News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 4th December 2013

Collider endeavours to convey what it is like inside the £5bn Large Hadron Collider at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva, probably the most complicated scientific machine on the planet. It is not easy depicting something the size of the London Underground's Circle Line, with magnets the size of a house, or to visualise the events that take place when one subatomic proton travelling at 99.9999991 per cent of the speed of light hits another travelling at the same speed in the opposite direction, but this is a good stab at it. The exhibition begins with a 10 minute video outlining the basic facts of what the Collider is, what it does, and the first definitive results it has achieved pointing to the existence of the Higgs boson 'God particle'. From there, visitors can wander through a mock tunnel that represents the journey through the Collider, which in reality extends for some 27km underground, and employs some 3,000 scientists. This is filled with authentic artefacts, pieces of hardware such as a 2 tonne part of a 15m high superconducting magnet, a beam-focuser and a detector sensor, a calorimeter crystal, lab-bench notes, calculations and diagrams. Finally, visitors arrive in a circular space with a wrap-around screen where a computer-generated video sequence simulates a journey through the Collider, ending with an actual collision, based on real images from the Collider, which are like a post-modernist painting. Science Museum, until 6th May.

Angels, Faeries And Femmes Fatales: Dadd To Discworld explores the Victorian obsession with the supernatural and the spirit world. The exhibition embraces the influence of the artist Richard Dadd, whose 'Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke' is considered perhaps the most iconic fairy-painting of all, and the illustrations produced by contemporary artist Paul Kidby for Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. Among the images of mermaids, demons, fairies, witches, nymphs and angels are 'The Butterfly or Aerial' by Luis Ricardo Falero; 'An Incantation' by John Collier'; original publications featuring the notorious Cottingley Fairies, images faked by two Yorkshire girls that convinced many in Edwardian society; 'The Annunciation' by Simeon Solomon; an altar-piece painted by Edward Arthur Fellowes Prynne; 'Love Betrayed' by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope; and 'The Habit Does Not Make The Monk' by G F Watts. These sit alongside paintings and sculptures by Paul Kidby, including 'Miss Tick and Tiffany Aching with Feegles', 'Cupid meets Rob Anybody', 'Nanny Ogg', and a bust of Granny Weatherwax. Russell-Coates Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, until 9th March.

The Young Durer: Drawing The Figure focuses on the early figure drawings of the German Renaissance artist. The exhibition examines how Albrecht Durer reinvented established artistic traditions through an ambitious new approach to the figure. It features works from around 1490 when Durer completed his artistic training, to about 1496 when he established himself permanently as a master in Nuremberg. This period included the so-called Wanderjahre, or 'journeyman years', during which Durer travelled widely and was exposed to a range of new experiences that shaped his subsequent work. Among the crucial artistic questions Durer explored in this period was the modelling of complex draperies and the anatomically correct rendering of the human body, based on observation, evident in a series of unprecedented drawings in which he studied his own features and body. This intense self-scrutiny is powerfully expressed in the celebrated early 'Self-portrait', 'Study of the artist's left leg from two view points ', and 'Three studies of the artist's left hand'. Such drawings show the young Durer seeking to master the depiction of the human body in order to give his works a greater fidelity to nature and expressive power. They are radically different from the late medieval tradition of copy-book drawings, in which standard templates were repeated in artists' workshops. Durer's close study of the body allowed him to conceive such ambitious new figure compositions as 'A Wise Virgin', an elegantly twisted figure clothed in intricate drapery depicting the parable recorded in the Gospel of Saint Matthew. These and other works by Durer are accompanied by rare drawings and prints by his contemporaries, many of which have never been seen in Britain before. Courtauld Gallery, London, until January 12th.

Continuing

Pop Art Design is the first comprehensive exhibition to explore the exchange of ideas between artists and designers in the Pop Art age after the Second World War. Brash, colourful and playful, Pop Art was a movement that signalled a radical change of direction in America and Britain. From the late 1950s to the early 1970s Pop was characterised by an intense dialogue between the fields of design and art. It shaped a new sense of cultural identity, with a focus on celebrity, mass production and the expanding industries of advertising, television, radio and print media. Radically departing from all that had gone before, artists delighted in adopting the design language of advertising, television and commerce to create work that was playful but often also intentionally irreverent and provocative, and in turn, designers routinely looked to Pop Art as a constant source of inspiration. Bringing together more than 200 works by over 70 artists and designers, the exhibition includes iconic and lesser known works by such artists as Peter Blake, Pauline Boty, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol, shown alongside objects by Achille Castiglioni, Charles and Ray Eames, Peter Murdoch, George Nelson and Ettore Sottsass. Highlights include Robert Rauschenberg's proto-pop painting 'Tideline'; Studio 65's 'Leonardo' sofa; James Rosenquist's 'I Love You with My Ford'; Judy Chicago's spray-painted 'Car Hood'; the monumental floor lamp 'Moloch' by Gaetano Pesce; Joe Tilson's 'Page 1, Penelope'; Gunnar Aagaard Andersen's 'Portrait of my Mother's Chesterfield Chair'; 'The Bishop of Kuban' by Eduardo Paolozzi; and Richard Hamilton's 'The Gold Guggenheim'. The show also presents a wealth of graphic material from posters and magazines to album sleeves, as well as film, photography and documentation of Pop interiors and architecture. Barbican Art Gallery, London, until 9th February.

High Spirits: The Comic Art Of Thomas Rowlandson examines life at the turn of the 19th century through the work of one of the leading caricaturists of Georgian England. The absurdities of fashion, the perils of love, political machinations and royal intrigue were the daily subject matter of Thomas Rowlandson. Satirical prints, the precursor of the newspaper cartoon, were a key part of life in Georgian England, and Rowlandson was working at a time when English satirical prints were prized by collectors across Europe. A number of the works in the exhibition were purchased by George, Prince of Wales, later Prince Regent and King George IV. Ironically the Prince was often the butt of caricaturists' jokes and sometimes tried to prevent the publication of images that he felt were particularly offensive. The exhibition features over 90 of Rowlandson's drawings and prints, offering a new perspective on an era perhaps best known through the novels of Jane Austen. Collected by fashionable society, they were also enjoyed by the crowds that gathered in front of the latest productions in print shop windows to gossip about and laugh at the scandals of the day. Favourite themes were drunken gatherings, runaway coaches, rowdy theatregoers, impoverished artists and 'loose' women. Caricatures were passed around at dinner parties and in coffee houses, pasted into albums and used to decorate walls in homes and coffee houses. They were even applied to decorative screens, which could easily be folded away so not to offend female guests with the often bawdy imagery. An example, decorated with hundreds of figures and scenes painstakingly cut from Rowlandson's satirical prints, is on public display for the first time in this exhibition. The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, until 2nd March.

Winter Wonderland, set between Hyde Park Corner and the Serpentine, returns as the ultimate winter theme park experience. The 20 acre site features London's largest outdoor ice rink - created with 130,000 litres of frozen water, weighing 130 tonnes - able to accommodate up to 400 skaters at a time, with ice guides to help beginners; a toboggan slide; a haunted mansion; an ice and snow sculpture experience; a traditional Christmas Market, with over 150 separate wooden chalets, offering arts, crafts, presents and foods; 32 cafes and bars serving traditional food and mulled wine; a 50m observation wheel providing a panoramic view of London above the park; a big top presenting Zippo's Circus with a special 50 minute Christmas themed show and Cirque Berserk featuring a Globe of Death; a double decker carousel and other traditional rides and attractions; thrill rides including Star Flyer, Power Tower and Black Hole; a ski jump and snow ride; and a selection of gentler amusement rides for younger children; plus Father Christmas in his own Santa Land. To add to the atmosphere, the trees along Serpentine Road sparkle with thousands of Christmas lights highlighting the natural beauty of Hyde Park. Entrance to the Winter Wonderland site is free, with fees for individual attractions. Hyde Park, 10am-10pm daily (except Christmas Day) until 5th January.

Georgians Revealed: Life, Style And The Making Of Modern Britain reveals the people of Georgian Britain as they really were, through the objects that tell the stories of their lives. The exhibition covers the period 1714 to 1830, during which British society was transformed, the population trebled, and London became a modern city. Scores of ideas, objects, institutions and customs that we now take for granted took root in Georgian Britain. Taking tea, reading magazines, gardening and shopping for leisure were commonplace, and conspicuous consumption became the pastime of the emerging middle classes. Popular culture as we know it began, and with it the unstoppable rise of fashion and celebrity. At assemblies and masquerades, in theatres and fashionable shops, the different classes rubbed shoulders, and it was all recorded in illustrated books, newspapers, handbills and prints, plus the first fashion plates and shopping catalogues. Art galleries, museums and charities were founded, such as Royal Academy, the British Museum, and the Royal Institution, as were retail emporia, such as Fortnum & Mason and the Burlington Arcade.. During this time of incredible innovation, ideas were endlessly debated in the new coffee houses and spread via the new medium of mass print. The exhibition features some 200 exhibits, including not only a rich and rare collection of illustrated books, newspapers, maps and advertisements, but artworks, engravings, cartoons and artefacts, to evoke this era of irrevocable change, and to tell the stories of notorious and scandalous characters whose escapades would not be out of place in the celebrity magazines of today. The British Library until 11th March.

Louise Bourgeois: I Give Everything Away celebrates the work of one of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th century. In a career spanning seven decades, from the 1940s until her death in 2010, she produced some of contemporary art's most enduring images, making sculptures, installations, writings and drawings which, in mining her own psyche, have entered the collective unconscious. Bourgeois's work is personal yet universal, rooted in the details of her own life, but reaching out to touch the lives of others. This exhibition of work on paper presents some of her most intimate work, both drawing and writing. It begins with a labyrinthine presentation of 'Insomnia Drawings', a suite of 220 drawings and writings made between November 1994 and June 1995 specifically to combat the insomnia which she once described as regulating her life. Created in the suspended state between sleeping and waking, they contain all the major themes of Bourgeois's work and reveal the close link between drawing and writing that is such a key part of her practice. Other highlights include two suites of large-scale works 'When Did This Happen?' and 'I Give Everything Away,' both a mix of writing, drawing and printmaking that are haunted and haunting. Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until 23rd February.

Louise Bourgeois: A Woman Without Secrets is a complementary exhibition comprised of later works. These include 'Poids', 'Couple I', 'Cell XIV (Portrait)', 'Eyes', the cycle of 16 monumental drawings 'A L'Infini', together with Bourgeois's final vitrine, 'Untitled'. It confirms how Bourgeois, working in a variety of materials and scales, explores the mystery and beauty of human emotions. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until 18th May.

An American In London: Whistler And The Thames features works that offered a fresh and striking view of mid Victorian London. James Abbott McNeill Whistler first arrived in London in 1859 and his paintings mark one of his most successful and profound assaults on the art establishment of the day. The American born artist immersed himself in the life of Victorian London, with a particular focus on the bustling neighborhood surrounding Battersea Bridge, including the workers and women who frequented the Thames-side wharves and pubs, the barges that navigated the perilous passage under the bridges, and the steamboats and wherries crowded with day trippers that paddled up and down Battersea Reach. This exhibition of some 70 works comprises an array of paintings of Chelsea and the Thames, along with prints and rarely seen drawings, watercolours and pastels. These include 'Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses', 'The Tall Bridge', 'The Last of Old Westminster', 'Black Lion Wharf', 'Brown and Silver: Old Battersea Bridge', 'Pink and Silver - Chelsea, the Embankment' and 'Wapping'. They are complemented by historical photographs that provide further insight into the Chelsea neighbourhood where he lived and worked, plus portraits of Whistler and his patrons, bringing to life the key personalities that featured in the period. The display culminates in some of Whistler's iconic Nocturnes, including 'Grey and Silver: Chelsea Wharf', 'Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach' and 'Blue and Gold - Old Battersea Bridge'. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 12th January.

Concluding

The Age Of Glamour: R S Sheriffs' Stars Of Stage And Screen is a unique collection of 1920s and 1930s portraits on display for the first time. The period was the golden age of Hollywood and a vibrant time for West End theatre, and chronicling the era was Robert Stewart Sheriffs, who drew dramatic film and stage caricatures for magazines such as Radio Times, London Calling, Theatre World, Pall Mall, The Strand Magazine, John O'London and especially The Sketch. His work included weekly film and theatre caricatures to accompany reviews, as well as full page star portraits of the leading ladies and men of the day. This exhibition ranges from large star portraits of Greta Garbo and Charles Laughton to ensemble drawings featuring Laurence Olivier and Peggy Ashcroft in Romeo And Juliet, and musical numbers from No! No! Nanette. Sheriffs' elegant flowing line, tending at times towards sculptural abstraction and highly stylised use of texture and pattern, conjure up the glamour of the era. His most famous film caricatures were produced from studio stills or drawn after brief visits to preview screenings, where he seldom remained for the whole film. Sheriffs preferred to draw with a brush rather than a pen, and, contemptuous of deadlines and averse to working in London, he dispatched his finished work from home by train. Among the actors featured are Charlie Chaplin, Clara Bow, Douglas Fairbanks, John Glibert, Glaria Swanson, Buster Keaton, Merle Oberon, Shirley Temple, Cary Grant, John Gielgud, Edith Evans, Vivien Leigh, Ivor Novello, Stanley Holloway, Jessie Matthews and Gracie Fields. The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1, until 24th December.

Curious Beasts: Animal Prints From The British Museum explores an enduring curiosity about the animal world through the beautiful and bizarre imagery found in prints of the 15th to the early 19th centuries. The exhibition features prints by well-known artists including Albrecht Durer, Francisco de Goya and George Stubbs, alongside lesser known and rarely seen treasures. These small-scale, easily transported and comparatively affordable prints were accessible to many levels of society and are a fascinating record of early modern imagination and creativity. The exhibition has three main themes. Allegorical Animals: Symbolism And Story explores the symbolic significance of creatures and the moral stories that they were used to tell, illustrated in religious prints depicting popular biblical stories, classical mythology and fables, proverbs and allegories, political satire and popular beliefs. Observing Animals: Natural History Studies charts how prints of all kinds of animals, including newly discovered species, played a vital role in the dissemination of information around the world. Encountering Animals: The Intimate And The Everyday shows how animals formed an integral part of life through farming and entertainments, where exotic creatures also entered everyday life as fashionable accessories and in menagerie exhibits. The exhibition features works created through a variety of different printmaking processes including engraving, woodcut, mezzotint, etching and drypoint. Compton Verney, Warwickshire, until 15th December.

Cosmos & Culture examines humanity's relationship with the stars through stories drawn from the whole of astronomy's history and from around the world. The exhibition reveals how telescopes and other instruments have opened our eyes to the huge variety of the cosmos, from Thomas Harriot's first sight of the Moon through a telescope 400 years ago to future plans for liquid mirror telescopes on the lunar surface, and from William Herschel's discovery of Uranus with a hand-built telescope to the international engineering project of the new infrared Herschel Space Observatory. It explores how people have tried to make sense of Earth's place in the universe through the constantly changing science of astronomy, with rare works including editions of Copernicus's 'On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres' and Galileo's 'Dialogue on the Two World Systems', showing how the understanding of our position in the cosmos has changed. Developments in astronomy across many cultures are represented by artefacts from around the globe, such as Arabian astrolabes, European astrological tables, Chinese globes, Byzantine calendars and Japanese star maps. The aesthetics of astronomy are shown in large-scale images from some of the world's great telescopes. Finally, the exhibition examines how astronomy has inspired - and been inspired by - fiction, particularly thoughts of extraterrestrial life, through books by H G Wells, Hal Clement and Arthur C Clarke, 1930s pulp fiction magazines such as 'Amazing Stories', and film and television titles including 'It Came From Outer Space' and 'Doctor Who', plus cosmic music from Debussy to the Grateful Dead. Science Museum until 14th December.