Private View held by Richard Andrews
Primrose: Early Colour Photography In Russia examines colour experiments and developments in photography spanning the 1860s through to the 1980s. In tracing these technical and artistic advancements, the exhibition also moves through the social history of Russia itself. The display features over 140 works looking at different periods and their prevailing photographic aesthetics. The earliest photographs are from when tinting of prints with watercolour and oil paints was undertaken by hand. Initially used for portraits, this technique was extended to architectural, landscape and industrial subject matter. In the early 20th century, under the patronage of Tsar Nicholas II, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky travelled the country to capture its vastness and diversity, while nobleman Pyotr Vedenisov provided valuable insights into the lifestyle of the Russian elite. After the Revolution, photomontage, such as those by Varvara Stepanova, became central to the state agenda allowing for the communication of new Soviet myths to a largely illiterate population. The later works of Alexander Rodchenko, featuring pictures of sporting and art events taken in a pictorial style, provided a way to express his disillusionment with the notion of a Soviet utopia. In the mid-1950s photography moved closer to everyday reality as seen in Dmitri Baltermants' pictures. At the same time hand-tinted portraits began appearing, taken anonymously, as private photo studios were still forbidden. Referencing these anonymous studio portraits Boris Mikhailov looked to expose Soviet ideology through humour and stereotypical imagery. Photographers Gallery, 16 - 18 Ramillies Street, London W1,until 19th October.
Peggy Angus: Designer, Teacher, Painter is a retrospective that captures the wide range of work by an influential and inspirational artist and designer, who seems to have 'fallen out' of the history of 20th century British design. Born in 1904 in Chile, Peggy Angus moved to London with her family when she was a young child, and at just 17 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, based on her accomplished illustrations. In 1933 Angus moved into Furlongs, on the Sussex Downs near Lewes, and her home became a meeting place and creative hub for Eric Ravilious, John Piper and many other artists, who, as well as creating their own work, were invited to contribute to the interior decoration of the house itself. Throughout her life, Angus was an important mentor, teacher and collaborator for a great number of artists. The exhibition includes her early illustrations, portraits, such as Eric Ravilious, Helen Binyon, and her husband J M Richards, landscape paintings, sketch books, furniture, and her Modernist design work with wallpapers and tiles, together with films and photographs of her abstract wall tile murals created in a number of public buildings in the 1950s. Towner, Eastbourne, until 21st September.
Bridge celebrates the 120th anniversary of the iconic Tower Bridge with an examination of the significance of bridges within London's landscape. The exhibition documents a journey along the river and into the heart of London to explore how bridges influence our visual sense of the city, and provide a source of inspiration for artists and photographers. It comprises contemporary and historical paintings, prints, drawings and etchings, alongside photography, film and maquettes. From Hungerford to Blackfriars, Westminster and Millennium, the display both celebrates these great feats of engineering and architectural works of beauty, and looks at how they allow people to move around and experience the city. In addition, Thomas Heatherwick's ambitious 'Garden Bridge' proposal, playing with the ideas of destination and crossing is featured, along with other debates and issues confronting London and its bridges today. Highlights include Ewan Gibbs's linocut 'London', Christopher Nevinson's pen and ink drawing 'Waterloo Bridge from Blackfriars', Charles Ginner's painting 'London Bridge', Christina Broom's glass negative 'Tower Bridge', James Abbott McNeill Whistler's etching 'Old Westminster Bridge', Giovanni Battista Piranesi's etching 'A view of the intended bridge at Blackfriars, London', Crispin Hughes's colour coupler print 'Hungerford Bridge', and Suki Chan's lightbox 'Film Still'. Museum of London Docklands until 2nd November.
Disobedient Objects is the first exhibition to explore objects of art and design from around the world that have been created by grassroots social movements as tools of social change. From Chilean folk art textiles that document political violence to a graffiti-writing robot, defaced currency to giant inflatable cobblestones thrown at demonstrations in Barcelona, to a political video game about the making of mobile phones, the exhibition demonstrates how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity. The display showcases forms of making that defy standard definitions of art and design as the objects are mostly produced by non-professional makers, collectively and with limited resources as effective responses to complex situations. The focus is on the late 1970s to the present, a period that has brought new technologies, social and political challenges. The objects are made in a number of ways, including: the appropriation of everyday objects for a new subversive purpose, as seen with the Bike Bloc which was produced from discarded bicycles and audio equipment welded together during the 2009 Reclaim Power protests in Copenhagen; the employment of traditional crafts like hand-appliqued protest banners; and hacking cutting-edge technology to create such protest tools as a counter-surveillance drone. Many of the exhibits come directly from activist groups from all over the world, bringing together objects rarely before seen in a museum. Context is provided by newspaper cuttings, how-to guides and film content, including interviews and footage of the objects in action. Each design is accompanied by the maker's statement to explain how and why the object was created. Victoria & Albert Museum until 1st February.
Keith Vaughan: Figure And Ground explores the work of the mid 20th century British artist and examines the themes that preoccupied him - the male figure and pictorial space. Initially influenced by Graham Sutherland, Keith Vaughan's early work was Neo-Romantic in spirit, but in the late 1950s he developed his semi-abstractionist 'assemblies'. The exhibition comprises some 50 items from a wide range of work in different media: drawings for some of his most important book illustration commissions, his experiments in print-making, and his photographs. Highlights include the lithographs 'The Woodman' also known as 'The Blue Boy', 'Old Seaweed Hoist' and 'Finisterre'; paintings 'Harvest Assembly' and 'Small Assembly of Figures'; and illustrations made for Arthur Rimbaud's A Season In Hell. This is a rare chance to see work by one of the leading figures in post Second World War British artists.University Gallery, Northumbria University, Sandyford Road, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne until 12th September.
Ships, Clocks And Stars: The Quest For Longitude, tells the story of the race to determine longitude at sea and how one of the greatest technical challenges of the 18th and 19th centuries was eventually solved. The exhibition draws on the latest research to shed new light on the history of longitude, and how it changed our understanding of the world. While John Harrison is best known, and his marine sea-watch was vital to finally solving the problem of longitude, this was against a backdrop of almost unprecedented collaboration and investment. Famous names such as Galileo, Isaac Newton, James Cook and William Bligh all feature in this fascinating and complex history. Crucially, it was Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne's observations at the Royal Observatory, his work on the Nautical Almanac and the Board of Longitude that demonstrated the complementary nature of astronomical and timekeeper methods, ultimately leading to the successful determination of longitude at sea. As solutions were developed, the Royal Observatory became a testing site for marine timekeepers and the place at which the astronomical observations needed for navigational tables were made. The significance of this work eventually lead to Greenwich becoming the home of the world's Prime Meridian in 1884. Highlights of exhibition include all five of John Harrison's famous timekeepers together for the first time in nearly 30 years; the original Longitude Act of 1714 document, which has never been on public display before; an intricate 1747 model of the Centurion, the ship which carried out the first proper sea trial of Harrison's first machine; and the elegant, padded silk 'observing suit' worn by Nevil Maskelyne at the Royal Observatory during the 1760s. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until 4th January.
Malevich is a retrospective of the radical and hugely influential figure in modern art, who lived and worked through one of the most turbulent periods in 20th century history. Having come of age in Tsarist Russia, Kazimir Malevich witnessed the October Revolution first-hand. His early experiments as a painter led him towards the cataclysmic invention of Suprematism, a bold visual language of abstract geometric shapes and stark colours, epitomised by the 'Black Square', which sits on a par with Duchamp's 'readymade' as a game-changing moment in 20th century art. Starting from his early paintings of Russian landscapes, agricultural workers and religious scenes, the exhibition charts Malevich's journey towards abstract painting and his iconic Suprematist compositions. The show also explores his collaborative involvement with architecture and theatre, including his designs for the avant-garde opera 'Victory over the Sun'. In addition, the exhibition follows his temporary abandonment of painting in favour of teaching and writing, due to state pressure, and his much-debated return to figurative painting in later life. Malevich's work tells a fascinating story about the dream of a new social order, the successes and pitfalls of revolutionary ideals, and the power of art itself. This exhibition, for the first time, offers a chance to trace his groundbreaking developments through both well-known masterpieces and earlier and later work, sculpture, design objects, and rarely-seen prints and drawings. Tate Modern until 26th October.
Discovering Tutankhamun tells the story of one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter's excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 made the name of the 'boy king' synonymous with the glories of ancient Egypt, and the spectacular contents of his tomb continue to enthral the public and scholars alike. Howard Carter's hunt for the lost tomb, and the thrill of its discovery, is told through Carter's original records, drawings and photographs, while the phenomenon of 'Tutmania' is explored through a variety of decorative arts, fashions, magazines, sheet music, posters, advertising and other popular cultural memorabilia. The 10 year long process of recording the remarkable objects buried with the king transformed Tutankhamun into an icon of the modern world. Among the highlights are Howard Carter's handwritten diary in which he records the moment of discovery; the glass plate negatives of the excavation made by photographer Harry Burton; exquisite paintings of jewellery from the tomb made on sheets of ivory; and delicate stone sculptures from the time of Tutankhamun. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 2nd November.
The Human Factor: The Figure In Contemporary Sculpture brings together major works by 25 leading international artists who have fashioned new ways of using the figure in contemporary sculpture. In addressing the body, the most frequently revisited subject in art's history, these artists confront the question of how we represent the 'human' today. The exhibition focuses on sculpture that explores a variety of social, political, cultural and historical concerns and incorporates diverse references ranging from science fiction to war monuments, from popular photography to art history. Highlights include: Paul McCarthy's 'That Girl', consisting of three hyper-realistic casts of actress Elyse Poppers sitting in slightly different postures, plus a four-channel video documenting the intricate fabrication of the sculptures using processes at the cutting edge of special effects technology; Katharina Fritsch's theatrical 'space pictures', featuring life-sized cast figures in front of large screen prints of exterior scenes that function like photo backdrops; Pierre Huyghe's Untilled', which transforms an art deco sculpture of a reclining nude by replacing its head with a living beehive, creating an eerie hybrid of nature and culture; and Cady Noland's 'Bluewald', which comprises an enlarged news photo of Lee Harvey Oswald, after being shot by Jack Ruby, which has been silkscreened onto an aluminium panel propped up like a carnival shooting target with a crude wooden support and perforated with several large circular 'bullet' holes around Oswald's midsection and face. Hayward Gallery until 7th September.
Comics Unmasked: Art And Anarchy In The UK is the largest exhibition of mainstream and underground comics, ever staged in Britain, showcasing works that uncompromisingly address politics, gender, violence, sexuality and altered states. From the 1825 Glasgow Looking Glass, thought to be the first ever comic, to Judge Dredd's helmet from the recent film adaptation of the 2000AD Judge Dredd series, it traces a long and tumultuous history of the British comic book. With over 200 exhibits, the display explores the full anarchic range of the medium with works that challenge categorisation, preconceptions and the status quo, alongside original scripts preparatory sketches and final artwork that demystify the creative process, from such names as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Dave Gibbons, China Mieville and Mark Millar. The exhibition looks at intriguing historical figures, from 19th century occultist, magician and writer Aleister Crowley and his original tarot card painting of 'The Universe', to H P Lovecraft to Punch and Judy. Highlights also include an example of a medieval 'comic' from 1470, 'Apocalypse'; a ventriloquist dummy of Ally Sloper, one of the earliest comic strip characters; 1970's underground comics tried at court for obscenity, such as 'Oz', which is accompanied by a previously unheard recording of the Oz trial itself; 21st century original artwork and manuscripts of 'Kick-Ass', 'Sandman' and 'Batman and Robin'; and Keaton Henson's 2012 doll's house installation, 'Gloaming'. At a time when digital comics have never been more popular, the exhibition has worked with webcomic pioneer Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and digital graphic novel company Sequential to display digital comics and graphic novels, reflecting the culture shift in the industry. British Library until 19th August.
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is with us again, as it has been every year since 1769 - the usual collection of the good, the bad and the ugly - from amateurs to RA's, proving that popular taste and critical approval find no meeting point. Around 1,250 works covering paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculpture, architectural designs and models have been selected from over 12,000 submissions, from 27 countries, for inclusion in the largest contemporary art exhibition in the world. The majority of works are for sale, offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original artwork by both high profile and up and coming artists. Over £70,000 is given out to artists included in the exhibition through 10 prizes. Highlights include a room of works by newly elected Academicians, including Thomas Heatherwick, Neil Jeffries, Chantal Joffe, Tim Shaw, Conrad Shawcross, Yinka Shonibare, Bob and Roberta Smith and Wolfgang Tillmans; and a room focussing on the theme of black and white, with works by Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Deacon, Tacita Dean, Michael Landy, Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Mona Hatoum, Christian Marclay, Laure Prouvost and David Shrigley, many of which have been specially created for the exhibition. The Royal Academy of Arts until 17th August.
Mind Maps: Stories From Psychology explores how mental health conditions have been diagnosed and treated over the past 250 years. Divided into four episodes, this exhibition looks at key breakthroughs in scientists' understanding of the mind, and the tools and methods of treatment that have been developed, from Mesmerism to Electroconvulsive Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to the latest cutting edge research and its applications. Bringing together psychology, other related sciences, medicine and human stories, the exhibition is illustrated through historical and contemporary objects, artworks and archive images. Highlights include: the first deep-brain EEG (electroencephalograph) recording of brain waves ever made, using electrodes inserted deep inside the brain (rather than as usual on the scalp) to measure simultaneously the electrical activity of many thousands of nerve cells; a Cavallo-style electrical generator, made by George Adams in late 18th century, including the 'medical bottle' that regulated the shocks it administered to patients; a Hipp chronoscope for measuring the speed of thought in 1880s psychological laboratories, an extremely precise stop-clock that allowed scientists to measure events such as reaction time, attention and perception on the timescale of nerve impulses; 'Nervone' nerve nutrient, launched in the 1920s, available to the public over the counter or prescribed by doctors for a range of conditions such as fatigue, anxiety, headache and depression; a contemporary EEG sensor net used for studying sleep, which, together with the sophisticated computers, have made EEG much easier to use; and 40 versions of the same PET scan colour-coded in different ways by a scanner's computers in order to show how 'hot spots' of activity can be make to appear and disappear. Science Museum until 12th August.