News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th June 2002


The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is with us again, as it has been every year since 1769 - the usual collection of the good, the bad and the ugly - from amateurs to RA's, proving that popular taste and critical approval find no meeting point. Around 1200 works covering paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, architectural designs and models have been selected from over 12,000 submissions. Since last year the courtyard has had a makeover, with fountains placed to represent the position of the stars at the birth of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Academy's first President, creating a new exhibition space, which features a giant snowman by Gary Hume. Following Peter Blake's changes last year, works are divided into categories of Royal Academicians, Honorary Academicians, Invited Artists and Submissions, and hung in different rooms, thus separating professionals from amateurs. This year's senior hanger, sculptor Bryan Kneale, has gone further, increasing the prominence of sculpture over painting, so it now encompasses four rooms, including works by Ivor Abrahams, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, and the exhibition 'signature' shop window mannequins by Allen Jones. Under the aegis of Will Alsop, even the architecture display has gone 3D, with more models and fewer drawings on show. Unfortunately this dash for 21st century, instead of enhancing the best qualities of the original, has the effect of turning it into a poor imitation of the Turner Prize. As our American cousins say "Baby/bathwater - you do the math".Royal Academy of Arts until 19th August.

Jubilee Odyssey is the latest of this year's new theme park attractions, being the world's longest suspended roller coaster, with six inversions and speeds of up to 100mph. At £28m it is the most expensive ride to be built in the UK, boasting a record-breaking 200ft vertical loop, and at 60%, the steepest drop in Europe. This is soon to be followed by G-Force, a cross between a 200ft tower ride and a pendulum. These white-knuckle attractions join the existing Volcanic Eruption, hurling the fearless 200ft out of a volcano crater as it erupts with a force of 4.5Gs; The Beast, subjecting its prey to 360º triple rolls suspended high above the ground; Dragon Mountain, Europe's longest water coaster with the fastest descent; and the Simex Imax Ridefilm Theatre, with six different motion simulation experiences. Further information can be found on the Fantasy Island web site via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. Fantasy Island, Skegness until 3rd November.

The Castle And The Crown: The Story Of The Tower Of London And The Coronation celebrates the role of the Tower in the coronation of England's monarchs, and the history of the storage and display of the crown jewels. For over 600 years, kings and queens of England have stored crowns, robes and other valuable items of ceremonial regalia here, and since 17th century this collection has been known as the crown jewels and been on show to visitors. This exhibition features paintings, artefacts, documents, and some of the oldest and most beautiful pieces of the regalia returned for the first time since they left many centuries ago. These include the 15th century crown of Margaret of York, one of only two Medieval crowns to survive the Civil War; Henry VIII's gold Clock Salt; Mary II's coronation ring, together with a letter written about it in her own hand; and a dagger used by Colonel Blood in an attempt to steal the crown jewels in 1671. The exhibition explains the role played by the Tower in the pageantry and ceremony of all coronations for over 400 years until establishment of the Commonwealth. It also examines the recreation of the regalia at the Restoration in 1661, after Cromwell had destroyed most of the original collection. Tower Of London until 29th September.


Facing The Light: The Photography Of Hill And Adamson celebrates the bicentenary of one of the world's greatest photographic pioneers David Octavius Hill, who with his partner Robert Adamson, is credited with inventing photography as an art form. Together they created pictures for a wider audience, rather than simply for the benefit of their sitters. Between 1843 and 1847, from their studio in Edinburgh, Hill and Adamson, together with their assistant Miss Mann, produced over 3000 portraits, city views and landscapes. These form the most important single body of photography to have survived from this period. This exhibition of some 200 images concentrates mainly on calotypes, as Hill's most successful enterprise in art, the use of which he pioneered in portraiture. In this technique a sheet of paper coated with silver chloride was exposed to light in a camera obscura. The display also includes paintings and engravings, which demonstrate Hill's considerable talent as a painter and printmaker. There are also a number of images recently printed for the first time from Hill and Adamson's negatives. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh until 15th September.

Hygiene: The Art Of Public Health is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Central St Martin's School Of Art And Design and the London School Of Hygiene And Tropical Medicine. It is a collection of works by 16 sculptors, film makers, photographers and installation artists on the theme of hygiene. These include Julian Walker's fragments found on the bed of the Thames, each labelled with a disease; Susan Bird's text based installation, drawing on accounts of sufferers of delirium caused by typhoid and typhus; Jordan Baseman's film Thriller, looking at the link between obsessive behaviour and hygiene, based on TV interviews with Michael Jackson; Naomi Dines body on a trolley, which explores perceptions and taboos surrounding bodily fluids; and Andrew Carnie's sequential set of 162 slides and a photographic print dealing with the disposal of the body, and the different ways in which it is prepared for burial. All human life etc.London School Of Hygiene And Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street London WC1 020 7636 8636 until 6th July.

Thames Tales is an interactive family event which explores the changing life of the River Thames, from royal pageantry and palaces, to bridges, buoys and boats. The exhibition looks at the history of London's main artery, as a working environment, leisure attraction and royal waterway. Children can learn about the history of the river from a cast of characters such as Toot the tugboat, Bob the river policeman, and Richard the seventeenth century waterman. Hands-on activities include building a bridge, steering a river bus, loading a barge and rebuilding the Tower of London. A programme of talks, guided river tours, drop-in workshops, foreshore walks and gallery trails accompanies the exhibition. Golden Jubilee related displays include a selection of posters illustrating the connection between royalty and transport. London Transport Museum until 1st September.

Free Trade - Inhale/Exhale mark the re-opening of Manchester Art Gallery after a £35m makeover, which has seen it double in size, by incorporating the Athenaeum Club building to its rear. Michael Hopkins has linked the two with an atrium, creating a suitably spectacular space, with lifts, walkways and a grandiose double staircase, all in sandblasted glass. The existing buildings have also been refurbished, and now incorporate the requisite tally of education suite, screening room, cafe, shop and interactive arcade. Free Trade explores the relationship between commerce and art, and tells the story of Manchester as a trading centre, employing some of the 30,000 objects bequeathed to the gallery by Manchester merchant and art collector George Beatson Blair. Over 300 of these objects, including paintings, ceramics, glass, metalware and furniture are featured, plus original films about trading in Manchester. Inhale/Exhale is a new installation by Michael Craig Martin that shows off the volume of the largest exhibition space. Brightly coloured walls form the background for a range of hugely magnified painted objects, which are seemingly 'inhaled' into a painting on one of the walls and 'exhaled' onto another. Manchester Art Gallery - Free Trade until 30th December - Inhale/Exhale until 30th June.

Inspired By Italy: Dutch Landscape Painting 1600-1700 features the work of Dutch Italianate Masters, 17th century Netherlands artists who travelled to Italy for inspiration. They brought back with them to a flat and cloudy Holland, visions of lakes, mountains, ancient forests and tumbled Roman ruins, with peasants in brightly coloured clothes, under clear blue skies, or in golden evening sunlight. These proved extremely popular, and even inspired others towards their own interpretation of a landscape they may never have seen. The exhibition of 80 paintings traces the development of the movement, starting with its origins in Italy during the last decade of the 16th century in the work of Paul Bril; moving on to the 'first generation' of Dutch Italianates, including Cornelis Poelenburch and Bartholomeus Breenburgh, who worked alongside Claude and Poussin; the 'second generation' of Jan Both and Nicolaes Berchem, Aelbert Cuyp, Karel Dujardin, Philips Wouwermans and Adam Pynacker; and finally, the less well known 'third generation' of Isaac de Moucheron and Jacob de Heusch. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 26th August.

Royal Treasures: A Golden Jubilee Celebration is the inaugural exhibition of the new Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Incorporating the former Royal kitchens, the £20m scheme by John Simpson (funded entirely by the Royal Collection Trust) provides three and a half times more space than the gallery it replaces, including multimedia, education and lecture rooms. Mixing the famous with the unexpected, the selection of 450 works for this exhibition has been made across the breadth of the Royal Collection, from eight royal residences and over five centuries of collecting and gifts. It includes the very finest paintings, drawings and watercolours, furniture, sculpture and ceramics, silver and gold, arms and armour, jewellery and miniatures, books and manuscripts. Among the highlights are Van Dyck's equestrian portrait of Charles I; major works by Holbein, Frans Hals and Canaletto; Lady At The Virginal by Vermeer; Landseer's study of Prince Albert's black greyhound; miniatures by Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver; studies by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo; the Mainz Psalter and the Sobeiski Book of Hours; the Darnley Jewel and The Queen's Diamond Diadem; wild flower ornaments and a Russian Imperial Egg by Faberge; and the recent portrait of The Queen by Lucien Freud. The Queen's Gallery until 12th January.


Tim Noble & Sue Webster: Ghastly Arrangements allow the Dynamic Duo of Young Brit Artists to pursue their continuing fascination with the thrills of illumination, love, language, shadows, cash and Hogarthian vulgarity. The main gallery space features a huge light piece that reads 'Forever' in a Las Vegas hotel-style font, with flashing bulbs and neon strips. Made Of Money is triggered like a slot machine - insert a token and a flurry of real £50, £10 and £5 notes attempts to obscure a projected vision of the artists self portrait in a kiss, but when the £10,000 worth settles, the image is magically rendered from an apparently formless mound of currency. The Original Sinners secretes a fine curtain of oil around an overgrown garden fountain comprised of a mass of fruit and vegetables - a shadow fills the wall and the two artists stand, seemingly naked, she lactating like a baroque fountain, and he peeing subversively into the deluge surrounding them. Milton Keynes Art Gallery until 23rd June.

Shimmering Substance examines the texture and substance of art - its physical quality and surface - the title being taken from a 1946 Jackson Pollock painting. The shimmering is expressed not just in paintings (both representational and abstract), but also in a variety of media, employing water, foam, clay, glass and glitter. These are used in everything from a beaded curtain, to Sarah Dobai's video installation with water cascading in front of the image, to Kate Bright's paintings of gleaming lakes with silver and gold glitter applied like old fashioned Christmas cards. The other artists whose work is featured are Enid Baxter Blader, Mel Bochner, Tom Chamberlain, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Alexis Harding, Roger Hiorns, Rachel Howard, Marilyn Minter, David Musgrave, Ernesto Neto, Lawson Oyekan, Rudolf Stingel, Lawrence Weiner and Pae White. Arnolfini, Bristol until 23rd June.

Mona Hatoum: Grater Divide is an exhibition of new works by the British based artist who has explored a wide range of media in her twenty year career, including performance, installation, sculpture, video and photography. One speciality is familiar objects such as chairs, beds or kitchen utensils blown up to enormous proportions. This show takes its name from a 6ft high foldout cheese grater that takes on the appearance of a room divider or paravent. Scaled up from the original nine fold, it is both decorative and macabre, with its hazardous, razor-sharp surface. Cage-a-Deux is a human sized rodent cage, seven times the size of the original, with twin feeding bowls awaiting a pair of occupants. Other pieces include an institutional bed which has had the springs replaced with a fine network of razor sharp wires that spiral into the centre to form an intricate spider's web; and two old suitcases connected by a swathe of dark human hair, that seems to be growing out of the sides of each of them. Definitely an eye opener. White Cube², London until 22nd June.