Private View held by Richard Andrews
Cover Story: Radio Times At 90 celebrates the history of the august broadcasting journal, showcases some of its iconic covers, and reflects the history of radio and television in Britain. The exhibition ranges from the BBC's first radio transmission in London to today's multi-channel world, through landmark broadcasts, archive clips, broadcast artefacts and original Radio Times photography and artwork, including pieces by CRW Nevinson, John Gilroy, Eric Fraser, Edward Ardizzone, Peter Blake and influential graphic designer Abram Games. To flick through the covers of Radio Times over the past nine decades is to watch a popular history of Britain unfold: Royal weddings; Coronations; the outbreak of war and peace; moon landings; a victorious World Cup; household names created and stars born - all have graced the cover of Radio Times. The covers featured comprise a veritable who's who of British broadcasting, including Tony Hancock, The Goon Show, Only Fools and Horses, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Call The Midwife, and inevitably Doctor Who. Visitors will be able to become a cover star for themselves, alongside a genuine life-size Dalek against a backdrop of Westminster Bridge, recreating the famous 2005 "Vote Dalek" Radio Times cover, voted most iconic cover of all time in the Periodical Publishers Association's Great Cover Debate. A particular curiosity is an original 1941 Luftwaffe Stadtplan von London map, which plots Radio Times' Waterlows printing plant in Park Royal, London, a Nazi air-raid target as part of the war on propaganda, alongside transport hubs, factories and landmarks. Museum of London until 3rd November.
Eduardo Paolozzi: Collaging Culture is a retrospective of the work of one of the most inventive and prolific of the British artists to come to prominence after the Second World War. Eduardo Paolozzi's legacy ranges from Pop Art to monumental public works, and the exhibition features around 150 works in a variety of media, including drawings, collage, textiles, sculpture and prints, and rare early pieces. The display explores the relationship between Paolozzi's sculpture and his graphic work, and his key preoccupations, such as popular culture, science-fiction and the machine. Central to the exhibition is the importance of collage as a working process within Paolozzi's career, not only in the traditional sense of paper collage, but also in terms of sculptural assemblage, printmaking and film making. The show also explores the relationship between Paolozzi's work and the existential anxieties of the post-war age through exhibits such as his unrealised competition maquette for the 'Monument for the Unknown Political Prisoner', marking him out as an important commentator on British and American culture of the period. Paolozzi described the relationship between his sculptures and his graphic work as 'the constant tension', and the exhibition presents related works side-by-side, such as the collage 'Frog' and the bronze 'Large Frog' and his remarkable screenprints of robotic heads, alongside their sculptural equivalents. It also includes a screening of his experimental film A History Of Nothing, shown alongside the collaged stills such as 'James Joyce and Dancer'. Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 13th October.
Fashion Rules takes a nostalgic look back at recent decades of dress through the wardrobes of three royal women in their fashion heydays: Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950s, Princess Margaret in the 1960s and 70s and Diana, Princess of Wales in the 1980s. The display explores how these women reflected the style and trends of the day, negotiating the rules of dressing fashionably within the 'rules' of a royal wardrobe. It features 21 couture dresses, complemented by film and photography to set the scene and provide a feeling of the times in which the gowns were worn. When Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952 she required a fashionable wardrobe that reflected her youth and celebrated British fashion. Five evening dresses by her favourite 1950s designers Hardy Amies and Norman Hartnell show the important role The Queen played in showcasing British design. The young Princess Margaret followed fashion closely and her style was widely imitated. The majority of her wardrobe from the 1960s and 70s reflect the rule-breaking of a more liberal era and the greater freedoms of her role. She wore short Quant-inspired dresses and experimented with the vogue for ethnic clothing such as the full-length kaftan and matching turban of fine ivory sari silk. The style of Diana, Princess of Wales, showcases the adventurous look of the 1980s, including a ballerina-length blue dance dress by Jacques Azagury, with its dropped waist, oversize bow, padded shoulders and sparkling embroidery, and a midnight blue strapless evening gown, designed by London born Murray Arbeid, with its dramatic layers of tulle netting and theatrical fish-tail skirt. Kensington Palace continuing.
Mass Observation: This Is Your Photo offers an examination of the role of photography in the Mass Observation Archive. Mass Observation began as a radical experiment in social science and is considered to be one of the most intriguing surveys of its kind in the 20th century. It was formed by anthropologist Tom Harrisson, journalist and poet Charles Madge and Surrealist painter and filmmaker Humphrey Jennings. The organisation aspired to gain insight into the lives, opinions and daily thoughts and habits of the British people. The objective was to counter what the group perceived to be the inaccurate representation of the nation as set out by the media and politicians. The first part of the exhibition features material from 1937to 1948, including Humphrey Spender's photographs in Bolton as well as his pictures of the Blackpool illuminations; Michael Wickham's photographs of crowds queuing for the V&A's industrial and product design exhibition Britain Can Make It; experiments in art appreciation involving local miners in County Durham known as the Ashington Group; the pioneer of colour photography John Hinde's photographs from Exmoor Village and of Circus Life; and a collage work and photographs by Julian Trevelyan, alongside his Collage Suitcase, a self-contained, portable studio which always accompanied his travels. The second part of the exhibition mainly comprises of snapshots taken from questionnaires, known as Directives, from 1981 onwards, often accompanied by written accounts, and focused on the observer's domestic life, plus photographs from One Day For Life, a national competition, based on pictures taken during a single day. The exhibition is an archive of everyday life - but seemingly of another world. The Photographer's Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1, 2nd August to 29th September.
Aquatopia: The Imaginary Of The Ocean Deep explores how the ocean deep has been imagined in art across cultures and through time. Ninety percent of the earth's oceans remain unexplored, and in the absence of knowledge the deep is a site where imagination has full rein. The exhibition reveals how human societies have projected their desires, their will to power, and their fear of difference and mortality onto the often mysterious and weird life-forms the ocean sustains. The art shown here has strong links with powerful literary archetypes, including The Odyssey, The Tempest, The Ancient Mariner, Moby Dick and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Aquatopia's briny depths are populated with ancient sea monsters and futuristic dolphin embassies, sirens and paramilitary gill-men, sperm whales and water babies, shipwrecks and submersibles, giant squids and lecherous octopi. The ocean's fantastical species are envisioned in paintings, drawings and sculptures by JMW Turner, Marcel Broodthaers, Oskar Kokoshka, Barbara Hepworth, Odilon Redon, Lucian Freud and Hokusai, amongst others. Alongside these are video, performance, sculpture and paintings by significant figures in contemporary art, such as Mark Dion, Spartacus Chetwynd, Sean Landers, The Otolith Group, Simon Starling, Wangechi Mutu, Steve Claydon, Juergen Teller, Alex Bag, Christian Holstad and Mikhail Karikis.Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery until 22nd September.
Horrible Histories: Spies explores the world of spies and spying during the Second World War. It is a family friendly exhibition based on Terry Deary's book of the same name from his Horrible Histories series, and shares their irreverent humour and imagination. The show features artefacts from Second World War, hands-on activities, digital and interactive elements and a 'stamper trail' that sets visitors on their own mission. Divided into themes such as Ruthless Resistance, Cracking Codes, Great Gadgets, Savage Sabotage and Clever Camouflage, it shows techniques used by the most cunning spies, including how to make invisible ink, crack codes and use fake feet. From exploding camel poo to irritating itching powder, this exhibition reveals the terrible tricks, traps and techniques used by spies to make secret war on the enemy - all the gore and more!
Omer Fast: 5000 Feet Is The Best is a new film offering a challenging exploration of the nature of contemporary conflict. It takes its name from the optimum operational flight altitude of a US Air Force Predator drone, and is based on a series of interviews Omer Fast conducted with a former drone operator. Speaking mostly off-camera, the drone operator details the psychological impact of engaging an enemy from thousands of miles away. Switching between documentary interview footage and fictionalised re-enactments, Fast creates a multifaceted and unstable sense of reality. The film offers a subtle exploration of how the use of drones is rapidly changing the politics, principles and personal experience of contemporary conflict.
Imperial War Museum, London, until 29th September.
The Future Is Here examines the sweeping changes in manufacturing that are transforming the world. New manufacturing techniques involve the users of products as never before, revolutionising the role of the consumer. How we manufacture, fund, distribute, and buy everything from cars to shoes is progressing fast. The boundaries between designer, maker and consumer are disappearing, with a growing movement of 'hacktivists', who share and download digital designs online in order to customise them for new uses. The exhibition looks at what exactly drives innovation, and how it can lead to increased productivity and economic growth. It reveals how the new industrial revolution has the potential to affect everyone, radically altering our attitudes to the pace of change driven by new technology. Emerging technologies and platforms such as crowd funding, social networking digital looms, online marketplaces, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotech, networked manufacturing, CNC [computer numerical controlled] routing and open-source micro computing, are all removing the barriers of access to manufacturing. It is the role of designers and the design process to participate in exciting new technologies, so that more people than ever before can take part in the production of our physical world. Mass customisation is a central story: from trainer manufacturers offering personalised shoes on a global scale, to 3D printed dolls with features that consumers can design and order online. A carbon loom invented by Lexus to weave car parts such as steering wheels and dashboards from strong carbon fibre is represented, and other exhibits include an open-source approach to architecture, the WikiHouse. The exhibition includes the first 'Factory' of its kind, where visitors can discover how 3D printing works and witness live production. Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1, until 3rd November.
Turner & Constable Sketching From Nature explores how the art of oil sketching in the landscape, rather than in the studio, became fashionable in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The exhibition comprises some 60 works by JMW Turner, John Constable and their contemporaries, George Stubbs, John Linnell, William Henry Hunt, John Sell Cotman, John Crome, Francis Danby, Thomas Jones, George Robert Lewis and Augustus Wall Callcott. The display gives an insight into the different approach each artist used for oil sketching, illustrating a variety of approaches similar subjects, at a time when oil sketching en plein air was still comparatively unusual. It introduces visitors to the practice and techniques of sketching, and the often surprising connections that can be drawn between the artists involved. These comparisons prompt questions about the importance of oil sketching in this period and how finished works were planned, evolved and executed. The oil paintings represent six principal landscape themes: sketching from nature; the closer view; water, shapes and silhouettes' the shapes of landscape; rural nature and looking heavenwards. Highlights include Turner's 'The Thames near Walton Bridges', 'Godalming from the South' and 'Barge on the Tiver, Sunset'; and Constable's 'The Grove, Hampstead', 'Hampstead Heath, with the House Called The Salt Box' and 'The Sea near Brighton'. Compton Verney, Warwickshire, until 22nd September.
War Games looks at the role of warfare in children's play from 1800 to the present day. The exhibition investigates how toys recreate and represent war, and asks why children play war games. War has always been replicated in children's play with toys and games often reflecting contemporary conflict and technology. They have also been used as tools of propaganda, as well as to instil a sense of militarism and nationalism in children. Over 100 objects examine the effect of war and conflict on toys and games through four thematic sections: Playing At War, with historic dressing up clothes, a range of toy weapons and strategy games, illustrating that children create pretend guns despite disapproving parents and teachers; On The Battlefield, providing a chronological overview of combat, exploring how toys have imitated the changing technology of weaponry, new geographies of war zones and the creation of new armies; Reality To Fantasy, looking at the change that came in the aftermath of the World Wars, when exposure to the brutality of war led to public distaste for war toys and manufacturers looked to the space race of the 1950s and 1960s, and its absorption into popular culture, leading to space rangers and ray guns; and Secret Weapons, revealing the use of toys in warfare - to train and influence, to comfort and heal, and to aid escape, questioning the role of war toys as tools of propaganda or patriotism. Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, London E2, until 9th March.
Blooming Marvellous reveals 400 years of botanical art that helped scientists learn about plants. Before the invention of microscopes, illustrations were an important tool for studying plants, and botanical artists were recruited on early scientific expeditions around the world, to record species never before seen in Europe in drawings, notebooks and paintings. This exhibition features important botanical art, including watercolours, pen sketches and drawings, much of which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Among the artists whose works are included are: Sydney Parkinson, a member of Captain Cook's voyage to the South Pacific, who produced 1,000 plant drawings, although he did not survive the return journey; Georg Dionysius Ehret, who developed a new style of illustration that showed the parts of the flower separately and in greater detail, making it easier for scientists to study them, which has been used by botanical illustrators ever since; Franz Bauer, the first paid botanical artist at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, who is still regarded as one of the most technically sophisticated botanical artists of all time; and Arthur Harry Church, who developed a new style of illustration influenced by the decorative Art Nouveau movement to reveal the intricate internal structures of flowers. In addition, the exhibition includes examples of preserved plants. It also reveals how today, scanning electron microscope can magnifies specimens up to 250,000 times their size, allowing scientists to explore far beyond the reaches of the human eye to help appreciate the scientific value and beauty of plants in an entirely new way. Natural History Museum, Akeman Street, Tring, Hertfordshire, until 18th August.
Master Drawings comprises works on paper of the greatest quality drawn by some of the most famous artists in the history of western art. The exhibition features 72 drawings of all types - figure studies, composition sketches, landscapes and portraits - by 51 artists, from Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael; Durer and the artists of the Northern Renaissance; through the centuries to Rubens and Rembrandt; Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard and Goya; Turner, Palmer, Degas, Cezanne and Pissarro; up to Gwen John, David Hockney and Antony Gormley. Many are working drawings, providing a unique insight into artists' thoughts and working methods, while others were made as works of art in their own right. Among the highlights are a study by Michelangelo for the Sistine ceiling, and an image of the Virgin and the risen Christ; Raphael's figure of the kneeling Magdalen, delicately outlined in silverpoint, and the famous studies of the hands and the heads of two Apostles for the Transfiguration; Durer's 'View of the Cembra Valley'; Rembrandt's 'Head Study of an Old Man'; a self portrait by Samuel Palmer; and watercolour sketches by JMW Turner from the beginning and end of his career. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 18th 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 11,000 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. This year the show has been masterminded by Norman Ackroyd and Eva Jiricna. Among the highlights are Grayson Perry's series of 6 contemporary tapestries 'The Vanity of Small Differences', inspired by Hogarth's 'A Rake's Progress'; a room dedicated to portraiture, with new works by Frank Auerbach, Tom Phillips, Michael Craig-Martin and Alex Katz; a new large-scale sculpture by Anthony Caro; and works by Ron Arad, Sean Scully and Jock McFadyen. The Royal Academy of Arts until 18th August.