News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 3rd October 2007

Commencing

The Turner Prize: A Retrospective is the definitive Turner Prize exhibition, featuring works by all the winning artists since it began in 1984. From Anish Kapoor to Damien Hirst, and Gilbert & George to Grayson Perry, it presents a snapshot of cutting edge British art from the last 24 years. The exhibition explores the history of the prize with a chronological selection of key works by the winning artists such as Malcolm Morley, Richard Deacon, Rachel Whiteread, Douglas Gordon, Wolfgang Tillmans and Tomma Abts, alongside documentation of over 90 short listed artists. Key works in the display include Gilbert & George's 'Drunk with God' (a photo montage featuring their usual themes), Antony Gormley's 'Testing a World View' (body casts again, this time bent at the waist), Damien Hirst's 'Mother and Child Divided' (the sliced up cow and calf), Martin Creed's 'Work # 227: The lights going on and off' (the clue is in the title) and Simon Starling's 'Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No 2)' (is it a shed, is it a boat, is it a sculpture?). Created to draw greater public attention to contemporary art, the Turner Prize has played a significant role in the growing interest in British art, and since the mid 1980s the visual arts scene in Britain has changed beyond recognition. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to reflect upon some of the most significant moments in the recent history of British art and the reception of the prize by the press, by artists and by the public. It may impress with the vigorous questioning of accepted artistic ideas - or it may seem a question of The Emperor's New Clothes. It's in the eye of the beholder. Tate Britain until 6th January.

The Naked Portrait is the first exhibition to focus on 'naked portraiture' as a strand in the art of the last century. The title is borrowed from Lucian Freud, who has used it for many of his paintings. In contrast to the wider genre of the 'nude', naked portraiture engages with the specific identity of an individual sitter, subverting portraiture's usual concerns with social facade, status and self-image. This exhibition brings together many of the most significant artists of the last century, and features over 160 examples of the genre, embracing painting, photography and sculpture, through the work of over 70 artists from Pierre Bonnard to Tracey Emin. By revealing the widespread interest in naked portraiture as a subject throughout the period depicted, the exhibition also examines the rapidly changing cultural and moral landscape of the last century. It includes paintings by Francis Bacon, Vanessa Bell, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, Jenny Saville and Stanley Spencer; photographs by David Bailey, Helen Chadwick, John Coplans, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Boris Mikhailov, Man Ray, Alfred Stieglitz, Wolfgang Tillmans and Sam Taylor-Wood; and sculpture by Dan Brown, Eduardo Paolozzi, Marc Quinn and Auguste Rodin. Themes within the exhibition challenge the received notions of ideal physical beauty, age identity, the artistic exploration of love and desire, the projection of 'otherness' in terms of social class, race, or celebrity, and the fundamentals of the human ageing process and mortality. The exhibition features portraits of both well known subjects, such as Linford Christie, Germaine Greer, Dustin Hoffman, Christine Keeler, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Marilyn Monroe, Rudolf Nureyev, Georgia O'Keefe and Charlotte Rampling, and uncelebrated subjects, known intimately only by the artists. Many of the images also represent the artists themselves. Compton Verney, Warwickshire until 9th December.

The Suburban Landscape: Two Hundred Years Of Gardens And Gardening explores the history of the suburban landscape over the last two centuries, and considers the significance of gardens and gardening in the making of what became the most 'English' of landscape environments. Over 86% of England's population lives in so-called 'suburban' areas, the 'typical' suburban home having a garden front and back - the opportunity to have a garden being one of the main attractions of suburban living. Suburban gardens are private areas, but because they are connected together and visible to each other, they also form part of the larger, collectively owned public landscape. This wider suburban landscape is also defined by public green spaces such as parks, playing fields and grass verges. Residents of suburbia have always been encouraged to be gardeners. This exhibition examines how people learned to garden, how the practice of being a gardener changed over time, what sorts of expert advice was available to novice and experienced gardeners at different times, and how people use their gardens: a children's play area, a relaxation space or a functional area for the washing line and the vegetable patch. It also reflects how the suburban garden is now influenced by environmental concerns, with many introducing wild flowers, and a growing demand for species that survive the hotter summers. This exhibition looks at the evolution of the suburban landscape as a whole, including the development of parks and open spaces. It also considers the evolution of the smaller, 'private' sphere of gardens and gardening. Over the last two hundred years, the nation's passion for the private suburban garden has contributed to the development of the wider, public suburban landscape with which we are familiar today. Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, Middlesex University, Cat Hill, Barnet, Hertfordshire until 24th February.

Continuing

Millais is the first exhibition in London in over a century to examine the entire career of the greatest painter of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, who spearheaded the most radically modern artistic group in the history of English art. Traditionally, John Everett Millais has been presented as an establishment figure who swapped artistic innovation for commercial gain, but this exhibition examines Millais in the context of his whole career, from his beginnings as the youngest ever pupil at the Royal Academy to his late landscapes, revealing a complex and innovative artist whose work encompassed every genre.. It includes around 140 paintings and works on paper, from popular nostalgic fancy pictures such as 'Bubbles' through to 12 of his great Scottish landscapes - the largest grouping shown together since 1898. Displayed chronologically, the exhibition follows Millais's development from Old Master conventions through to 'primitivising' works such as 'Isabella', in which he deliberately rejected contrived compositional devices. It examines paintings from Millais's mature Pre-Raphaelite phase and also presents his pioneering role in the Aesthetic movement which focused on a new subjectless type of painting, based on mood above narrative and moral meaning. Highlights include 'Blow, blow thou winter wind', 'The Ransom', 'Christmas Eve', 'Sophie Gray' and 'Ophelia'. A series of portraits including 'Portrait of Henry Irving' shows how Millais negotiated a prominent position in British society. A recreation of his studio at Palace Gate - used from 1877 until his death in 1896 - conveys how his working environment helped to establish his social status.Tate Britain until 13th January.

WAS Benson: Genius Of The Arts & Crafts looks at the work of William Arthur Smith Benson, one of the most significant and forward looking of the Arts & Crafts designers. Benson played a central role in the creation of the Arts & Crafts movement and, in his commercial success, highlighted many of the most critical dilemmas of what was, in parts, a reactionary and idealistic movement. Benson came into contact in the 1880s with Sir Edward Burne-Jones, the Pre-Raphaelite painter, who had a great impact on his life. Burne-Jones encouraged Benson's interest to make things, and it is believed that Benson designed and made much of the romantic, chivalric armour, as well as models of ships and crowns, that feature in Burne-Jones's paintings. It was near the Burne-Jones's house that Benson set up his first workshop where he made and sold items. Frustrated by the unwillingness of the Royal Academy to exhibit items of craft in its Summer Exhibition, it was Benson's idea to set up 'The Combined Arts Exhibition Society', which later became the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society and gave a name to the movement it encapsulated. Benson's designs were ingenious, as well as beautiful, with double jacket dishes pre-dating Pyrex oven-to-tableware, reflecting social changes, with people cooking for their guests and serving them, and he formulated a thin lacquer applied to brass and copperware that sealed the surface and prevented tarnishing, as servants were no longer there to polish them. The exhibition explores the different aspects of Benson's work through a variety of elegant exhibits, a number of which are from private collections, and have therefore not been seen in public before. It is shown in the perfect setting at Blackwell, a house designed in the Arts & Crafts style by M H Baillie Scott. Blackwell, Bowness-on-Windermere until 4th November.

At Home: Portraits Of Artists From The Royal Academy Collection explores the rich variety of representations of artists in the Academy's collection, built up since its foundation in 1768. The works range from C R Leslie's tiny, intimate picture of his friend John Constable, via A G Walker's depictions of studio life, to grand formal images such as Giuseppe Ceracchi's bust of Reynolds, George Frederic Watts's portrait of Lord Leighton, and Charles West Cope's magnificent Victorian group, 'The Council of the Royal Academy', depicting eminent Royal Academicians selecting works for the Summer Exhibition of 1875. Alongside these are Thomas Gainsborough and John Bellany's revealing self-portraits, Joshua Reynolds's depiction of his theatrically dressed studio assistant Giuseppe Marchi, and an early portrait of Laura Knight by her husband-to-be, Harold Knight. The exhibition offers a fascinating glimpse of artists' public and private lives, aspirations and achievements, and holds up a mirror to the inner life of the Academy itself as a home from home for British artists over the last 250 years. Royal Academy of Arts until 27th November.

The Art Of Lee Miller celebrates the life and career of one of the most original and creative photographic artists of the 20th century. It brings together the greatest images of and by Lee Miller, and features works never before exhibited or published, including satirical drawings and some of the most disturbing photographs ever taken. It also explores Miller's other talents as model, Surrealist muse and journalist, charting her unconventional and eventful life, whose path was one of 'poacher turned gamekeeper turned conservationist'. A legendary beauty and fashion model, Miller became an acclaimed photographer, first of fashion, and then on the battlefield. Her relationships with Surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray, and painter and collector Roland Penrose, placed her at the heart of 20th century artistic and literary circles, and in a career spanning more than three decades, she came into contact with an astonishing range of people, including Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and Jean Cocteau. With over 140 works, including drawings, a rare collage, film extracts and magazine pages, the exhibition represents the entire range of Miller's activities. Among her most outstanding photographs on view the avant-garde 'Exploding Hand'; the shocking 'Severed Breast', exhibited for the first time; 'Women with Fire Masks', capturing life during the Blitz; the posthumous war portraits 'Burgermeister of Leipzig's Daughter Suicided' and 'Dead SS Guard in Canal'; and Alfred H Barr Jr, the first director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, feeding the pigs at her family home in Sussex from the 'Working Guests' series. Victoria & Albert Museum until 6th January.

Animated Adventures is the opening show at the Lightbox gallery and museum designed by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye. The exhibition takes visitors behind the scenes at Aardman Animation, the British company that created Wallace and Gromit, and has produced award winning television commercials and series, as well as full length features including Creature Comforts, Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep. The exhibition features an introduction to the history of British animation, and also explains how Aardman began, and the work that has inspired its animators. The display then shows how the animators turn their original ideas into finished films, from storyboards to set design, and reveals industry secrets, exploring everything from set design to CGI technology. Among the highlights are the original sets from the film Wallace and Gromit, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and exclusive original behind the scenes material from the new television series Shaun the Sheep. Various 'interactives' allow visitors to try adding sound effects to film, create title credits, make a mini movie, learn to draw Gromit, and create their own models to take home.

Story Of The Lightbox narrates the design and construction process of the unusual building, documenting its evolution from original architectural ideas and drawings, through construction to its completion.

The Lightbox, Chobham Road, Woking, Surrey, Animated Adventures until 13th January ~ Story Of The Lightbox until 29th October.

Making History: Antiquaries In Britain 1707 - 2007 explores the work and achievements of the Fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries of London from its foundation in the early 18th century to the present day. The exhibition examines key stages in the creation of Britain's historical narrative from the earliest archeological discoveries. It comprises around 190 exhibits, featuring works of art, antiquities, books and manuscripts of unique historical importance. Among the highlights are a processional cross of Richard III and his defeated Yorkist army recovered from the battlefield of Bosworth; an early copy of the Magna Carta; the inventory of Henry VIII's posessions at the time of his death; the earliest known medieval manuscript illustrations of Stonehenge, recently discovered; the 'Winchester Domesday', one of the most detailed descriptions of any European town of the middle ages; the earliest known portraits of two Saxon kings, discovered 'forming the wainscot of a small closet' at Basyton House in 1813; a 450,000 year old flint hand-axe; the 13th century illuminated 'Lindsey Psalter'; and 'The Roll Chronicle', a mediaval genealogical tree proving the descent of Henry IV from Adam and Eve. There are drawings and paintings of historic sites and monuments by artists such as Constable, Turner, Girtin, Byrne-Jones and Blake, and a selection from the Society's collection of early English royal portraits from Henry VI to Mary Tudor, displayed together in public for the first time. Royal Academy of Arts until 2nd December.

Concluding

Crafting Beauty In Modern Japan celebrates 50 years of the annual Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition, and features some of the most beautiful Japanese art crafts produced in the last half century, ranging from traditional to ultra-modern. Each of the 112 works on display has been created by a different leading artist, many of whom have been designated by the Japanese government as 'Living National Treasures'. The exhibition is divided into six sections, each featuring a different medium: ceramic, textile, lacquer, metal, wood and bamboo, and other crafts, such as cut gold leaf, glass and dolls. Among the highlights are 'Genesis', a highly refined porcelain bowl with vivid, glass-like coloured glazes by Tokuda Yasokichi III, and a rugged stoneware rectangular plate in black Bizen style made by Isezaki Jun; a woven silk kimono 'Path Leading into the Woods' by Murakami Ryoko, and 'Melody' by Matsubara Yoshichi, a design of fans scattered all over the wearer's body, a very modern adaptation of the traditional technique of indigo stencil dyeing; Kuroda Tatsuaki's ornamental red lacquer box with flowing design; Osumi Yukie's vase 'Sea Breeze' in hammered silver, and Nakagawa Mamoru's vase with inlaid stripe design in copper and silver alloy; Katsushiro Soho's basket 'Shallow Stream' in split bamboo, and Nakagawa Kiyotsugu's box decorated with a complex mosaic inlay in ancient sacred cedar wood; and Ishida Wataru's covered glass container with pate de verre, 'White Age (Age 99)'. British Museum until 21st October.

Daily Encounters: Photographs From Fleet Street celebrates the history of British press photography during the span of its Fleet Street years, from 1900 to 1982. Drawing upon the rich and relatively neglected surviving archives of newspaper photography, it focuses on two parallel stories, one of a powerful industry with an internal culture of its own, and the other of the often uneasy relationship that grew between public figures, the photographic press and the wider population of readers. The exhibition explores the pictorial depiction of Britain and Britishness, the creation of new forms of celebrity, and the scripting and constant redrafting of the rules of engagement between photographers, editors and the subjects of their insatiable gaze. Newspaper photographs of politicians, jockeys, gangsters, models and actors are interwoven with images of the industry itself - the owners and editors, newsrooms and printing presses, and photographers and journalists, as they hunted and gathered stories. The exhibition features over 75 images that evocatively recall some of the most memorable events in recent British history, from the arrest of Emmeline Pankhurst outside Buckingham Palace, through the abdication of King Edward VIII, to the scandal of the Profumo Affair. More than that, it reflects how Fleet Street helped to illuminate and redefine the public's relationship with the previously remote world of the most famous and powerful forever. National Portrait Gallery until 15th October.

Work, Rest & Play explores how artists have responded to changing patterns of work and leisure over the last 400 years. The exhibition features paintings, sculpture and photographs by 25 artists, including Canaletto, Gainsborough, Gauguin, Monet, Maggi Hambling and Renee Green. Giovanni Battista Moroni's 'The Tailor', one of the earliest portraits to show an individual at work, contrasts with L S Lowry's 'Coming from the Mill' where the individual seems lost in the mass labour force of a 20th century industrial city. The development of technology and the changing roles of women are reflected by Joseph Wright of Derby's 'An Iron Forge', painted at the start of the Industrial Revolution, showing the impact of rapid progress, and Laura Knight's 'Ruby Loftus screwing a Breech Ring' recording the contribution of women who took on traditionally male roles during the Second World War, while Ford Madox Brown's 'Work', centred around navvies laying a water pipe in Heath Street, Hampstead, fully captures the vigour of Victorian city life. Contemporary global office culture is depicted in photographs by Lars Tunbjork, which include a Tokyo stockbroker asleep at his desk, and a New York lawyer's office with staff kneeling under the desk - the only spare space in the paper-strewn room. The exhibition suggests that even leisure can be hard work, with Duane Hanson's 'Traveller', an extraordinarily lifelike sculpture of a sunburnt holidaymaker slumped over his luggage as he waits for a flight home, and Manet's 'Corner of a Cafe Concert', which demonstrates how one person's entertainment can depend upon another's work: a man relaxes with his pipe at the bar, where a dancer entertains him and a waitress serves him beer. National Gallery until 14th October.