Private View held by Richard Andrews
Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair celebrates the transformation of the world's most popular pin-up to acclaimed actress, highlighting the British photographers and personalities who admired her and worked with her. Photographs and magazine covers featuring Marilyn Monroe from 1947 to 1962 include Antony Beauchamp's poses taken in 1951 wearing a yellow bikini, and Baron's portraits of Monroe bathed in Californian sunlight taken in 1954. Cecil Beaton's 1956 photographs taken in his Ambassador Hotel suite in New York include Monroe's favourite image of herself, clutching a rose. Life photographer Larry Burrows was one of many photographers who covered Monroe's four month visit to Britain to work on the film 'The Prince And The Showgirl', including the press conference for the film at the Savoy Hotel. Cinematographer and cameraman Jack Cardiff photographed Monroe during a private sitting at that time. Other photographs show Monroe at a Royal Command film performance meeting the Queen, and at the Comedy Theatre with Arthur Miller, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, who was her director and co-star. Monroe is also shown with other British subjects including the director Roy Ward Baker and the poet Edith Sitwell. In addition, the display includes a comprehensive selection of rare British magazine covers featuring photographs taken by Andre de Dienes and Milton Greene, and a 1960 Sight and Sound showing Monroe as she appeared in 'Let's Make Love', in which she appeared with British singer Frankie Vaughan. National Portrait Gallery until 24th March.
Happy Birthday Edward Lear: 200 Years Of Nature And Nonsense celebrates the bicentenary of the artist and writer, overing all aspects of his career. Edward Lear is one of the most notable artists and popular writers of the Victorian period, but although best known for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose, Lear saw himself primarily as an artist. From early natural history illustrations and extraordinary landscape sketches, to the nonsense drawings and verses for which Lear is so well known, the exhibition comprises 100 works, many of which are on public display for the first time. The show presents his work chronologically, with watercolours, oil paintings, manuscripts, and illustrated books selected to reflect every aspect of his artistic output. Among the highlights are watercolours of animals and birds; sketches made during his travels in Greece, Italy, Egypt and the Near East, and India; and a group of the Tennyson illustrations on which he spent the last 25 years of his life. Lear's work as a painter in oils is represented by rarely seen evocations of Beachy Head, Venice, landscapes in the Near East; and a view of Jerusalem. Also in the exhibition are editions of the books that Lear illustrated early in his career, including copies of his travel books; the natural history publications to which he contributed; and the principal editions of his nonsense books. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 6th January.
Renaissance To Goya: Prints And Drawings From Spain brings together important prints and drawings by Spanish and other European artists who were working in Spain from the mid 16th century to the first decades of the 19th century. Beginning with works by 16th century artists working in and around Madrid, including those who arrived mainly from Italy, such as Pellegrino Tibaldi and Federico Zuccaro, and the Flemish printmaker Pedro Perret, the selection progresses chronologically to include important works from Spain's 17th century 'Golden Age', by artists Diego Velazquez, Vicente Carducho and Alonso Cano in Madrid, Bartolome Murillo and Francisco de Zubaran in Seville, and Jose de Ribera in Spanish Naples. Turning to the 18th century, key works by Francisco de Goya, his contemporaries and foreign artists such as the Italians Giambattista Tiepolo and his sons, demonstrate how printmaking and drawing greatly increased during the period, forever changing the artistic landscape of Spain. Among Goya's works in the exhibition are the 'Tauromaquin' series, aquatint etchings of bullfighting subjects, which portrayed some of the most famous bullfighters of the day; and proofs from his 'Disasters of War' print series, demonstrating his reaction to Napoleon's invasion of Spain and the horror that followed. British Museum until 6th January.
Bronze celebrates the historical, geographical and stylistic range of art's most enduring medium. The exhibition brings together outstanding works from the earliest times to the present in a thematic arrangement, with works spanning over 5,000 years, including Ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan bronzes, and rare survivals from the Medieval period. It features over 150 of the finest bronzes from Asia, Africa and Europe, and includes important discoveries from the Mediterranean, as well as archaeological excavations, many of which have not been seen in Britain before. Different sections focus on the Human Figure, Animals, Groups, Objects, Reliefs, Gods, Heads and Busts. Among the earliest works in the exhibition are the 14th century BC bronze and gold 'Chariot of the Sun'; a Chinese 'Elephant-shaped vessel', from the Shang Dynasty; and the masterpiece of Etruscan art, the 'Chimera of Arezzo'. The Renaissance is represented Ghiberti's 'St Stephen'; Rustici's monumental ensemble of 'St John the Baptist Preaching to a Levite and a Pharisee'; Cellini's modello for 'Perseus'; and works of Donatello; and later, De Vries's relief of 'Vulcan's Forge'; together with works by Giambologna, De Vries and others. Rodin's 'The Age of Bronze'; Matisse's series of four 'Back Reliefs'; Brancusi's 'Danaide', Picasso's 'Baboon and Young'; and works by Moore, Bourgeois and Koons are representative of the best from the 19th century to today. Due to its inherent toughness and resistance, bronze's uses over the centuries have been remarkably varied. A section of the exhibition is devoted to the complex processes involved in making bronzes, exploring how models are made, cast and finished by a variety of different techniques. Royal Academy of Arts until 9th December.
Daring Explorers reveals some of the situations that Victorian species seekers had to deal with, risking their lives in remote places, collecting animals and plants in the name of science. Surviving rhino attacks, typhoid and shipwrecks, these men, and a few women, left an important legacy, and their stories are told through hair-raising letters to loved ones, 'holiday snaps' and the specimens and equipment that made it back to England, even if sometimes the collectors didn't. The exhibition focuses on four fearless collectors, and compares their daring and skills: Charles M Harris, whose first expedition attempt to the Galapagos in 1897 was a disaster - the ship's captain died of yellow fever, one man was sacked for drunkenness and another ran away; William Doherty, who lost several years' worth of collections, journals and scientific notes in Java, Indonesia; Henry Palmer, who ran out of cash and could not send his specimens back or even leave Hawaii until more money arrived; and Alexander F R Wollaston, who lost most of his equipment and his original expedition diary when his canoe capsized in a remote area of New Guinea in 1912. But it's not just the collector's stories that still captivate. Many of the specimens that made it home continue to be used in scientific research, revealing fascinating information to scientists today. Natural History Museum, Akeman Street, Tring, Hertfordshire, until 18th November.
Art Of Change: New Directions From China is the first major exhibition in Britain to focus solely on contemporary installation and performance art from China. It brings together works by some of the country's most innovative artists and artist groups from the 1980s to today: Chen Zhen, Yingmei Duan, Gu Dexin, MadeIn Company, Liang Shaoji, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu , Wang Jianwei and Xu Zhen. Comprising 40 works, the exhibition features significant early examples of the artists' work, alongside recent pieces and new commissions. Change, and the acceptance that everything is subject to change, is deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy. The exhibition features works that deal with transformation, instability and impermanence, looking at how these themes are conveyed through action or materials. Highlights include: Chen Zhen's 'Purification Room', where everyday items such as a bed, chair, refrigerator and TV are collected together and covered in a layer of mud, which dries, cracks and changes its colour in a sort of archaeology of the future; Liang Shaoji's 'Nature Series', choreographing the activities of silkworms and exploring all the phases of their lives from birth to death, causing them to weave their silk webs around sculptural objects such as hanging chains and tiny, individually-made beds; and Xu Zhen's 'In the Blink of an Eye', which presents a human floating freely in the gallery space (how he achieves this remains a mystery). Hayward Gallery until 9th December.
Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde explores the revolutionary ideas about art and society of Britain's first modern art movement. Combining rebellion and revivalism, scientific precision and imaginative grandeur, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood shook the art world of mid 19th century Britain. This exhibition offers a rare chance to see around 180 works, including famous and less familiar Pre-Raphaelite paintings as well as sculpture, photography and the applied arts. Led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, the Pre-Raphaelites rebelled against the art establishment of their day. Their unflinchingly radical style, inspired by the purity of early Renaissance painting, defied convention, provoked critics and entranced audiences. This exhibition traces developments from their formation in 1848 through to their late Symbolist creations of the 1890s. It shows that whether their subjects were taken from modern life or literature, the New Testament or classical mythology, the Pre-Raphaelites were committed to the idea of art's potential to change society. In pieces such as Madox Brown's 'The Last of England' they served this aim by representing topical social issues and challenging prevailing attitudes. Other artworks, including Edward Burne-Jones's 'King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid', took a different approach, embracing beauty and ornamentation as a resistance to an increasingly industrialised society. Highlights include Millais 'Ophelia', Holman Hunt's 'The Scapegoat', and 'The Lady of Shalott'; Rossetti's 'Found; and Burne-Jones's Perseus series. The paintings are juxtaposed with works in other media including textiles, stained glass and furniture, showing the influence of Pre-Raphaelitism in the early development of the Arts and Crafts movement and the socialist ideas of the poet, designer and theorist, William Morris. Tate Britain until 13th January.
Miro: Sculptor is the first major British exhibition of sculpture by the 20th century Spanish artist. While celebrated for his paintings, Joan Miro strove to 'destroy painting' through an art form that transcended the two-dimensional plane, and was an early pioneer of construction - a radical approach to making that transformed the discipline of sculpture. Miro produced around 400 sculptures and a similar number of ceramic works, the majority concentrated within the later part of his career. He viewed sculpture as equally important to his work as painting although it was generally less known and critically examined. From his initial exploration of collage and assembled sculpture around 1930, sculpture became increasingly central, most notably from the 1960s to his death in 1983. This exhibition ranges from early small, smooth-finished bronze sculptures such as 'Oiseau Solaire', through to the raw bronze constructions of found objects (including mannequins, dolls, rustic vessels, discarded cans) made consistently from the 1960s onwards, and highly-coloured, painted bronzes of the 1960s and 70s. Miro's anthropomorphic sculpture reveals his surrealist impulse as each work is invested with character. By casting everyday objects in bronze Miro demonstrated his insistence that his work must engage with something real and recognisable. Through the 1970s and into the 1980s, Miro's work increased significantly in scale and the exhibition provides the rare chance to experience a significant collection of his large-scale outdoor works, usually seen only at his foundation and estate in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. In addition to the sculptures themselves, the process of Miro's work is examined through artefacts, drawings, models and photographs. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, until 6th January.
Addressing The Need: The Graphic Design Of The Eames Office features the work of America's iconic 20th century design couple. Charles and Ray Eames were world famous for their pioneering furniture, still in production today, but less well known is their graphic design work. Ray was trained as a painter and Charles as an architect. Together, they were designers who embraced a way of living where a design process both rigorous and playful was at the core of all they did. During their 40 year partnership, the Eames's spent the best part of their life designing exhibitions, making films and designing toys, which they considered a very serious pursuit. This exhibition examines their graphic contribution in all its forms, from exhibitions, advertisements, brochures, pamphlets, posters and timelines, presented in conjunction with some of their best-known furniture, films and toys. It features graphic material never exhibited before, much of it very rare, serving to examine the rigorous thought processes of two designers working together to unite the structure and creativity of art and architecture and, ultimately, addressing the need in each of their projects. Experimenting with the possibilities of technology preoccupied Charles and Ray Eames. This is exemplified in their seminal film 'Powers of 10' which explores the relative size of everything in the universe. The Eames Office produced 125 films in 28 years, using filmmaking as a tool for problem-solving, and finding it an ideal medium to clearly express complex and abstract ideas. The exhibition is housed in the 1940s extension to the Grade I listed Pitzhanger Manor House, designed by the architect John Soane in 1800 as a weekend retreat and place of entertainment for his family. PM Gallery & House, Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, London W5, until 3rd November.
Van Gogh To Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape In Europe 1880 - 1910 offers an insight into the rich diversity of art in Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Symbolism was a radical movement of artists, poets, writers and composers that emerged in reaction to the industrial expansion and materialism of late 19th century Europe. Symbolist artists abandoned the direct representation of nature or reality, creating instead a vision of the world drawn from the imagination. Their work explored powerful themes that reflected the anxieties and uncertainties of the age, including a fascination with death, dreams and the unconscious, fears about scientific advances and a questioning of man's place in the world. Symbolist painting embraced a broad range of styles, and was closely linked to literature and other art forms, and the relationship between art and music - a major preoccupation for some artists - is a significant underlying theme. The exhibition brings together some 70 outstanding landscapes by 54 artists of the avant-garde, including Van Gogh, Gauguin, Munch, Monet, Whistler, Mondrian and Kandinsky. It also introduces a group of less well known artists from Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe, such as Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Jacek Malczewski. Highlights include Leon Bakst's 'Terror Antiquus', Prins Eugen's 'Forest', Gallen-Kallela's 'Lake Keitele', Fernand Khnopff's 'Bruges: The Lac d'Amour', Whistler's 'St Mark's Square, Venice', Gauguin's 'Vision of the Sermon', Van Gogh's 'Sower' and 'Reaper', and Joaquim Mir's 'Abyss'. Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until 14th October.
Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye aims to show that the Norwegian painter created so much more than the work for which he is best known. Edvard Munch is often thought of primarily as a 19th century painter, a Symbolist or a pre-Expressionist, but this exhibition reveals how he engaged emphatically with 20th century concerns that were representative of the modernity of the age. It encompasses both Munch's paintings and drawings made in the first half of the 20th century and his often overlooked interest in the rise of modern media, including photography, film and the re-birth of stage production. The display features over 60 paintings and 50 photographs, alongside his lesser-known filmic work. These show Munch's interest in current affairs and how his paintings were inspired by scenes observed in the street or incidents reported in the media. Far from confining himself to the studio, he frequently worked outdoors to capture everyday life, as seen in 'The House is Burning', a view of a real life event with people fleeing the scene of a burning building. The show also examines how Munch often repeated a single motif over a long period of time in order to re-work it, with different versions of his most celebrated works, such as 'The Sick Child' from 1907 and 1925 and 'The Girls on the Bridge' from 1902 and 1907. Munch's use of prominent foregrounds and strong diagonals reference the advancing technological developments in cinema and photography. Creating the illusion of actors moving towards the spectator, as if looming out from a cinema screen, this pictorial device can be seen in many of Munch's most innovative works such as 'On the Operating Table' and 'The Yellow Log'. Tate Britain until 14th October.
In The Blink Of An Eye: Media And Movement explores our fascination with movement and the desire to record it through photography, film, television and new media. The exhibition reveals how artists, photographers, inventors and scientists have responded to the challenges of capturing and simulating movement, and examines the relationships between art, science, entertainment, sport and historical record. The show offers a unique opportunity for visitors to learn more about how movement has been captured and displayed - from Victorian optical toys like the zoetrope, phenakisoscope and praxinoscope, through the emerging technology of photography, when it became possible to record and analyse the movement of people and animals, to a current state of the art CGI motion-capture suite, plus specially commissioned works by contemporary artists. Classic images by photographers as diverse Harold Edgerton, Eadweard Muybridge, Roger Fenton, Richard Billingham and Oscar Rejlander can be seen alongside historic items of equipment, films and interactive displays. The exhibition also examines how high-speed, time-lapse and time-slice photography have revealed a world invisible to the naked eye. For the newly commissioned pieces, artists Quayola and Memo Akten have made 'Forms', an interactive video installation inspired by Eadweard Muybridge's seminal studies of movement; Bob Levene and Anne-Marie Culhane have created 'Time Frame', an artwork filmed at the UK Olympic training centre in Loughborough; and Jo Lawrence has made 'Barnet Fair', an animation inspired by the theme of the exhibition. National Media Museum, Bradford, until 14th October.