chairback', and 'Madame Cezanne Sewing'. In addition, there is a group of nine handwritten letters, previously unseen in public, sent to his protege Emile Bernard, in which Cezanne reflects upon the fundamental principles of his art, and offers the famous advice to "treat nature in terms of the cylinder, the sphere and the cone". The exhibition also presents the findings of a research project on Cezanne's work, using the latest imaging technologies, which has provided fresh insights into his working methods and techniques, in particular his experimental use of colour and line.

French Prints From Manet To Picasso, is a complementary display of 15 French prints form the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, including works by Manet, Gaughan, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse and Picasso.

Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, until 5th October.

Hotel is a record of photographer Steve Schofield's exploration of the way the British choose to spend their holiday and leisure time. In particular, he looks at how the choice of the themed experience allows people to blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality, for what is a momentary break from their weekly routines. By photographing the workers in these 'hyper real experiences' Schofield conveys the sense of waiting, not only for the arrival of the guests, but also for the delivery of the promise of an experience that in reality cannot truly be delivered. Schofield travelled to traditional working class resorts such as Blackpool, Southend on Sea and Brighton, visiting all kinds of hotels, from Elvis, Beatles and Pop Culture themed venues, where the past is recreated with a fake 'King', or a plasma screen pumping out black and white performances by the Fab Four, to a Victorian experience, where the workers are dressed in period costume, suggesting total subservience. His richly detailed photographs reveal a sub-cultural world beneath the mask of polite British society. Derby Art Gallery until 2nd November.

Time Out Times celebrates the 40th anniversary of London's listings bible with a display following the life of the capital though the iconoclastic eyes of its favourite living guide. Classic covers from the magazine tell London's story from the swinging sixties to the noughties by revisiting old issues, familiar faces and forgotten tales of the city. From fringe theatre to radical politics to high fashion, Time Out's journey is a mix of sex, drugs and rock and roll, of art and fashion, triumph and turmoil. The exhibition charts how the magazine kept at the cutting edge of London's myriad cultural scenes, surviving censorship battles, court cases and strikes, to become an icon within the city it records, and well beyond. The brainchild of Tony Elliott, it was born on a kitchen table in Hampstead, with the information set with an IBM Golfball typewriter, taken to the London Caledonian Press, for a run of 5,000 printed on a folded A2 sheet, and delivered by bicycle, for distribution on the King's Road, Chelsea, at free concerts and in the bookshops and 'alternative' hangouts in the city. Time Out quickly became a barometer of change in the capital - a curious and open minded guide to the extraordinary possibilities London offers to those who live or pass through it. Today Time Out has a weekly circulation of 87,000, a website that chalks up 1.75m unique users a month, and this year has seen launches in Sydney, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Bangalore, making 25 international editions. The London Museum, until 19th October.

Continuing

Turmoil And Tranquillity: The Sea Through The Eyes Of Dutch And Flemish Masters 1550 - 1700 focuses on the emerging genre of maritime art in the Low Countries, during the 17th century. The exhibition of some 70 paintings examines the emergence of the seascape as an independent painting style, with works by early Flemish masters including followers of Jan Brueghel the Elder and Joachim Patinir, Cornelis van Wieringen and Andries van Eertvelt. It displays highly dramatic seascapes and depictions of storms and shipwrecks, which characterised Dutch seascapes of the period. The use of allegory, with examples depicting ships as symbols for the soul, is traced in paintings such as the 'Wreck of the Amsterdam' by an anonymous Flemish artist and Adam Willaerts's 'Jonah and the Whale'. The interplay between paintings of tranquil coastal waters and the assertion of a Dutch national identity is explored through the work of Jan Porcellis, Simon de Vlieger, Ludolf Backhuysen and Jacob van Ruisdael. Depictions of Mediterranean and Scandinavian scenes and other foreign shores, are examined through works by Hendrick van Minderhout, Simon de Vlieger, Gasper van Wittel (called 'Vanvitelli') and Pieter Mulier the Younger, 'the Cavaliere Tempesta'. The demand for paintings recording battles at sea and illustrious naval heroes is illustrated with works by Abraham Storck and the Willem van de Veldes, who moved to London, and for 20 years had their studio in the home of this exhibition. The Queen's House, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich until 11th January.

John Muir Wood And The Origins Of Landscape Photography In Scotland is the first exhibition to examine this subject. It concentrates on images produced between 1840 and 1860, and in particular, on the work of John Muir Wood, arguably Scotland's first systematic landscape photographer. With bulky camera equipment, Muir Wood travelled by steamer along the Firth of Clyde, exploring the geography of Arran, Bute and the north Ayrshire coast. Chosen from an archive of 900 images, the selected photographs present a romantic view of nature during a time of rural upheaval, and strongly evoke the contrast between Victorian social and religious values and increasing urbanisation. Many of Muir Wood's photographs seem desolate, yet they are curiously uplifting. His ruined cottage image may appear to be a stony skeleton, but it lies above lush grass and a stream. Muir Wood's grasp of sensual detail is evident in how he captures the raw texture of scattered rocks in the water, and how the pallid tones of his forest photography suggest an almost ethereal glow. The exhibition puts Muir Wood's imagery into context by displaying examples of the landscape work of other early photographers, including Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill, Thomas Keith, Horatio Ross and W H Fox Talbot. It charts the emergence of a new creative form as each struggled to express the Scottish landscape imagination through photography. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh until 26th October.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not! the American chain of 'odditoriums', whose slogan is 'Proudly freeking out families for 90 years', has just opened a London branch. The city centre equivalent of a Victorian travelling fairground freak show, it features over 500 weird and unusual artefacts in 22 themed galleries spanning 4 floors - only a real live Elephant Man is missing. For over 40 years in the first half of the 20th century, Robert Ripley - a kind of Indiana Jones figure - travelled the world collecting the unbelievable, the inexplicable, and the one-of-a-kind, and then made a career of exploiting them. Exhibits here range from genuine shrunken heads from the Jivaro Indians of Ecuador, a piece of the Berlin Wall, and a Victorian vampire killing kit, via mannequins of Robert Wadlow, the world's tallest man, and other freak show stalwarts, to a portrait of Princess Diana made entirely from lint collected from clothes dryers, a 12ft long model of Tower Bridge made out of matchsticks, and a real Mini Cooper covered in 1m Swarovski lead crystals, in the images of 10 American icons. The attraction also includes a Mirror Maze, consisting of a series of columns and arches surrounded by hundreds of mirrored reflections in every direction, with floor lighting enhancing the 'infinity effect' by giving the illusion of continuing hallways. The London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus, London W1 continuing.

Weird And Wonderful Gadgets And Inventions is an opportunity to see over 50 extraordinary 'labour saving devices' patented over the last 150 years, from the private collection of Maurice Collins, author of Eccentric Contraptions and Ingenious Gadgets. Built up over a period of 30 years, the Collins's family collection contains gadgets ranging early versions of technology we take for granted today, to inventions that would not be out of place in a Heath Robinson compendium. Among the highlights are: a two handled self pouring teapot; a clockwork burglar alarm; the purse pistol, a one bullet gun concealed in a seemingly normal ladies purse; a grenade for putting out fires; a mechanical page turner for musicians; a brass and copper clockwork teasmade; an automatic nose hair cutter; the original Sat-Nav wristwatch, which incorporated a roll of paper with directions printed on it; a mechanical envelope sealer, which dampened and then pressed home the flap; a pianist's finger stretcher, designed to increase a musicians' 'spread'; a beer can hole maker; spectacles with built in battery powered lights above the lenses; the Dynamo Shaver; an eye massager, which puffed cool air to massage the eyeballs; and a whisky bottle lock. Business & IP Centre, The British Library until 10th November.

Impressionism & Scotland explores the Scottish taste for Impressionism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and assesses the impact of modern European art on Scottish art and artists. The exhibition comprises over 100 paintings, pastels and watercolours, with highlights including Renoir's 'The Bay of Naples', the first Impressionist painting to be bought by a Scot; Degas's 'L'Absinthe', which was 'hissed' when it came up for auction in the early 1890s, due to its 'depraved' subject matter; and John Lavery's 'The Tennis Party', a rare example of Scottish modern life painting. It also includes Monet's 'Poplars', Van Gough's 'Orchard', Gauguin's 'Martinique', Matisse's 'The Pink Tablecloth', Cezanne's 'Mont St Victoire', and works by Degas, Manet, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley, and Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists. The exhibition points up parallels between the work of Dutch, French and Scottish artists, whose paintings are hung side by side: Corot and Walton; Bastien-Lepage and Guthrie; Degas and Crawhall; Manet and Fergusson; Matisse and Hunter. It demonstrates that, having absorbed these powerful influences, Scottish artists developed their own instinctive brand of Impressionism, quite unlike the more analytical approach of the French Impressionists. National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, until 12th October.

The Science Of Survival: Your Planet Needs You! offers a glimpse of the world in 2050, and explores how mankind can survive on a changing planet. This hands on, thought provoking, interactive exhibition, examines how the way we live will change over the next few decades, in response to climate change and diminishing global resources, looking at options for a sustainable future. As visitors journey through the exhibition they are led by four characters who invite their help in solving problems in a city in the year 2050. In five interactive areas - Drinking, Eating, Enjoying, Moving and Building - it looks at why the future will be different, and what we can do about it today. Visitors examine current global issues and explore some possible technological responses, such as catching fog vapour to make fresh water, using nanotechnology to produce food, and building trains that run on biofuel. All the decisions made along the way are included in the Future City at the end of the exhibition, reflecting different choices based on different priorities, and the major effects these will have on the world of tomorrow. Visitors then see how well they survived, and discover the choices made by other people, revealing that while the way mankind lives will inevitably change, positive choices made today could radically affect what the future will be. Science Museum until 2nd November.

Concluding

Doctor Who Exhibition is the largest staged so far, featuring over 100 models, props, costumes and monsters that have appeared in the programme since its regeneration three years ago. Sadly, rather than a history of the series from its beginnings in 1963, with classic monsters from each of the four decades, it is rather more a marketing exercise for the new series. Nevertheless, nasties such as the Weeping Angels, Cybermen, Slitheen, the Face of Boe, an Ood and K9 (not to mention Kylie Minogue's frock), plus of course Daleks, including the latest version actually flying, together with a close up view of the creature inside, make it worth a visit. In addition there are video clips and design drawings, as well as a life-size replica of the TARDIS itself (both inside and out). The high tech surroundings in which they are displayed include walls that light up and a video floor. In addition, new creatures from the latest series have been added as they have made their appearance - although few are as scary as Catherine Tate's acting ability. Museum Hall, Earls Court, London until 19th September.

Fashion In The Mirror; Self-Reflection In Fashion Photography offers a look behind the scenes of fashion photography from the 1950s to the present day, showing how snappers picturing the latest trends often turned the camera at least partly upon themselves. Finding both comedy and poetry in the set-up of the studio, the photographers reveal the processes and paraphernalia of the fashion shoot. They become mirrored in their own work and, as viewpoints are inverted and gazes misdirected, cameras stare back out at the viewer from the edge of the frame, or in the foreground of the picture. Revealing the fashion industry's secrets and undermining its glamorous illusions, the photographers in this exhibition create work that exposes this world from within. The exhibition features work by 21 internationally renowned photographers, including Richard Avedon, Terence Donovan, Steven Klein, William Klein, Nick Knight, Helmut Newton, Norman Parkinson, Harri Peccinotti, Irving Penn, John Rawlings, Bob Richardson, Melvin Sokolsky, Juergen Teller, Mario Testino, Jonathan de Villiers and Tim Walker. As well as the photographers often including themselves in the photographs, the addition of assistants, stylists and photographic equipment within the images draws attention to the cliche of the 'fashion entourage' and queries the myth of the slick fashion image. The Photographers' Gallery, London, until 14th September.

The Ramayana: Love And Valour In India's Great Epic is the first time that over 120 paintings from the lavishly illustrated 17th century manuscripts in the volumes of Rana Jagat Singh of Mewar have been on public display. The Ramayana is one of the world's greatest and most enduring stories, and is considered to be fundamental to the art and culture of India and South East Asia. It is an ancient Sanskrit epic which follows Prince Rama's quest to rescue his beloved wife Sita from the clutches of a demon king with the help of an army of monkeys. Comprising 24,000 verses in seven cantos, the epic contains the teachings of the very ancient Hindu sages. Illustrated on the grandest scale, with over 400 paintings, the vivid, brightly coloured scenes are packed with narrative detail and dramatic imagery, with no episode of the great epic overlooked. The exhibition also explores how the story has constantly been retold in poetic and dramatic versions by some of India's greatest writers, and in narrative sculptures on temple walls. It is one of the staples of later dramatic traditions, employed in dance dramas, village theatre, shadow puppet theatre and in annual Ram-lila plays. As well as paintings, the exhibition features textiles and sculptures, shadow puppets and dance costumes, together with archive recordings of readings and chantings of the Sanskrit and other versions of the Ramayana, the singing of devotional hymns to Rama, and dramatic and dance music from India and South East Asia. British Library Gallery until 14th September.