News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 14th February 2007

Commencing

Hogarth celebrates the great British 18th century artist whose work defined a period of British history more powerfully and enduringly than any other, with the most comprehensive exhibition in a generation. The display includes over 200 works, and showcases every aspect of Hogarth's career: paintings, ranging from elegant conversation pieces to salacious brothel scenes; drawings and sketches; and the numerous engraved works for which he is best known today. Highlights include the portraits 'David Garrick as Richard III', 'The Shrimp Girl', 'The Graham Children', 'Captain Thomas Coram', 'The Painter and his Pug' and 'Heads of Six of Hogarth's Servants'; the series 'A Rake's Progress', 'A Harlot's Progress', 'The Four Times of Day', 'Election', 'Marriage A-la-Mode', and 'Before' and 'After'; and the scenes 'Industry and Idleness', 'Gin Lane', 'Beer Street', 'The Stages of Cruelty', 'The March to Finchley' and 'O, the Roast Beef of Old England (The Gate of Calais)'. The exhibition examines Hogarth's life and work from his beginnings as a young engraver in the 1720s, through his rise to fame and fortune in the 1730s and 1740s, and on to the controversial years of the 1750s and early 1760s. It reveals that Hogarth's subjects and themes - the city, sexuality and behaviour, social integration, crime, political corruption, charity and patriotism, while being wholly Georgian, are entirely contemporary. Tate Britain until 29th April.

The National Cold War Exhibition, is the first major and permanent exhibition to focus on the Cold War, revealing the tensions between great powers, as well as the people of the world, in the second half of the 20th century. It is housed in a spectacular new £12.3m landmark building, designed by architects Fielden, Clegg, Bradley, which takes the form of two triangular constructions divided by a central walkway, representing a world divided by opposing ideologies of the democratic countries and the communist bloc. A major feature of the exhibition, designed by Neal Potter, are Britain's three V-Bombers: Vulcan, Victor and Valiant, on display under one roof for the first time, together with 14 other aircraft, including an American F111, Soviet MiG 15 and MiG 21, and the British Hunter, Sabre, Lightning and Canberra, 7 of which are suspended in flying attitudes. The aircraft are accompanied by armoured fighting vehicles, tanks, a section of the Berlin Wall, missiles, model submarines, an iconic statue of Lenin and life size Russian (Matryoshka) Dolls, together with symbols of everyday life, such as the VW Beetle, the Mini and the Trabant. In addition, there are interactive kiosks and audiovisual Hotspots that focus on key aspects of the Cold War, such as the Berlin Airlift, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Space Race. RAF Museum, Cosford, continuing.

The Gospels Of Tsar Ivan Alexander provides an opportunity to view a triumph of late medieval manuscript art, commissioned in 1355 by Tsar Ivan Alexander, the ruler of Bulgaria, who presided over a period of a spiritual and artistic revival. The manuscript, which is preserved in near perfect condition, is a remarkable survival, and the most celebrated work of art produced in Bulgaria before it fell to the Turks. The Gospels' pages are lavishly illustrated with 367 fine illuminated miniatures, executed in colours and gold. The text of the Gospels was copied by a monk named Simeon, who, in a colophon (a note on the commissioning and making of the manuscript) states that the volume was begun in 1355, and completed in one year. Close examination of the 367 illustrations suggests that they are the work of a team of artists, probably at least three in number, and their style of painting, pictorial models and adherence to complete anonymity, place them within the wider tradition of Byzantine book illumination. The Slavonic text of the Gospels is written in the Cyrillic alphabet, a refined form of the script first developed in the middle of the 9th century by St Constantine-Cyril, who translated the Christian scriptures by modifying the letters of the Greek alphabet to suit the phonetic needs of the local language. The opening pages of the volume include portraits of the Tsar, and his family, and though represented in formal poses, they display a striking individuality. British Library, until 31st March.

Continuing

Citizens And Kings: Portraits In The Age Of Revolution 1760 - 1830 examines the radical shift that occurred in portraiture, both painted and sculpted, in response to the Enlightenment and the revolutions in Europe and America. These years saw dramatic transformations in the world order as new ideas and wealth vied with the old order of absolute monarchies. The exhibition consists of 150 works, ranging from the kings and queens, through the revoluitionary heroes and the rising beorgoisie, to Enlightenment thinkers, writers and artists. It includes works by the great innovators of portraiture, David and Goya, as well as their contemporaries such as Reynolds, Gainsborough, Roslin, Mengs, Vigee Lebrun and Singleton Copley and their successors, including Ingres, Gros, Lawrence, Chantry and Runge. The development through the period in both style and subject is perhaps best illustrated through Ingres's 'Napoleon on the Imperial Throne' and 'Louis-Francois Bertin' - Emperor to newspaper editor. Among the iconic works are: Goya's 'Ferdinand VII', Lawrence's 'George IV', Shubib's Catherine the Great', Zoffany's 'Queen Charlotte and her Two Eldest Sons', David's 'The Death of Marat' and The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries', Stuart's 'George Washington', Reynolds's 'Mrs Siddons as the Tragic Muse' and 'Joseph Banks', Copley's 'Samuel Adams', Boizot's bust of Marie-Antoinette, Pigalle's sculpture 'Voltaire Naked' and Houdon's bust of Benjamin Franklin. The Royal Academy of Arts, London until 20th April.

William Roberts: England At Play illustrates England's 20th century social history through the distinctive paintings of William Roberts, social commentator and a unique figure in the history of Modern British art. Known predominantly for his early ventures into Cubism, and for his membership and participation within Wyndham Lewis's pre-First World War Vorticist group, Roberts's work captured the English with humour and affection, providing a panorama of modern life. Taking as his subject the leisure activities of the English working class, he found inspiration at the doorstep of his London home. Visiting local cinemas, parks, cafes and pubs, plus trips to the races and the seaside, Roberts captured his fellow Londoners at play, and portrayed the eccentricities, peculiarities and pastimes of those around him, with a dignified humour and an unerring affection. Alone among 20th century English artists, Roberts used the language of Modern art to re-invigorate a tradition of recording everyday life, situating 'Everyman' at the heart of his work. This exhibition features key oil paintings from the 1920s to the 1970s, which not only chart Roberts's artistic development from his Vorticist origins to the monumental figures of his mature work, but also reveal how the way life in England changed dramatically during the period. Among the highlights are: 'Rush Hour', 'Jockeys (The Paddock)', and 'Goal'. Pallant House Gallery, Chichester until 18th March.

Number 1A Kensington Palace: From Courtiers' Lodgings To Royal Home is a photographic exhibition that tells the story of the people who have lived in this building, since 12 years of renovation by Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor, turned the former Nottingham House into a royal palace, at the behest of King William III and Queen Mary. Members of the royal family have lived here for more than 300 years - it was where the 18 year old Princess Victoria was called from her bed in June 1837 to be told of her accession to the throne - and some still do, so only certain parts of the Palace are open to the public. The exhibition is being staged in Apartment 1A, a series of rooms on the first floor that were formerly part of Princess Margaret's accomodation. It highlights the work carried out by the Princess and Lord Snowdon in the 1960s to refurbish these rooms, mixing modern with 18th century, a blend evidenced in the entrance hall, Lord Snowdon's study, the guest bedroom, and garden room. Optional guided tours take visitors behind the scenes, into the drawing and dining rooms, and the apartment's large kitchen with its spectacular extractor hood designed by Lord Snowdon. Kensington Palace, London continuing.

Canaletto In England: A Venetian Artist Abroad 1746 - 1755 brings together over 50 of the paintings executed by Canaletto during the nine years he spent in London, which re-launched his artistic career. Canaletto's views of England are often panoramic, but are also precise to the last brick and flagstone - and include many local characters. Yet at the same time, each scene is saturated in a distinct (and slightly un-English) quality of light, as he brings a rather idealised vision to bear on his new home. The Thames is seen by Canaletto as a huge commercial version of the Grand Canal, and beyond the river's boundaries, a rural idyll, where he painted suburban the villas of the aristocracy and medieval castles. Highlights include 'The City seen through the Arch of Westminster Bridge', 'The Old Horse Guards from St James's Park', 'The City from the Terrace of Somerset House', 'Westminster Bridge with the Lord Mayor's Procession on the Thames', 'Syon House', and 'Warwick Castle, The South Front'. Canaletto also continued to paint Italian views and capricci (fantastical scenes combining Italian and English features) during this period, and these are also included in the exhibition. Highlights include ' The Molo from the Bacino di San Marco on Ascention Day', 'Rome, The Arch of Constantine from the South', 'Capriccio of a Ruined Gothic Chapel by a Sluice Gate' and 'Capriccio Renaissance Triumphal Arch seen from the Portico of a Palace'. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London until 15th April.

We The Moderns' - Gaudier-Brzeska And The Birth Of Modern Sculpture is the first exhibition to set Henri-Gaudier-Brzeska among his European contemporaries, and to showcase his contribution to the birth of modern sculpture. Gaudier's career as a sculptor was brief, as like many artists of his generation, he was killed in action during the First World War, aged just 23, yet in the three and a half years in England, he created a substantial and truly advanced body of work. Initially inspired by the sculptures of Rodin and Post-Impressionist painting, he soon became aware of the latest artistic developments on the continent, above all Cubism, Futurism and Expressionism. Gaudier was fascinated by the problems of expressing movement, constructing sculptural forms through geometrical planes, carving directly in stone, and reconciling European roots with the impact of non-European sculpture. Such concerns were shared with artists he cited as fellow 'moderns' - Brancusi, Modigliani, Epstein and Archipenko, and by others such Matisse and Picasso - whose works are shown alongside Gaudier's in this exhibition, to put his works into a European context. The gallery is the home of the most important collection of Henri-Gaudier-Brzeska's work in the world. Kettle's Yard, Cambridge until 18th March.

Visions Of World Architecture: John Soane's Royal Academy Lecture Illustrations showcases 64 of the drawings produced by Soane to illustrate his lectures between 1809 and 1820. These were intended to form the taste of the students, and to elucidate his theoretical points, Soane commissioned over 1,000 spectacular watercolours. These drawings, rendered by pupils from his architectural practice, presented a unique record of world architecture, ranging from pre-history to the latest buildings of Regency London, and were admired as fine works of art in their own right. The drawings are in three groups: those based on engravings from architectural folios on Soane's shelves, notably Piranesi; those drawn by pupils on site visits in London; and those based on Soane's designs and on drawings by earlier architects in his collection.

Soane And Turner: Illuminating A Friendship is a display marking the relationship between John Soane and J M W Turner. It provides a unique opportunity to see Turner's large 'Forum Romanum for Mr Soane's Museum', in the building for which it was intended. Other works by Turner include 'Ancient Rome: Agrippina landing with the Ashes of Germanicus', incorporating a bridge like Soane's fantasy 'Triumphal Bridge', and 'Temple of Neptune at Paestum' possibly inspired by Soane's Piranesi drawings of the temples, together with a watercolour study of two tench, a trout and a perch, recalling how Soane and Turner often fished together on Soane's estate at Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing.

Sir John Soane Museum, London until 28th April.

Concluding

Game On surveys the forty year history, contemporary culture, and future of video games. This very interactive exhibition explains the game design process from the conceptual drawing through to the finished game, and identifies the key creative people who make them. It charts the development of games and hardware from PDP-1‚ the computer that ran the world's first video game‚ Space War in 1962‚ and the world's first manufactured arcade game‚ Computer Space from 1971, through to the recent consoles like the Nintendo DS and Xbox 360, and illustrates how content and technologies are interrelated in advancing new ideas. There is also a specially commissioned large scale street art influenced work by UK artist and illustrator Jon Burgerman‚ which takes the form of an immense timeline of games and gaming history‚ incorporating classic games as well as cultural and political events, and technical advances that resonate with the history of computer games. The exhibition assesses the influence games have had on culture in Europe, North America and Japan, particularly in relation to cinema, pop videos and other visual media. A series of special events will examine many of the issues linked to games and gaming, and their positive and negative effects on society. The entire history of the games industry is laid out‚ explained, and ready to play, with over 120 games, from classics such as Space Invaders‚ Asteroids and Ms Pac-Man, to the latest cutting edge creations, available for visitors to try their skills. The Science Museum until 25th February.

Henry Moore: War And Utility comprises pieces produced between 1938 and 1954, revealing the profound influence of the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War and the austere post-war decade on his work. Over 160 items include key sculptures, together with maquettes, stringed pieces, studies, lithographs, textiles and the shelter drawings that brought Moore fame as a war artist in the early 1940s. Sculptures such as 'Upright Internal External Form' explore the encroaching and smothering influence of technology, and the Warrior pieces, such as 'Warrior with Shield', honour the sacrifice of combatants. The forms of the 'Family Groups', first seen sitting amidst the destruction of the blitz, are resolute against the surrounding machines of chaos and fear. With his Hampstead studio bombed, and access to his country home difficult, Moore began to sketch the devastation caused by bombing above ground, as well as producing some of his most powerful and moving drawings of Londoners sheltering from the blitz underneath the city. 70 pages from the two 'Shelter Sketchbooks' and a selection of the finished 'Shelter Drawings' are included in the display. Moore's responses to post war austerity can be seen in a selection of printed textile designs, and in the lithographs such as 'Sculptural Objects'. The reconstruction of public spaces resulted in a series of major commissions, such as the 'Harlow Family Group', the 'Festival of Britain Reclining Figure' and the iconic 'King and Queen'. Imperial War Museum until 25th February.

Sixties Fashion, 40 years on from Time Magazine's famous 1966 Swinging London cover, looks at the central role played by the boutique and street style in bringing the phenomenon to the world's attention. It spans the mid 1950s, when Mary Quant established her first boutique, to the early 1970s, and the demise of decadent allure of Biba. The display of around 60 garments shows how a series of key 'looks' evolved in London, and reflects their impact on international trends: 'Mayfair Elegance & Chelsea Rebellion' showcases Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers, including Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies, alongside more radical Mary Quant pieces; 'Piccadilly Peacocks' focuses on the tailors who 'broke the stuffed shirt barrier' in menswear, including pioneers Mr. Fish and Rupert Lycett Green; 'Knightsbridge Chic' shows the response of middle market designers and department stores to the new fashions, employing new talent influenced by Quant and other trend setters; 'Carnaby Street And The King's Road' examines the quintessential swinging designers and entrepreneurs at the heart of Swinging London, such as John Stephen, Michael Rainey, Foale & Tuffin and Ossie Clark; 'Kensington Haze' documents the shift from clean mid 60s cool to the escapism and nostalgia typified by Thea Porter and Biba; and 'Out Of London' reflects parallel themes and influences beyond the UK, looking at designers working in Paris and New York, such as Pierre Cardin and Yves St Laurent. Archive films of fashion shows and shopping in the most fashionable boutiques are also on show. Victoria & Albert Museum until 25th February.