News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th April 2006

Commencing

Modernism: Designing A New World 1914 - 1939 explores the key defining movement of 20th century design, and the dreams that swept Europe, Russia and America, in the wake of the First World War, as its pioneers planned for a new and better world. The exhibition features works by key Modernist figures, including artists Piet Mondrian and Fernand Leger, architects Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, furniture designers Marcel Breuer and Alvar Aalto, fashion designer Sonia Delaunay and photographer Man Ray, with over 300 objects and more than 50 film clips. Highlights include the earliest surviving fitted kitchen, discovered recently in Frankfurt after continual use for 80 years; Miroslav Zikmund and Jiri Hanzelka's legendary silver Czech Tatra 87 car; the design for Corbusier's largest and most luxurious building, the Villa Stein De Monzie; paintings such as Leger's 'Ball Bearings', and Mondrian's 'Tableau I, Red, Black, Yellow and Blue'; examples of 'Healthy Body Culture' including X-ray machines and sun lamps and a photograph by Alexander Rodchenko of 'Sun Lovers' engaging in outdoor exercise; iconic cantilever chairs by Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto; drawings by Wassily Kandinsky, based on photographs by Charlotte Rudolph of the dancer Gret Palucca; Harry Beck's first sketch for the London Underground map; and fashions including Sonia Delaunay's knitted wool swimsuit, a suit with a bright, geometric pattern designed by Giacomo Balla, and Alexander Rodchenko's productivist outfit, designed in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Victoria & Albert Museum until 23rd July.

The Nine Lives of I K Brunel is part of the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Britain's greatest and most versatile engineer. It charts the highs and lows of his career, and his various brushes with disaster. The centrepiece is a recreation of the broad gauge railway locomotive the Iron Duke, which pulled services on the Great Western Railway from London to Bristol. Other major exhibits include the funnel from the Great Eastern - Brunel's last and biggest ship, broken up for scrap after it failed to make a profit; a section of the South Devon Railway - an experimental system where the train was pulled along using a vacuum, which was abandoned when rats gnawed the seals; and the propeller from HMS Rattler - the naval vessel that inspired Brunel to abandon plans to make the make the SS Great Britain a paddle steamer. In addition there are Brunel's letters and journals, as well as sketches of his ideas for bridges over the Avon Gorge where the Clifton Suspension Bridge now stands, drawings for a new sea terminal at Portbury, and the drawing instruments Brunel used to lay out his designs. Alongside SS Great Britain, Great Western Dockyard, Bristol until 31st October.

The Forces That Made I K Brunel is a companion exhibition that looks at the science behind Brunel's designs. Through a series of interactive displays, visitors can investigate tunnelling, bridge building, railway construction and shipbuilding, employing both the pioneering techniques devised by Brunel, and the latest high tech methods and materials. At-Bristol, Harbourside, Bristol until 17th December.

The Man Who Hated Pooh! The Political Cartoons Of E H Shepard features the now almost forgotten work by the man who is best known as the illustrator of A A Milne's Winnie the Pooh and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows. Even though drawing Pooh and Toad was very much a sideline for Shepard, it is for their images that he is remembered today, although from the 1920s until the 1950s, he was primarily Punch magazine's leading political cartoonist, alongside Bernard Partridge. This exhibition is the first to completely ignore Pooh and Toad, and focus exclusively on Shepard's political cartoons. It comprises 50 of his original works that were published in Punch between 1933 and 1952. Shepard's political cartoons were often full of literary allusions, and his humour remained gentle and uplifting rather than savage. Among the highlights are 'The Goose-Step' with a heavily armed goose marching through an occupied Rhineland town from 1936, 'Shades of Success' from 1939, with Franco looking over a map of Spain while Hitler and Mussolini look over his shoulders and 'Full Circle', from 1944, in which the face of Stalin looks down from a cinema screen on the leaders of Finland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. The exhibition also includes some of Shepard's other book illustrations, including Three Egyptian Maidens, Chinese Dragons and Lady Fortescue's Perfume in Provence. The Political Cartoon Gallery, 32 Store Street, London, WC1, 020 7580 1114, until 21st May.

Continuing

Pixar: 20 Years Of Animation provides an artistic and technological insight into the studio that revolutionised animated films, from Toy Story to the forthcoming Cars. The exhibition brings together 250 concept drawings, rough sketches (including early pencil drawings of Woody and Buzz Lightyear) and paintings; 50 3-D maquettes - resin figures created to ensure that the details of the characters are accurate; and computer generated multimedia artworks, to demonstrate the creativity behind the technology. It reveals how the studio has driven advances in technology to allow it to bring imagined worlds to life. Technological developments with CGI (computer-generated images) are charted through refinements over the years, which have achieved ever-greater degrees of realism through subtle changes in skin, fur‚ and other surfaces. The material reveals the levels of detail needed to realise and develop characters‚ storylines and worlds - three key elements utilised by Pixar in film production. At the heart of the exhibition are two specially created audio visual marvels. The first is a spectacular 8ft diameter zoetrope, a cinema device that creates the optical illusion of static images in motion, which features characters from both Toy Story films and uses a series of strobe lights to animate Buzz‚ Woody‚ Wheezy and others. The second is Artscape, an 11 minute audio visual installation that utilises digital technology to immerse viewers in various works on view. The exhibition also looks at the history of animation in film‚ using objects from the museum's permanent collection‚ including original Victorian magic lanterns‚ zoetropes‚ cameras and early pieces of animated film. The Science Museum until 10th June.

Cadbury World, the only British visitor attraction entirely devoted to chocolate, has been reborn after a £2m refurbishment, which has added a variety of new attractions. These include a revamped demonstration area with lots of hands on chocolate action; a refurbished Aztec Forest jungle with boardwalks and waterfalls, showing where cocoa became central to the Indians' way of life; an interactive Happiness dance room; a 3D cinema screen where 'Flex6' the robot brings to life the pack and wrap process; Essence, which takes visitors back to the early 1900s to discover the secrets behind the beginning of Cadbury chocolate making; The Purple Planet, an interactive space age adventure in a place where it apparently 'rains chocolate'; and a new a self guided tour around the attraction following a headset commentary featuring Sally Boazman. These join the old favourites including the television archive, which offers a trip down memory lane with the help of some familiar advertisements from the 1950's onwards; the Cadbury Dairy Milk Centenary Time tunnel; Beanmobiles, which provide a ride through a chocolate wonderland populated by familiar characters; and the Cadbury Collection, a museum of memorabilia that is home to a wide range of historical artefacts. Cadbury World, Bourneville, Birmingham, continuing.

Soane's Magician: The Tragic Genius Of Joseph Michael Gandy explores the relationship between the British master architect John Soane, and Joseph Michael Gandy, who painted Soane's masterpieces in dramatic, luminous perspective views. Gandy's watercolours, over 30 of which are on display in this exhibition, are not only some of the most brilliant images of architecture ever painted in Britain, but they also tell the story of the most creative partnership of its type in the history of British architecture. As a student of architecture at the Royal Academy Gandy won the Gold Medal, and following a period studying in Italy, began work in Soane's office. Soane soon recognised that Gandy's genius lay in depicting architecture in perspective, with the use of striking lighting effects, so much so, that he was later dubbed 'The English Piranesi'. For the next 35 years Gandy drew Soane's designs, either to open a client's cheque book, to show a completed project at its best at the annual exhibitions at the Royal Academy, or simply to archive previous unbuilt schemes. Gandy was unique in his ability to express on paper Soane's manipulation of space and light, and the two men shared an idealism unique to the period. As Soane's career came to a close in the 1820s, Gandy painted dozens of huge perspectives imagining London reconstructed by Soane as a monumental neo-classical city of triumphal arches and heroic sculpture. Sir John Soane Museum, London until 12th August.

Michelangelo Drawings: Closer To The Master offers a unique insight into the creative thinking of one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance. The 95 drawings collected here are artworks in their own right, but also provide a link between his work as a sculptor, painter and architect. The common strand is drawing, as the originality of his works was arrived at only after an exhaustive process of refinement on paper. From pen studies made in his early twenties to the visionary Crucifixion scenes carried out six decades later, this exhibition reunites material not seen together since the dispersal of his studio in 1564. It offers an opportunity to gain an understanding of Michelangelo's artistic powers, and the invention and development of some of his most celebrated works. His primary focus was the male body, and the drawings chart his search to find poses that would most eloquently express the emotional and spiritual state of his subjects. Among the highlights here are 15 studies related to the Sistine Chapel, ranging from diminutive sketchbook pages with quickly penned ideas for poses, to some of his most exquisitely finished red chalk figure studies. The drawings are complemented by two paintings based on designs in the exhibition, 'Christ Purifying the Temple' attributed to Marcello Venusti, and a copy after his lost 'Leda and the Swan'; sculptural models, including two portraits of the artist; and a contemporary album of architectural drawings. A dozen letters written or addressed to Michelangelo give an insight into his way of thinking and an impression of his complex, prickly nature. The British Museum until 25th June.

Legoland is celebrating its 10th birthday with four new attractions. There has been a make-over in Miniland, the area that contains nearly 40 million Lego bricks, and the London skyline has been brought up to date with the addition of contemporary landmarks, including Canary Wharf, 30 St. Mary Axe (The Gherkin), The Lloyd's Building, City Hall and the Millennium Bridge. Digger Challenge allows young builders aged four and upwards to enrol at construction school, and run amok in full control of one of 10 junior sized JCBs. The Spellbreaker 4D Show is a medieval adventure film, featuring a princess, a wizard and a dragon, which puts the viewers in the middle of the action, with spine tingling physical effects they can feel, as well as the 3D special effects that leap out of the screen. A live action show, Secret Of The Scorpion Palace, featuring the exploits of Johnny Thunder, is full of daring high dives, fast paced action sequences, exciting jet-ski races around the City Harbour and plenty of audience participation. These join the existing rides, including The Dragon Coaster, Pirate Falls, Space Tower, Sky Rider and Jungle Coaster. In addition, there is a programme of special events, including Fireworks, After Dark Laser Show, Jousting, Wild West Weekend, Football Fever, Amazing Machines and Marvellous Gardens. Legoland, Windsor, until 29th October.

The Road To Byzantium: Luxury Arts Of Antiquity brings to London a collection of classical Greek, Roman and Byzantine luxury artworks, including finely decorated silver and gold, Athenian red-figure vases and exquisite cameos. Over 160 objects tell the story of the development of art and civilisation over more than a thousand years, from 5th century BC Greece to the Middle Ages, and overturn assumptions that ancient Classical influence on art disappeared from the Christian art of the Byzantine Empire. The story starts with the 'Greek Revolution,' which combined fidelity to nature with ideals of harmony and beauty, represented by items such as the 'First Swallow of Spring' vase from the late 6th century BC, and examples of goldwork, including a quiver cover with scenes from the life of Achilles. Roman artists drew on Greek conventions, as illustrated by delicately engraved gems and cameos, and adapted them to the representation of Roman subjects, such as the marble bust of the Emperor Augustus's wife Livia. Even after Christianity had become the dominant religion of the Empire in the 4th century AD, and Constantine the Great had moved the heart of the Roman Empire to Constantinople, the Classical style continued, as shown by a group of textiles, including a portrait of the goddess Ge, reflecting the continuing interest in 'pagan' mythological themes. Highlights include a group of silver and silver-gilt dishes from the 6th and 7th centuries AD, one depicting a pastoral scene that harks back to the art of Hellenistic Greece. Even later pieces still show stories of Greek heroes: Ajax quarrelling with Odysseus, the doomed lovers Meleager and Atalanta, and Silenus and Maenad, the followers of Dionysus. Hermitage Rooms, Somerset House until 3rd September.

Concluding

Life At Sea celebrates Britain's long and intimate relationship with the sea, which, as well as playing a vital role in our heritage and national identity, continues to influence 95% of everything we eat, wear, drive and sell in the UK. The exhibition touches on a diverse range of subjects and themes relating to the maritime sector, from the experiences of fishermen on the British coasts, the off shore workers on oil and gas rigs in the North Sea, and the men and women of the Royal Navy who defend peace and security around the world, through the hardships faced by British explorers travelling in hostile environments in the past, to the 21st century luxuries experienced by pleasure seekers on ' floating hotel' cruise ships, and the more active pursuits of sailing and racing, as well as demonstrating its importance to communities and economies across Britain. In addition to myriad evocative images of all kinds, highlights from more than 120 objects include: a gold pocket watch presented to First Mate George Morgan who took command of the Rifleman en route to Sydney after the grisly murder of her captain; a tin fiddle made by a fisherman frustrated by the effect of the sea on traditional wooden instruments; a piece of shrapnel recovered from the deck of HMS Colossus, the first vessel to be hit in the Battle of Jutland; and an empty soup tin taken on John Franklin's final expedition to find the North West Passage, which may have unwittingly contributed to the death of the crew. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich until 23rd April.

The Greatest Fairy Tale: The Amazing Life And Story Of Hans Christian Andersen celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth one of the world's greatest storytellers, whose repertoire most famously includes The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and The Emperor's New Clothes. The exhibition is a journey through Andersen's life, fairy tales and artistry, using the magic of his stories. Blending narrative, interactive and media-based installations, it presents the author's life in a sequence of six thematic stages, from childhood to world wide fame, revealing how some of his most famous tales have their origins in his own nature and experiences. The dramatised voice of Hans Christian Andersen provides a guide through the exhibition, as he reflects upon his life and the events that shaped his work and his famous fairy tales. The storyline is supported by a unique collection of personal artefacts and manuscripts - the largest collection of original Andersen objects ever to leave Denmark. The exhibition also includes the Fairy Tale Factory, a series of creative activity stations, where visitors can create their own fairy tales; The Never-Ending Inspiration, a collection of significant illustrations and unique works of art inspired by Andersen's famous fairy stories; and The Legacy of Hans Christian Andersen, an assessment of how his fairy tales continue to be a source of inspiration to others, including film makers, artists and writers. City Art Centre, Edinburgh until 23rd April.

Turner: The Sea brings together JMW Turner's major maritime paintings with a range of rarely seen studies. Although regarded primarily as a painter of landscapes, nearly a third of Turner's works represent the sea, and he recorded the variety and beauty of the coastline, and celebrated the Britain's maritime industries and naval heritage throughout his life, in oils, watercolours and prints. Some of his most evocative images of the sea were rapidly-executed studies in watercolour, representing a direct and personal creative response to nature, which were not considered sufficiently finished for exhibition or sale. When making oils, it was not unknown for him to use his thumb in applying the paint, to create the energy of waves. In these works Turner uses the junction between sea and sky as a motif through which to experiment with the expressive use of colour and the technical possibilities of watercolour. He often omits distinguishing landmarks and focuses on the uninterrupted line of the horizon. The simplicity of the composition enables him to try different ways of depicting weather and water, using unorthodox techniques to achieve a variety of effects. The exhibition also includes a number of preparitory pencil sketches of clouds, boats and waves. Among Turner's best known works on display are 'The Prince of Orange, William III, Embarked from Holland, and Landed at Torbay, November 4th, 1688, after a Stormy Passage', 'Spithead: Two Captured Danish Ships Entering Portsmouth Harbour', and 'Venice Quay, Ducal Palace'. Tate Liverpool until 23rd April.