News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th August 2008


Love explores how artists from the 16th century to the present day have represented the complexity and intensity of the most powerful of emotions. Encompassing divine and mortal love, chaste and unchaste love, family love and charity, the exhibition demonstrates how 30 artists, including Raphael, Cranach, Vermeer, Murillo, Goya, Guercino, Turner, Holman Hunt, Marc Chagall, Stanley Spencer and Garyson Perry, have described or responded to love in a variety of styles. Highlights include the juxtaposition of Tracey Emin's 'Those Who Suffer Love (I'm OK Now)' connecting the agony of the creative process and the intricacies of human relations, looking at tensions similar to those that surrounded Dante Gabriel Rossetti's iconic 'Astarte Syriaca', painted over 100 years earlier; the embrace of Mark Quinn's 'Kiss' questioning concepts of beauty and preconceptions about entitlement to affection; Joseph Wright of Derby's newlyweded couple the Coltmans, paintings by the Singh Twins contrasting the dissatisfaction of celebrity worship with the joy of love reciprocated; neighbourly love overcoming racial and religious prejudice in 'The Good Samaritan' by Jacopo Bassano, as a traveller tends to the wounds of a total stranger; and Lawrence Alma-Tadema's painting of two women whose friendship will be ruined by their love for the same man. National Gallery until 5th October.

Case Studies unravels some of the mysteries surrounding the very beginnings of railways, thanks to the discovery of a hitherto unknown a pen and wash illustration showing the locomotive 'Catch Me Who Can', from Trevithick's first London railway of 1808. Destined to become an icon of transport history, a copy of picture by John Claude Nattes reveals that three 'Rowlandson' prints of the railway are actually forgeries, dating to only just before the First World War. Objects on display accompanying the picture include the two known Trevithick model self moving engines, together for the first time since the 1930s, and the mysterious 'Sans Pareil' model, once thought to date from the Rainhill trials of 1829, but now revealed to be much earlier, and made by Timothy Hackworth around 1811, when he was experimenting towards building the famous 'Puffing Billy' locomotive. The exhibition is part of Search Engine, a new £4m state of the art Archive and Research Centre, which allows access to previously hidden treasures, including some of the most valuable and important objects from the dawn of powered transport. The archive includes over 1.5m photographs from the early days of photography in the 1850s onwards; over 1m engineering drawings of railway vehicles; sound and oral history archives; the UK's most comprehensive railway library; personal and business archives from key figures and organisations in the British railway industry; and the UK's most comprehensive collection of British railway posters, graphic art and advertising materials. National Railway Museum, York, until November.

Huang Yong Ping: Frolic is an installation by one of the most distinguished contemporary artists to emerge from China in the past two decades. It explores the complex imperial history between Britain and China in the 19th century, the forerunner of today's globalisation, and in particular the Opium Wars. The installation comprises sculptures of enlarged paraphernalia associated with opium dens, which were widespread in the 19th century, and takes its title from the name of a ship built in 1844 specifically for the opium trade. It evokes the intemperance of the opium den whilst exposing the cruder, factory production of the drug, with piles of opium balls, scales and storage boxes. The central space is occupied with a statue of Lord Palmerston, who served twice as British Prime Minister and is widely considered as the initiator of the Opium Wars in China in 1839 and 1856. The statue, toppled on an opium bed, depicts Palmerston smoking an exaggeratedly large opium pipe. Importing opium from British India to China was a lucrative trade for Britain, and when the Chinese government attempted to control the supply as overuse of the drug was becoming rife, Britain refused to comply. The conflict between the two governments twice erupted into wars, and following its defeats the Chinese government was forced to tolerate the opium trade, and sign Unequal Treaties, opening several ports to foreign trade and yielding Hong Kong to Britain. The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery, until 21st September.


The State Rooms Of Buckingham Palace, the 19 rooms that are used to receive and entertain guests of State on ceremonial and official occasions, have once again been thrown open to visitors. They are furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude; sculpture by Canova and Chantrey; Sevres porcelain; and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. This year, the special display features the spectacle of the Palace's Ballroom set up for a State Banquet, held in honour of a visiting Head of State. These are the occasions when the Queen and other members of the Royal Family entertain around 160 guests on the first evening of a State Visit. The horseshoe shaped table is dressed with a dazzling display of silver-gilt from the magnificent Grand Service, and adorned with flower arrangements and candelabra. Lavish buffet arrangements of jeweled cups, ivory tankards, tureens, dishes and fine English and Continental porcelain flank the table. Film footage shows the behind the scenes work of Royal Household staff, including chefs, footmen, pages, florists and housemaids, who ensure the highest standards of presentation and delivery. Visitors can also enjoy a walk in the 39 acre garden with its 19th century lake, which provides a haven for wild life in the centre of London, including 30 different species of birds, and more than 350 different wild flowers, and offers views of the Garden Front of the Palace. Buckingham Palace until 28th September.

Arms And Armour From The Movies: The Wonderful World Of WETA is a unique display celebrating the skill and craftsmanship of the multi-award winning WETA Workshop. The studio in Wellington, New Zealand created the arms and armour for the epic films The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Hellboy, The Last Samurai and King Kong. Among over 230 iconic pieces on display are the weapons of Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, and the King of the Dead's helmet from The Lord Of The Rings; Peter's armour, Susan's bow, quiver and arrows, and the White Witch's dagger and wand from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; a selection from the 1,700 weapons made for The Last Samurai; the plane mounted Lewis machine gun that dispatched King Kong; and Hellboy's revolver 'The Samaritan'. The pieces have been specially selected to show the level of craftsmanship that has gone into their creation, and the inspirations which led to their design. Many of the weapons and armour are based on authentic medieval European and Eastern designs, and were made using the original techniques. The exhibition provides an opportunity examine these pieces close up, which previously have only been seen fleetingly in action scenes, and showcases both the practical considerations and the attention to detail that went into their making. Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, until 16th November.

Wyndham Lewis Portraits is the first exhibition to focus on the portraits of Percy Wyndham Lewis, one of the most important modernist writer, commentator and portraitist of the first half of the 20th century, and founder of the Vorticist movement. It is a unique visual record of some of the leading cultural figures of the period, many of whom were Wyndham Lewis's personal friends. The exhibition comprises 58 portraits, ranging from delicate drawings to large oil paintings. Among the highlights are his now iconic renderings of his fellow 'Men of 1914', credited with revolutionising 20th century literature, the writers Ezra Pound, T S Eliot and James Joyce. Broadly chronological, it begins by showing how Wyndham Lewis portrayed himself in a series of multiple identities, and then includes from the 1920s and 1930s such figures as Edith Sitwell, Stephen Spender, Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West and G K Chesterton, as well as his wife Froanna, portrayed in five of his most beautiful paintings and drawings. The exhibition goes on to chart the high point of Wyndham Lewis's career as a portraitist, culminating in his 1938 painting of T S Eliot, and features his rarely seen late portraits. As well as the pictures, there are displays of key texts, including the hugely influential Vorticist journal Blast, which he edited from 1914 to 1915, and The Apes of God, a novel satirising the art world of London in the 1920s, in which several of the characters are based on sitters in this exhibition. National Portrait Gallery until 19th October.

Skeletons: London's Buried Bones features 26 examples from a collection of 17,000 skeletons that have been archived and examined at the Museum of London's Centre for Human Bioarchaeology over the last 30 years. The skeletons reflect London's rich past and varied social geography, from the affluent district of Chelsea to the Cross Bones cemetery in Southwark, believed to have been established originally as a graveyard for prostitutes. Each has its own tale to tell, and collectively they uncover 2,000 years of history, increasing our understanding of how Londoners once lived, and providing insights into the health, diet, diseases and lifestyle of the deceased. The skeletons include: a 22 week old foetus, whose remains were found with its mother, which is the youngest ever individual discovered on a British archaeological site; Chelsea's resident butcher and beadle, William Wood, who had a condition linked to having a diet high in rich foods and died at the age of 84 in 1842; a young female discovered at the Royal Mint, whose bones were stained green from copper residues; and a young woman (possibly a prostitute) found in Cross Bones burial ground in south east London with traces of syphilis in her bones. Causes of death revealed range from 'decay of nature' (old age) through now almost eradicated diseases, such as smallpox and rickets, and those still current, such as prostate cancer, to the CSI favourite 'blunt force trauma'. Each of the 26 skeletons is accompanied by a recent image taken by photographer Thomas Adank of the burial site where they were discovered. The Wellcome Collection, London until 28th September.

The Art Of Italy In The Royal Collection: Renaissance And Baroque brings together paintings and drawings, most of them masterpieces, by 20 artists, from royal palaces and residences across Britain. The exhibition celebrates the artistic legacy of Charles I and Charles II, whose taste so profoundly influenced the character of the Royal Collection. Described by the painter Peter Paul Rubens as 'the greatest amateur of paintings among the princes of the world', Charles I built up a collection of Italian masters to rival that of any European court of the period. Although the collection was sold during the Commonwealth, a significant number of paintings were reclaimed or bought back by Charles II after the Restoration. Research for this exhibition has resulted in a number of important re-attributions. Among these, two paintings previously thought to be versions of lost works by Caravaggio, 'The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew' and 'A Boy Peeling Fruit', are now generally recognised by experts as the original works. Among the other highlights are Bronzino's 'Portrait of a Lady in Green', Tintoretto's 'Esther Before Ahasuerus' and 'The Muses', Bellini's 'Portrait of a Young Man', Fetti's 'David with the Head of Goliath', Romano's 'Portrait of Margherita Palaeologa', Garofalo's 'Holy Family', and Lotto's 'Portrait of Andrea Odoni'. The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh until 24th October.

Beano And Dandy Birthday Bash! celebrates the 70th birthday of The Beano comic, together with The Dandy, which launched just eight months earlier, on 4th December 1937. These two comics have been responsible for entertaining generations of British children, with their iconic characters such as Korky the Cat, Beryl the Peril, Desperate Dan, Keyhole Kate and Lord Snooty and his Pals. In the 1950s the British comic entered one of its most dynamic periods, and at D C Thomson artists such as David Law, Leo Baxendale and Ken Reid were producing brilliant, ingenious drawings which inspired many future cartoonists and animators. The decade saw the introduction of many classic characters, some of whom are still with us today, such as Dennis the Menace, the Bash Street Kids, Minnie the Minx and Roger the Dodger. This exhibition presents original comic artwork from eight decades, and shows how the comics and their characters have developed over time. The cast of characters includes Ball Boy, Bully Beef and Chips, Brassneck, The Three Bears, Les Pretend and Winker Watson, as well as feisty girl characters such as Pansy Potter - The Strongman's Daughter, and more recently, Ivy the Terrible. Some things have changed - the comics' graphic style has evolved to suit modern tastes - but children still love the mischief and mayhem created every week in The Beano and The Dandy. The Cartoon Museum, London WC1, until 2nd November.


Psycho Buildings: Artists Take On Architecture marks the 40th anniversary of the gallery, whose brutalist architectural style is loved and loathed in equal measure, by inviting 10 international artists to respond to its spaces. They have created habitat-like structures and architectural environments, both indoors and out, which offer visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves atmospheric and unsettling surroundings. The art gallery and the funfair have converged in installations that include a room frozen in a moment of explosive disaster; an eerie village of over 200 dollhouses (which really needs "it's a small world after all" playing in the background); a labyrinth viewed by climbing ladders to observation platforms; a giant transparent trampoline under a plastic geodesic dome that can either be bounced on or viewed from below; a 5:1 scale model of a Korean house crashing into a three storey American home; and a skyline pond with boats made from junk shop furniture. The artists are Atelier Bow-Wow (Japan), Michael Beutler (Germany), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Gelitin (Austria), Mike Nelson (UK), Ernesto Neto (Brazil), Tobias Putrih (Slovenia), Tomas Saraceno (Argentina), Do-Ho Suh (Korea), Rachel Whiteread (UK). The exhibition also includes screening of architecturally inspired films, including Chris Burden's Beam Drop, Andrea Fraser's Little Frank and his Carp, Gordon Matta Clark's Conical Intersect and Jane Crawford and Robert Fiore's Sheds. Hayward Gallery until 25th August.

Richard Rogers + Architects - From The House To The City reviews the work of one of the most influential architects of our time, from his first family house in Cornwall, to the recently opened Heathrow Terminal 5. Covering a period of 45 years, it is a detailed survey of Rogers's collaborations, from early work with Norman and Wendy Foster, and Su Brumwell at Team 4; through the Pompidou Centre with Renzo Piano, which changed the shape of contemporary architecture; and the establishment of the Richard Rogers Partnership, which produced the Lloyd's of London building and the Millennium Dome; to the present as Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and the National Assembly for Wales. It also features a number of less well known buildings in Britain and around the world, together with proposals and competition entries for projects that were never built, and a number of current works in progress. The projects are explored in depth, through new and archive architectural models, photographs, initial sketches, renderings, plans, drawings, films and computer animations. They are arranged in colour coded sections, with each block examining an architectural theme: Transparent, Legible, Green, Lightweight, Public, Urban and Systems. Design Museum, London until 25th August.

Rituals : Jason Dodge / Tereza Buskova features works by two artist who work in different media, but share the use of performance, fetishism and narration in their work, to engage audiences and provoke a reassessment of common symbols. Jason Dodge uses found objects, changing their context to reveal unexpected histories that reference past human actions and distant locations. His works on show include ''Ringing through Chimneys', a bell attached to the brush of chimney sweep Jorg Hauseler during the spring chimney cleaning in a neighbourhood in Berlin; and 'Darkness falls on Beroldingerstrasse 7, 79224 Umkirch', a collection of light sources, ranging from light bulbs to matches, which once illuminated a house on the edge of the Black Forest. Tereza Buskova's films explore a personal mythology with symbolic references to liberation, sexuality and East European Folklore, delving into a rich culture of theatre, film, animation, literature and craft. To make her work Buskova begins with improvised tableaux vivant and ritualistic narrative free performance, designing elaborate costumes, props, models and makeup. Here she premieres 'Forgotten Marriage', which was shot in Prague, with performer Zoe Simon and composer Bela Emerson, and a series of related photographic screen prints. Gallery One One One, 111 Great Titchfield Street, London W1, until 24th August.