News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 7th June 2005


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 1,200 works covering paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, architectural designs and models have been selected from over 12,000 submissions, for inclusion in the largest contemporary art exhibition in the world. This year, the show has been masterminded by Stephen Farthing and Christopher Orr, and there is a special focus on the use of multiple images or objects, across all the various media on display. Printmaking is strongly featured, with a number of photographs and sculpture editions displayed alongside more conventional examples, and there is a gallery dedicated to works created using mechanical or technological intervention. Internationally acclaimed artists whose work is on show include Paula Rego, Langlands and Bell, Mimmo Paladino, Richard Hamilton, Helen Frankenthaler, Chuck Close and Louise Bourgeois. Ed Ruscha is the featured artist, and his display, concentrating mainly on multiple works, includes photographs and books, in addition to some paintings. There are memorial displays to Peter Coker and Norman Adams. An accompanying programme of lectures, events and workshops covers all aspects of the exhibition. Royal Academy of Arts until 15th August.

Dr Who Exhibition features a vast range of the models, props, costumes and monsters that have appeared in the programme, both past and present. The exhibition starts with a history of the series from its beginnings in 1963, and features a classic monster from each of the four decades, including the only known remaining Ice Warrior. The array of material from the new series includes the giant model of Big Ben that was struck by a space craft; creatures such as the Moxx of Balhoon, the Slitheen, the Autons, Cassandra, Jabe the tree person and the Face of Boe; alongside Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper's costumes. There are three Daleks, including a battleworn original from the 1960s, and the latest version actually flying, together with a close up view of the creature inside. In addition there are video clips and design drawings, as well as a life-size replica of the TARDIS itself (both inside and out). The high tech surroundings in which they are displayed include walls that light up and a video floor. The Dome on Brighton Pier until November.

Herzog & de Meuron: An Exhibition is partly a case of 'the gallery is the exhibition', as this display looks at the work of the architectural practice that transformed the derelict Bankside power station into Tate Modern. The exhibition spans twenty-five years of work from early residential buildings to recent large-scale international commissions, with over seventy projects represented. It comprises a wide variety of materials, with objects ranging from sketches, early maquettes outlining ideas and material samples, to models and mock-ups, and photographs and film footage of finished buildings. These items tell the story of how ideas take shape and form through a complex process of experimentation and detour to evolve a new architectural language for building. They are spread out as if in a market square, echoing of the architects' original concept of the Turbine Hall as a public street. Projects featured include the Dominus Winery, Napa Valley, California 1998, Schaulager for the Laurenz Foundation in Basel in 2003, Prada's store in Aoyama, Tokyo 2003, the library of Eberswalde University, Germany 1999, Forum Barcelona 2004, the expansion of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis 2005, the Allianz Arena Soccer Stadium in Munich 2005, and ongoing projects such as the de Young Museum, San Francisco opening in 2005, The National Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and The Philharmonic Hall, Hamburg, to be completed in 2009. Tate Modern until 29th August.


Gardens Of Glass: Chihuly At Kew is the first exhibition of its kind to be held in Europe, and Britain's first major garden installation by American avant-garde glass blower Dale Chihuly. A sequence of organically shaped and vibrantly coloured glass sculptures has been set throughout different environments in Kew's 300 acre garden landscape, and amongst the tropical plants inside the great glasshouses. Chihuly has designed the pieces to respond to the plants, trees, historic landscape, architecture and vistas, and their effect will alter by day and by night, and from season to season. The display includes Chihuly's newest series of works, 'Fiori', which has never been exhibited in Europe before, together with some of his best known series, including 'Macchia', 'Ikebana' and 'Chandeliers'. Site specific works have been created for the Palm House and Temperate House, and a traditional Thames skiff has been used to hold the glassworks for an installation on the pond in front of the Palm House. The signature piece of the display is 'The Sun at Kew Gardens', a Medusa like tangle of glass, reflecting the vibrant colours and monumental scale of Chihuly's work, which can be seen in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Standing over 13ft high and 13ft wide, and weighing 4,600lbs, it is made up of hundreds of pieces of hand-blown glass. A mini exhibition in the White Peaks Exhibition Space is devoted to Chihuly's working practices and the process of glass blowing. Royal Botanical Gardens Kew until 15th January.

Summer Of Love: Art Of The Psychedelic Era examines the coming together of contemporary art, popular culture, civil unrest and moral upheaval during the 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibition reflects psychedelic art as an international phenomenon, with works from Britain, America, Europe and Japan. It demonstrates how artists were deeply entrenched in popular culture, influenced by the effects of mind-altering of drugs, and participants in counter-cultural activities. Psychedelia manifested itself in all aspects of cultural production, ranging from art, music and film, to architecture, graphic design and fashion. The exhibition presents a selection of over 150 posters, album covers and underground magazines, in particular from San Francisco and London, plus paintings, photographs and sculptures by amongst others, Isaac Abrams, Richard Avedon, Lynda Benglis, Harold Cohen, Richard Hamilton, Robert Indiana, Richard Lindner and John McCracken. Numerous long-neglected artists are represented with rarely seen or specially reconstructed works and installations. A special emphasis is placed on environments, as well as film, video and multimedia installations, replicating the total experience of psychedelic light shows, large-scale projections and music performances. An accompanying film programme, with underground, experimental and mainstream films, includes works by Lawrence Jordan, Stan Vanderbeek, Andy Warhol, James Whitney, Jud Yalkut and Nam June Paik. Tate Liverpool until 25th September.

Colour After Klein reassesses the powerful and important place of colour in contemporary art, highlighting the rapport between the aesthetic and the conceptual, and the emotive responses colour arouses. It offers a fresh way of experiencing some 60 iconic works of painting, installation, photography and sculpture by some of the most significant artists of the 20th and 21st century. The exhibition takes its title from the artist Yves Klein, who 'patented' a particular strong blue - International Klein Blue or IKB - although he also worked in vivid pinks, greens and yellows. He became notorious for covering nude models in IKB and dragging them over canvasses to produce works of art. The exhibition highlights colour's relationship to desire, the body and utopias as demonstrated by works from twenty artists. These include Joseph Beuys's lemon powered light bulb, Louise Bourgeois's room with red objects on blue shelves, William Eggleston's scarlet bulb glowing in a scarlet ceiling, Dan Flavin's luminous light sculptures, Anish Kapoor's sculptures cloaked in powdery pigment, Bruce Nauman's burning neons, Pipilotti Rist's video of herself dancing and tumbling in scratch screens of hysterical colour, James Turrell's 'walk in' illusions of hovering vaporous colour, and shocking pink Andy Warhols. Barbican Gallery until 11th September.

Joshua Reynolds: The Creation Of Celebrity looks at Reynolds not just as a portraitist, but also an impresario and influential figure in society, rather than simply providing a general survey of his work. The exhibition brings together a selection of the greatest portraits by Reynolds, many of them depicting the most famous men and women of the eighteenth century, such as the writer Samuel Johnson, the actress Mrs Siddons, the political philosopher Edmund Burke, the actor David Garrick, the playwrights Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brindlsey Sheridan, the politician Charles James Fox, the Prince of Wales and Omai, the Tahitian prince who charmed London society, as well as courtesans, aristocrats and military and naval heroes. Collectively, they represented the cream of British society of the era. But Reynolds did not simply paint these individuals, he befriended them, brought them into contact with one another, and shaped their public images - not to mention his own. Indeed, one room in the exhibition is dedicated to Reynolds self-portraits, twenty-seven different works painted over a period of nearly half a century, continually refining his image. As a result, during his lifetime Reynolds was among the most celebrated artists in western Europe, and became the first president of the Royal Academy. In addition to paintings, the exhibition includes prints, caricatures and sculpture, comprising around ninety works in all. Tate Britain until 18th September.

Rush, the world's biggest speed swing, standing 65ft tall, opens this week, the first of its kind outside of America. Reaching up to 75ft in the air, with speeds of up to 40mph, and maximum G-force of 4, it gives riders moments of weightlessness, and more G-force than a NASA astronaut experiences on launching into space. It arrives hot in the footsteps of Slammer, Europe's first sky-swat ride, the ultimate full throttle free-fall experience as its victims are catapulted 360° forward towards the ground from 105ft in the air. Also new this year is Stuntzmania, a return to the good old days of Coney Island stunt shows, including The Wheel of Death, The Dive of Death, (is there a theme here?) Terror Globe Motorbikes and Jackass Car Jumpers. They join the existing Samauri, a pod ride that lifts and rotates, creating G forces of plus 5 and minus 3, as well as a centrifugal force that spins 360°; Colossus, a 10 loop roller coaster with speeds of up to 70mph, and a force of 4Gs; Nemesis Inferno, one of the world's most disorientating, leg dangling suspended experiences; Tidal Wave, Europe's tallest water drop ride; the stomach-churning human egg whisk Vortex, which makes 15 high speed rotations per minute while swinging back and forth 65ft in the air; the gravity-defying 100ft drop Detonator; and X: No Way Out, the world's first dark backwards coaster. All together they provide the most unpleasant experience you can have outside an Islamic fundamentalist regime. Thorpe Park, Chertsey until 31st October.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Exhibition not only brings Douglas Adams's iconic story to life through over 200 costumes, creatures and props from the film, but also explores the science featured in his work, from teleportation and supercomputers, to parallel universes and the big bang. The exhibition takes visitors on a journey from Arthur Dent's kitchen to the far reaches of outer space and back. Shown in recreations of settings from the film, such as the Vogon ship‚ the Heart of Gold and the Planet Factory Showroom‚ highlights include: the actual Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy used in the film; the 8ft tall Vogon Captain Jeltz‚ designed and built by Henson's Creature Workshop - plus footage illustrating the Vogons in action; Marvin the Paranoid Android's life-size costume; Deep Thought, the ultimate computer‚ complete with terminals allowing visitors to ask the 'ultimate question'; concept artwork commissioned and created for the film; behind the scenes footage of Garth Jennings‚ Nick Goldsmith‚ Stephen Fry and Martin Freeman; and - beware - a reading of Vogon poetry. In exploring the science behind the story, the exhibition also reveals how other science fiction writers in the past, such as Jules Verne‚ HG Wells and Arthur C Clarke, inspired scientists and inventors. Don't forget your towel - and Don't Panic. Science Museum until 27th November.


International Arts And Crafts is the most comprehensive British exhibition on the movement ever staged, and the first to look at it from an international perspective. It shows how Arts and Crafts originated in Britain in the 1880s as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and its machine dominated production. Led by John Ruskin and William Morris, the movement promoted the ideals of craftsmanship, individualism, and the integration of art into every day life. It became the first British design movement to spread internationally, to America from 1890 to 1916 and continental Europe and Scandinavia from 1880 to 1914, before its final manifestation in Japan between 1926 and 1945. The display comprises over 300 of the best examples of the genre, from simple folk craft to sophisticated objects made for wealthy patrons, including textiles, stained glass, furniture, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, books, architecture, photography, paintings and sculpture. Highlights include objects by British designers such as Voysey, Mackintosh, Ashbee, Morris, Geddes, Traquair, Baillie Scott and De Morgan; a group of Russian objects that have not been exhibited abroad before; four metres wide stained glass doors by Californian designers, Greene and Greene; and Japanese objects by Bernard Leach and Hamada Shoji. Four specially created room sets emphasise the importance of the movement's interiors: two British sets (one urban and one rural), one American 'Craftsman' room, and one Japanese 'model room' recreated through recently rediscovered objects. Victoria & Albert Museum until 24th July.

Monarch Of The Glen: Landseer In The Highlands is the first exhibition devoted to the work of the iconic nineteenth century British animal painter. It comprises 83 paintings, providing a unique opportunity to see the full range of Sir Edwin Landseer's work, encompassing literary pictures inspired by the novels and poems of Sir Walter Scott, Highland landscapes painted for his own pleasure, observations of Highland social life and customs, and studies of deer informed by his knowledge as a practising sportsman. A child prodigy, Landseer began exhibiting animal studies at the Royal Academy at the age of thirteen. From his twenties onwards he returned to Scotland annually to paint, shoot and fish, activities that brought him into contact with the Scottish aristocratic families of the day. Many became his patrons, resulting in works such as 'The Death of the Stag in Glen Tilt', 'The Hunting of Chevy Chase' and 'An Illicit Whisky Still in the Highlands'. This led on to Landseer being commissioned to paint Queen Victoria, her family and pets. He rapidly became the Queen's favourite court painter and painting tutor, accompanying her to Scotland to record her life in the Highlands, in works such as 'Queen Victoria Landing at Loch Muick' and 'Prince Albert at Balmoral (Sunshine)'. But it is animal paintings for which Landseer is best remembered, and a large section of the exhibition is devoted to his paintings of deer, including the world famous 'Monarch of the Glen', originally destined for the House of Lords. Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh until 10th July.

Animal Mummies Of Ancient Egypt features a unique range of animal mummies on display in Britain for the first time, including cats, a baboon, a crocodile and birds of prey. There are also examples of natural mummification - when the body dries before it decomposes - including a cat buried under the grounds of the Duke of Bedford's house, and a gazelle foetus. The exhibition explores the many reasons why animal mummification was practised in ancient Egypt. As with humans, this was principally to protect the body for the 'afterlife', but mummies were also made as religious offerings, and were even used to preserve treasured pets that were buried alongside their owners. Through studying animal mummies, archaeologists have been able to learn more about the importance of animals in ancient Egyptian society. Cats sometimes received their own elaborate burials, complete with cat-shaped coffins. Animal statues and amulets made from faience or bronze, indicating the high esteem in which these creatures were held are also in the show, including scarabs, faience hippos, and bronze animals. The mummified specimens are so well preserved that scientists been able to study the skeletons to make close comparisons with the modern wild and domestic animal specimens. Visitors also have the opportunity to peer inside the mummies with the help of X-rays, to reveal one of them as a fake. The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, Tring until 3rd July.