News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th February 2014


Richard Hamilton is the first retrospective to encompass the full scope of one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Richard Hamilton is widely regarded as a founding figure of pop art, and he continued to experiment and innovate over a career of 60 years. This exhibition explores his relationship to design, painting, photography and television, as well his engagement and collaborations with other artists. It features the groundbreaking installation 'Fun House'; a print of the era-defining 'Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?'; and the depiction of Mick Jagger in 'Swingeing London 67'; as well as images looking at wider contemporary issues and political subjects, such as the Kent State shootings and the IRA 'dirty protests'; as well as figures like Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair in works such as 'Treatment Room' and 'Shock and Awe'. Hamilton's interest in interiors, architecture and design is also represented by his depictions of everything from the Guggenheim Museum in New York to a classic Braun toaster. This show reflects the importance of his exhibition designs and installations, with key examples such as a recreation of his first installation 'Growth and Form', and 'Lobby', in which a painting of a hotel lobby is echoed by a column and staircase in the gallery room itself. Hamilton was also notable for his many collaborations with other artists, which include a life-long series of Polaroid portraits that he invited other artists to take of him, such as Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. This interest in the work of others can also be seen in his final computer-aided paintings, which were inspired by the Italian Renaissance masters. Tate Modern until 26th May.

Seven Billion Two Hundred And One Million Nine Hundred And Sixty-Four Thousand And Two Hundred And Thirty-Eight is the number of people alive at the moment that this show opened. The exhibition brings together for the first time all of Gavin Turk's neon pieces made between 1995 and 2014, examining the evolution of his work. Quintessentially a modernist medium - now rendered obsolete by digital LED - neon is the vaporous stuff of retro-futuristic glory, of Hollywood optimism and capitalist spectacle, and of history's malleability and forgetfulness: neon light's inventor, French chemist Georges Claude, envisioned their use for fascist propaganda. Set within a darkened chamber, Turk's luminous symbols beacon with occultish effect. Visually reduced to minimal typographies, they offer communication in its barest form: a seeing eye, a flickering flame, primordial hieroglyphs, with their ancient mysteries and secrets, evolved to modern day usage. The title of the exhibition reflects Turk's fascination with world population and inspired him to create the largest neon work of his career to date. 'We are One', is an eight and a half metre wide piece designed to broadcast the world's population from the museum's facade for the duration of the exhibition. Two pieces hold special significance for Turk: a red star, made in conjunction with his Che Gavara series, is a replica of the actual signage on his London studio, and an eight pointed Maltese cross, a symbol dating back to the First Crusade, whose points represent the eight lands of origin, the origin of languages, and the values of truth, sincerity and faith. The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, until 21st April.

By George! Handel's Music For Royal Occasions explores the life and work of the composer most closely associated with the British monarchy. German born George Frideric Handel enjoyed the patronage of three British monarchs during his lifetime: Queen Anne, George I and George II. Handel tutored the royal princesses and composed music for almost all important royal events. He went on to compose the coronation anthems for George II, as well as 'Music for the Royal Fireworks' and the 'Water Music'. Among the exhibits are the 1727 Order of Service for the Coronation of George II, annotated by the Archbishop of Canterbury; the painting 'A perspective view of the building for the fireworks in the Green Park taken from the reservoir' by Paul Angier; autographed manuscripts including 'Zadok the Priest' (performed at every coronation since 1727), the 'Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne', and 'Lessons for Princess Louisa', composed to teach the Royal princesses to play the harpsichord; musical instruments of the period; rarely-seen documents from the archives of Westminster Abbey giving an insight into the organisation of major Royal events; and paintings of the Royal Family, including Philip Mercier's 'The Music Party' (Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, and his sisters, Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, Princess Caroline Elizabeth, Princess Amelia Sophia Eleanora), and portraits of King George I, by studio of Sir Godfrey Kneller, and King George II by John Shackleton. Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1, until 18th May.


Bailey's Stardust is a major retrospective of the work of one of the world's most distinguished and distinctive photographers. David Bailey has made an outstanding contribution to the visual arts, creating consistently imaginative and thought-provoking portraits. This exhibition of almost 300 images embraces the variety of Bailey's photographs from a career that has spanned more than half a century. It also includes a new portrait of Kate Moss, exhibited for the first time, together with previously unseen images from his recent travels to the Naga Hills in India. The portraits have been personally selected and printed by Bailey from the subjects and groups that he has captured over the last five decades: actors, writers, musicians, politicians, filmmakers, models, artists and people encountered on his travels, many of them famous, some unknown, all of them engaging and memorable. The exhibition is structured thematically, with iconic images presented alongside lesser-known portraits, its title reflecting the notion that we are all made from, and return to, 'stardust'. Portraits of a wide range of sitters - from the glamorous to the impoverished, the famous to the notorious - are presented in a series of contrasting rooms, and through images of skulls and pregnancy, powerful meditations on birth and death. There are rooms devoted to Bailey's travels in Australia, Papua New Guinea and East Africa, as well as icons from the worlds of fashion and the arts, including Jean Shrimpton, Marianne Faithful, Terence Stamp, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon, Cecil Beaton and Rudolph Nureyev, Meryl Streep and Damien Hirst and people of the East End of London. National Portrait Gallery until 1st June.

Great Medical Discoveries: 800 Years Of Oxford Innovation marks the 800th anniversary of the birth of Roger Bacon, who became known as England's 'Doctor Mirabilis', and celebrates the city as a world centre of medical learning. Scientists, philosophers and physicians have made Oxford an outstanding scientific centre from the medieval period onwards. From Roger Bacon, who led the way towards the emergence of medical science as an inductive study of nature, based on and tested by experiment, to Dorothy Hodgkin's discovery of the structure of penicillin during the Second World War, and its current position at the forefront of medical research and clinical practice, Oxford has been responsible for some of the world's most important medical discoveries. This exhibition tells of the curiosity, innovation, and tenacity that have contributed to our understanding of human biology in both health and disease through a unique display of original manuscripts, prescriptions, laboratory notebooks, letters, rare books and artefacts. Highlights include the medical records of Albert Alexander, the first patient to receive penicillin; a diagram by Christopher Wren illustrating the Circle of Willis (the arterial blood supply in the brain); Robert Hooke's book Micrographia, which first put forward and illustrated the idea that the body was made up from cells; a Glucose Sensor, which monitors the amount of sugar in a tiny blood sample; the Oxford Knee, a replacement that does not require cutting of muscles; and a recent prototype for self-adjustable glasses for the use in the developing world. Bodlian Library, Oxford, until 18th May.

Hockney, Printmaker celebrates one of Britain's most prolific and versatile artist's long and fruitful career as a printmaker. The first major exhibition to concentrate on the complete trajectory of David Hockney's printwork focuses on his two main techniques - etching and lithography - in two distinct sections, exposing new insights beyond the purely formal aspects of his work, delving into his mastery of technique. Over 100 works, from his first self portrait print from 60 years ago, reveal the thought and technical expertise that underlies his extensive print oeuvre. The show includes well known works such as 'A Rake's Progress', and 'Illustrations for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm', while complete sets include 'The Weather Series' and 'A Hollywood Collection', which are shown alongside portraits of some of his famous sitters and friends, such as Celia Birtwell, Henry Geldzahler, Peter Langan, Gregory Evans and John Kasmin. Later works include a selection of 'homemade prints', which Hockney devised in the early 1990s using photocopiers, plus examples of inkjet-printed 'computer drawings' such as 'Rain on the Studio Window', a prelude to his renowned iPad works. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 11th May.

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined is a series of site-specific installations exploring the essential elements of architecture. Instead of representations of buildings in the form of models, plans or photographs, as in a traditional architectural exhibition, this immerses visitors in a multi-sensory experience. Seven architectural practices from diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds consider architecture from the angle of the human encounter: how vision, touch, sound and memory play a role in our perceptions of space, proportion, materials and light. Collaborating across the globe on this project are: Grafton Architects (Ireland); Diebedo Francis Kere (Germany/Burkina Faso); Kengo Kuma (Japan); Li Xiaodong (China); Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Chile); Eduardo Souto de Moura and Alvaro Siza (Portugal). They all create work that is particularly responsive to people and place, and they share an understanding of the sensorial capacity of architecture and its materiality. . A monumental structure by Pezo von Ellrichshausen challenges our sense of perspective; inspired by a Ko-Do, the Japanese smell ceremony, Kuma highlights the importance of scent; Kere's tunnel invites visitors to physically interact with the structure's fabric; a labyrinth by Li Xiaodong creates a sense of containment and compression in contrast to Grafton's exploration of light; and Siza and Souto de Moura's installations encourage visitors to consider the architectural history of the building. A specially made film offers an opportunity to 'meet' the architects, presenting a range of their previous building projects, from a house on the rugged Chilean coast to a school in Burkina Faso in Africa, while interviews provide further insights about their work and inspirations. Royal Academy of Arts until 6th April.

Joseph Wright Of Derby: Bath And Beyond examines a brief and little known episode in the painter's life that marked a crossroads in his career. Joseph Wright of Derby lived and worked in Bath between November 1775 and June 1777, but this period has never been explored in detail. This exhibition places Wright in the context of the many artists, musicians, writers, business people and scientists living and working in the Georgian spa, and for the first time presents a comprehensive view of his life and work during those eighteen months. It also examines the effect of Wright's time in Bath and travels in Italy on his later work. Wright came to Bath to paint portraits, hoping to build on the success of Thomas Gainsborough who had recently left for London. The exhibition features the three remaining portraits that he made in Bath, and includes his paintings 'The Rev Thomas Wilson and His Adopted Daughter Miss Catharine Macaulay', 'Agnes Witts, ne Travell' and 'Roman Wright', his daughter. Whilst in Bath Wright worked up landscape studies he had made in Italy, producing spectacular depictions of fire, smoke and lava in views of Vesuvius in Eruption and the firework displays of Rome, which he charged visitors a fee to view in his studio in Brock Street. It was whilst in Bath that he first began to explore subjects from sentimental contemporary literature, which in turn had a strong impact on his portrait composition, and the display includes some of his most beautiful depictions of figures alone in the landscape. Holburne Museum, Bath, until 5th May.

Artist Textiles Picasso To Warhol presents a survey of textiles as a popular art form in 20th century Britain and America. The exhibition traces the history of 20th century art in textiles with rare examples from leading art movements: Fauvism, Cubism, Constructivism, Abstraction, Surrealism and Pop Art. Major artists featured include Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Sonia Delaunay, Fernand Leger, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder. The exhibition begins in the 1910s with designs by the Vorticist painter Wyndham Lewis and the artists of Bloomsbury's Omega Workshops - Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Roger Fry - who wanted to change 'the erroneous distinction between fine and applied art'. The Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy was the first 20th century artist to become seriously and successfully involved in producing textile designs. His work influenced and encouraged many other artists and textile companies in Britain, on the Continent and in America. After the war the movement to create 'a masterpiece in every home' flowered with the involvement of leading contemporary artists: John Piper, Joan Miro, Salvador Dalí, Ben Nicholson and Saul Steinberg. Eventually, these art textiles were turned into commercial clothing, such as a Joan Miro dress and a Salvador Dalí tie. By the 1960s, Picasso was allowing his pictures to be printed on almost any fabric, save upholstery, as he said 'Picassos may be leaned against, not sat on.' The exhibition includes approximately 200 textile designs, many of which have never been on public display before. The Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1, 31st January to 17th May.


Uproar!: The First 50 Years Of The London Group 1913-1963 examines and celebrates the first half century in a turbulent history. The London Group exploded onto the British art scene in 1913 as a radical alternative to the art establishment, and in the wake of two modernist exhibiting platforms, Frank Rutter's liberal Allied Artists' Association and The Camden Town Group, headed by Walter Sickert, whose members the new group absorbed. The first minuted meeting took place on 25 October 1913, and Jacob Epstein is credited with coining the Group's name the following month. The London Group's controversial early years reflect the upheavals associated with the introduction of early British modernism and the experimental work of many of its members. The 'uproar' which followed Mark Gertler's exhibition of The Creation of Eve at The London Group's third show in 1915 lends its name to this display, which showcases 50 works by 50 artists. It features artists and works that highlight each decade covering the full range of its history: The London Group's inception; its Camden Town Group roots; the controversy of the early First World War years; Bloomsbury domination in the 1920s; emigre artists during the 1930s-1940s; avant-garde sculptors; and the contribution of artists' groups, ranging from the Vorticists to the Surrealists, the Abstract-Creationists and the Euston Road School. Featured artists include early modernists such as Walter Sickert, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Jacob Epstein, Robert Bevan and Paul Nash, and more recently, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Jon Bratby and Kenneth Armitage, as well as less-known but equally controversial figures such as Eileen Agar, Rodrigo Moynihan and Jessica Dismorr. Ben Uri Gallery, London, until 2nd March.

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.

Louise Bourgeois: I Give Everything Away celebrates the work of one of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th century. In a career spanning seven decades, from the 1940s until her death in 2010, she produced some of contemporary art's most enduring images, making sculptures, installations, writings and drawings which, in mining her own psyche, have entered the collective unconscious. Bourgeois's work is personal yet universal, rooted in the details of her own life, but reaching out to touch the lives of others. This exhibition of work on paper presents some of her most intimate work, both drawing and writing. It begins with a labyrinthine presentation of 'Insomnia Drawings', a suite of 220 drawings and writings made between November 1994 and June 1995 specifically to combat the insomnia which she once described as regulating her life. Created in the suspended state between sleeping and waking, they contain all the major themes of Bourgeois's work and reveal the close link between drawing and writing that is such a key part of her practice. Other highlights include two suites of large-scale works 'When Did This Happen?' and 'I Give Everything Away,' both a mix of writing, drawing and printmaking that are haunted and haunting. Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until 23rd February.