News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 4th October 2000


South: The Race To The Pole is about the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, from the beginning of the 20th century to the end of the First World War. The exhibition focuses on the five key expeditions of Britons Captain Robert Falcon Scott (Discovery 1901-04 and Terra Nova 1910-13), Sir Ernest Shackleton (Nimrod 1907-09 and Endurance 1914-17), and Norwegian Captain Roald Amundsen (Fram 1910-12). It endeavours to capture the personalities of the explorers, the international rivalry, the extreme hardships they encountered and their elemental struggle against nature in the incredible landscape of Antarctica. There are relics and artefacts, some of which have never been displayed in public before, including Shackleton's Royal Standard, Scott's sledging flag, and a copper tube containing the hand written tribute by Shackleton to the three men who died on his Imperial Transantarctic Expedition. A memorial wall records the British reaction to the death of Captain Scott. National Maritime Museum until 30th September.

Hubble's Universe is a collection of photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, which is in continuous orbit around the earth, about 380 miles, up facing outwards into the depths of space. They give visitors the opportunity to see a cluster of newly formed stars about 1,500 light years away in the Orion Nebula, and a colour-coded image showing Saturn's reflected infra-red light, providing detailed information on its clouds and hazes.

Space And Ocean consists of four islands, where visitors can discover the sea from the bridge of a ship and see the role played by satellites in navigation, as well as learning about aquatic life. They show how observation satellites reveal facts about the oceans, examine the earth's climate, and help to plan the protection of the environment. Other interactive exhibits explain the way in which the sun and the moon affect the behaviour of the sea, and how clouds are created. The Museum Of Science And Industry In Manchester, Hubble's Universe & Space And Ocean until 7th January

Eltham Palace, one of the country's most fabulous and extraordinary homes has been restored to its original 1930's glory of Art Deco with echoes of Cunard ocean liner style. The vision of Stephen and Virginia Courtauld was to link a modern, fashionable and luxurious residence to the Great Hall of a medieval royal palace. Completed in 1936, it contains the latest design ideas of its time, with concealed electric lighting, centralised vacuum cleaning, main rooms linked with internal telephones and a loud speaker system to broadcast music throughout the ground floor. Access to the dining room is through spectacular black and silver doors featuring animals and birds drawn from life at London Zoo. Even more exotic is Virginia Courtauld's vaulted bathroom lined with onyx and gold mosaic, complete with gold-plated bath taps and a statue of the goddess Psyche. The original decorative scheme and custom-built furniture, carpets and soft furnishings have been meticulously restored or recreated. Best seen at this time of year when the main tourist hordes have departed. Eltham Palace, London SE9 continuing.


Star Trek: Federation Science is an exhibition originally created by The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in conjunction with Paramount Pictures, whose appearance at the venerable Victorian institution that used to be the Science Museum takes its "Science Lite" visitor attraction role to a new level. Using costumes, props and videos made by cast members of various incarnations of the Star Trek franchise, it relates science fiction to science fact. The exhibition is divided into various themed areas, including: The Bridge - where visitors can sit at one of four interactive computer stations solving problems relating to orbits, velocity, navigation and remote sensing, just like Captains Kirk and Picard. Engineering - which examines questions of propulsion, gravity, magnetism and radiation in relation to antimatter, warp drives, cosmic rays, rockets and gyroscopes. The Sick Bay - which looks at the human immune system and the way antibodies react to fight off "invaders", and how the equivalents of a tricorder measure pulse rate, heartbeat and blood oxygen levels. The Transporter Room - where visitors can beam themselves to another world, gain a sense of walking on the Moon, or transform themselves into a Klingon. Members of the Enterprise "crew" will be on hand to guide visitors. This is the method by which the Science Museum hopes to Live Long And Prosper. Science Museum until 22nd April.

Apocalypse - Beauty And Horror In Contemporary Art raises the stakes in the battle for the modern art audience, in an attempt to outflank the hugely successful Tate Modern. It is the direct descendent of the 1997 Sensation exhibition, which virtually invented Brit Art, launching the careers of Damien Hirst (pickled shark), Chris Ofili (elephant dung) and Tracey Emin (love tent). There are thirteen installations, paintings, sculptures and multi media works, the majority of which have never been seen in public before. Described as "a story of extremes" it concentrates on themes inspired by the arrival of the 21st century. It is a contemporary, secular interpretation of the biblical story of St John the Divine, which contains elements ranging from the horrors of genocide to the beauties of Utopia. Deliberately controversial, the most disgust/discussion provoking works are: Hell - a monumental installation by Jake and Dinos Chapman depicting the horrors of 20th century genocide. Flex - a video by Chris Cunningham, the cult pop video maker whose work has never previously been exhibited in a gallery, which includes explicit sex scenes featuring two porn stars. La Nona Ora - Maurizio Cattelan's sculpture depicting Pope Paul II being struck by a meteorite. Other contributing artists are: Darren Almond, Angus Fairhurst, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Mariko Mori, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Richard Prince, Gregor Schneider, Wolfgang Tillmans and Luc Tuymans. Royal Academy of Arts until 15th December.

Gerrit Dou: Rembrandt's First Pupil although little known now, was probably the most famous Dutch painter of his day, and this exhibition places him back on the list of household names with Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals. Remaining in Leiden when his master moved to Amsterdam, Dou established a school specialising in small-scale, highly-detailed and jewel-like images. He was fascinated by trompe l'oeil effects, often setting his scenes behind illusionistic curtains or stone niches, as if his paintings were windows opening onto a miniature world. Dou is one of the great painters of light in the history of art. He painted a variety of subjects, including portraiture, still-life and religious images, but is most renowned for scenes of daily life - mothers with children, painters in their studios, scholars, musicians, astronomers, schoolmasters and shopkeepers - packed with details, many of which carry symbolic messages. This exhibition, which has been organised by the National Gallery of Art Washington, bring together thirty-five of the finest of Dou's paintings from all periods in his career. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 19th November.

Spitfire Summer marks the sixtieth anniversary of the events of 1940 when Britain stood alone, supported only by the Commonwealth and a handful of governments in exile, facing the threat of imminent invasion by German forces. Paintings, posters, photographs, newsreels, radio broadcasts, letters, diaries, newspapers and personal mementoes chronicle the turning point of the Second World War. The exhibition starts with Winston Churchill's appointment as Prime Minister, illustrated by the typescript of his first speech to the nation as leader; and moves through the Dunkirk evacuation, with exhibits such as a blood-stained flag used as an emergency bandage by the crew of the Massey Shaw; the Battle of Britain, including a love letter written by a pilot to his fiancée shortly before he was killed; and the Blitz with shelter life and bomb damage reflected in the works of artists and photographers such as Henry Moore and Cecil Beaton. Imperial War Museum until 26th November.

Our Finest Hour is a new audio-visual presentation of the events leading up to the British victory over the German Luftwaffe commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Battle Of Britain. It mixes a narrated story with video, sound and light to give a realistic impression of the air war over South East England, and the bombing of London in the Blitz. Britain's National Museum of Aviation is located at the former RAF Hendon, a fighter station during the Battle of Britain and a transport station for the remainder of World War II. The collection of over seventy aeroplanes provides visitors with a close-up look at every type of aircraft, from the bi-planes at the beginning of the last century, through the Spitfire and Lancaster Bomber of World War II, to the Harrier and Tornado of the modern RAF. The Royal Air Force Museum continuing.

City Soldiers is a permanent exhibition in one of the three new galleries which opened in July as part of a Millennium project by the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside. It tells the story of The King's Regiment and its links with Liverpool since 1881, giving an insight into regimental life and duties in times of peace and war, as well as what it is like to be married to a soldier. Using video, audio and the museum's collection of objects, visitors get a glimpse of life on patrol in the colonies, experiences of the two world wars and the life of the Regiment today. In the battle gallery a drum beat fills the air and the floor vibrates with the roar of cannon, giving a feel of life in the front line. Exhibits include the wrecked remains of regimental silver hit by a shell in the Siege of Ladysmith during the Boer War. The exhibition also reveals how today's Regimental ceremonies and traditions are rooted in the past, and explores the impact of war on the lives of soldiers and their families through personal mementoes and commemorative medals. The Museum Of Liverpool Life continuing.


FaceOn brings together recent work from international photographic artists who explore the relationship between themselves and their subjects in video and installation works, colour photographic tableaux, performance documentation film and family portraiture style. Philip Lorca DiCorcia has photographed the male prostitutes on Santa Monica Boulevard and produced a catalogue of wares. Jennifer Bornstein befriends strangers and takes group snapshots with them. Adam Chodzko offers a video of interviews with now ageing orgy extras from Ken Russell's film The Devils, reflecting on their 15 minutes of fame (and shaving their heads). A symposium with the curators and some of the artists on 25th October will explore issues raised in the exhibition. Site Gallery, Sheffield until 28th October.

Paul Klee: The Bürgi Collection comprises over 140 oils, drawings, watercolours and prints from all stages of Klee's career. Rolf Burgi, a family friend, looked after his affairs when Klee fled from the Nazis to Switzerland in 1933, and preserved his work from confiscation by the state. This legacy remains the largest and most outstanding collection of Klee's work and is still in private hands. It has never before been exhibited as a whole and this is the only British showing. Klee was essentially a doodling draughtsman, whose definition of drawing was "taking a line for a walk", a comment which underlined the humour he brought to his work. A picture was finished when he "stopped looking at it, and it started looking back". Klee constantly experimented with different styles, subjects techniques and materials, often using oils, watercolours and graphite in the same picture. Painting on almost anything, including glass, wood, paper, hessian, newsprint, plaster and celluloid, he once even used the duster kept under his chin while playing the violin. Klee was a considerable influence on post-war art, especially in Britain where his theories were adopted by amongst others, Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton. Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art, Edinburgh until 22nd October.

Buckminster Fuller: Your Private Sky demonstrates the wide range of work produced by the American scientist, philosopher, designer, architect, artist, engineer, entrepreneur, mathematician and pedagogue. Richard Buckminster Fuller is best known for the invention of the geodesic dome - the lightest, strongest, and most cost-effective structure ever devised. His lifelong goal was the development of what he called "Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science" - the attempt to anticipate and solve humanity's major problems through the highest technology by providing "more and more life support for everybody, with less and less resources." Fuller worked simultaneously on plans for houses, cars, boats, furniture, domes and television transmitters, all to be mass-produced using the simplest and most sustainable means possible. This exhibition provides the first opportunity in this country to assess the vast range of his creative output through models, drawings and artefacts from his personal archive. Design Museum until 15th October.