News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 8th January 2014

Commencing

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.

Peter Blake Illustrates Under Milk Wood By Dylan Thomas is a celebration and an exploration of the Welsh poet's most enduring work, on display for the first time. Peter Blake's illustrations of Dylan Thomas's 1953 'play for voices' is the culmination of a 28 year project. A longtime admirer of Thomas, Blake has always been fascinated by the radio play and remembers first hearing Under Milk Wood while at the Royal College. He claims to listen to it twice a week and read it once a month as he continues to work on the characters, dreams, scenes and locations. Blake aims to take the text literally and illustrate the Thomas's descriptions, but they are his personal interpretations. The exhibition of some 200 works features portraits drawn in black and white pencil on tinted paper, watercolours illustrating the dream sequences, 'narratives and locations' in a mix of media including collage, and photographs that Blake took himself on a visit to Laugharne in the 1970s. All the portraits are both imaginary and real because Blake believes that a face cannot be invented so he borrows from images he finds. Among the faces he has borrowed are Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, racing driver Tommy Sopwith, Beryl Bainbridge, Billie Piper and Terry Wogan, whose familiar features have been used in a portrait of a woman. National Museum, Cardiff, until 16th March.

Henry Moore: Reclining Figures explores a lifelong fascination and 'absolute obsession' with the reclining figure. This display follows Henry Moore's career across 5 decades, with large sculptures shown alongside small-scale maquettes, drawings and prints, illustrating his interest in the reclining figure as a vehicle for artistic experimentation. The maquettes show some of the different approaches Moore took with the reclining figure, illustrating his interest in classical and primitive sculpture, landscape and nature.

Barbara Hepworth: Two Forms traces a shift in work from figurative to abstract sculpture. The starting point is Barbara Hepworth's series of 'Mother and Child' sculptures, a subject she repeatedly returned to between 1927 and 1934, during which time she gave birth to her children. Carved in stone or wood, the subject held significance as the sign of a newfound intimacy in art, and as an expression of vitality in the wake of the First World War and the approach of the Second World War. After this, the subject of a mother and child disappeared from her work, and in its place came pure and simple abstract forms that are not merely experiments but express what she called 'a spiritual vitality or inner life'.

The Hepworth Wakefied, Henry Moore: Reclining Figures until 1st April ~ Barbara Hepworth: Two Forms until 4th May.

Continuing

Castiglione: Lost Genius is the first British exhibition of works by one of the great artists of the Baroque. Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione was perhaps the most innovative and technically brilliant Italian draftsman of his time. Although he practised as a painter, he won fame for his drawings and prints. Castiglione worked in oils on paper to produce large, vibrant compositions, and combined drawing and printmaking in the technique of monotype. Despite leading a violent and turbulent life, Castiglione produced works of grace and rare beauty, which were highly esteemed for a century after his death, but he unaccountably fell from fame in the modern era. In 1762 George III bought a vast collection of 250 drawings by Castiglione and his assistants, which is now the finest surviving group of his works, and from which this exhibition is selected. The show is organised chronologically, starting with early pastoral scenes created in Genoa, where Castiglione developed a highly unusual technique that became his hallmark - large oil sketches on paper. He conceived these compositions as finished works of art rather than studies, working from his head straight onto paper in a distinctive palette of red-brown and blue-grey. Castiglione went on to invent the monotype, a hybrid of drawing and printmaking, which involved drawing in ink onto a copper plate, scraping with sticks, rags or the finger to bring out the image, and taking a single impression on a sheet of paper. The show ends with smaller oil sketches from Castiglione's last years, where he made up for his loss of mobility by adding more color. Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, until 16th March.

Turner In Brighton examines how artists perceived the town at the height of its development in the 1820s, during the reign of George IV. The exhibition is centred on the recent acquisition of J M W Turner's watercolour 'Brighthelmston, Sussex', which 'improved upon nature' by including the Royal Pavilion, the Albion Hotel and the Chain Pier in one view. It is accompanied by watercolours, oil paintings, drawings, sketchbooks, and prints that document Turner's impressions of Brighton, together with engravings by George Cooke of Turner's paintings. These are shown alongside works depicting the town by artists including John Constable, John Baxter, Henry Eldridge, William Daniell and John Nash. Also in the exhibition are four of Turner's sketchbooks containing the drawings he made during his visits to Brighton and surrounding areas of Sussex, and a leather wallet that Turner adapted into a travelling paint box. Brighton Pavilion, until 2nd March.

Foreign Bodies, Common Ground offers a unique exploration of global health, bringing together painting, photography, sculpture, film and performance. The works were made during residencies at medical research centres in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam and Britain. The contributing artists were given a simple and wide-ranging brief: to find out about research being undertaken and produce work responding to their investigations. The result is a series of moving, challenging and humorous works, richly varied in form and tone, recording journeys taken within the complex realm that lies between scientific processes and local communities, often on the frontlines of communicable diseases. Lena Bui's drawings, photography, video and installation explore zoonosis, the transfer of disease from animals to humans, tracing the relationship between the consumption of animals and the conditions of their breeding, killing and packaging in Vietnam. Katie Paterson's interest in animals takes a longer view, with 'Fossil Necklace', a biological history of the planet, as each of the work's 170 beads is carved from a fossil representing a major event in the evolution of life. Elson Kambalu's residency explored the different understandings of medicine and research in Malawi, with 'Kafukufuku Man' and 'Kafukufuku Women' addressing cultural fears of drawing blood, refering to local fables used as a means of translating medical terms and techniques. B-Floor Theatre, Thailand's vanguard physical theatre company, are featured in footage and a photographic montage of their performance, whilst a vertical shadow puppet installation carries the company's wryly comic vision of the battle between humans and ever-mutating diseases, driven by the survival instincts of both. Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1, until 9th February.

Turner And The Sea examines a lifelong fascination with the sea by Britain's greatest 19th century painter. Dramatic, contemplative, violent, beautiful, dangerous and sublime - the sea was the perfect subject to showcase JMW Turner's singular talents, and the 120 pieces on display include some of the most celebrated paintings of his long career. The quality of the works gathered together in this exhibition confirms Turner's status as the pre-eminent painter of water, and demonstrates his unique ability to represent the elemental power of the sea. Encompassing oils, watercolours, prints and sketches, the exhibition follows Turner's progression from newly-elected Royal Academician to one of the country's most celebrated artists. While his style changed considerably, his virtuoso showmanship remained a dazzling constant. Among the highlights are 'The Fighting 'Temeraire', 'Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth', 'Staffa, Fingal's Cave', 'Now for the Painter', 'Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Moonlight', 'Whalers', 'Calais Pier', 'Fishermen upon a Lee-Shore, in Squally weather', 'The Battle of Trafalgar', 'Fishermen at Sea', 'The Wreck of a Transport Ship', 'The Shipwreck' and 'The Wreck Buoy'. Having begun by responding to the artists of the 17th century at the start of his career, the works from the end of Turner's life seem almost as if they could come from the 20th century. As he left behind the rules and conventions of maritime art, dividing critics and public alike, Turner created a unique vision of the overwhelming power of nature - the final stage in a lifelong engagement with the sea. Turner's paintings are shown alongside works by other British and European artists, including Willem van de Velde, Claude-Joseph Vernet, Thomas Gainsborough, Nicholas Pocock, John Constable and Richard Parkes Bonington. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until 21st April.

Edmund de Waal On White: Porcelain Stories comprises two large-scale interventions staged by the renowned British potter. Edmund de Waal has selected hundreds of porcelain items from the Museum's permanent collections and placed them alongside objects from his residency in Jungdezhen, China, a world centre for porcelain since the 11th century, including 40 pieces from its collection, plus poetry, photographs and letters. The exhibition examines the history of white and what it is that fascinates de Waal about porcelain.

A World Of Private Mystery: John Craxton, RA is the first exhibition to explore the entire career of an important but less well known 20th century British artist. This fresh retrospective on John Craxton encompasses his beginnings as a young hope of post-war British art, creating dark, meditative images of the natural world, through to works of vibrancy, light and colour from his later life in Crete. The exhibition includes personal photographs documenting Craxton's many travels, which had a significant influence on his work.

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Edmund de Waal On White: Porcelain Stories until 23rd February ~ A World Of Private Mystery: John Craxton, RA until 20th April.

Collider endeavours to convey what it is like inside the £5bn Large Hadron Collider at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva, probably the most complicated scientific machine on the planet. It is not easy depicting something the size of the London Underground's Circle Line, with magnets the size of a house, or to visualise the events that take place when one subatomic proton travelling at 99.9999991 per cent of the speed of light hits another travelling at the same speed in the opposite direction, but this is a good stab at it. The exhibition begins with a 10 minute video outlining the basic facts of what the Collider is, what it does, and the first definitive results it has achieved pointing to the existence of the Higgs boson 'God particle'. From there, visitors can wander through a mock tunnel that represents the journey through the Collider, which in reality extends for some 27km underground, and employs some 3,000 scientists. This is filled with authentic artefacts, pieces of hardware such as a 2 tonne part of a 15m high superconducting magnet, a beam-focuser and a detector sensor, a calorimeter crystal, lab-bench notes, calculations and diagrams. Finally, visitors arrive in a circular space with a wrap-around screen where a computer-generated video sequence simulates a journey through the Collider, ending with an actual collision, based on real images from the Collider, which are like a post-modernist painting. Science Museum, until 6th May.

Concluding

Alan Sorrell - A Life Reconstructed is the first major survey of the almost forgotten mid 20th century British artist. If Alan Sorrell is know at all today, it is for his archeologically informed drawings of early historical sites and monuments and tableaux of ancient life, particularly his striking reconstructions of archaeological sites in England such as Old Sarum and Silchester. However, Sorrell worked in a variety of disciplines as this exhibition reveals. Many works have classical themes but a contemporary sensibility and execution, such as 'Benvenuto Cellini Escaping from Rome', 'Procession: Rome', 'The Artist in the Campagna' and 'The Appian Way'. Sorrell travelled the world capturing everyday scenes such as 'Processing the Catch, Wharf Scene, Iceland', 'Sudanese Express Passing Abu Simbel', 'The Long Journey' and 'The Postman'. Although he failed to be appointed an official war artist this show includes some of Sorrell's striking war images. For the Festival of Britain in 1951 he was commissioned to create a 9m mural for the bar on the HMS Campania, used as floating exhibition space, and the result, 'Working Boats from Around the British Coast' featuring a rollicking procession of fish, boats and mermaids, was only recently rediscovered and is receiving its first public showing in 60 years. Sir John Soane's Museum, 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2, until 25th January.

Masterpieces Of Chinese Painting 700 - 1900 is an ambitious survey of one of the world's greatest artistic traditions. The exhibition gathers together the finest examples of Chinese painting created over a 1200 year period and shows more than 70 works, including some of the earliest surviving Chinese paintings. From small scale intimate works by monks and literati to a 14m long scroll painting, many of the paintings are shown in Europe for the first time. The exhibition examines the recurrent themes and evolving aesthetics characteristic of Chinese paintings and looks at the constant interplay between tradition and innovation. It considers how paintings were created for a variety of settings from tombs, temples, palaces, domestic houses and private gardens and in a range of formats from banners, screens, hand-held fans to portable handscrolls and hanging scrolls. Materials, including a large piece of ultramarine pigment created from lapis lazuli discovered in a 10th century artist's studio and studio equipment reconstructed according to a 14th century manual reveal the technical process and traditional techniques employed. Highlights include a 9th century double-sided ceremonial banner 'Bodhisattva Wearing Monastic Robes' showing a sacred and enlightened figure; an illustrated manuscript attributed to Liang Lingzan 'Five Planets and Twenty-Eight Mansions', the earliest surviving painting of astronomy from the Imperial collection; 'Nine Dragons' by Chen Rong, the oldest and finest dragon scroll, in which each of the mythical creatures are expressed in different positions amidst clouds, water and mountains, representing the dynamic forces of nature in Daoism; 'Four Pleasures', attributed to Ren Renfa, a series illustrating the delight in the literati pursuits of calligraphy, painting, music and games; and 'Flowers on the River' by Bada Shanren, one of the longest paintings in the world, showing a superb and intricate handling of ink and control. Victoria & Albert Museum until 19th January.

Vienna - Facing The Modern: The Portrait In Vienna 1900 examines the portraiture closely identified with the distinctive flourishing of modern art in the Austrian capital during its famed fin-de-siecle. The exhibition explores an extraordinary period of art in the multi-national, multi-ethnic, multi-faith city of Vienna as imperial capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The period began with liberal and democratic reform, urban and economic renewal, and religious and ethnic tolerance, but ended with the rise of conservative, nationalist and anti-Semitic mass movements. Such dramatic changes had a profound impact on the composition and confidence of Vienna's middle classes, many of them immigrants with Jewish roots or connections. At the turn of the 20th century artists worked to the demands of patrons, and in Vienna modern artists were compelled to focus on the image of the individual. Iconic portraits from this period by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Richard Gerstl, Oskar Kokoschka and Arnold Schonberg are displayed alongside works by important yet less widely known artists such as Broncia Koller and Isidor Kaufmann. In contrast to their contemporaries working in Paris, Berlin and Munich, and in response to the demands of their local market, Viennese artists remained focused on the image of the individual. This exhibition can therefore reconstruct the shifting identities of artists, patrons, families, friends, intellectual allies and society celebrities of this time and place. Most works are on canvas, although there are also drawings and the death masks of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Gustav Mahler. Highlights include 'The Family (Self Portrait)' by Schiele; 'Nude Self Portrait' by Gerstl; 'Portrait of a Lady in Black' and 'Portrait of Hermine Gallia' by Klimt; and 'Portraits of Christoph and Isabella Reisser' by Anton Romako. National Gallery until 12th January.