News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 11th December 2013


Turner And The Sea examines a lifelong fascination with the sea by Britain's greatest 19th century painter. Dramatic, contemplative, violent, beautiful, dangerous and sublime - the sea was the perfect subject to showcase JMW Turner's singular talents, and the 120 pieces on display include some of the most celebrated paintings of his long career. The quality of the works gathered together in this exhibition confirms Turner's status as the pre-eminent painter of water, and demonstrates his unique ability to represent the elemental power of the sea. Encompassing oils, watercolours, prints and sketches, the exhibition follows Turner's progression from newly-elected Royal Academician to one of the country's most celebrated artists. While his style changed considerably, his virtuoso showmanship remained a dazzling constant. Among the highlights are 'The Fighting 'Temeraire', 'Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth', 'Staffa, Fingal's Cave', 'Now for the Painter', 'Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Moonlight', 'Whalers', 'Calais Pier', 'Fishermen upon a Lee-Shore, in Squally weather', 'The Battle of Trafalgar', 'Fishermen at Sea', 'The Wreck of a Transport Ship', 'The Shipwreck' and 'The Wreck Buoy'. Having begun by responding to the artists of the 17th century at the start of his career, the works from the end of Turner's life seem almost as if they could come from the 20th century. As he left behind the rules and conventions of maritime art, dividing critics and public alike, Turner created a unique vision of the overwhelming power of nature - the final stage in a lifelong engagement with the sea. Turner's paintings are shown alongside works by other British and European artists, including Willem van de Velde, Claude-Joseph Vernet, Thomas Gainsborough, Nicholas Pocock, John Constable and Richard Parkes Bonington. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until 21st April.

Edmund de Waal On White: Porcelain Stories comprises two large-scale interventions staged by the renowned British potter. Edmund de Waal has selected hundreds of porcelain items from the Museum's permanent collections and placed them alongside objects from his residency in Jungdezhen, China, a world centre for porcelain since the 11th century, including 40 pieces from its collection, plus poetry, photographs and letters. The exhibition examines the history of white and what it is that fascinates de Waal about porcelain.

A World Of Private Mystery: John Craxton, RA is the first exhibition to explore the entire career of an important but less well known 20th century British artist. This fresh retrospective on John Craxton encompasses his beginnings as a young hope of post-war British art, creating dark, meditative images of the natural world, through to works of vibrancy, light and colour from his later life in Crete. The exhibition includes personal photographs documenting Craxton's many travels, which had a significant influence on his work.

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Edmund de Waal On White: Porcelain Stories until 23rd February ~ A World Of Private Mystery: John Craxton, RA until 20th April.

Alan Sorrell - A Life Reconstructed is the first major survey of the almost forgotten mid 20th century British artist. If Alan Sorrell is know at all today, it is for his archeologically informed drawings of early historical sites and monuments and tableaux of ancient life, particularly his striking reconstructions of archaeological sites in England such as Old Sarum and Silchester. However, Sorrell worked in a variety of disciplines as this exhibition reveals. Many works have classical themes but a contemporary sensibility and execution, such as 'Benvenuto Cellini Escaping from Rome', 'Procession: Rome', 'The Artist in the Campagna' and 'The Appian Way'. Sorrell travelled the world capturing everyday scenes such as 'Processing the Catch, Wharf Scene, Iceland', 'Sudanese Express Passing Abu Simbel', 'The Long Journey' and 'The Postman'. Although he failed to be appointed an official war artist this show includes some of Sorrell's striking war images. For the Festival of Britain in 1951 he was commissioned to create a 9m mural for the bar on the HMS Campania, used as floating exhibition space, and the result, 'Working Boats from Around the British Coast' featuring a rollicking procession of fish, boats and mermaids, was only recently rediscovered and is receiving its first public showing in 60 years. Sir John Soane's Museum, 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2, until 25th January.


Collider endeavours to convey what it is like inside the £5bn Large Hadron Collider at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva, probably the most complicated scientific machine on the planet. It is not easy depicting something the size of the London Underground's Circle Line, with magnets the size of a house, or to visualise the events that take place when one subatomic proton travelling at 99.9999991 per cent of the speed of light hits another travelling at the same speed in the opposite direction, but this is a good stab at it. The exhibition begins with a 10 minute video outlining the basic facts of what the Collider is, what it does, and the first definitive results it has achieved pointing to the existence of the Higgs boson 'God particle'. From there, visitors can wander through a mock tunnel that represents the journey through the Collider, which in reality extends for some 27km underground, and employs some 3,000 scientists. This is filled with authentic artefacts, pieces of hardware such as a 2 tonne part of a 15m high superconducting magnet, a beam-focuser and a detector sensor, a calorimeter crystal, lab-bench notes, calculations and diagrams. Finally, visitors arrive in a circular space with a wrap-around screen where a computer-generated video sequence simulates a journey through the Collider, ending with an actual collision, based on real images from the Collider, which are like a post-modernist painting. Science Museum, until 6th May.

Angels, Faeries And Femmes Fatales: Dadd To Discworld explores the Victorian obsession with the supernatural and the spirit world. The exhibition embraces the influence of the artist Richard Dadd, whose 'Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke' is considered perhaps the most iconic fairy-painting of all, and the illustrations produced by contemporary artist Paul Kidby for Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. Among the images of mermaids, demons, fairies, witches, nymphs and angels are 'The Butterfly or Aerial' by Luis Ricardo Falero; 'An Incantation' by John Collier'; original publications featuring the notorious Cottingley Fairies, images faked by two Yorkshire girls that convinced many in Edwardian society; 'The Annunciation' by Simeon Solomon; an altar-piece painted by Edward Arthur Fellowes Prynne; 'Love Betrayed' by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope; and 'The Habit Does Not Make The Monk' by G F Watts. These sit alongside paintings and sculptures by Paul Kidby, including 'Miss Tick and Tiffany Aching with Feegles', 'Cupid meets Rob Anybody', 'Nanny Ogg', and a bust of Granny Weatherwax. Russell-Coates Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, until 9th March.

The Young Durer: Drawing The Figure focuses on the early figure drawings of the German Renaissance artist. The exhibition examines how Albrecht Durer reinvented established artistic traditions through an ambitious new approach to the figure. It features works from around 1490 when Durer completed his artistic training, to about 1496 when he established himself permanently as a master in Nuremberg. This period included the so-called Wanderjahre, or 'journeyman years', during which Durer travelled widely and was exposed to a range of new experiences that shaped his subsequent work. Among the crucial artistic questions Durer explored in this period was the modelling of complex draperies and the anatomically correct rendering of the human body, based on observation, evident in a series of unprecedented drawings in which he studied his own features and body. This intense self-scrutiny is powerfully expressed in the celebrated early 'Self-portrait', 'Study of the artist's left leg from two view points ', and 'Three studies of the artist's left hand'. Such drawings show the young Durer seeking to master the depiction of the human body in order to give his works a greater fidelity to nature and expressive power. They are radically different from the late medieval tradition of copy-book drawings, in which standard templates were repeated in artists' workshops. Durer's close study of the body allowed him to conceive such ambitious new figure compositions as 'A Wise Virgin', an elegantly twisted figure clothed in intricate drapery depicting the parable recorded in the Gospel of Saint Matthew. These and other works by Durer are accompanied by rare drawings and prints by his contemporaries, many of which have never been seen in Britain before. Courtauld Gallery, London, until January 12th.

Pop Art Design is the first comprehensive exhibition to explore the exchange of ideas between artists and designers in the Pop Art age after the Second World War. Brash, colourful and playful, Pop Art was a movement that signalled a radical change of direction in America and Britain. From the late 1950s to the early 1970s Pop was characterised by an intense dialogue between the fields of design and art. It shaped a new sense of cultural identity, with a focus on celebrity, mass production and the expanding industries of advertising, television, radio and print media. Radically departing from all that had gone before, artists delighted in adopting the design language of advertising, television and commerce to create work that was playful but often also intentionally irreverent and provocative, and in turn, designers routinely looked to Pop Art as a constant source of inspiration. Bringing together more than 200 works by over 70 artists and designers, the exhibition includes iconic and lesser known works by such artists as Peter Blake, Pauline Boty, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol, shown alongside objects by Achille Castiglioni, Charles and Ray Eames, Peter Murdoch, George Nelson and Ettore Sottsass. Highlights include Robert Rauschenberg's proto-pop painting 'Tideline'; Studio 65's 'Leonardo' sofa; James Rosenquist's 'I Love You with My Ford'; Judy Chicago's spray-painted 'Car Hood'; the monumental floor lamp 'Moloch' by Gaetano Pesce; Joe Tilson's 'Page 1, Penelope'; Gunnar Aagaard Andersen's 'Portrait of my Mother's Chesterfield Chair'; 'The Bishop of Kuban' by Eduardo Paolozzi; and Richard Hamilton's 'The Gold Guggenheim'. The show also presents a wealth of graphic material from posters and magazines to album sleeves, as well as film, photography and documentation of Pop interiors and architecture. Barbican Art Gallery, London, until 9th February.

High Spirits: The Comic Art Of Thomas Rowlandson examines life at the turn of the 19th century through the work of one of the leading caricaturists of Georgian England. The absurdities of fashion, the perils of love, political machinations and royal intrigue were the daily subject matter of Thomas Rowlandson. Satirical prints, the precursor of the newspaper cartoon, were a key part of life in Georgian England, and Rowlandson was working at a time when English satirical prints were prized by collectors across Europe. A number of the works in the exhibition were purchased by George, Prince of Wales, later Prince Regent and King George IV. Ironically the Prince was often the butt of caricaturists' jokes and sometimes tried to prevent the publication of images that he felt were particularly offensive. The exhibition features over 90 of Rowlandson's drawings and prints, offering a new perspective on an era perhaps best known through the novels of Jane Austen. Collected by fashionable society, they were also enjoyed by the crowds that gathered in front of the latest productions in print shop windows to gossip about and laugh at the scandals of the day. Favourite themes were drunken gatherings, runaway coaches, rowdy theatregoers, impoverished artists and 'loose' women. Caricatures were passed around at dinner parties and in coffee houses, pasted into albums and used to decorate walls in homes and coffee houses. They were even applied to decorative screens, which could easily be folded away so not to offend female guests with the often bawdy imagery. An example, decorated with hundreds of figures and scenes painstakingly cut from Rowlandson's satirical prints, is on public display for the first time in this exhibition. The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, until 2nd March.

Winter Wonderland, set between Hyde Park Corner and the Serpentine, returns as the ultimate winter theme park experience. The 20 acre site features London's largest outdoor ice rink - created with 130,000 litres of frozen water, weighing 130 tonnes - able to accommodate up to 400 skaters at a time, with ice guides to help beginners; a toboggan slide; a haunted mansion; an ice and snow sculpture experience; a traditional Christmas Market, with over 150 separate wooden chalets, offering arts, crafts, presents and foods; 32 cafes and bars serving traditional food and mulled wine; a 50m observation wheel providing a panoramic view of London above the park; a big top presenting Zippo's Circus with a special 50 minute Christmas themed show and Cirque Berserk featuring a Globe of Death; a double decker carousel and other traditional rides and attractions; thrill rides including Star Flyer, Power Tower and Black Hole; a ski jump and snow ride; and a selection of gentler amusement rides for younger children; plus Father Christmas in his own Santa Land. To add to the atmosphere, the trees along Serpentine Road sparkle with thousands of Christmas lights highlighting the natural beauty of Hyde Park. Entrance to the Winter Wonderland site is free, with fees for individual attractions. Hyde Park, 10am-10pm daily (except Christmas Day) until 5th January.


Tomorrow - Elmgreen & Dragset At The V&A is a major installation by the Danish/Norwegian artist duo spread over 5 galleries, in the form of an apartment belonging to a fictional, elderly and disillusioned architect. The installation features over 100 historical objects from the museum's collection that sit alongside works by the artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, as well as items sourced from antique markets. The result appears like a set for an unrealised film. To accompany it, Elmgreen and Dragset have written a script, which is available to visitors as a printed book. The drama centres on a retired architect who had great vision but very little success in his professional life. In his twilight years, and with the family fortune long gone, he is forced to sell his inherited home and all his possessions. The script comments on issues of ageing, disappointment and alienation in today's society. Within the domestic setting, visitors are uninvited guests, able to curl up in the architect's bed, recline on his sofa, or rifle through books placed to hint at the imagined events that could have taken place here. The installation examines interests that have abided throughout Elmgreen and Dragset's careers - those of redefining the way in which art is presented and experienced, issues around social models and how spaces and objects both inflict on and reflect our behavioural patterns. Victoria & Albert Museum until 2nd January.

Heaven Is A Home: The Story Of The Brontes' Parsonage is the first exhibition to take place after a £60,000 restoration scheme, following an extensive programme of decorative archaeology. The main rooms have been redecorated and furnished to provide a more authentic picture of how they would have been when the Bronte family lived there in the mid 19th century, and are filled with artefacts and documents relating to the famous literary family. The exhibition tells the stories of all those who lived at the Parsonage both before and after the Brontes, as well as giving fascinating domestic details of the Brontes' own time at the house. Built in 1778, the Parsonage was home to clergymen and their families both before and after the Reverend Patrick Bronte's incumbency. From the Brontes' time living in the house there are letters, sketches and documents, detailing how the house was organised and decorated, what kind of lighting and heating they used, and what housework they did. Since 1928 the house has been a museum, but the building's secret life, includes Second World War soldiers billeted next door in the Old Schoolroom, and generations of curators and their families living on the premises until the 1970s. The Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth, until 31st December.

The Age Of Glamour: R S Sheriffs' Stars Of Stage And Screen is a unique collection of 1920s and 1930s portraits on display for the first time. The period was the golden age of Hollywood and a vibrant time for West End theatre, and chronicling the era was Robert Stewart Sheriffs, who drew dramatic film and stage caricatures for magazines such as Radio Times, London Calling, Theatre World, Pall Mall, The Strand Magazine, John O'London and especially The Sketch. His work included weekly film and theatre caricatures to accompany reviews, as well as full page star portraits of the leading ladies and men of the day. This exhibition ranges from large star portraits of Greta Garbo and Charles Laughton to ensemble drawings featuring Laurence Olivier and Peggy Ashcroft in Romeo And Juliet, and musical numbers from No! No! Nanette. Sheriffs' elegant flowing line, tending at times towards sculptural abstraction and highly stylised use of texture and pattern, conjure up the glamour of the era. His most famous film caricatures were produced from studio stills or drawn after brief visits to preview screenings, where he seldom remained for the whole film. Sheriffs preferred to draw with a brush rather than a pen, and, contemptuous of deadlines and averse to working in London, he dispatched his finished work from home by train. Among the actors featured are Charlie Chaplin, Clara Bow, Douglas Fairbanks, John Glibert, Glaria Swanson, Buster Keaton, Merle Oberon, Shirley Temple, Cary Grant, John Gielgud, Edith Evans, Vivien Leigh, Ivor Novello, Stanley Holloway, Jessie Matthews and Gracie Fields. The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1, until 24th December.