Private View held by Richard Andrews
Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990 - 2005 brings together recent well known assignments and rarely seen personal work of one of the world's best known portrait photographers, who has been documenting American popular culture since the early 1970s. With over 150 photographs, the exhibition shows iconic images of famous public figures together with personal photographs of Annie Leibovitz's family and close friends. Arranged chronologically, they project a narrative of her private life against the backdrop of her public image. At the heart of the exhibition, Leibovitz's personal photography documents scenes from her life, including the birth and childhood of her three daughters, and vacations, reunions, and rites of passage with her parents, her extended family and close friends. The show features Leibovitz's portraits of well known figures, including actors such as Jamie Foxx, Daniel Day Lewis, Al Pacino, Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt as well as artists and architects such as Richard Avedon, Brice Marden, Philip Johnson, Chuck Close and Cindy Sherman. Highlights include dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rob Besserer holding a dance position on a beach, William S Burroughs in Kansas and Agnes Martin in Taos. Featured assignment work includes reportage from the siege of Sarajevo in the early 1990s and the election of Hillary Clinton to the US Senate. There are also landscapes taken in Monument Valley in the American West and in Wadi Rum in the Jordanian desert. National Portrait Gallery until 1st February.
From The Land Of The Golden Fleece: Tomb Treasures Of Ancient Georgia features tomb and temple treasures in gold, silver and bronze, from the land to which the Greek hero Jason led the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece. Over 140 treasures, never before shown outside Georgia, reflect the local rituals, lavish burial practices and exquisite craftsmanship of one of the least known civilizations on the borders of the classical world. The exhibition comprises a wealth of gold and silver jewellery, sculpture and funerary items dating from the 5th to 1st centuries BC, excavated from sanctuaries and tombs at Vani in the ancient kingdom of Colchis, on the eastern shores of the Black Sea. Among the highlights are a gold necklace with 31 pendant tortoises, and accompanying earrings, rings and broach; a silver belt showing scenes of banqueting and animal processions; a delicate bronze sculpture of a youth; silver and pottery libation bowls in Persian style; and drinking vessels and decorated cauldrons reflecting the importance of wine making.
Bordering The Black Sea: Greeks, 'Barbarians' And Their Coins is an accompanying exhibition exploring the history of Greek colonies on the shores of the Black Sea, their interaction with indigenous peoples, and their artistic traditions through the imagery on coinage. It showcases gold and silver coins, some in the shape of dolphins and arrowheads, from the 6th century BC to Roman times.
Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge until 4th January.
Paths To Fame: Turner Watercolours From The Courtauld is the first opportunity to see this collection in its entirety, including 9 recent acquisitions. The watercolours are rarely on public view because of their susceptibility to damage from strong light (hence they are shown in winter). The collection includes work from across Turner's career, ranging from an early view of the Avon Gorge, Bristol, made when he was just 16, to examples of the monumental highly finished watercolours of his maturity, and the expressive late works. Turner travelled the length and breadth of Britain and the Continent in search of inspirational and marketable views. Following in his footsteps, the exhibition traces the evolution of his inventive and entrepreneurial approach to the making of landscape in watercolour - such as rearranging the landscape for a more dramatic effect. Among the highlights are 'Rome from San Pietro in Montorio', 'Mont Blanc from above Courmayeur', 'On Lake Lucerne looking towards Fluelen', 'Heaped Thundercloud over Sea and Land, Storm on Margate Sands', 'Margate Pier', and 'Dawn after the Wreck'. The works from the collection are supplemented by closely related loans, offering the opportunity to trace the development of certain compositions, including the panoramic view 'Crook of Lune', from early sketches and exploratory 'colour beginnings' to finished watercolours, and in some cases, published prints. Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, London until 25th January
Taking Liberties provides a rare opportunity to view actual documents that played key roles in the nation's struggle for freedoms and rights, charting the roots of British democracy over a period of more than 900 years. Among the iconic documents on display that paved the way for liberty and democracy are: on the Rule of Law, Magna Carta, in which King John acknowledged laws, rights and freedoms which eventually became a model for liberty throughout the world; Habeas Corpus, which guaranteed that no one could be imprisoned unlawfully; on the Right to Vote, 1832 Reform Act, which abolished the rotten and pocket boroughs, and redistributed seats to enfranchise large towns and populations previously not covered, and Olive Wharry's prison scrapbook, detailing the Suffragette's time in jail; on Human Rights, Thomas Paine's Rights Of Man, championing both natural and civil rights, and William Blake's notebook, containing a draft of The Tyger and material used in other poems, essays, lyrics and epigrams; on the Monarchy and the People, King Charles I's death warrant, following Cromwell's victory in the Civil War, and the Bill of Rights (the closest Britain has to a constitution) passed at the time of the restoration of the monarchy; on Freedom from Want, Charles Booth's 1891 Poverty Map of London, revealing the bleak living conditions of the capital's poor, and the Beveridge Report, which was the blueprint for the welfare state set up after the Second World War. British Library until 1st March.
Garden Giants: Amazing Bugs In Our Environment is a bug hunt with a difference. An indoor garden has been created, complete with a potting shed and grass paths, and hidden in the undergrowth are giant moving models of stag beetles, ants, wasps, crickets, snails, ladybirds, butterflies and spiders - up to 400 times their actual size (that's 7ft long or tall), making appropriately magnified sounds. Accompanying interactive displays provide a guide to the world of insects and invertebrates, which is full of little known facts about creepy crawlies of all kinds – and provides information that can help to distinguish the good from the bad. Younger visitors can find out what it is like to see like a fly (but unlike the film it's a reversible process), smell like a bug, and even handle the little beasts (that's the bugs not the children). Although the 'eek factor' is at the heart of the exhibition, the underlying theme is sustainability. It highlights the importance of insects and invertebrates to the ecosystems that support life on earth, and offers advice on how to encourage useful bugs into domestic gardens, from the experts at the Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley. The Lightbox, Woking until 4th January.
Miro, Calder, Giacometti, Braque: Aime Maeght And His Artists demonstrates the achievement of the Galerie Maeght, one of the most influential and creative galleries of the 20th century. Founded by Aime and Marguerite Maeght in Paris in 1945, the gallery featured work by artists who expressed the bold new spirit in art that exploded in France following the end of the Second World War. The exhibition presents Aime Maeght's contributions to art in the mid 20th century as an art dealer, exhibition maker and publisher. It comprises over 140 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, prints and sketch books by the major artists Maeght exhibited: Joan Miro, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti and George Braque - as well as works by Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse. Highlights include Miro's 'The Birth of the Day III', and 'Cat Snake'; Calder's 'Airplane Tail' and 'Sumac V'; Giacometti's 'Spoon Woman', 'Standing Woman' and 'Walking Man'; Braque's 'Hesperus - Theogony'; Bonnard's 'Summer'; and Matisse's 'Seated Nude' and 'The Bush'. There is also a collage of the covers of Derriere le Miroir, the periodical that served as a catalogue for the gallery's exhibitions, illustrated by the artists' original lithographs. Little known film footage of the artists at work and relaxing with their patron and his family is included in the show, revealing the remarkably close relationship that existed between Maeght and his artists. Royal Academy of Arts, until 2nd January.
Byzantium 330 - 1453 highlights the splendours of the Byzantine Empire, comprising around 300 exquisitely crafted and richly decorated objects, including icons, detached wall paintings, micro-mosaics, ivories and enamels, plus gold and silver metalwork. The exhibition begins with the foundation of Constantinople in 330 AD by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great and concludes with the capture of the city by the Ottoman forces of Mehmed II in 1453, following a chronological progression covering the range, power and longevity of the artistic production of the Byzantine Empire. Through a number of themed sections, it explores the origins of Byzantium; the rise of Constantinople; the threat of iconoclasm when emperors banned Christian figurative art; the post-iconoclast revival; the crescendo in the Middle Ages; and the close connections between Byzantine and early Renaissance art in Italy in the 13th and early 14th centuries. Among the highlights are: the silver gilt Antioch Chalice, once believed to have been the Holy Grail; a two-sided icon of Virgin Hodegetria and the Man of Sorrows; an incense burner in the shape of a church, in partially gilded silver; the ornate Chalice of the Patriarchs; the Riha Paten, illustrating the Communion of the Apostles, in silver with gilding and niello; an imperial ivory casket from Troyes cathedral depicting hunting scenes and riders; a 12th century manuscript, the Homilies of Monk James Kokkinobaphos; and the Icon of the Archangel Michael, silver gilt on wood, with gold cloisonne enamel and precious stones. The Royal Academy of Arts, until 22nd March.
Le Corbusier - The Art Of Architecture is an assessment of the single most influential (and controversial) architect of the 20th century. Across the world his revolutionary designs were instrumental in the development of modern architecture. From high rise towers to furniture design, his vision of functionalism - using modern materials and engineering techniques - provided radical yet practical solutions to modern urban living, which still evoke strong views today. Featuring original architectural models, vintage prints, original furniture, unique drawings and paintings, specially built models, reconstructions of historical interiors, photographs, digital animations and documentary films, the exhibition takes an in depth look at the projects, interiors and art of Le Corbusier - and also reveals the man behind the myth. It gives a comprehensive introduction to Le Corbusier's work and influences, presenting his most important architectural projects, furniture and interior designs, paintings, textiles, drawings and books. Grand projects include the Palais des Nations, Geneva, the Soviet Palace competition project, Unite d'Habitation in Marseilles, the chapel at Ronchamp, the Philips Pavilion in Brussels and the Capitol buildings at Chandigarh. Previously unpublished material includes original film footage by Le Corbusier, the large scale mural painting from his own office, and a reconstruction of his monumental architectural model 'Ville Contemporaine', his utopian masterplan for Paris. The Crypt, Metropolitan Cathedral, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, until 18th January.
Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms attempts to shed new light on the artist who made such a big impression on popular culture and consciousness in the second half of the 20th century, through a display of many of his lesser-known works. The exhibition presents Warhol's films, screen-tests, videos and television programmes, which combined with archive material, seminal paintings and installations, illuminates his creative process. It comprises three installations: Cosmos, an overview of the various media and techniques with which Warhol worked; Filmscape, in which 19 of Warhol's most famous films are showcased; and TV-Scape, with all of Warhol's television programmes screened synchronously. Highlights include iconic prints such as Marilyn Monroe, Campbell Soup Tins and Electric Chair; films such as Horse, Chelsea Girls and Mario Banana (No. 1); screen tests of writers, musicians and artists such as Allen Ginsberg, Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dali; Factory Diaries, video diaries showing the inner workings of the Factory, capturing regulars and celebrity visitors; all 42 episodes of his cable television series Fashion, Andy Warhol's TV and Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes, in which he appeared with celebrity friends; Silver Clouds, a room of Warhol's helium filled pillow shaped metallic reflecting balloons; and the entire contents of Time Capsule 92, a treasure trove of ephemera, including letters, invitations, receipts, newspaper cuttings and photographs. Hayward Gallery until 18th January.
The Golden Generation: British Theatre 1945 - 1968 demonstrates the variety, dynamism, and vision of actors, directors and writers that flourished in British theatre between the end of the Second World War and the abolition of theatre censorship. It reflects the time of social transformation, during which writers began addressing contemporary life, by examining some of its key theatrical institutions. The exhibition is a treasure trove of theatrical manuscripts, letters, photographs and oral history recordings. Highlights include the only surviving scripts of the first two plays by John Osborne, The Devil Inside Him and Personal Enemy, and a handwritten draft of The Entertainer sent to Laurence Olivier, alongside 'disgusted' fan letters, complaining that Olivier should play such a role; an exchange of letters between Olivier and his wig maker, revealing his obsession with the accuracy of his stage make up; photographs of Michel St Denis's revolutionary drama training methods at the Old Vic theatre school; Harold Pinter's scrapbook in which he pasted reviews of his first play, noting that 'Mr Pinter may well make some impact as a dramatist'; a handwritten draft of Pinter's The Homecoming, accompanied by letters of encouragement from playwrights Noel Coward and Samuel Beckett; photographs showing how many playwrights developed their talent while acting in regional repertory theatres, including Peter Nichols, John Osborne, Harold Pinter, and Charles Wood; letters from the Lord Chamberlain reflecting a questioning of the rigid rules on how 'deviant' sexuality could be portrayed on stage; and the assumed lost script of Alan Ayckbourn's first play, Love After All, rediscovered last year. The British Library until 30th November.
The Body Carnival is an examination of the modified body in all its forms, focusing on the practises of tattooing, piercing, corsetry and cosmetic surgery. Presented from an insider's perspective by Joolz Denby, writer, artist, 'cultural revolutionary' and tattooist, it is a highly personal vision. Exhibits include Anthony Bennett's life size sculptures of the 'Pierced Angel' and 'The Great Omi'; photographs of examples extreme tattoos and piercings shot from odd angles by Ashley and Ian Beesley; the inner workings of a tattoo studio revealed in the presentation 'Bijou Tatu'; and an examination of the practice of corseting, which charts its progress from genteel underwear to flamboyant outerwear, with examples by Viviene Westwood and Alexander McQueen. For all its sympathetic intention and protestations of a serious reflection of contemporary fashion, it is really the modern equivalent of a Victorian travelling fair sideshow - only The Elephant Man is missing. Not for the squeamish. Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford until 30th November.
Soho Archives 1950s & 1960s documents the bohemian area of London's West End, a haven for creativity and criminality, scandal and sexuality, and a source of inspiration for photographers. The exhibition features images from three archives, capturing the vibrancy and exoticism of Soho in what many believe to have been its greatest days, as Britain emerged from the era of post Second World War austerity. Jean Straker founded the Visual Arts Club in Soho in 1951 'for artistes and photographers, amateur and professional, studying the female nude', and his works are remarkable for their lack of artifice, their sexuality and curiosity, and for reflecting the sexual predilections of the era. Magnum photographer David Hurn documented Soho's strippers, in the many peep shows and strip clubs, and with a sympathetic and insightful gaze, depicts these working women in their public and private spaces, both performing and at rest. The Daily Herald Archive shows how press photographers were drawn to Soho, as both a hub of criminality, and the backdrop for an explosion of youth culture. With images from scarred gangsters to the wedding of pop star and teen idol Tommy Steele, these photographs and the scandal they caused are icons of the 1950s and 1960s. The Photographer's Gallery, 5 & 8 Great Newport Street, London WC2 until 16th November.