News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th January 2005

Commencing

Futurist Skies: Italian Aeropainting offers a rare and exhilarating birds-eye view of the world through the eyes of Italian Futurist artists. The movement that was always fascinated with technology, speed and the machine, found its ultimate subject in aeropainting - striving to capture the visual and metaphysical sensations of flight in dramatic and often intensely poetic imagery - which came to dominate Futurist art throughout the 1930s. Aeropainting was stylistically diverse, ranging from conventional views of the earth depicted from above, as in the work of Tato (Guglielmo Sansoni) and Alfredo Ambrosi, to the abstract, 'biomorphic' imagery of Enrico Prampolini and the dizzying, cinematic perspectives characteristic of Tullio Crali, as in 'Nosediving on the City'. However, whether representational or experimental, the work of the aeropainters consistently adheres to the Manifesto dell'aeropittura that "the changing perspectives of flight constitute an absolutely new reality, one that has nothing in common with the reality traditionally constituted by earthbound perspectives". Eventually, aeropainting was transformed into a propaganda machine for the Fascist regime, celebrating its military aspirations and adventures. In the process, it lost something of the spirit of enquiry and sense of wonder that pervades this exhibition of over sixty works, which include paintings, sculptures and ceramics by artists such as Domenico Belli, Mario Molinari, Giovanni Korompay, Fillia (Luigi Colombo), Nicolay Diulgheroff, Bruno Munari and Giacomo Balla. Estorick Collection, London until 20th February.

Jane Austen: Film And Fashion is a celebration of costume design in film and television - but with a difference. This unusual exhibition offers an opportunity to compare fact with fiction, by featuring both costumes created for recent television and film adaptations of Jane Austen's novels, alongside thirty original pieces of fashionable dress and accessories dating back to the Regency period from the resident collection. Jane Austen lived in Bath periodically, and scenes from two novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, are set in the city, with key scenes taking place in the Assembly Rooms, which houses the exhibition. In the novels there is very little information about what the characters actually wore, making it a difficult task for costume designers to dress the actors authentically. The exhibition explains how each designer went about the process, providing an insight into their methods of working. It includes costumes from productions such as the BBC's Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth, and the film versions of Sense and Sensibility, with Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant, and Emma, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow. Free audio guides that accompany the exhibition include first hand narratives from actors such as Greg Wise and Amanda Root, as well as the costume designers themselves. The Museum Of Costume, Bath until November.

Andy Goldsworthy: Passage is an exploration of the possibilities of a relatively new Norman Foster designed private gallery, whose proportions and 11,000 sq ft floor space, give Tate Modern's Turbine Hall competition. Goldsworthy has produced numerous site specific works all over the world, and specialises in bringing the outdoors indoors. In the 24 ft high Gallery 1, he has deposited an 18ft high stone tower, formed of granite pieces transported from a beach in Scotland (the largest weighing one and a half tonnes) that rely on purely their density and a system of sanded cavities for their balance. Timber enclosures surround the granite, but allow the bold visitor into its core for a more intimate inspection of the natural joints. Survivors can move on to Gallery 2, a 150ft long low ceilinged space, housing a 40ft long winding clay piece, created by applying mixture of hay and human hair soaked with slip to bind clay around tree branches. The walls are lined with photographic images of icicles, stalks, branches, leaf sculptures and a 3km long moonlit chalk path. Finally, in the more intimate Gallery 3, Goldsworthy has created a series of 6ft long wooden boxes at floor level, for visitors to examine snaking and rounded forms of sweet chestnut leaves, held together by thorns. All good 'what I did in my autumn half term holiday' stuff. Further information can be found on the Albion web site, via the link from the Galleries section of ExhibitionsNet. Albion, London until 31st March.

Continuing

Circling The Square: Avant-garde Porcelain From Revolutionary Russia is a comprehensive survey of the remarkable avant-garde ceramics produced by the extraordinarily unlikely combination of the Imperial Porcelain Factory of Russia and Boshevic Revolutionary designers in the heady times immediately following the Russian Revolution of 1917. Inspired by the promise of a new society, leading artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Rudol'f Vilde, and Kuz'ma Petrov-Vodkin, supplied the factory with bold and innovative designs, often incorporating stirring images and slogans in support of the new regime. "Proletariat of the World Unite" and "Blessed is Free Labour" shown with interlocking axes and scythes, executed in the exquisite colours, finish and standard of the 150 year old Lomonosov factory in St Petersburg, is a culture clash of a dimension rarely experienced. In 1923 the factory started producing an extraordinary range of porcelain with purely abstract designs by the Suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich and his students Nicolay Suyetin and Ilya Chashnik. Sadly after the mid 1920s the purity of the vision was lost, replaced by scenes of dreary heroic workers and factory chimneys. In addition to a wide selection of this unique porcelain, the exhibition features a group of design drawings by the leading Russian artists of the early 20th century, many of which have not been exhibited before. The Hermitage Rooms, Somerset House until 31st July.

The Vaughan Bequest Of Turner Watercolours, comprising thirty eight works from throughout J M W Turner's career, makes its annual appearance. When London art collector Henry Vaughan made the bequest in 1900, it was with the stipulation that the watercolours not be subjected to permanent display, since continual exposure to light would result in their fading. Further, he ruled that the collection could only be shown in January, when daylight is at its weakest and least destructive level. The Vaughan Bequest includes works from Turner's early topographical wash drawings of the 1790s, through to the colourful and atmospheric watercolour sketches of Continental Europe, executed in the 1830s and '40s. Despite the fact that modern technology now enables the light levels to be monitored and controlled at all times, the annual January exhibition has become a tradition, where Turner's radiance brightens the greyest Edinburgh day. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh until 31st January.

Disraeli - A Man Of Many Parts marks the bicentenary of the birth of Benjamin Disraeli, one of the most influential figures of Victorian Britain, with an exhibition that endeavours to illuminate key aspects of his life, career and character.His critical role in shaping Victorian England, his politics and literary aspirations, his complex relationship with his Jewish origins, as well as his intriguing relationship with Queen Victoria, are examined through cartoons, documents, letters, books and original artefacts. The ambience of Disraeli's study in his house, Hughenden Manor, has been recreated with its books, furniture and family portraits. Disraeli was twice Prime Minister, instituted a series of important social reforms, and was formative in shaping the ideology of the modern Conservative party, while maintaining a parallel career as a prolific novelist. His flamboyant persona - the complete antithesis of his political rival Gladstone - which he astutely adopted to further his political ambitions, masked the much more sensitive and romantic nature revealed in his novels. Disraeli was not known by his contemporaries as The Sphinx for nothing. An accompanying programme of lectures and events draw upon the many components of Disraeli's life and career. The Jewish Museum, London until 27th February.

Faces In The Crowd - Painters Of Modern Life From Manet To Today turns on its head the presumption that all forward movements in 20th century art were through abstraction, by exploring modernity through realist art. Taking Edouard Manet as its starting point, and moving through figures such as Rene Magritte, Umberto Boccioni, Pablo Picasso, Eduardo Paolozzi, Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter and Cindy Sherman, this exhibition traces a history of avant-garde figuration. In doing so, it presents a story that is just as radical as that of the abstract. Manet's vividly realist scenarios or Jeff Wall's cinematic tableaux offer a compelling snapshot of the modern. By contrast, Edvard Munch or Francis Bacon present a tortured or exhilarated inner life. Whereas for Alexander Rodchenko, Joseph Beuys or Chris Ofili, the figure can be a harbinger of change: symbolic, revolutionary or transgressive. This exhibition includes not only painting, but also sculpture, photography and the moving image, with each work pivotal to the story of Modernism. Representations of the human figure are seen as expressions of modernity, becoming ciphers for the experience of modern life; as images of modern life, picturing both the epic and the everyday; or as agents of social change, where avant-garde realism proposes new world orders. Whitechapel Gallery until 27th February.

Somerset House Courtyard Ice Rink, is now as regular a Christmas feature in London as the Holiday Season outdoor skating arena at the Rockefeller Center in New York (although the skating is possibly not as stylish). The rink, covering 9,000sqm and capable of accommodating some 2,000 skaters a day, has been installed in the courtyard at a cost of around £300,000. It is open from 10am to 11.15pm, and as darkness falls, the courtyard is transformed, with music playing, and illumination from flaming torches and architectural lighting on the building's 18th century facades, together with a 40ft Christmas tree at the north end. Both skaters and spectators can enjoy the traditional fare of baked potatoes, hot chocolate and mulled wine in the rinkside cafe. Tuition is available for beginners, and ice guides can accompany inexperienced skaters. The rink is open throughout the Christmas and New Year period, closing only on Christmas Day. This year London has gone skating crazy and there are also Ice Rinks at Hampton Court, the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich and Marble Arch. Somerset House until 30th January.

Queen Alexandra And The Art Of Photography provides an insider's view of the lives of the royal families of Europe from the 1880s to the First World War. Queen Alexandra, the consort of King Edward VII, was a talented artist and the most celebrated royal photographer of her time. Her interest in photography began in 1885, after George Eastman presented her with one of his new roll-film cameras. Over the next 20 years she went on to take part in several Kodak exhibitions. Queen Alexandra's photographic albums, often embellished with watercolour decoration and annotated with impromptu anecdotes, are unique personal diaries that provide a detailed record of the life of the British royal family and their European relations. In addition to the albums and photographs, the display also includes the Queen's Kinora, an early machine for viewing short films.Treasures From The Royal Library is a selection from the collection that has been located here since the reign of William IV. In addition to over 50,000 printed books, the Library contains coins and medals, orders of chivalry, prints, maps, fans, and one of the finest collections of Old Master drawings in the world. As works of art on paper are easily damaged by exposure to light, they cannot be on permanent display. The current selection includes drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Hans Holbein.The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle until 25th April.

Concluding

Communicate: Independent British Graphic Design Since The Sixties is the first major exhibition to explore developments in British graphic design over the past four decades, and examine its influence on contemporary culture. Focusing on the smaller independent studios and teams who have produced the most creative, innovative and highly regarded design work, it presents an overview of the best design work, tracing how and why UK graphic design has developed in the way it has. It explores the emergence of independent graphic design within the music, publishing and cultural industries, its role in the shaping of identity, and the link between graphic design and the web. In addition, the exhibition highlights the place of graphic design as a medium of protest in society, as well as the increasingly important area of experimental self-initiated work undertaken by designers. The exhibition features more than 600 exhibits, spanning album covers for New Order and Primal Scream, identities for BBC 2 and Big Brother, Biba and Paul Smith, magazines including OZ and i-D, posters for CND and the Anti-Nazi League, and web sites for The Guardian and Donnie Darko. It celebrates the achievements of over 100 designers as diverse as Alan Fletcher, Ken Garland, Michael English, Barney Bubbles, Peter Saville, Neville Brody, The Designer's Republic, Tomato, Fuel, Intro and Hi-ReS! Barbican Gallery until 23rd January.

William Nicholson: British Painter And Printmaker reveals the breadth of Nicholson's work, encompassing intensely observed still lifes, psychological portraits, minimalist landscapes that move towards abstraction, book illustrations, theatre posters, and radical woodcut prints. The first major review of his work to be held in London in sixty years, this exhibition includes many works that have rarely been seen in this country, with some 68 paintings and over 50 prints. They range from early graphic work of the 1890s to the late still lifes of the 1940s. Among the woodcuts are all 26 prints from The Alphabet, a poster for Don Quixote, and a portrait of Queen Victoria, which established Nicholson at the forefront of the international print revival in the 1890s. Highlights among the painted portraits include studies of such friends as the writer Max Beerbohm and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. The majority of his paintings are small and jewel-like, however, the First World War work 'The Canadian Headquarters Staff' is a vast canvas showing a group of Officers standing in front of an aerial photograph of the ruined cloth hall at Ypres. Nicholson's book illustrations are represented by popular children's titles 'The Velveteen Rabbit' by Margery Williams, and his own 'Clever Bill' and 'The Pirate Twins'. Nicholson's work shows an artist whose independence of vision was seemingly untouched by any of the many revolutions in art during his lifetime. Royal Academy of Arts until 23rd January.

Space Of Encounter: The Architecture Of Daniel Libeskind is the first exhibition in the UK of the work of the architect who has produced some of the most controversial buildings of our time. With their expressive forms and highly developed symbolism, Libeskind's designs consistently stir debate among both critics and the public. This exhibition explores Libeskind's architectural vision through a display of 16 key projects, including his master plan for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site in New York, shown with specially commissioned 2 metre high illuminated model; Denver Art Museum, which is a series of geometric shards; Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, an image of the world shattered into fragments; the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the building that established his reputation; and the proposed Spiral extension to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Previously unseen architectural models, drawings, plans and elevations are combined with film and slide projections in a display conceived in close collaboration with Studio Libeskind. Completed and unrealised projects are shown side by side with those undergoing construction, underscoring the consistency of Libeskind's architectural philosophy. Also included in the exhibition are Chamberworks and Micromegas, a series of intricate drawings, and costume and set designs for the Deutsche Oper Berlin production of Saint Francis Of Assisi. Barbican Art Gallery until 23rd January.