Private View held by Richard Andrews
War Horse: Fact And Fiction explores the stage and film adaptations of Michael Morpurgo's novel, which tells the story of a horse sent to the front in the First World War and his young owner's quest to find him, alongside real life stories of war horses and the soldiers who depended on them. The exhibition traces the history of the war horses through centuries of army life from the Battle of Hastings onwards, with paintings, illustrations, personal testimony, photographs, artifacts and memorabilia, interweaved with props, costumes and Handspring's life sized puppets used in the National Theatre's stage adaptation, and images from the Steven Spielberg film. In the First World War, there were more than 6 million horses and mules, and judging by the British statistics, almost half died of disease or were killed in conflict, and only a handful, mainly officers' privately owned mounts, ever came home. The best of the survivors were sold overseas as riding horses, the next as work horses, and the rest to butchers for human consumption. The exhibition also touches on the fate of those horses, and how they were helped by charities such as the Brooke animal hospitals (founded by Dorothy Brooke, wife of a British Army major, who found skeletal horse survivors working in the streets of Cairo, some still visibly branded with the army's broad arrow) and the RSPCA. Among the stories told is that of Jimson, a mule who survived campaigns in India and the Boer war, and whose 3 service medals are on display. He was so beloved by the 2nd Battalion Middlesex that they got special permission to bring him back from South Africa in 1903, and he lived on as regimental mascot until 1912. National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London, until August.
FCB Cadell is the first solo exhibition of the work of one of the four artists popularly known as The Scottish Colourists to be held in a public gallery in 70 years. Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell is perhaps the most elegant of the Colourists, renowned for stylish portrayals of Edinburgh New Town interiors and the sophisticated society that occupied them, vibrantly coloured, daringly simplified still lifes and figure studies of the 1920s, and evocative depictions of his beloved island of Iona. As with the other Colourists, Cadell spent time in France early on in his career, and had direct contact with French painting from Manet and the Impressionists to Matisse and the Fauves. Cadell's tightly-cropped compositions, usually approached at an angle, the flat application of paint, and his use of brilliant colour, resulted in interiors, still lifes and figure studies that count amongst the most remarkable paintings in British art of the period. The exhibition brings together almost 80 of these paintings, many of which have rarely, if ever, been shown in public before. Highlights include 'The Blue Fan', 'The Embroidered Cloak', 'Still Life with White Teapot', 'Interior The Orange Blind', 'Interior Croft House', 'Portrait of a Lady in Black', 'Florian's Cafe, Venice', 'St Mark's Square, Venice ', 'The Harbour, Cassis', 'The Tail of Mull from Ioana', 'Pulpit Rock, Iona', 'The Croft ', and 'Ioana'. Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until 18th March.
From Garden City To Green City explores the many visions, designs and projects that have inspired the 'green city' movement over the last 150 years. From the Victorian pioneers determined to improve living conditions in newly industrialised Britain, to today's landscape architects transforming urban centres, the exhibition considers whether the current enthusiasm for eco-living and seasonality can make a lasting change. The exhibition brings together books, works of art, photographs, design drawings, maps, diagrams and films to tell the story of the green city movement since the mid 19th century. It re-visits a time when areas like Brixton and Waterloo could be depicted as rural idylls. This green signature underlying London inspired the designer William Morris and the novelist Richard Jefferies to imagine a future in which nature takes over. The display tells the story of the very first of the 'garden cities' in Letchworth, and looks at their legacy in the town planning of the 20th century. It traces the impact of the Second World War and the wild flower meadows that sprang up naturally in former bomb sites. Following on from these, it opens the door on the many green spaces that have been created by individuals and community groups, such as a London house with a wildflower meadow and insect hotel on its roof; and 'guerilla gardening' and 'meanwhile gardens', like the Dalston Eastern Curve in Hackney, and the Edible Bus Stop garden, on a strip of land beside the 322 stop on Landor Road SW9. The Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1, until 1st April.
Treasures Of The Royal Society features some of the most remarkable treasures from 350 years of book collecting. Among the rare and priceless publications are: John Graunt's 'Natural and Political Observations...upon the Bills of Mortality', a pioneering work on medical statistics that provides a unique insight into what London life - and death - were like in the 17th century; Isaac Newton's handwritten corrections to his 'Principia', setting out his laws of motion, universal gravitation, and planetary motion, one of the most significant scientific works ever published; the first edition of Charles Darwin's 'Origin of Species', which sparked a revolution in the way humans understood themselves and the natural world; rarely seen anatomical engravings by Albrecht Durer, the first to apply the science of human proportion to aesthetics; Galileo's revolutionary 'Starry Messenger', the first book to describe the results of astronomical observations made through a telescope, describing craters and mountains on the moon, clearly shown in several engraved illustrations; William Gilbert's 'Tractatus de Magnete', a groundbreaking book on magnetism that explained by means of experiments and observations his theory of the earth as a giant magnet with two poles; Charles Lyell's 'Principles of Geology' which argued that geology can be explained by the action of modern causes such as volcanoes, earthquakes and erosion, and that the biblical narratives of the creation and flood should not be taken literally; and Robert Hooke's 'Micrographia', the first illustrated book of microscopic observations, containing the first use of the word 'cell' to describe the tiny pores in a sliver of cork. The Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London, until 21st June.
Graham Sutherland: An Unfinished World is an exploration of the lesser-known works of one of the most compelling British artists of the mid 20th century. The exhibition brings together over 80 of Graham Sutherland's rarely seen works on paper, studies and sketches that possess a quickness and fluidity that his finished paintings often lack. It concentrates on Sutherland's early Pembrokeshire landscapes from the 1930s and 1940s, works created during his time as an official war artist during the Second World War, and after his return to Pembrokeshire in the 1970s. Far from traditional studies of landscape and environment, these works not only depict but also exude a world that is as dark as it is magical, as elusive as it is recognisable. Strangely bereft of human life, the works navigate the real and imagined, where country lanes loop into each other, horizon lines fold into foregrounds, and nothing is as it seems. Sutherland was exhilarated by the 'exultant strangeness' of the Pembrokeshire landscape, but the natural forms he painted are fuelled just as much by his imagination. This is revealed in distinctly dark ruminations of the soul, a devastating vision that appears just as apocalyptic before the war as it does during it or in its immediate aftermath. The exhibition shows Sutherland as an artist as much rooted in the past as in the world before him - a world forever unfinished. Modern Art Oxford until 18th March.
Magic Worlds delves into the realms of fantasy, illusion and enchantment, revealing how magic has been embraced for hundreds of years. The exhibition explores the world of fairy tales and fantasy literature, the history and origins of magic, and how themes of magic have influenced many artists and writers over the last 300 years. It is a journey into miniature magical worlds, complete with witches, wizards, fairies and magical creatures, showing the ways magical beliefs become magical fictions, how fairytales evolved into fantasy literature, and how real superstition merged into conjuring tricks. Objects on display include posters, costumes, tricks and illusions from Music Hall and stage magic shows; props and merchandise from films featuring fantasy and magical creatures; optical toys such as the zoetrope and the praxinoscope, magic lanterns and parlour games based around magic; children's magic, conjuring sets and playing cards featuring classic tricks; paintings, drawings and ceramics inspired by the theme of fairies and enchantment; the supposedly real photographs of the Cottingley fairies; otherworldly dolls and puppets; and illustrated books, such as a 16th century book on witchcraft that includes a depiction of the fairground trick known as the beheading of John the Baptist - a Tudor version of the modern magic trick of the assistant sawn in half; together with interactive hands-on activities. Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London, until 4th March.
Dickens And London celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Britain's most successful novelist. Recreating the atmosphere of Victorian London through sound and projections, the exhibition takes visitors on a haunting journey to discover the city that inspired Dickens's writings. Paintings, photographs, costume and objects illustrate themes that Dickens wove into his works, while rarely seen manuscripts including Bleak House and David Copperfield - written in the author's own hand - offer clues to his creative genius. The exhibition reveals how Dickens's childhood experiences of London, working in a blacking factory while his father was locked away in a debtor's prison, were introduced into the stories he wrote. The great social questions of the 19th century, including wealth and poverty, prostitution, childhood mortality and philanthropy, are also examined, all of which set the scene for Dickens's greatest works. The exhibition covers Dickens's childhood and home life, the theatre, industrialisation, criminal justice and death. Highlights include an audio-visual experience bringing to life Robert William Buss's unfinished painting 'Dickens's Dream', portraying Dickens asleep in a chair surrounded by the characters he created, with the actual desk and chair where he wrote his novels; and a specially commissioned film by the documentary maker William Raban, which explores the similarities between London after dark today and the night time city in Victorian times, to a soundtrack of Dickens's essay Night Walks. Museum of London, until 10th June.
Cutting Edge: Contemporary Paper Art displays work by leading artists who use techniques such as collage, print-making and paper cuts to create a variety of fragile and unique sculptures and illustration. Papercraft is an age-old art that goes back to ancient China and Japan, but here it is given a contemporary twist. Among the artists represented are Eileen White, Rob Ryan, Ed Kluz, John Dilnot, Jonny Hannah, Zoe Murphy and Sally Sheinman. Highlights include a 15ft paper cut mobile suspended in the air, made from hundreds of leaves, flowers and other natural elements; beautiful 'vignettes' inside glass fronted boxes; six grand three dimensional paper houses on a miniature scale, mythical creations sheltering beneath Victorian glass domes; uncanny gothic landscapes inspired by historic buildings and folklore, made from mixed media, including gouache, ink, wax, wire and cut paper; and two 200ft long paper sculptures, one made from 25,000 pieces of hand-painted gold Japanese rice paper to symbolise the number of genes in the human genome, and the other comprised of over 700 drawings of the human form, each one different from the other, some showing small subtle changes, while others times are very dramatically different. Mottisfont Abbey, Mottisfont, near Romsey, Hampshire, until 29th January.
Hogarth's House has reopened after a £400,000 restoration and refurbishment programme, which includes the transformation of the second floor into a museum. The Grade 1 listed house, built around 1700, was the country home of the painter, engraver and satirist William Hogarth from 1749 until his death. He bought the house to act as his family's country refuge, a weekend and summer home, away from the noise of his other house in what is now Leicester Square. The work involved revealing some of the building's original features, including parts of the flooring, a sympathetic refurbishment of period details, and the restoration of the original colour scheme. The new museum has displays about the Hogarths, their lives, and others who have lived in the house. It features a number of Hogarth's recently acquired personal possessions, such as a portable chest in which he kept brushes and materials, his paint box, his ladle, some glasses, a precious Chinese porcelain punchbowl, and his palette, which was later owned by JMW Turner. The house holds an extensive collection of Hogarth's prints, a selection of which are on display, together with a set of his engraving plates. In the garden there remains the ancient mulberry tree, the fruits of which the Hogarths are said to have made into pies for the Foundling children who stayed with them, and the 'painting room' shed where Hogarth was working until a few days before his death. Hogarth's tomb with an inscription by his friend, the actor, David Garrick, lies a short walk from the house in St Nicholas's churchyard, next to the Thames. Hogarth's House, Hogarth Lane, Great West Road, London W4, continuing.
Prince Philip: Celebrating Ninety Years marks the 90th birthday of His Royal Highness Prince Philip. The exhibition brings together photographs, memorabilia, paintings and gifts that illustrate key moments in Prince Phillip's life. It also reflects his many interests, from carriage driving to painting and design, as well as his extensive work as patron or president of 800 organisations, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. The photographs document both private occasions and public appearances, from his birth as the son of a Prince and Princess in pre republican Greece, through subsequent exile in Germany, France and Britain, his navy career, and marriage to the Queen, up to the present day. In addition, there is a wide selection of unusual gifts that Prince Philip has received during his travels all over the world, including a Native American headdress, a silver model of the Royal Yacht Britannia, a chess set representing the Zulu and Ndebele tribes of South Africa, a model of the X-ray Multi Mirror satellite, a French grass hopper wine bottle cooler, a pair of silver spurs from Chilie, a silver cigar box engraved with a map of the Galapagos Islands, a Royal Windsor Horse Show International Driving Grand Prix Trophy and a scale model of his driving carriage, a silver gilt cigarette lighter in the form a an oil refinery storage tank, a model of a Chinese armillary sphere, and many medals and awards. The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle, until 22nd January.
Gainsborough's Landscapes: Themes And Variations is the first exhibition in 50 years devoted solely to the 18th century artist's landscape paintings and drawings. For Thomas Gainsborough, portraiture was his business, but landscape painting was his pleasure. The landscape paintings and drawings reveal his mind at work, the breadth of his invention, and the quality of his technique. Gainsborough sold relatively few of his landscape paintings, and none of his drawings, but he regarded them as his most important work. These paintings do not represent real views, but are creations 'of his own Brain', as he put it. A limited number of rural subjects exercised his imagination from one decade to the next, changing as he developed an increasingly energetic 'hand', or manner of painting, and becoming ever grander in conception. This exhibition includes some of Gainsborough's most famous and popular works, including 'The Watering Place', together with less well known works such as 'Haymaking from Woburn'. The paintings show Gainsborough returning to the same themes again and again, and demonstrate the longevity of each theme, and the degree of experimentation that was involved in the search for the perfect composition. The evolution of Gainsborough's style is traced from early naturalistic landscapes in the Dutch manner, enlivened with small figures, to grand scenery that is dramatically lit and obviously imaginary, such as the 'Romantic Landscape'. The sketches drawings that accompany the paintings clarify the development of Gainsborough's constructed vision, revealing how his style evolved. Holburne Museum, Bath, until 22nd January.
Building The Revolution: Soviet Art And Architecture 1915 - 1935 examines Russian avant-garde architecture made during a brief but intense period of construction that took place following the revolution. Fired by the Constructivist art that emerged in Russia from around 1915, architects transformed this radical artistic language into three dimensions, creating structures whose innovative style embodied the energy and optimism of the new Soviet Socialist state. The exhibition juxtaposes large scale photographs of extant buildings with relevant Constructivist drawings and paintings, and vintage photographs. The drive to forge a new Marxist - Socialist society in Russia gave scope to a dynamic synthesis between radical art and architecture. This was reflected in the engagement in architectural ideas and projects by artists such as Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Tatlin, Liubov Popova, El Lizzitsky, Ivan Kluin and Gustav Klucis, and in designs by architects such as Konstantin Melnikov, Moisei Ginsburg, Ilia Golosov and the Vesnin brothers. European architects including Le Corbusier and Erich Mendelsohn were also drafted in to shape the new utopia. Their novel buildings - streamlined, flat-roofed, white-walled and with horizontal banded fenestration - appeared alien among the surrounding traditional low-built wooden structures and densely developed 19th century commercial and residential blocks. They left a distinctive mark not only on the two most prominent cities, Moscow and St Petersburg, but also on other urban centres such as Kiev, Ekaterinburg, Baku, Sochi and Nishni Novgorod. The photographer Richard Pare has documented these iconic buildings over the past two decades, providing an eloquent record of the often degraded condition into which the buildings have fallen. Royal Academy of Arts until 22nd January.