Private View held by Richard Andrews
The Art Of Star Wars explores the creative process that brought the film series to the screen. For the first time in the UK, over 250 original models, production paintings, concept drawings and costumes from the Lucasfilms archive at Skywalker Ranch show how the fantastic creatures and characters of the Star Wars universe were realised. Exhibits include concept drawings illustrating the development of the characters Yoda, R2-D2 and C-3PO, Queen Amidala's gowns, and a full size version of Anakin Skywalker's Podracer suspended as if in flight. An interactive area allows visitors to try on masks, hear how John Williams score and effects were created, and even operate a remote control animatronic creature. Barbican Centre Art Gallery 13th April until 30th July.
Peter Blake: About Collage offers an insight into Blake's practice as a collector and maker of collage. He has contributed significantly to the development of the technique since his student days, and his work includes the landmark Beatles Sgt Pepper album cover. Here Blake presents his personal selection of collage from the Tate Collection, including pieces by Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell and Jean Dubuffet, together with work by famous and anonymous artists from his own collection. Collaged clothing, furniture and trinkets are included to reveal the broad use of the technique, and the exhibition also examines Blake's own use of collage. Tate Gallery Liverpool until 4th March 2001.
Art Nouveau 1890-1914 is the largest show of examples of the style since the movement's heyday. It includes work by all the major figures, including Beardsley prints, Tiffany lamps, Mackintosh chairs, Lalique jewellery, Galle vases and even an entrance to a Paris Metro station. The extraordinary fusion of nature, materials and the domestic environment is truly celebrated. What this exhibition also reveals is the oriental, Arabic and Celtic inspiration, by showing examples of antecedents alongside the art nouveau pieces. This movement was the last flowering of the hand crafted artefact, before machine made mass production became the norm. A unique opportunity to return to a time when style and quality outweighed accessibility and price. Victoria & Albert Museum until 3rd September.
ContinuingThe Dome has at last officially unveiled its sculptures, commissioned to enhance the outside of the structure, featuring work by Anthony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Richard Wilson and Tony Cragg. They are late arrivals at the Millennium Ball owing to overdue payments by NMEC, the dome management company. Gormley worked day and night to complete his piece Quantum Cloud - a 90ft high creation of 3,500 steel tubes - by New Year's Eve, but even now, consulting engineers Elliott Wood have still not received all the money they are owed. I suppose it was so much simpler when it was just an artist, a block of stone and a chisel. The Millennium Experience until 31st December.
Animal Magic is a multimedia event, providing the opportunity to build a mythical beast, make up an animal story with shadow puppets, and take a closer look at animals in art. It is divided into three sections. Fun And Fantasy looks at how artists create, design and communicate their ideas about animals - both real and imaginary. Show Stoppers centres on how animals are represented in art, including a three metre high birdcage, and a giant whale made from two Cornish fishing boats. Animal Detectives offers the opportunity to work as both scientist and artist, using microscopes and magnifying glasses to study birds and cats. Croydon Clocktower, Croydon, 0181 253 1030 until 4th June.
Curtain Call is a 46ft video triptych by Nick Stewart featuring the activities of the Royal Festival Hall. Stewart filmed the comings and goings in the building by day and by night over a six month period, and the result is a mesmeric video diary of this venerable arts institution, which will reach its half century next year. Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London until 30th April.
Photographs by Snowdon: A Retrospective is a selection from a 50 year portfolio, which admirably demonstrates that it is by no means restricted to the rich and famous. Snowdon's early work as a fashion photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair included mould breaking shots of models posed on aircraft wings and piles of cars. London, his book published in 1958, was instrumental in creating the image of Swinging London. In fact his wedding to Princess Margaret in 1960, inspired design student Geoff Reeves to paint a pair of sunglasses with a Union Jack, thus starting one of the fads of the era. Later work includes pictorial essays on social problems, reflecting his involvement in charities. National Portrait Gallery until 4th June.
Seeing Salvation: The Image of Christ explores how the figure of Christ has been represented in the western artistic tradition, and the language of Christian imagery. Through paintings, sculptures, coins and engravings, it examines different aspects of the visual identity of Christ, and the pictorial questions that artists have confronted as they made His image. Works range from the earliest known Crucifixion, a 5th century ivory relief, to Salvador Dali's controversial Christ of St John of the Cross, painted in 1951. Though Christianity is now "uncool", it remains the bedrock of western culture. This millennial exhibition asks what such images mean in today's faithless world. There is an accompanying television series beginning on 2nd April, presented by the director of the National Gallery, Neil MacGregor. National Gallery until 7th May.
Buckingham Palace The Ballroom is to be opened to the public for the first time this year as part of the Summer Opening of the State Rooms. 122 feet long and 60 feet wide, it has been at the centre of state entertaining since it was built for Queen Victoria, and opened in 1859 with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War. Since 1954, 48 heads of state have been entertained there at state banquets. It is also used for investitures, and there will be an exhibition with examples of all the major honours awarded. The State Rooms contain many works of art from the Royal Collection. Buckingham Palace 6th August until 1st October.
The 100 Cartoonists Of The Century presents the lot - all the famous ones you know, and many you don't - showing the variety of ways the medium has been explored. From David Low's TUC carthorse to Dudley Watkins's Desperate Dan, from Donald McGill's saucy seaside post cards to Steve Bell's John Major, and from Giles' Grandma to Gerald Scarfe's blood and guts, it's all here. The British Cartoon Centre, London WC1, 0171 278 7172, until 12th April.
The Art Of Barbie is an exhibition of creations for the world's greatest, most perfect, and longest enduring supermodel. Fifty fans, including designers Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen, (do you really think these boys should be playing with dolls?), artists Rachael Whiteread and Antony Gormley, and photographer David Bailey, present their visions for Barbie - and even a few for Ken. Proud Galleries, London WC2, 0171 839 4942, until 12th April.
The Ideal Home Show will once again provide the unlikely spectacle of a village of new houses built inside Earl's Court, enabling thousands of visitors to indulge in the undoubted pleasure of traipsing round sneering at the furnishings. It's even better than touring your friends' new house, because you don't have to be tactful, or pretend to be kind or enthusiastic. Reflecting the increasing interest in gardening, this year there will be ten fully laid out gardens as well. All this, plus the customary demonstrations of cooking, DIY and gardening, and the real draw - the gadgets. A great British institution. Earl's Court Exhibition Centre until 9th April.