News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 13th August 2014


The Art And Science Of Exploration 1768-80 features paintings, prints and drawings by specially commissioned artists on Captain Cook's 18th century voyages of discovery. When James Cook's first expedition to the South Pacific returned to Britain in 1771, he brought back accounts and images of extraordinary lands, people, flora and fauna. Returning twice more over the following decade, Cook established a pattern for voyages of discovery that combined scientific investigation with artistic responses to the unfamiliar lands that they encountered, forever influencing how the British public saw the Pacific. The exhibition includes portraits, landscapes and scenes of encounters with Pacific islanders, such as George Stubbs's 'Portrait of a Large Dog (Dingo)' and 'The Kongouro from New Holland (Kangaroo)'; William Hodges's 'Tahiti Revisited', 'A View of the Cape of Good Hope, Taken on the Spot, From On Board the Resolution', and 'View of Resolution Bay in the Marquesas', showing how artists adapted the techniques and styles learnt in Europe to depict the exotic scenes for a British audience; John Webber's 'Poedua, the Daughter of Orio', one of the earliest portraits of a Polynesian woman by a European painter; and some of the 30,000 dried plants and 955 botanical watercolours, prints and drawings by Sydney Parkinson. The exhibition shows the important role that artists had on the Cook voyages, producing images that worked both as scientific records of carefully planned exploration, as well as sensitive representations of an unfolding new world. The Queen's House, Romney Road, Greenwich, London SE10, continuing.

Barbara Hepworth: Within The Landscape focuses on one of the greatest British artists of the 20th century, for whom landscape provided unending inspiration. From the rough and rugged West Riding landscape experienced in her childhood to the idyllic views of St Ives in Cornwall, for Barbara Hepworth landscape was formative, multifaceted and constantly stimulating. Her commentary on the subject is extensive, and the exhibition draws on her words and her photographs alongside her sculptures, to give a unique insight into what she was both inspired by, and how she contributed to a perception of landscape. The exhibition contains some of Hepworth's most iconic sculptures including 'Stringed Figure (Curlew)', 'Torso III (Galatea)', 'Oval Form (Trezion)', 'Configuration Phira', 'Summer Dance', 'Sea Form (Porthmeor)', 'Curved Form - Trevalgan', 'Moon Form' and maquette for 'Winged Figure', alongside prints, photographs and ephemera detailing her life long relationship with the landscape. Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, until 28th September.

Seduced! Fans & The Art Of Advertising offers a fascinating overview of the history of advertising fans. In the days before glossy magazine campaigns and slick TV commercials, brands relied on more humble ways of advertising their wares. From restaurants and perfumeries to haute couture fashion houses, the fan became the promotional tool of choice in the early 20th century. By 1930, even champagne producer Moet & Chandon was producing designs. The exhibition reveals how commercial art - a dynamic, seductive art form - emerged to play a pivotal role in generating and sustaining a culture of consumption among the growing middle classes. Focusing on the interwar period and the aesthetics of Art Deco, the exhibition includes a colourful array of fans made to promote leisure activities such as travel, dining and shopping, as well as luxury brands in comestibles and fashion. Many of the fans exhibited feature designs by masters of commercial art including Georges Barbier, Leonetto Cappiello and René Gruau, whose striking pochoir and chromolithographic prints evoke a remarkable age of decadence, glamour and exoticism, revealing how these seemingly innocuous items actually sparked the beginnings of modern consumerist culture. The Fan Museum, 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London SE10, until 28th September.


Primrose: Early Colour Photography In Russia examines colour experiments and developments in photography spanning the 1860s through to the 1980s. In tracing these technical and artistic advancements, the exhibition also moves through the social history of Russia itself. The display features over 140 works looking at different periods and their prevailing photographic aesthetics. The earliest photographs are from when tinting of prints with watercolour and oil paints was undertaken by hand. Initially used for portraits, this technique was extended to architectural, landscape and industrial subject matter. In the early 20th century, under the patronage of Tsar Nicholas II, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky travelled the country to capture its vastness and diversity, while nobleman Pyotr Vedenisov provided valuable insights into the lifestyle of the Russian elite. After the Revolution, photomontage, such as those by Varvara Stepanova, became central to the state agenda allowing for the communication of new Soviet myths to a largely illiterate population. The later works of Alexander Rodchenko, featuring pictures of sporting and art events taken in a pictorial style, provided a way to express his disillusionment with the notion of a Soviet utopia. In the mid-1950s photography moved closer to everyday reality as seen in Dmitri Baltermants' pictures. At the same time hand-tinted portraits began appearing, taken anonymously, as private photo studios were still forbidden. Referencing these anonymous studio portraits Boris Mikhailov looked to expose Soviet ideology through humour and stereotypical imagery. Photographers Gallery, 16 - 18 Ramillies Street, London W1,until 19th October.

Peggy Angus: Designer, Teacher, Painter is a retrospective that captures the wide range of work by an influential and inspirational artist and designer, who seems to have 'fallen out' of the history of 20th century British design. Born in 1904 in Chile, Peggy Angus moved to London with her family when she was a young child, and at just 17 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, based on her accomplished illustrations. In 1933 Angus moved into Furlongs, on the Sussex Downs near Lewes, and her home became a meeting place and creative hub for Eric Ravilious, John Piper and many other artists, who, as well as creating their own work, were invited to contribute to the interior decoration of the house itself. Throughout her life, Angus was an important mentor, teacher and collaborator for a great number of artists. The exhibition includes her early illustrations, portraits, such as Eric Ravilious, Helen Binyon, and her husband J M Richards, landscape paintings, sketch books, furniture, and her Modernist design work with wallpapers and tiles, together with films and photographs of her abstract wall tile murals created in a number of public buildings in the 1950s. Towner, Eastbourne, until 21st September.

Bridge celebrates the 120th anniversary of the iconic Tower Bridge with an examination of the significance of bridges within London's landscape. The exhibition documents a journey along the river and into the heart of London to explore how bridges influence our visual sense of the city, and provide a source of inspiration for artists and photographers. It comprises contemporary and historical paintings, prints, drawings and etchings, alongside photography, film and maquettes. From Hungerford to Blackfriars, Westminster and Millennium, the display both celebrates these great feats of engineering and architectural works of beauty, and looks at how they allow people to move around and experience the city. In addition, Thomas Heatherwick's ambitious 'Garden Bridge' proposal, playing with the ideas of destination and crossing is featured, along with other debates and issues confronting London and its bridges today. Highlights include Ewan Gibbs's linocut 'London', Christopher Nevinson's pen and ink drawing 'Waterloo Bridge from Blackfriars', Charles Ginner's painting 'London Bridge', Christina Broom's glass negative 'Tower Bridge', James Abbott McNeill Whistler's etching 'Old Westminster Bridge', Giovanni Battista Piranesi's etching 'A view of the intended bridge at Blackfriars, London', Crispin Hughes's colour coupler print 'Hungerford Bridge', and Suki Chan's lightbox 'Film Still'. Museum of London Docklands until 2nd November.

Disobedient Objects is the first exhibition to explore objects of art and design from around the world that have been created by grassroots social movements as tools of social change. From Chilean folk art textiles that document political violence to a graffiti-writing robot, defaced currency to giant inflatable cobblestones thrown at demonstrations in Barcelona, to a political video game about the making of mobile phones, the exhibition demonstrates how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity. The display showcases forms of making that defy standard definitions of art and design as the objects are mostly produced by non-professional makers, collectively and with limited resources as effective responses to complex situations. The focus is on the late 1970s to the present, a period that has brought new technologies, social and political challenges. The objects are made in a number of ways, including: the appropriation of everyday objects for a new subversive purpose, as seen with the Bike Bloc which was produced from discarded bicycles and audio equipment welded together during the 2009 Reclaim Power protests in Copenhagen; the employment of traditional crafts like hand-appliqued protest banners; and hacking cutting-edge technology to create such protest tools as a counter-surveillance drone. Many of the exhibits come directly from activist groups from all over the world, bringing together objects rarely before seen in a museum. Context is provided by newspaper cuttings, how-to guides and film content, including interviews and footage of the objects in action. Each design is accompanied by the maker's statement to explain how and why the object was created. Victoria & Albert Museum until 1st February.

Keith Vaughan: Figure And Ground explores the work of the mid 20th century British artist and examines the themes that preoccupied him - the male figure and pictorial space. Initially influenced by Graham Sutherland, Keith Vaughan's early work was Neo-Romantic in spirit, but in the late 1950s he developed his semi-abstractionist 'assemblies'. The exhibition comprises some 50 items from a wide range of work in different media: drawings for some of his most important book illustration commissions, his experiments in print-making, and his photographs. Highlights include the lithographs 'The Woodman' also known as 'The Blue Boy', 'Old Seaweed Hoist' and 'Finisterre'; paintings 'Harvest Assembly' and 'Small Assembly of Figures'; and illustrations made for Arthur Rimbaud's A Season In Hell. This is a rare chance to see work by one of the leading figures in post Second World War British artists.University Gallery, Northumbria University, Sandyford Road, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne until 12th September.

Ships, Clocks And Stars: The Quest For Longitude, tells the story of the race to determine longitude at sea and how one of the greatest technical challenges of the 18th and 19th centuries was eventually solved. The exhibition draws on the latest research to shed new light on the history of longitude, and how it changed our understanding of the world. While John Harrison is best known, and his marine sea-watch was vital to finally solving the problem of longitude, this was against a backdrop of almost unprecedented collaboration and investment. Famous names such as Galileo, Isaac Newton, James Cook and William Bligh all feature in this fascinating and complex history. Crucially, it was Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne's observations at the Royal Observatory, his work on the Nautical Almanac and the Board of Longitude that demonstrated the complementary nature of astronomical and timekeeper methods, ultimately leading to the successful determination of longitude at sea. As solutions were developed, the Royal Observatory became a testing site for marine timekeepers and the place at which the astronomical observations needed for navigational tables were made. The significance of this work eventually lead to Greenwich becoming the home of the world's Prime Meridian in 1884. Highlights of exhibition include all five of John Harrison's famous timekeepers together for the first time in nearly 30 years; the original Longitude Act of 1714 document, which has never been on public display before; an intricate 1747 model of the Centurion, the ship which carried out the first proper sea trial of Harrison's first machine; and the elegant, padded silk 'observing suit' worn by Nevil Maskelyne at the Royal Observatory during the 1760s. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until 4th January.


Gems Of Chinese Painting: A Voyage Along The Yangzi River reveals the beauty and culture of south-east China in a selection of paintings dating from the 6th to the 19th centuries. The display includes the famous 'Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies' scroll and examples of rare ceramics from the region. The Yangzi River runs through an area of south-east China known as Jiangnan, which has been one of the country's most prosperous and culturally productive regions. The paintings and ceramics in the exhibition reflect the diverse life of its inhabitants, depicting elegant ladies and scholars in gardens, children herding cattle and wealthy merchants, as well as fishermen and farmers. Landscape paintings from along the Yangzi River show lush, fertile fields and rolling hills and highlight the region's famous gardens. Paintings and ceramics from Jiangnan have shaped in great part the Western image of traditional China. Jiangnan is also a region where some of the finest examples of the Chinese concept of the three arts - poetry, calligraphy and painting - were produced. The Admonitions scroll, traditionally attributed to Gu Kaizhi, one of China's patriarchs of calligraphy and painting, is an early example of the combination of the three arts, and is one of the most important Chinese paintings to survive anywhere in the world. The display also includes silk paintings from Dunhuang in the Northwest of China. British Museum until 31st August.

Time Machines: Daniel Weil And The Art Of Design is the first retrospective of the work of the Argentinean whose career spans 30 years at the forefront of design practice, and has taught and inspired the next generation. The exhibition features Daniel Weil's work from young Royal College of Art student to longstanding Partner at Pentagram. Witty and thought-provoking, the display features a series of specially created pieces, as well opening up Weil's sketchbooks and personal archive for the first time. The exhibition includes some of his earliest work, such as 1981's influential Bag Radio, as well as commissions for Swatch, United Airlines, Krug, Mothercare and the Pet Shop Boys. Clocks, cutlery, a chess set - nearly all of Weil's designs evolve from simple pencil drawings in one of the hundreds of identical hardback sketchbooks that he has always used as the starting point for designing. On display for the first time, these sketchbooks are shown alongside the mass of ephemera that activates his imagination. The exhibition focuses on the process of design, about how a designer thinks and works. Weil presents his experience and philosophy of design practice as a manifesto of 'actions for designers'. Continuously inventive, Weil plays with fundamental elements of time, light, space and sound - always seeking a new connection, a fresh approach. The pieces on display, from found objects to finished products, tell a story not of design, but of designing. Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1, until 25th August.

Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album presents both a personal visual diary and a document of America's dynamic social and cultural life in the 1960s. The exhibition features over 400 original photographs taken by Dennis Hopper, the American actor, film director and artist between 1961 and 1967. The photographs were personally selected and edited by Hopper for his first major exhibition at the Fort Worth Art Center in Texas in 1970, and the vintage prints were only rediscovered after his death in 2010. Although not formally trained as an artist, Hopper created paintings and assemblages throughout his career and during the 1960s, when he found himself blacklisted in Hollywood, photography became his main creative outlet. For 6 years he worked obsessively, taking an estimated 18,000 photographs, which moved between humour and pathos, the playful and the intimate, the glamorous and the everyday. Hopper took iconic portraits of Paul Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Jane Fonda and many other actors, artists, poets and musicians of his day. He photographed his family and friends and captured countercultural movements that ranged from Free Speech to Hells Angels and Hippie gatherings, taking in figures from the Beat and Peace movements such as Michael McLure and Timothy Leary. These often playful photographs were counterbalanced by images of tense and volatile events, such as the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery at the height of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, where he accompanied Martin Luther King. The vitality and directness of the images and the sense of time and place that they convey during a decade when American society was undergoing extraordinary upheaval, resonated strongly with cultural production of the period. Royal Academy until 25th August.