News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th October 2001


London Transport Museum Depot at Acton houses the museum's reserve collection and conservation site, and is open to the public on just a few days each year. It holds a treasure trove of over 370,000 objects, including a host of rare road and rail vehicles, station models, signs, equipment, ceramic tiles, ticket machines, uniforms, posters, engineering drawings, photographs and nearly one million feet of original archive film. Open Days provide an opportunity to explore the main sheds and discover the stories behind the collection, with a programme of talks, stalls and special themed displays. Guided Tours, led by knowledgeable museum representatives, offer an in depth insight into the collection, with access to stores not normally open to the public. Open Day tickets can be bought on the door but Guided Tours must be booked in advance. Further information can be found on the London Transport Museum web site via the link from the Museums section of ExhibitionsNet. London Transport Museum Depot, Open Days on 13th and 14th October - Guided Tours on 26th October.

Langlands & Bell Installation is the first exhibition in the New Artists House designed by Stephen Marshall, which will feature art in a modern domestic environment, and in which artists can stay. Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell specialise in exploring relationships between people and architecture, examining buildings and the way we think about them. This installation combines new pieces with key elements of their past work.

Tim Harrison: New Stone Carvings in the New Gallery explore the fabric of the stone, through cutting, carving and polishing, revealing the geology that lies within it. A feature of Harrison's work is the way that it changes in shape, form and texture as the viewpoint or light source shifts.

The Sculpture Park is a permanent outdoor exhibition of work from 1950 onwards, and is the sole representative of the estate of Barbara Hepworth, with many of her pieces in wood, marble, stone and bronze. Other artists whose works are displayed include Kenneth Armitage, Lynn Chadwick, Antony Gormley and Rachel Whiteread. New Art Centre Sculpture Park & Gallery, Salisbury - both exhibitions until 30th November - park open all year round.

The Golden Age Of Watercolours: The Hickman Bacon Collection is the first chance for the public to see this collection of British landscape drawings and watercolours since 1948. From its creation in the early years of the last century it has been recognized as the best private holding of such works anywhere, and the eighty two pictures on display here represent the cream of the collection. It is especially strong in the late ethereal Turner watercolours that only became widely popular with the advent of abstract painting in the 1940s and 50s. In addition to twenty one Turners, there are watercolours and drawings by Girtin, John Sell Cotman, David Cox, Peter de De Wint, John Robert Cozens, Francia, Bonington and Boys. They demonstrate how these artists expanded the visual, spatial, emotional and technical dimensions of landscape art during their careers, as well as their mastery of a range of watercolour techniques. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 6th January.


Mike Nelson has a newly commissioned work that is installed not only in the galleries, but also in the public spaces of the building. Nelson is renowned for creating large scale environments, jammed with the detritus of modern living, which are theatrical, elaborate and surprising. Here he has built a maze-like structure, designed to transform the existing spaces, and disorientate the visitor. As always Nelson has filled this labyrinth with assorted paraphernalia that he has salvaged, with particular reference to his interest in sci-fi, B-movies and pulp fiction. The experience has the feel of stepping into a drama that has been temporarily suspended, like illicitly walking through a stage set during the interval. Mike Nelson has been shortlisted for this year's Turner Prize. Institute of Contemporary Arts until 11th November.

Thinktank, Birmingham's new £50 million science and discovery visitor attraction at Millennium Point is now in business, although the formal opening is not until next July. Divided into ten themed sections over four floors, and covering over 12,500 square metres (including an IMAX cinema), it is one of the largest attractions of its kind outside London. It tells the story of innovation in science and technology through the city's past, relates the latest advances to everyday life today, and examines expectations for the future. Topics covered include Manufacturing, Transport, Power, Space, Medicine, and Natural History. As well as over 200 new interactive exhibits, there are also many of the favourites from the former Museum of Science and Industry which closed in 1997, including the City of Birmingham steam locomotive, Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft, John Cobb's Railton car, and the world's oldest working steam engine. The Millennium Point project, which is designed by Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners, will also house the Technology Innovation Centre and the University of the First Age, plus shops, bars and restaurants. Thinktank, Birmingham continuing.

Facts Of Life: Contemporary Japanese Art is one of the major exhibitions in the Japan 2001 Festival, and the largest show of contemporary Japanese art ever shown in the UK. It includes works by 25 artists, from key figures such as Nobuyoshi Araki, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tatsuo Miyajima and Yayoi Kusama, to a younger generation of rising talent. These range over painting, photography, installation, video and performance, with some created specially for this exhibition. Many are motivated by social concerns, such as the alienation and vulnerability of the individual within the urban landscape, social engagement, and the nature of the material world. These themes emerge in some of the most cutting edge contemporary art being made today, together something that is often missing - humour. Hayward Gallery until 9th December.

Surrealism: Desire Unbound is the first major British assessment of the Surrealist movement for twenty five years. During this period surrealist images have moved from the avant-garde fringe to the stuff of advertising campaigns, so the question is, can the works fulfil their original brief? On the strength of the pieces selected here the answer is yes. The usual suspects appear, including de Chirico, Dali, Duchamp, Max Ernst, Dalí, Giacometti, Man Ray, Magritte and Miro, together with other lesser known artists, and surrealist pieces by those whose main body of work lies outside the movement. The exhibition reveals the group's obsession with desire and sexuality and how it encompassed everything they did. Through painting, sculpture, installation and film, it charts the varied paths chosen to bypass conventional reason and rationality in order to explore the mind's potentially limitless capacity to imagine, dream and invent. The exhibition is dramatically staged in 13 themed sections, each taking its title from a well known work. Further information and an Online Surrealism Shop can be found on the Tate web site via the link opposite. Tate Modern until 1st January.

Nigel Henderson: Parallel Of Life And Art features the work of a key figure in post war British art, straddling the worlds of documentary photography and surrealist inspired collage making. It comprises a selection of the photographs taken in the East End of London in the early 1950s, his experimental 'stressed' photographs, and photograms and photocollages. The centrepiece is a recreation of the exhibition held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1953, which Henderson organised with Eduardo Paolozzi, Alison and Peter Smithson, and Ronald Jenkins. This ground breaking display featured photographs culled from a wide variety of sources - science, technology, nature, art and popular culture - which were blown-up and hung on screens and from the ceiling as well as on the walls, creating a 'total environment' in the exhibition space. Gainsborough's House, Sudbury until 25th November.

Rembrant's Women is the first major exhibition to examine how women were portrayed by Rembrandt. The women in his household, elderly mother Cornelia, blonde wife Saskia, son's nursemaid Geertje Dircks, and dark haired mistress Hendrickje Stoffels, provided the models for figures in large scale historical, mythological and biblical scenes. Rembrandt also made sketches of women going about their everyday business, providing a glimpse of seventeenth century domestic routine. His female figures are beautiful, yet unclassically realistic, depicting their bodies complete with imperfections, thus challenging perceptions of beauty in a way that his contemporaries found shocking. Twenty seven paintings, forty eight etchings and forty four drawings are displayed chronologically, demonstrating how Rembrandt developed certain themes depicting women, how his stylistic approach changed with the years, and how he kept returning to certain subjects throughout his life. Royal Academy of Arts until 16th December.


Walsall Illuminations, Britain's biggest inland illumination display, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, as lights and lasers transform Walsall's arboretum. The season starts with a procession from Walsall town centre that includes 350 pyramid shape lanterns made by local children, plus five 12ft long by 7ft high lanterns, each representing a decade from the last 50 years of pop music. Presumably this symbolises the triumph of exuberance over good taste. The illuminations themselves consist of lakeside lights, state of the art laser shows, floodlit gardens and over 50 different light scenes, including tableaux of favourite children's characters. In addition there are street entertainers, puppet shows, food stalls and fairground rides, plus extra Half Term events during the final week of the season. Walsall Arboretum until 28th October.

Experiment Experiencia: Art In Brazil 1958-2000 endeavours to capture the spirit of experimentation and dynamism of Brazilian art in the second half of the 20th century. Its vibrancy and colour is expressed in paintings, sculpture, film and installation by three generations of artists. Early abstract experiments of the Brazilian avant-garde led by Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica moved outside the frame to embrace 3-D constructions suspended from the ceiling and audience participation - including performances by children from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. In the 1960s and 1970s the work of artists such as Antonio Dias and Antonio Manuel became increasingly politicised in the repressive years of military dictatorship. The diverse art of recent times includes Jose Damasceno's floating black suit and Lygia Pape's curtain of ripening bananas (you had to be there). Museum Of Modern Art, Oxford until 21st October.

Chihuly At The V&A is the first major exhibition in Britain of the spectacular contemporary glass creations of Canadian artist Dale Chihuly, who produces many different types of work in rich colours and extravagant shapes, which provide a modern take on the historic traditions of Venetian glass. Unusually, the pieces are spread throughout galleries and gardens of the V&A. The show has a spectacular start with a five metre high Chandelier hanging in the Dome entrance. It moves on to a spotlight space of glass Baskets. The Medieval Treasury features a tunnel installation with an overhead Persian Ceiling like a coral sea. A Macchia (Italian for spot or stain) Forest display of oddly shaped, brightly coloured vessels, frames the entrance to the gardens. Outdoors there are Seal Pups, Herons, Spears, Fiddleheads and a Tower Of Light, standing eleven metres high over the fountain. Victoria & Albert Museum until 21st October.