News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 7th June 2006


Welcome To The Ship: The Art Of Climate Change explores one of the most pressing issues of our time, as seen through the eyes of artists who travelled to the Arctic on the schooner The Nooderlicht, as part of the Cape Farewell project. Created by David Buckland, Cape Farewell brings artists, scientists and educators together to address and raise awareness about climate change. There have been three expeditions to the Arctic so far, travelling routes that were previously icebound, and the artists' responses in photography, film, sound, sculpture, painting and printmaking, make up this exhibition. Among the highlights are: a six metre long minke whale skeleton by Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey, encrusted in clear alum crystals; choreographer Siobhan Davies's film Endangered Species, showing a woman dancing gracefully, but whose movement becomes increasingly restricted; glacial ice texts by David Buckland; a painting of a hermaphrodite polar bear by Gary Hume, depicting the effects of chemical pollution; Alex Hartley's photographic essay on discovering and naming a new island; Max Eastley's soundwork of cracking and melting ice; and an essay by the novelist Ian McEwan. Other artists whose works are included are Kathy Barber, Peter Clegg, Gautier Deblonde, Nick Edwards, Gretel Ehrlich, Antony Gormley, David Hinton and Michele Noach. There is also an accompanying film about Cape Farewell, 'Art from a Changing Arctic', by director David Hinton, showing how the artists were both inspired and challenged by their journeys to the Arctic. Natural History Museun until 3rd September.

Eye For Colour is a visual feast that alerts the senses and stimulates the mind, exploring the ways in which colour shapes our world. From science to art, from the natural world to human culture and language, the exhibition demonstrates how colour brings the planet to life. It reveals how colour is formed; how artists use colour in creativity - and how changes in pigments can be used to date works of art; how animals, birds and reptiles use colour as camouflage - changing colour to blend in with their environment - or to stand out from the crowd - altering their colour to attract a mate; how different cultures have used colour to communicate messages, such as warnings of danger; and how colour association works, and why we relate certain colours to particular moods and atmospheres, such as red for hot or blue for cold. The exhibition does this through a host of hands on interactive displays; plus the Mood Room, where visitors can experience how colour changes moods by being immersed in different hues; the Colour Food Cafe, where familiar foods are served up in alarmingly different colours; and the Art Machine, which enables visitors to create virtual masterpieces. Revel in the rainbow from sombre shades to psychedelic spectrums. World Museum, Liverpool until 3rd September.

Rembrandt & Co: Dealing In Masterpieces explores the story of one of the most important art dealerships in 17th century Amsterdam. Hendrick Uylenburgh and his son Gerrit operated as art dealers and owners of a painters' workshop between 1625 and 1675, during the Dutch Golden Age, when the art of painting achieved its greatest heights. The contribution made by the Uylenburghs to this development is illustrated by the artists who worked for them or in their workshop, including Rembrandt, Govert Flinck, Jurgen Ovens and Gerard de Lairesse. Rembrandt spent four years working in the Uylenburgh's studio, where he met Hendrick's cousin Saskia, who became his wife. During this period Rembrandt's output underwent a major change. His etchings became larger and more ambitious, treating multi-figure religious scenes, and he also began to paint commissioned portraits. Both Uylenburghs played an active role in the international art business, buying artists such as Anthony Van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens and many others. Gerrit Uylenburgh's London representative was the Court painter, Sir Peter Lely. The exhibition includes 19 Rembrandt paintings from this period, including 'A Girl at a Window', recently cleaned and conserved, together with others by his contemporaries. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 3rd September.


Constable: The Great Landscapes offers the first opportunity to view John Constable's seminal six foot canvases together, something that was not even done in his lifetime. The 'six-footers' are among the best known images in British art, and comprise a series of views on the river Stour, which include 'The Hay Wain', as well as later works such as 'Hadleigh Castle' and 'Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows'. As important as the paintings themselves, are the full scale preliminary sketches that Constable made for most of them, a practice unprecedented at the time. It has been said that it is this practice more than any other aspect of Constable's work that established him as an avant-garde painter, resolved to rethink the demands of his art and to address them in an entirely new way. The exhibition reunites the full scale sketches with their corresponding finished pictures, in order to explore their role in Constable's working practice. The exhibition includes 9 such pairings among around 65 works in total. The bringing together of the 6 river Stour pictures for the first time, reveals how, as the series progresses, Constable develops a single thematic concept - the life of the Suffolk river he had known since boyhood - and gradually invests it with a greater sense of drama, heroic action and narrative weight. A further highlight of the exhibition is a newly discovered watercolour, on display for the first time, 'The View in the Stour Valley Looking Towards Langham Church from Dedham'. It anticipates 'The Hay Wain', painted 16 years later, as both feature a hay cart prominently. Tate Britain, until 28th August.

Against The Odds: The Story Of Bomber Command In The Second World War is the first major exhibition to tell the stories of the air and ground crews, and examine the impact of the bombing campaign on the people of Germany, through objects, art, film, sound, photography and documents. Bomber Command's main role was the destruction of Germany's economic, industrial and military strength, but it was also active in combating the U-boats, attacking German warships, minelaying at sea, assisting during the Battles of France and Britain in 1940 and in the Middle East, supporting the invasion of Normandy and the liberation of North West Europe and countering the V-weapons. The exhibition charts the development of Bomber Command, from its ill-prepared beginnings in 1939, through to its undoubted contribution to winning the war. Key operations covered include the Dambusters raid, the sinking of the German battleship Tirpitz, and the Thousand Bomber raids. Among the highlights of the exhibition are Dame Laura Knights's iconic painting 'Take Off', Commander Guy Gibson's cap, Group Captain Leonard Cheshire's VC and the George Cross awarded to Daphne Pearson, who rescued the pilot of a bomber that crashed and exploded in 1940. A series of 'interactives' reveal the human cost of Bomber Command operations, delve into the technical detail of aircraft production, and reveal how little space airmen had to work in while on an operation. Imperial War Museum North, Manchester, until 7th January 2007.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel: Fame And Fate uses a unique collection of photographs and historic artefacts to examine the last project of Britain's greatest engineer. The immense steamship the Great Eastern - widely regarded as one of the industrial wonders of the world - was built on the Thames at Millwall, Isle of Dogs. As the ship neared completion, Robert Howlett, one of London's earliest photographers, was given privileged access to the yard and his images form an exceptional record of a major event in Victorian engineering. Howlett's iconic portrait of Brunel standing in front of the Great Eastern's launching chains has become the defining image of 'engineer as hero', and the exhibition explores the relationship between photography, image and fame at a time when this was new. Brunel's preparations for the Great Eastern coincided with a growing desire by the British public to own detailed photographs of the wider world. Three dimensional images - known as stereo photos - became the craze, and photographers travelled the globe to find new subjects to capture. The Great Eastern itself was the subject of two sets of these stereo cards, the first, entitled 'The Leviathan Steamship', was commissioned by the Illustrated Times in 1857. These, and other rarely seen Howlett photographs, give a unique insight into the world of Victorian engineering. The exhibition also features two original 12ft models of the Great Eastern, from the yard of John Scott Russell‚ made to calculate the sizes of the wrought iron plates to be cut for the hull. The Science Museum until November.

Front Page: Celebrating 100 Years Of The British Newspaper (1906-2006) reflects the changes in news gathering, reporting and newspaper production over the past century, through a selection of front pages. These are arranged into themes ranging from royalty, society, scandal, sport and celebrations to war, disasters and assassinations. Each theme has been 'curated' by a newspaper group in order to highlight their individual editorial values and styles, revealing what the papers say about themselves and their evolving industry. Commentaries from editors and journalists provide an insight into the decision making process behind the formation of the front pages. The display features some of the headlines that have become legendary in their own right. These include the 1912 Daily Mirror headline "Titanic Sunk - No Lives Lost"; The Sun's 1982 headline "Gotcha" about the sinking of the Belgrano in the Falklands War; and the Independent on Sunday's 2003 headline on Saddam Hussain's weapons of mass destruction, "So where are they Mr Blair?". The centrepiece of the exhibition is an interactive 'newsroom' where visitors can use computers to become Editor of their own newspaper, taking on the job of making up a front page on screen, using individual newspaper house styles and choosing from a 'jigsaw' databank of prepared stories and photographs, while working to a tight deadline. There is also a competition Make The Front Page, which challenges entrants to design a newspaper front page of the future, write a compelling article on one of today's burning social, business or political issues, or take the photograph that captures the essence of the story behind the headlines. The British Library until 8th October.

Rex Whistler: The Triumph Of Fancy is the first major retrospective to bring together work in all media by one of the roaring 20s bright young things, who came to define an era of hedonistic decadence. It reveals the full extent of Whistler's achievement in the context of his 'live fast - die young' life and times. The exhibition traces Whistler's career as a painter, illustrator, muralist and stage designer for theatre, ballet and opera. It also shows how he moved in literary, social and artistic circles, numbering among his friends the Sitwells, Evelyn Waugh, Cecil Beaton, Edward James, Lord Berners and Stephen Tennant. The exhibition is divided into three chronological sections, which represent all Whistler's principal projects, with paintings, drawings and set designs, relating them to his life through portraits, photographs and mementos of his wide social circle. Whistler first achieved fame with his mural decorations for the Tate Gallery restaurant, 'The Expeditions in Pursuit of Rare Meats', an architectural fantasy, shot through with humorous touches, which immediately established him as the leading painter of his generation in this genre. Aside from his paintings, Whistler achieved widest recognition for the idiosyncratic, decorative and often amusing illustrations and jackets that he made for Gulliver's Travels, Hans Andersen's Tales and many popular books of his day. Brighton Museum until 3rd September.

Watercolours And Drawings From The Collection Of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is the first public exhibition devoted to the collection formed by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and includes many works that have never been shown in public before. It reflects the range of Queen Elizabeth's interests, and her enthusiastic patronage and support of contemporary artists from the 1930s onwards. From interiors and landscapes, to still lifes, figure studies and portraits, the selection of 73 drawings and watercolours, from over 500 that were hung on the walls of Clarence House and Royal Lodges, embraces artists ranging from Thomas Gainsborough to John Bratby. Portraits of Queen Elizabeth herself include works by Mabel Hankey and John Singer Sargent. Other subjects with Royal associations include John Piper, Hugh Casson and Paul Sandby's views of Windsor Castle and Great Park, R Beatrice Lawrence Smith and Albert Richardson's Glamis Castle, the Queen Mother's childhood home, Ricciardo Meacci's wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York, Muirhead Bone's Buckinham Palace after the 1937 Coronation, Feliks Topolski's funeral procession of King George VI and Charlotte Halliday's Queen Mother's birthday parade. The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace until 29th October.


Shared Experience: Art And War examines how Britain, Australia and Canada lived through and recorded the Second World War. The exhibition combines paintings and sculpture from the collections of the War Museums of the three nations to compare and contrast national and individual stories from the greatest world conflict in human history. Featuring works by British war artists Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious, Leonard Rosoman, and Australian and Canadian artists Sidney Nolan, Stella Bowen, Russell Drysdale, Miller Brittain, Alex Colville and Pegi Nicol MacLeod, many of which are being shown in the UK for the first time, it aims to capture the breadth and depth of the impact the war had on individual lives across the globe. The paintings and sculptures are grouped into themes: Battle reflects heroism and excitement alongside the inevitable destruction and loss; Military Service depicts the waiting and preparing as well as actual fighting; Civilian Work acknowledges the way society was re-ordered, through the effects of new technology and the need to replace workers and increase output; Captivity and Casualties attempts to reflect the constraints and the demands placed on people, and the price they had to pay, both at the time and afterwards; and Home and Leisure includes dreams of escape, fleeting pleasures, living with loss, the celebration of peace and the return home. Imperial War Museum until 25th June.

Bellini And The East explores the impact of the East on the work of the 15th century Venetian painter, Gentile Bellini. The exhibition focuses on this interaction between three cultures: Venetian, Byzantine and Turkish, and three religions: Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox and Islam. Bellini was Venice's most prestigious painter, and between 1479 and 1481, the Venetian Senate sent him to work for the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. This exhibition brings together for the first time all the works made while Bellini was in Turkey. His portrait 'The Sultan Mehmet II' is shown together with medals of the Sultan by Bellini and other European artists. First hand knowledge of the Islamic civilisations of the Mediterranean is demonstrated by the accurate depictions of particular objects in his paintings, including the Anatolian prayer mat in 'Virgin and Child Enthroned'. The intricately patterned and gilded 'Seated Scribe', while wholly Venetian in style, shows the influence of Islamic techniques in its colouring and gilding. The painting is displayed with a group of drawings depicting men and women whom Bellini saw in Istanbul. Many former Greek territories became Venetian colonies, reflected by Bellini's portrait 'Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus', and his work began to show further discernable influences. While 'Cardinal Bessarion and the Bessarion Reliquary', represents the Greek Reliquary Cross in a naturalistic Venetian style, other works, such as 'Madonna and Child', show traces of the iconic Greek style. National Gallery until 25th June.

Sixty Years Of Sculpture In The Arts Council Collection presents 60 works by the leading figures and the rising stars of British art, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Arts Council Collection. Presented chronologically, the show starts with some of the earliest acquisitions, including pieces by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, continues with work by a 'Next Generation' of sculptors such as Anthony Caro and William Tucker, and concludes with some of the newest acquisitions by artists including Gareth Jones and Eva Rothschild. Among the highlights are Anya Gallaccio's 'can love remember the question and the answer', featuring 60 scarlet gerbera flowers set behind the glass panels of an antique door, which will decay during the course of the exhibition; film of a performance by the 'living sculptures', Gilbert & George; Tony Cragg's rainbow coloured installation made from discarded everyday objects; and Anish Kapoor's sculpture featuring heaps of coloured pigment.

James Turrell: Deer Shelter Skyspace is a new work by the 'sculptor of light', who for over 40 years has used light and space to create art installations that extend and enhance perception - from indoor pieces, which attempt to baffle the senses by creating an illusion of infinite diffused light, to 'Skyspaces'. Behind an 18th century Grade II Listed deer shelter, Turrell has created a permanent 'Skyspace', consisting of a large square chamber with an aperture cut into the roof, through which the visitor is offered a heightened vision of the sky, seemingly transformed into a trompe l'oeil painting. This has made a place of contemplation and revelation, harnessing the changing light of the sky.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, Sixty Years Of Sculpture until 25th June.