News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 9th August 2000


Eat Drink And Be Merry: The British At Table 1600-200 at Kenwood House is the ultimate visitor experience, combining the current passion for food and drink with the ongoing interest in stately homes in one package. If a visit also includes a lakeside concert in the evening, then every sense can be nourished at one location. Replica banquets from different periods are laid out in five rooms, using the authentic furniture, table settings, silverware, glassware, china, ornaments and decorations. Meals featured include the Duke of Newcastle's 1698 Windsor Castle feast and Mrs Beeton's recommendations for an 1892 breakfast. In addition there are paintings and lithographs of many more gourmet occasions, from An English Family At Tea to Fatal Effects Of Gluttony. Kenwood House, London, 020 8348 1286 until 24th September.

Salvador Dalí's Optical Illusions focuses on the great Surrealist painter's life-long fascination with illusion, visual perception and distortion, comprising seventy of his most important paintings, drawings and sculptures. The exhibition explores how double or dissolving images relate to scientific thought and study, often transforming or reworking art from earlier periods. It examines the techniques Dalí developed in anamorphic perspective, pointillism and stereometry, and analyses his use of photography and hologram. Dalí's fascination with the dreams led to some of the twentieth century's most brilliant and disturbing visualisations of the unconscious. Organised by the Wadsworth Atheneum at Hartford, Connecticut, this is the only showing of the exhibition outside the USA. With Dali Universe continuing in London, it's true what they say, you wait ages for a Dali retrospective and two come along at the same time. Dean Gallery, Edinburgh until 1st October.

Rites of Passage is the second in the three part sequence of exhibitions being staged this year under the umbrella title The Times Of Our Lives, which examine human experience in relation to time, and events common to us all throughout our lives from birth to death. It focuses on the rituals of ordinary lives, with objects and images from around the world associated with everything from wedding cakes to funeral masks, dowry textiles to childbirth charms. Mixing art, archaeology and social history, it brings together diverse approaches to life changing moments from different times and cultures, including Nigerian dolls and an Egyptian mummy. A film by Inga Burrows featuring local people discussing the themes covered by the exhibition will be shown throughout the run. Wentworth Gallery Manchester until 17th September.


Force Fields: Phases Of The Kinetic is the most comprehensive exhibition of kinetic art ever staged in Britain, with over 100 works from over 40 artists created between the 20's and the 80's. Kinetic art produces, relates to, or appears subject to motion or force - in other words it moves about, lights up and/or makes a noise. It is arguably one of the most important, yet the most overlooked movement of the second half of the twentieth century. Among the pieces here are the anarchical machines of Tinguely, Lygia Clark's interactive Abyss Masks, Yves Klein's paintings made with fire, Julio Le Parc's Continuous Light Cylinders, the vibration paintings of Jesus Soto, Hans Haacke's installations with water, air and vapour, David Medalla's Mud Machine and the abstract films of James Whitney. But where are the lasers? Many of the works are rarely seen in galleries today and have been specially reconstructed for this exhibition.

Immaterial is the ultimate Blue Peter project, as the foyer of the adjoining Royal Festival Hall is transformed with a site specific installation made from reams of white paper and brown parcel tape. Artstation are pioneers of the use of computer aided design to create virtual works which are brought to life using a drawing robot. They have designed labyrinthine structures that curve and sweep in and out of the pillars and steps and inflate with air to draw attention to the architectural dimensions of the building. There are free activities for children and daily "meet the artist" sessions enabling visitors to find out how it is done - but don't try this at home. South Bank Centre, Force Fields: Phases Of The Kinetic, Hayward Gallery until 17th September - Immaterial, Royal Festival Hall until 29th August.

Defining Features: Scientific And Medical Portraits 1660-2000 is much more interesting than its bald description "portraits of scientists, doctors and technologists from the foundation of the Royal Society to the present day" would lead you to believe. It includes the first ever electronic portrait. Tom Phillips has created a ten minute video sequence in which a scan of his brain dissolves (with the aid of Tipp-Ex) into a portrait of Susan Greenfield (Director of the Royal Institution who is currently being brainy in all media) and back again. The piece, which was specially commissioned for this exhibition, uses over 200 pieces of artwork - sketches, video and photographs - to create a mesmerising and almost imperceptibly changing work. It is shown on a state of the art 28-inch vertical flat screen no thicker than a canvas. National Portrait Gallery until 17th September.

High Street Londinium uniquely combines the skills of the archaeologist, the historian and the craft worker. Fulfilling the current brief of "Culture Lite", its purpose through painstaking reconstruction is both to entertain and contribute to knowledge about Romano-British buildings and living conditions. The starting point was a dig by the Museum of London Archaeology Service at 1 Poultry between 1994 and 1996, where a city very different from the traditional image of Roman life was revealed. Instead of great stone buildings, temples, bath houses and mosaics, most buildings were made of timber and mudbrick, and had been inhabited by working craftsmen. This exhibition is a recreation of the commercial centre of London as it was in AD 100, including the premises of a baker, carpenter and potter, complete with the authentic aromas of wood smoke and rotting food. Visitors can enter the houses and shops that lined the via decumana, the main road through the Roman town, and handle the belongings and tools of the people who lived and worked there. Alongside are the remains of the actual artefacts found at the dig. Museum Of London until 7th January.

Mechatronic Circus is an assembly of seventeen automata by Fernando Palma Rodriquez - machines which interact with the audience and with each other by means of radio control, infrared, light and sound sensors. It is as though the sculptures have come to life, as masked chattering sewing machines meet spinning stepladders. Palma Rodriquez's work bridges the gap between technology, art, storytelling and ecology with his "cast" enacting Mexican Nahua creation myths. As part of the Year Of The Artist, Palma Rodriquez worked onsite in the gallery to create these unique pieces, using recycled computers and other machines, together with both natural and man made materials. Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno until 2nd September.

Jodrel Bank Observatory may be threatened if Britain joins the European Southern Observatory in its Very Large Telescope project located in Chile, according to press reports this week. Finance is unlikely to be available for both participation in ESO, and continued upgrading of Jodrell's radio-imaging telescopes, without which they will become obsolete. The Lovell Telescope is presently undergoing a major enhancement, and plans are advanced for other upgrades in order to provide British astronomers with a unique instrument to work with the Hubble Space Telescope and the next generation of telescopes. Jodrell's radio-imaging telescopes provide resources which the ESO optical telescopes cannot replace. Jodrell Bank is open to the public daily during the summer. A full statement about the threat to its future, live webcam and telescope data, information about the various instruments and visitor arrangements are all provided on the Jodrell Bank web site, via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. Jodrell Bank Science Centre, Planetarium and Arboretum until October.

Dan Dare At 50 is an exhibition of artwork and memorabilia celebrating Britain's first and best known spaceman, whose exploits were regaled on the front page of the Eagle comic in the 1950's. In addition to original artwork, it includes ray guns, walkie talkies, jigsaws, games and recently rediscovered pre launch dummy copy of the Eagle, in which Dan Dare was a Spacefleet Pardre - a real Sky Pilot. As with all the best sci fi many of the fantastic inventions have since come to pass. On Sunday 13th August there will be a special day, with a talk on Frank Hempson the original illustrator and the Dan Dare Studio, the opportunity to meet the artists, and view a Dan Dare video which is not in the exhibition.

Happy Birthday Snoopy - the Peanuts 50th Anniversary Exhibition - traces the history of the world's best loved and most widely syndicated cartoon strip. A recreation of the studio of Charles M Schultz displays a selection of rare Peanut strips, many of which are destined for the Schultz Museum opening in California next year. Children can try cartooning at a series of one day workshops throughout the run. Best of all both the exhibitions and the special events are free. British Cartoon Centre, London, 020 7278 7172, Dan Dare until 8th September - Peanuts until 8th October.


Building The Millennium - Paintings By Glynn Boyd Harte is a series of watercolours that record the ever-evolving face of the capital. This exhibition celebrates London's Millennium architecture - the London Eye, the Tate Modern at Bankside and the Millennium Bridge - projects which have altered the face of the city. Museum Of London until 28th August.

Carl Andre is the first major exhibition of the artist's work in London for over twenty years, and is a retrospective of his fifty year career. Andre's pile of bricks at the Tate in 1966 defined (or defiled) minimalist art for a generation. Fans of the permutation and repetition of bland and identical units will find thirty works from as early as 1958 to the present. Civilians may wish to know that he has certainly moved on - now he is using railway sleepers, and some of them are standing on end. Andre's current obsession is metal floor plates placed like stepping stones across the upper galleries. Whitechapel Gallery until 27th August.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its unique blend of music, ceremony, entertainment and theatre, set against the backdrop of Edinburgh castle. The largest programme ever staged features 1000 performers from 30 countries, including 15 pipe and drum bands from affiliated Scottish Regiments, 48 Highland Dancers and a 70 strong choir. This year's theme is the contribution of the Commonwealth, and items include Ngati Rangiwewehi Maori Group in an exhibition of Kapa Haka dance, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with a drill demonstration complete with lances, the African Zulu Infantry Battalion Dance Team performing traditional songs and dances, and the West Indian Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel Orchestra - the world's only military steel band. Full details from the Edinburgh Military Tattoo web site via the link from the Others - Festivals section of ExhibitionsNet. Castle Esplanade, Edinburgh until 26th August.