News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 9th July 2014

Commencing

Radical Geometry: Modern Art Of South America spans a dynamic period in South American art, charting the emergence of several distinct artistic movements from the 1930s to the 1970s. From radical innovations in the use of colour and form to new materials like neon and interactive, kinetic sculpture, this exhibition of 80 works reveals some of the most original art of the last 100 years. The display explores the art produced in distinct areas of South America. In Montevideo, Uruguay, Joaquín Torres-Garcia founded the School of the South in the 1930s, through which he planned a new Pan-American art that drew on indigenous American influences. Across the Rio de la Plata, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a group of artists including Gyula Kosice created Arte Madí that challenged the conventions of traditional painting in the 1940s, such as Juan Mele's 'Irregular Frame'. Further north, from the 1950s artists in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, such as Helio Oiticica and Lygia Clark likewise challenged the notions of art by removing it from the walls of galleries and placing it in the hands of the viewer. Finally in Caracas, Venezuela from the 1970s artists worked with optical illusion to create sculpture and paintings that interacted with the viewer and responded to the light of the tropics, such as Jesus Soto's 'Nylon Cube' and Carlos Cruz Diez's 'Physichromie No 500'. All three regions created new and challenging geometric abstractions that captured the optimism that swept across these countries. Royal Academy of Arts until 28th September.

The Lost Tomb Of Robert The Bruce brings together a collection of long lost artefacts for the first time in over 200 years, and explores the process of archaeological reconstruction. The exhibition presents the first complete 3D digital model of the tomb of Robert the Bruce, creating a detailed visualisation of the tomb architecture in its original setting. Robert the Bruce was King of Scotland from 1306 until his death in 1329. He was buried in the choir of Dunfermline Abbey and his grave marked by an impressive gilded white marble tomb imported from Paris. The tomb was lost in the turmoil of the Reformation era, but a grave and fragments of carved and gilded stone, believed to be those of the vanished tomb, were found in 1818. These fragments have never been on public display together before. A further fragment has recently been found in the collections at Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott. The identification of these remains and the design of the royal tomb have long been the subject of debate. The visualisation consists of an animated film that shows the position of the remaining fragments and also a 3D flythrough of the reconstructed tomb. In addition to this exhibition, the museum is the home of other Bruce relics, including a cast of his skull, a toe bone, coffin handle and nails, and a fragment of the cloth of gold that his body was wrapped in. Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, until 4th January.

Time Machines: Daniel Weil And The Art Of Design is the first retrospective of the work of the Argentinean whose career spans 30 years at the forefront of design practice, and has taught and inspired the next generation. The exhibition features Daniel Weil's work from young Royal College of Art student to longstanding Partner at Pentagram. Witty and thought-provoking, the display features a series of specially created pieces, as well opening up Weil's sketchbooks and personal archive for the first time. The exhibition includes some of his earliest work, such as 1981's influential Bag Radio, as well as commissions for Swatch, United Airlines, Krug, Mothercare and the Pet Shop Boys. Clocks, cutlery, a chess set - nearly all of Weil's designs evolve from simple pencil drawings in one of the hundreds of identical hardback sketchbooks that he has always used as the starting point for designing. On display for the first time, these sketchbooks are shown alongside the mass of ephemera that activates his imagination. The exhibition focuses on the process of design, about how a designer thinks and works. Weil presents his experience and philosophy of design practice as a manifesto of 'actions for designers'. Continuously inventive, Weil plays with fundamental elements of time, light, space and sound - always seeking a new connection, a fresh approach. The pieces on display, from found objects to finished products, tell a story not of design, but of designing. Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1, until 25th August.

Continuing

Making Colour traces the history of making colour in Western paintings from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century. The exhibition brings together the worlds of art and science to explain how artists overcame the technical challenges involved in creating colour. It charts the material problems faced by artists in achieving their painterly aims, the breakthroughs they struggled for, and the difficulties they faced in creating works of art that were both beautiful and enduring. The display examines the origins of paint sources, be it the natural world or human invention, and their supply, manufacture and application, as well as their permanence and colour effect. It begins by examining how theories of colour, such as an awareness of primary colour, or of the colour spectrum, have influenced painters' use of pigments, and their quest for new materials. The journey runs from lapis lazuli to cobalt blue, ancient vermilion to bright cadmium red, through yellow, orange, purple and verdigris to deep green viridian, and on to gold and silver, in a series of colour-themed rooms. Among the works and objects on view are Monet's 'Lavacourt under Snow', JMW Turner's paintbox, van Dyck's 'Lady Elizabeth Thimbelby and her Sister', an elaborate majolica plate portraying Vulcan at his forge with Venus, Sassoferrato's 'The Virgin in Prayer', lapis lazuli figurines, Degas's 'La Coiffure' and Masaccio's 'Saints Jerome and John the Baptist'. The exhibition is complemented by a scientific experiment that introduces a new world of contemporary and scientific thought on colour, dealing with human colour perception, and the degree to which it is individually variable. It also considers the ways in which the brain processes different visual information, for example in lighting paintings, and the impact that this has on our perception of colour. National Gallery until 7th September.

Open For Business is a comprehensive documentation of contemporary British manufacturing and industry, captured by the lenses of 9 international photographers from the legendary co-operative agency Magnum Photos. During 2013, Jonas Bendiksen, Stuart Franklin, Bruce Gilden, David Hurn, Peter Marlow, Martin Parr, Mark Power, Chris Steele-Perkins and Alessandra Sanguinetti visited over 100 workplaces in 9 cities across Britain, from one-man businesses to FTSE 100 companies. Their photographs range from traditional, handmade crafts to modern, intelligent automation, and from foundries and assembly lines to research laboratories and high tech cleanrooms, showing an economic sector of resilience and diversity. British industry faces several challenges and this display reflects the daily struggle as businesses attempt to cut costs, streamline processes and level up to international competition. The images reveal that, while in some ways industry has changed so much, in others it has changed so little. The photographs document the shifting balance between white and blue-collar workers, the physical reality of process automation and of environments in which a growing staff manage activity from a computer screen. The project raises questions about the corporate responsibility of employers to their employees, highlights the significance of migration to the workforce and shows the pride exuded from workers who make a huge variety of products. It captures British manufacturing's effect on culture and community life, and celebrates the work, activities and lives of its employees. Museum Of Science & Industry, Manchester, until 3rd August.

Peace Breaks Out! London And Paris In The Summer Of 1814 explores a pivotal moment in the history of Europe through the eyes of its contemporaries. The Peace of 1814 and the subsequent congress of Vienna in 1815, after the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, laid the geo-political framework of the European Empires that would dominate the Continent and much of the globe up to the outbreak of the First World War. The Allies who celebrated the signing of the Treaty as guests of the Prince Regent in London, would, almost exactly one hundred years later, face each on the battlefields of Europe - this time as enemies. The exhibition includes over 100 rare items, including celebratory paintings and prints created for the festivities held in London and across the United Kingdom to mark the Treaty; drawings of Paris, demonstrating the architectural changes that took place under Napoleon's government; Napoleonica - objects belonging to Napoleon and his closest collaborators; and a quirky, satirical depiction of Englishmen visiting Paris, as seen by the French. There are accompanying by works by contemporary artists Adam Dant, Romilly Saumarez Smith, Laura Knight, Alice Pattullo, Bridie Hall and Paul Bommer offering 21st century interpretations of the Peace of 1814 and of the Regency and Parisian fashions that were so celebrated that year. Sir John Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2, until 13th September.

Truth And Memory examines the huge artistic outpouring in Britain instigated by the all-encompassing, all-consuming nature of the First World War. The exhibition comprises over 120 artworks, and features the most iconic images to emerge from the First World War, including paintings by Paul Nash, Percy Wyndham Lewis, CRW Nevinson, Stanley Spencer and William Orpen, as well as lesser known, yet significant works, by artists such as Anna Airy, George Clausen and Gilbert Rogers. It shows how artists of all ages, traditions and backgrounds, strived to represent the unprecedented, epoch-defining events of the First World War, which ultimately helped shape the nation's perception of the conflict and of warfare itself. The display aims to make a fresh interpretation of British First World War art, placing it within the context of the times, taking into account critical and popular responses and incorporating contemporary artistic debates. The exhibition marks the reopening of the museum after extensive renovation designed by design by Foster + Partners, which includes new permanent First World War Galleries charting the story of the war: how it started, why it continued and its global impact, through the lives of those who experienced it at the time on both the front line and the home front across Britain and its empire. Over 1,300 objects including weapons, uniforms, diaries, letters and souvenirs, are on display, alongside photographs, art and film, many of which have never been seen before. The atrium now contains 9 iconic objects, including a Harrier, Spitfire and V2 rocket suspended from above, as well as a T34 tank and a Reuters LandRover damaged by a rocket attack in Gaza. The museum was established while the First World War was still being fought to ensure that future generations would remember the toil and sacrifice of those who were impacted by it. Imperial War Museum, London ~ Truth And Memory until 8th March.

John Byrne | Sitting Ducks features the work of one of Scotland's most versatile and accomplished artists and writers. The exhibition explores and celebrates John Byrne's highly innovative and richly varied portraiture, and includes around 60 drawings, paintings and multi-media works from across his career. At times, with all his exuberant flourishes, Byrne might come across as a caricaturist of the arty set, with portraits of friends and family as well as famous sitters, such as Tilda Swinton, Billy Connolly, Gerry Rafferty and Robbie Coltrane. However, Byrne has also produced many insightful and witty self-portraits which form a strong element of the show. As might befit an artist who is also a writer, Byrne's paintings might verge dangerously close to illustration, but then again, he is perhaps best taken to be a late and modest addition to that strain of British quirkily talented eccentrics, including the likes of Stanley Spencer and Edward Burra. Scottish National Portrait Galley, Edinburgh, until 19th October.

Alan Titchmarsh: 50 Years Of Gardening offers a personal narrative to an exhibition that looks at the things which have encouraged and shaped the nation's love of gardening. Alan Titchmarsh has selected 101 objects that tell the recent history of gardens and gardening in Britain. The interpretation of the objects aims to tell a lively history of people, their gardens and gardening, peppered with related biographical narratives from Alan Titchmarsh's experiences. The exhibition includes not just tools, artefacts, books, magazines, seed catalogues and ephemera, but also works of art. There is a particular emphasis on the changes that have taken place since the 1960s, when Titchmarsh became a teenage apprentice in the municipal nursery in his home town of Ilkley Grove. A major theme of the exhibition is how garden centres, television programmes and developments in technology have changed British gardens forever - and that includes decking. Titchmarsh also reflects on the impact of the media during this period, including the first gardening celebrities. The Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1, until 31st August.

Concluding

The Glamour Of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014 celebrates Italy's rich and influential contribution to fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present. The exhibition draws out the defining factors unique to the Italian fashion industry: the use of luxurious materials; expert textile production; specialist, regional manufacturing; and its strength as a source of both dynamic menswear and glamorous womenswear. The story of Italian fashion is explored through the pivotal individuals and organisations that have contributed to its reputation for quality and style, within the prevailing social and political context. On display are around 100 ensembles and accessories by leading Italian fashion houses including Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Gianfranco Ferre, Gucci, Missoni, Prada, Pucci and Versace, through to the next generation of talent, including couture by Giambattista Valli, ready-to-wear from Fausto Puglisi and work from Valentino's new designers duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. The show also notes the creativity of influential but less remembered figures such as post-war couturiers Sorelle Fontana and Mila Schon and design innovators such as Walter Albini. The display highlights the exceptional quality of techniques, materials and expertise for which Italy has become renowned. Its status as manufacturer and exporter of some of the world's most stylish and well-made fashion and textiles is linked to the strength of its traditional industries including spinning, dyeing, weaving, cutting and stitching; some of these traditions have been practised in regions around Italy for hundreds of years. Victoria & Albert Museum until 27th July.

Starring Vivien Leigh: A Centenary Celebration tells the story of the film and theatre career of the celebrated actress, with particular focus on her Oscar winning role in Gone With The Wind. The display features over 50 portraits of Vivien Leigh, including rare vintage photographs, magazine covers, vintage film stills and press books. Many of the photographs have not been exhibited before, and include images by leading photographers such as James Abbe Jr, Bassano, Cecil Beaton, Clarence Sinclair Bull, Howard Coster, Angus McBean, Norman Parkinson, Sasha, Laszlo Willinger and Madame Yevonde. For 20 years, with her husband Laurence Olivier, Leigh was part of the most celebrated, talented and glamorous British couples of the era. Her most famous performance, as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind, brought her worldwide recognition and the first of two Academy Awards. The second Oscar was for the film of Tennessee Williams's play A Streetcar Named Desire, opposite Marlon Brando. Photographs in this display span Leigh's career, beginning with a still of her first un-credited film performance in Things Are Looking Up and ending with her last film role in Stanley Kramer's Ship Of Fools. Other theatrical and film roles represented in the display include her first appearance with her future husband Laurence Olivier in Fire Over England, with Rex Harrison in Storm In A Teacup, with Robert Taylor in Waterloo Bridge, as Nelson's mistress Lady Hamilton with Olivier in That Hamilton Woman, and in the George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra. National Portrait Gallery until 27th July.

In Fine Style: The Art Of Tudor And Stuart Fashion traces changing tastes in fashionable attire in the 16th and 17th centuries. For the Tudor and Stuart elite, luxurious clothing was an essential element of court life. Garments and accessories - and the way in which they were worn - conveyed important messages about wealth, gender, age, social position, marital status and religion. Using paintings, drawings, jewellery and rare surviving examples of clothing and accessories, the exhibition explores the style of the rich and famous of the period. Both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I enforced laws dictating the fabrics, colours and types of garment that could be worn at each level of society. 'Cloth of gold', which incorporated gold-wrapped thread, crimson-dyed fabrics and certain types of fur were reserved for those of the highest status. On the preparatory drawing for his portrait of William Parr, Hans Holbein the Younger notes that the sitter wore a gown of purple velvet. a fabric usually reserved for royalty, thus reflecting Parr's standing in the royal household as captain of the Gentleman Pensioners. In many cases, the clothing worn by the sitter was more costly than the painting itself. In 1632 Charles I paid Anthony van Dyck £100 for a portrait of the royal family, while spending £5,000 a year on clothing. Renaissance jewellery was often full of symbolism, including classical or mythological figures, and set with stones thought to hold magical properties. The Darnley or Lennox Jewel, an exquisite gold heart-shaped locket set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds, incorporates a serpent entwined around the Tree of Life and skull cameos, serving as a memento mori. The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, until 20th July.