News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 11th September 2013


Victoriana: The Art Of Revival offers a major examination of Victorian revivalism in all its forms. Featuring graphic design, film, photography, ceramics, taxidermy, furniture, textiles and fine art, this multi-media show explores work inspired by the 19th century and created over the last 20 years, highlighting the ongoing influence of the Victorian age. From the macabre to the quaint, the sensational to the surreal, the exhibition brings together 28 major contemporary artists who encapsulate the many forms and motivations of modern takes on Victorian style. Highlights of the weird and wonderful inventions and interventions include Rob Ryan's take on a pair of ceramic Staffordshire dogs 'I Remember, Nobody Remembers'; Jane Hoodless's part eaten wedding cake 'Shorn Out of Wedlock'; Miss Pokeno's combination of armchair and taxidermy 'Trophy Chair'; Carole Windham's ceramic couple 'Dearly Beloved'; Timorous Beasties's 'Devil Damask Flock Wallpaper'; Patrick StPaul's collection of strange things in glass jars 'Whisper in the Midst of Silence'; and Yumiko Utsu's altered painting 'Octopus Portrait': plus works by Yinka Shonibare, Grayson Perry, Paula Rego, Dan Hillier, Paul St George, Kitty Valentine and Jake and Dinos Chapman. Guildhall Art Gallery, London, until 8th December.

Zoe Beloff: Dreamland - The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society And Its Circle 1926-1972 is an installation inspired by Sigmund Freud's visit to Coney Island Amusement Park in New York. Zoe Beloff takes Freud's interest in this site of fantasy as a starting point to display the history of the Coney Island Psychoanalytic Society, a small group of Freud followers, now considered an urban legend. Through recounting the activities of the society and in particular its founder Albert Grass, Beloff's work explores the unconscious of one of the world's great amusement parks, seeing it as an overlooked repository of society's dreams and desires. Among the elements are: drawings and an architectural model of the proposed Dreamland Amusement Park, designed to illustrate Freud's theory of dream formation, including Dream Work, Unconscious, Consciousness and Psychic Censor Pavilions; slides of the original The World In Wax exhibit, together with wax hands and glasses similar to those worn by Freud; weathered paintings on plywood of a bumper car ride called 'Engines of the ID', where patrons would choose cars with names like Infantile Impulse or Raw Regression and collide into each other on the floor marked out according to Freud's map of the psyche; a history of the Coney Island Amusement Park from the 1880's to the present day, as well as background on Sigmund Freud's visit; Archives of the Society, containing magazines, letters, snapshots, books and information panels; and Dream Films made by members of the Society. Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, until 2nd November.

Frank Holl: Emerging From The Shadows is the first major retrospective in more than 100 years of the eminent Victorian artist widely regarded in his own lifetime as a leading figure in social realist and portrait painting. Frank Holl's early death at 43 meant that he never fully received the acclaim his work merited. This exhibition brings together around 30 of Holl's major works to examine how, during his short career, he became a distinct and insightful voice in British painting. Holl was a leading exponent of subject painting, capturing scenes of everyday lives, a phenomenon that ran in tandem with the popularity of the novels of Charles Dickens. His early powerful portrayals of the impact of loss, departure and death, such as 'The Lord Gave and the Lord Hath Taken Away', resulted in a commission by Queen Victoria to go to the poor fishing village of Cullercoats to capture a community's hard life at first-hand in 'No Tidings from the Sea'. Holl joined the group of eminent artists, including Luke Fildes, Hubert von Herkomer and Millais, who illustrated the newly launched The Graphic, whose aim was to present a realistic picture of the poor and destitute of London, producing 'Gone' and one of his most celebrated works, 'Newgate, Committed for Trial'. There was then a change in direction for Holl, rejecting subject painting in favour of portraiture, a change that was a response to both a shift in artistic taste and his financial need. Holl soon became an acclaimed portraitist, with subjects including William Gilbert, Samuel Cousins, William Gladstone and Prince Edward. Watts Gallery, Compton, Surrey, until 3rd November.


Opened Up: 200 Years Of The Hunterian Museum celebrates renowned collections of human anatomy and pathology as well as natural history and works of art that have been created over the last two centuries. The exhibition reveals those who took care of the collections, where and how they were displayed, who visited them, what role they play in surgical education today, and how these diverse objects have informed the medical world and fascinated illustrious visitors from medics to monarchs. It includes hidden objects brought out of storage and cutting edge medical models crafted by those working behind the scenes both then and now, continuing 200 years of medical museum tradition. Objects include an early anesthetic inhaler; a wild boar skull suffering from 'lumpy jaw' bone infection; Joseph Lister's original carbolic acid spray engine; a Red Admiral butterfly with dissected wing; and a photograph of an Edwardian charwoman cleaning one from an entire room full of human skulls.

Extinct comprises specimens and images of extinct and endangered animals. This features the remains of prehistoric giants, such as the woolly mammoth and the immense Megalodon shark, alongside creatures lost only a few decades ago, including the Tasmanian tiger. The display raises questions about human interaction with the natural world and highlights the plight of critically endangered species.

Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, London, until 9th November.

Chagall: Modern Master reveals a radically different picture of the Russian painter from the one often presented in art history. The exhibition showcases Marc Chagall as a passionate visionary and pioneer of the avant-garde, who combined his own response to the art movements of the day with an open display of affection for his native Russia and Hasidic Jewish heritage. It provides a rare opportunity to see a substantial body of work that demonstrates the depth and diversity of Chagall's art as it matured during the pivotal years from 1911 to 1922. Over 70 paintings and drawings are presented in a broadly chronological order, with thematic groupings charting Chagall's encounters with avant-garde artistic movements, highlighting how he combined these new pictorial languages with his own imaginative and fantastical motifs to create his innovative and expressive works. The exhibition examines the 3 crucial years spent in Paris, where he explored his personal relationship to the emerging movements of Cubism and Orphism in paintings such as 'Half Past Three (The Poet)' and 'Paris Through the Window'. It brings to light how Chagall responded to the traumas of war and religious persecution following a return to Russia at the outbreak of the First World War, including 'Departure for War' and 'Jew in Red'. The 8 years Chagall was forced to spend in Russia were marked by the consolidation of his signature painterly style, as demonstrated by 'Anywhere out of the World' and 'Promenade'. The exhibition also explores Chagall's lifelong interest in the theatre, with a rare presentation of the 7 large scale murals designed for the State Yiddish Chamber Theatre in Moscow in 1920, including the epic 8m long 'The Wedding Feast' frieze. Tate Liverpool until 6th October.

The Universal Addressability Of Dumb Things explores the world of new technology, as well as tracing its connections to the beliefs of our distant past. It is a cabinet of curiosities, with historical and contemporary works of art, videos, machines, archaeological artefacts and iconic objects, like the giant inflatable cartoon figure of Felix the Cat (the first image ever transmitted on television) inhabiting an 'enchanted landscape', where objects seem to be communicating with each other and with visitors. The exhibition reflects on a world where technology can bring inanimate 'things' to life, where websites predict what we want, where we can ask our mobile phones for directions and smart fridges suggest recipes, count calories and even switch on the oven. By digitising objects, it can also make them "disappear" from the material world, re-emerging in any place or era. Loosely divided into four themes or scenes, the Vegetable World, Animal Kingdom, Mankind and the Technological Domain, works by artists such as William Blake, Louise Bourgeois, Martin Creed, Richard Hamilton, Nicola Hicks, Jim Shaw and Toyen are displayed alongside a medieval silver hand containing the bones of a saint, an electronic prosthetic hand that connects with Bluetooth, a bisected 3D model of Snoopy showing his internal organs, an early Doctor Who cyberman, and many other treasures that all share connections. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, until 20th October.

Green Fuse: The Work Of Dan Pearson examines the career of one of the most significant landscape and garden designers working today. The exhibition traces the roots of Dan Pearson's work as a plantsman and designer, looking at his education and influences and focusing on a number of key projects and their inspiration. Pearson is equally at ease designing a garden for private clients as designing a woodland landscape for a space-age house in the forest outside Moscow with Zaha Hadid, restoring a Lutyens/Jekyll estate as creating an ambitious new estate in Devon, or creating a city park in the heart of King's Cross as a mountainside ecological park at the northernmost tip of Japan. The exhibition is an immersive, multimedia experience where space, materials and craftmanship are as carefully considered as rhythm, colour, texture and seasonality in planting to create spaces which are emotionally uplifting and have a distinctive sense of place. It examines the fundamental importance of the idea of sense of place in Pearson's work, the intuitive quality of his informally trained design eye and the horticulturally rigorous, yet painterly quality of his plantings. Starting with the most formative early influences nurtured at his childhood home, the display builds a picture of how the accumulation of education, inspiration and experience led Pearson to create the iconic garden at Home Farm for Frances Mossman at the age of 22, restore the landscape at Althorp House, following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and work on the landscape for the Millennium Dome with Richard Rogers. In addition, Pearson has created a new planting design for the border in front of the museum, using elements of his work at the Tokachi Millennium Forest, employing a mix of woodland floor species, with dramatic accents and a sculptural element. Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1, until 20th October.

Brains: The Mind As Matter looks at what humans have done to brains in the name of medical intervention, scientific enquiry, cultural meaning and technological change. Featuring more than 150 objects, including real brains, artworks, manuscripts, artefacts, videos and photography, the exhibition follows the long quest to manipulate and decipher the most unique and mysterious of human organs, whose secrets continue to confound and inspire. Famous and infamous brain specimens are on display, including those of Albert Einstein, Charles Babbage and William Burke, as are the thoughts on brains from famous thinkers, together with donors, surgeons, patients and collectors. The exhibition has four sections: Measuring/Classifying introduces efforts to define the relationship between the brain's function and form, from Bernard Hollander's cranial measuring system to the tools of phrenology, the skewed morality of these pseudo-sciences illustrates the measuring of brains as a measure of culture; Mapping/Modelling follows the attempts to represent the anatomy of the brain, from early visualisations by Reisch, Vesalius and Descartes in the 16th and 17th centuries to the kaleidoscopic Brainbow images of nerve cells, and the artistic drive to apprehend the complexities of the brain with the increasing philosophical and medical understanding of its centrality to our being; Cutting/Treating explores the history of surgical intervention on a form of human tissue that is uniquely swift to decay and difficult to dissect, from crude trephination kits to complex 3D imaging systems revealing the human stories behind the anatomy of brains; and Giving/Taking traces the stories of brain harvesting and the variety of its purpose, from Nazi experimentation to the hope offered by research into neurodegenerative disorders by brain banks. Museum Of Science & Industry, Manchester, until 4th January.

Mary, Queen of Scots explores the myth and reality that surround one of the most enigmatic and romanticised figures in Scottish history. The exhibition traces Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots's story through the dynastic alliances at the heart of Renaissance Europe, following her life from birth in Scotland, childhood in France, to ruling both France and Scotland as Queen, her imprisonment in England and eventual execution. Her life of is revealed through around 200 objects, including paintings, jewellery, textiles, furniture, documents, drawings and maps. Documentary evidence ranges from the earliest surviving letter written by Mary to the warrant for her execution signed by Elizabeth I, including examples of the 'Casket letters', which were used to incriminate her in the Darnley murder, and a letter with secret cipher, presented as proof of her association with the Babington plot to assassinate Elizabeth I, which led eventually to her execution. Among some of the finest pieces of jewellery associated with Mary on show are a gold necklace and pendant locket, known collectively as the Penicuik jewels, said to have been given to one of her supporters during her captivity, in an effort to bind them to the Crown. Renaissance maps and scientific instruments such as a 15th century French astrolabe and 16th century table clock show the context of Europe moving towards an era of rapid scientific advancement, exploration and discovery. However, the 1563 Witchcraft Act shows that this was not yet an age of reason, and John Knox's 'First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women', attacked the rise of female, Catholic rulers in Europe. Finally, the exhibition includes the Book of Hours which was said to be in Mary's possession at the time of her execution and one of the most iconic images of Mary, the 'Memorial Portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots', which represents her in preparation for the executioner's block. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, until 17th November.


Richard Rogers RA: Inside Out explores the ideas and ethos of the internationally renowned architect and urbanist at his 80th birthday. The exhibition examines the social, political and cultural influences on Richard Rogers, and their connection to his architecture. Previously unseen original material, drawings and personal items, present a unique insight into the thinking behind one of the world's most celebrated architects. The exhibition draws on key stages in Rogers' life, from the influence of his Italian family, his experience of wartime and post-war Britain, his education at the Architectural Association and Yale, and the impact of seeing new American architecture and technology. For over half a century, Rogers has advocated the social objectives of architecture, the importance of public space, urban regeneration and better planning, through innovative design, believing that architecture is the most powerful agent for social change. The high profile projects showcased include the Centre Pompidou, designed with Renzo Piano and still considered one of the most radical modern buildings, the headquarters for Lloyd's of London, and the Bordeaux Law Courts.

Sir Hugh Casson PRA: Making Friends explores the multifaceted artistic personality of one of Britain's most popular architects of the 20th century, revealing a spirited and significant contribution to British architectural life from a man of great wit and charm. Sir Hugh Casson bridged the often acrimonious gap in art and architecture between traditionalists and modernists, drawing Britain into the modern age, most notably as Director of Architecture of the 1951 Festival of Britain. The display brings to life Casson's charismatic personality, featuring watercolours, sketches, architectural drawings, publications, children's' books, images of his buildings, illustrated letters, photographs and memorabilia. Highlights include the transformation of aircraft hangars into rural buildings for the Air Ministry's Camouflage Service during the Second World War; stage designs for theatre and opera, many for Glyndebourne; and illustrative work, such as Midwinter Pottery, stamps and wine labels. In a short film, Brief City, Casson offers a personal tour of the Festival of Britain.

Royal Academy of Arts, Richard Rogers until 13th October ~ Hugh Casson until 22nd September.

Turner & Constable Sketching From Nature explores how the art of oil sketching in the landscape, rather than in the studio, became fashionable in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The exhibition comprises some 60 works by JMW Turner, John Constable and their contemporaries, George Stubbs, John Linnell, William Henry Hunt, John Sell Cotman, John Crome, Francis Danby, Thomas Jones, George Robert Lewis and Augustus Wall Callcott. The display gives an insight into the different approach each artist used for oil sketching, illustrating a variety of approaches similar subjects, at a time when oil sketching en plein air was still comparatively unusual. It introduces visitors to the practice and techniques of sketching, and the often surprising connections that can be drawn between the artists involved. These comparisons prompt questions about the importance of oil sketching in this period and how finished works were planned, evolved and executed. The oil paintings represent six principal landscape themes: sketching from nature; the closer view; water, shapes and silhouettes' the shapes of landscape; rural nature and looking heavenwards. Highlights include Turner's 'The Thames near Walton Bridges', 'Godalming from the South' and 'Barge on the Tiver, Sunset'; and Constable's 'The Grove, Hampstead', 'Hampstead Heath, with the House Called The Salt Box' and 'The Sea near Brighton'. Compton Verney, Warwickshire, until 22nd September.

Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis Of Brilliance, 1908 - 1922 charts the evolution of the influential group who became some of the most well-known and distinctive British artists of the early 20th century. Students together at the Slade School of Art in London between 1908 and 1912, Paul Nash, C R W Nevinson, Stanley Spencer, Mark Gertler, Dora Carrington and David Bomberg formed part of what their drawing teacher Henry Tonks described as the school's last 'crisis of brilliance'. As their talents evolved they became Futurists, Vorticists and 'Bloomsberries', and befriended the leading writers and intellectuals of their day. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see over 70 of their works alongside each other, and explores their artistic development, culminating with a selection of their paintings made during and after the Great War of 1914 to 1918, generating some of the most provoking visual records of that event. Aside from their works of art, the members of the group were known for their rebellious, often controversial, behaviour, and through letters, drawings, photographs and ephemera, the exhibition also brings to life their complex dramas, including a fractious love triangle, a murder and multiple suicides. Among the highlights are Nash's 'Void' and 'The Sea Wall', Spencer's 'Unveiling Cookham War Memorial', Gertler's 'The Fruit Sorters', Carrington's portrait of Lytton Strachey and Bomberg's 'In The Hold'. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 22nd September.