Private View held by Richard Andrews
Kazari: Decoration And Display In Japan 15th - 19th Centuries is an exploration of the Japanese art and experience of arranging and displaying decorative objects. Kazari refers not only to the object, but also to its use in specific settings and contexts, and requires the active participation of imagination or memory. Stimulating the senses through the acts of viewing, using, or adorning a work of art, it manifests the dynamism inherent in Japanese aesthetics, and suggests the process that transforms the everyday into something extraordinary. The exhibition consists of over 200 rich, remarkable, and often unexpected objects in all media - painting, ceramics, lacquer, textiles (including Kabuki theatre costumes), glass and metalwork. Exhibits are organised in six chronological and thematic sections, presenting examples of decorative and fine art objects that correspond to particular periods of high cultural achievements. These range from the shogun's court of the Muromachi (1392-1573), through prosperous merchants of Momoyama (1573-1615), to the pleasure districts of burgeoning Edo (1615-1868) periods. The exhibition shows how the arts of decoration and display were integral to Japanese culture, and contradicts the general belief in the West that it is entirely minimalist. British Museum until 13th April.
Flower Power is the first major exhibition to explore the symbolism of flowers. It surveys five hundred years of visual and decorative arts, from the spiritual symbolism of early religious art to tulipomania in 17th century Holland, and from intricate botanical illustration to vibrant modern art. Flowers are a universal language, and have been used as a symbol of life, beauty and death throughout the centuries, and by many cultures. This exhibition looks at the meaning of flowers through paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, jewellery, books and manuscripts. It examines the way in which flowers have acquired meanings in different cultures, and been adopted by both Western Christianity and Eastern religions. Illustrating the differences and commonality between cultures and faiths, it shows how the meanings of flowers have remained constant through the years or changed according to the society of the time. Over 130 exhibits span old masters by Caravaggio, Michaelangelo, Van Dyck and van Huysum, iconic twentieth century works by Howard Hodgkin and others, and contemporary contributions by Marc Quinn, Helen Chadwick and Richard Slee. In addition, fresh cut flower arrangements, inspired by the works on display, bring elements of perfume, texture and colour, adding an evocative sensual aspect to the show. Norwich Castle Museum And Art Gallery until 5th May.
Grow Up! Advice And The Teenage Girl displays the changing advice given to girls over the last 125 years. From Victorian maidens to the street cred teenagers of today, it looks at how words, diagrams, agony aunts, photo stories, films and web sites have tried to prepare girls physically and mentally for their first steps towards womanhood. The exhibition also captures the defiance and insecurities of girls, past and present, who reject popular advice and make their own way forward. Teenage fashions give a visual timeline of how advice on looks and styles are accepted or ignored. A sound installation by Sanchita Farruque captures the secret language and music of teenagers today, and a video reel presents Teen Talk - East End teenagers on school, careers and mates. To an adult audience, the contemporary material appears equally as quaint and unreal as the Victorian material at which the exhibition pokes fun. Accompanying talks and events explore the issues raised, from hero worship to fashions in hair and make up. Further information can be found on The Women's Library web site via the link from the Galeries section of ExhibitionsNet. The Women's Library, London until 26th April.
Manola Blahnik is the ultimate fusion of art and commerce - the first museum retrospective of the work of the most fashionable shoe designer in the world. Sensationally sexy yet impeccably elegant, his shoes are perfectly proportioned feats of technical virtuosity and craftsmanship. Their exuberance and extravagance, not to mention the vibrancy of their colours, make them more art object than practical footwear - ideal for his core clients of supermodels, Hollywood stars, and the characters in Sex And The City (actually a very small, but incredibly influential group). Working alone without apprentices or assistants, Blahnik designs and makes the prototype for each of his shoes from start to finish, drawing the initial sketches, chiselling the wooden lasts on which they are moulded, sculpting the heels, and personally supervising their production. This exhibition is drawn from Manolo Blahnik's private archive, and traces the thirty year career of this remarkable designer-maker, by deconstructing his design process and reflecting his influences, from the films of Luchino Visconti and Irving Penn's photography, to the portraits of Francisco Zurbaran. Blahnik started designing in the early 1970s for the Zapata boutique in London, which he later took over. Despite the impracticalities of some of his early designs (which couldn't cope with someone actually walking in them) word of mouth soon attracted the attention of the style centred worlds of fashion and show business. His empire has now spread worldwide, and he has created shoes for many couture collections. Design Museum until 11 May.
Simon Periton - New Work gives a contemporary slant to the ancient Chinese craft of intricate paper cutting. Put very simply, Simon Periton makes doilies, cutting them by hand from layers of coloured paper to create complex visual and sculptural effects. Patterns consist of symbols from sources as diverse as occultism, colonialism, Islam, punk, Pop Art and politics, and the prettiness of his work belies the seriousness of the cultural references. Periton has made a new piece in metal foil especially for this exhibition, which hangs over the windows like intricate lace curtains, in a response to the domestic proportions of the room. It sounds simple, but the results are anything but. Henry Moore Institute, Leeds until 16th March.
Terry O'Neill: Celebrity is a retrospective of the work of the master of celebrity photographic portraiture. It comprises over forty images of the most illustrious faces in the world, which are a testament to their sitters fame and the test of time. They are revealing, tantalising, and yet enigmatic, as Terry O'Neill manages to capture that wholly unquantifiable x-factor of celebrity. O'Neill started snapping celebrities as a staff photographer at The Daily Sketch in 1960's. He wanted to capture something of the mood of the time by using his 35mm camera - relatively unusual then for portraiture - to bring the spontaneity of photography as seen in portraits of the Beatles and the Stones. The technique proved to be a success, and he soon went freelance, working for Life, Vogue, Paris Match and Rolling Stone. O'Neill's portraits encapsulate much of the glamour, fashion and fame combination of the 1960s and 1970s. His subjects are at the peak of their professional and physical powers, shot mostly informally, but occasionally in character on location. The images range from Brigitte Bardot - Spain 1971, through Robert Redford - London 1976, Clint Eastwood - Tucson, Arizona 1972, and Faye Dunaway - Beverly Hills 1976 to Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau - London 1976. Hackelbury Fine Art, 4 Launceston Place, London W8, 020 7937 8688, until 5th March.
Giorgio de Chirico And The Myth Of Ariadne charts a man's obsession with a subject, which he first painted in 1912, and was still pursuing over 100 paintings later in 1970. According to legend, Ariadne was abandoned by her lover Theseus on the desert island of Naxos, after he had slain the Minotaur and escaped from the labyrinth with the aid of her thread. Chirico's melancholic, enigmatic paintings have dream-like imagery of a reclining statue of Ariadne, in an empty, sun-drenched piazza, filled with mysterious shadows and stopped clocks, repeated with subtle variations in shadow, colour and composition. These iconic works, which inspired and influenced the Surrealist paintings of Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and, Rene Magritte, are complemented by a selection of later paintings on the theme of Ariadne, whose serial approach foreshadows the work of Andy Warhol, a close friend of de Chirico in the 1970s.This exhibition brings together key works of the Ariadne series from private and public collections around the world and includes The Soothsayer's Recompense, along with related drawings and sculptures. Estorick Collection, London until 13th April.
Unknown Pleasures: Unwrapping the Royal Photographic Society Collection celebrates one of the world's finest collections of photographs and photographic technology. It has been created to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Photographic Society, and the move of the RPS collection to the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television. Founded in January 1853 by a small group of respectable amateurs, the Society looked to promote the art and science of photography in Britain and further afield. This exhibition includes over 300 objects and images revealing both the familiar and hidden dimensions of this diverse collection, reflecting documentary, fashion, travel, architectural and medical photography. Examples of the some of the finest work by pioneering photographers such as William Henry Fox Talbot, Lewis Carroll, Alfred Stieglitz, Alvin Langdon Coburn and Edward Weston, are seen alongside experimental cameras, stereoscopic equipment, portable darkrooms from the 1850s, pioneering colour processes, postcards, illustrated books and journals, manuscripts and ephemera. From the portraits of Dr. Diamond and the pastoral landscapes of Peter Henry Emerson, to one of the earliest X-ray images and Larry Burrows graphic record of the Vietnam War, the content of the exhibition reflects the breadth of scope of the art of photography. National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford until 30th March.
Silver 1800 - 2000 displays over 1000 pieces, showcasing artistry in many different period styles from classical, through Art Nouveau and the Art and Crafts movement, to modern cutting edge designs, in a series of newly restored rooms. Exhibits range from the spectacular - three life-size silver lions copied from Rosenborg Castle, Copehagen, the magnificent Doncaster race cup of 1857, and a sculpted tureen based on designs by Karl Friedrich Schinkel - to the mass-produced - a nutmeg grater and an electroplated jug supplied to a shipping line. Works by the pioneering designers A.W.N. Pugin, William Burges, Christopher Dresser and C.R. Ashbee all feature, as do those by major goldsmiths and retailers Paul Storr, J.B.C. Odiot and Elkington and Co. For the first time in two hundred years, major pieces from the most spectacular and stylistically adventurous table garniture of the 19th century are shown together. Frederick, Duke of York rivalled his older brother the Prince Regent (later George IV) in his taste for fine silver, buying large quantities of plate, modern French neoclassical and antique, indulging in an advanced historicist taste. The pieces include five extravagant candelabra incorporating classical figures, twelve salt cellars in the form of mythical sea creatures, and a grand cistern. Victoria & Albert Museum until April.
Mies Van Der Rohe 1905 - 1938 looks at the early career of possibly the most influential architect of the 20th century. Famed for his ethos of 'less is more', his designs have reshaped skylines and revolutionised interior, urban and suburban space. This exhibition brings together 38 pivotal projects dating from Mies arrival in Berlin in 1905 to his departure for a new career in America in 1938, which are explored through over 200 drawings, photographs, models and virtual 'walk through' videos. Featuring elegant villas, prototype skyscrapers and his remarkable German Pavilion for the Barcelona International Exposition, it also includes the work of modern masters and contemporary artists inspired by his architecture. Mies enthusiastically embraced new technology, using materials such as glass, concrete and steel, which he saw as a 'means towards a spiritual purpose'. His proposal for a skyscraper in Berlin's Friedrichstrasse in 1921 was the first for a high rise building entirely clad in glass. Such innovative designs were often created for exhibitions or magazines, such as the famous G magazine - which brought together works and writings by artists such as Hans Arp, Theo van Doesburg, George Grosz and Man Ray, also included in the exhibition. The economic depression of the 1930s, coupled with the emergence of the National Socialist regime, resulted in a number of significant projects that were never built. Mies was the last director of the influential Bauhaus School of Art and Design, until its closure by the Nazis in 1933. Whitechapel Art Gallery until 2nd March.
Unseen Vogue: The Secret History Of Fashion Photography has been produced by sifting through over one and a half million unused images in the archive of the fashion bible British Vogue. From first efforts by famous photographers and great pictures by forgotten ones, to out-takes from now legendary shoots, it reveals images which were commissioned by Vogue but never published, either due to editorial arguments or 'excess of imagination' on the part of the snappers. Either way, this collection offers an alternative version to the official history of fashion photography. It features previously unseen work by such legends as Horst, Cecil Beaton, William Klein, David Bailey, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, Bob Richardson, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, Nick Knight and current hottie Mario Testino (although surely the world has seen even his holiday snaps). The photographs are given an extra dimension by the inclusion of editors' notes and sketches, photographers' letters, and even models' payslips. A fresh insight into a world about which we thought we already knew too much. Design Museum until 23rd February.
Painting, Passion And Politics: Masterpieces From The Walpole Collection>/strong> is an exhibition of paintings with an unusual history. Sir Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister, assembled one of the 18th century's most famous art collections for his estate at Houghton Hall in Norfolk. While in office, Walpole hung many of the pictures in 10 Downing Street. In 1778 his mercenary grandson caused a scandal by selling 204 works from the collection to Catherine the Great. This exhibition presents 34 of those paintings, most returning to England for the first time in over 200 years. Among these are works by 17th century Flemish, Dutch and Italian masters such as Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyck, Frans Snyders, Guido Reni, Carlo Maratti and Salvator Rosa. In addition there are paintings by Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, plus a work by Bartolome Murillo in its original frame designed for Houghton by William Kent. The paintings are accompanied by Renaissance sculpture, 18th century furniture and other materials acquired for Houghton Hall. Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House until 23rd February.