Private View held by Richard Andrews
Shakespeare: Greatest Living Playwright is a celebration of the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth. The exhibition explores Shakespeare's works as inspiration for a multitude of theatrical interpretations through the centuries and across the globe, taking Shakespeare's First Folio as its centrepiece. This collected edition of 36 of Shakespeare's plays (excluding Pericles) was published in 1623 and contains the first known versions of many of the plays. Without it, 18 of the works would be unknown today, including Macbeth, The Tempest and Twelfth Night. Surrounding the Folio are new interviews, archive footage, photographs, props, costumes, set models, design sketches and printed ephemera, exploring how the plays have been interpreted and re-imagined by successive generations. Contemporary theatre practitioners discussing their relationships with Shakespeare's plays include Simon Russell Beale, Lucy Osborne, Edward Hall, Julie Taymor, Cush Jumbo and Sinead Cusack. Objects on display include a skull used by Sarah Bernhardt during her role as Hamlet; the embroidered handkerchief used by actress Ellen Terry whilst playing Desdemona; a headdress worn by the Vivien Leigh in A Midsummer Night's Dream; and a pair of red boots worn by actor-manager Henry Irving as Richard III. Designs include Roger Furse's costume for the character of Falstaff, showing a realistic 'fat-suit' for Ralph Richardson; and Sally Jacobs's set model for director Peter Brook's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which the stage is transformed into a circus space. Victoria & Albert Museum until 21st September.
Cecil Beaton At Wilton pays tribute to the life and work of the photographer, writer and designer. The exhibition is staged at Wilton House in Wiltshire, where Cecil Beaton was entertained by his friends the Pembroke family at grand parties and pageants for over 50 years. Capturing the spirit of country house parties and costume balls, the exhibition showcases previously unseen images from the archive of one of Britain's most celebrated photographers, giving a fascinating glimpse into his life, and a vivid portrait of a charmed age. Beaton was at the forefront of the fashion for costume and pageantry that swept through British society in the 1920s. As fancy dress became a popular feature of country house parties, and costume balls a highlight of the social calendar, Beaton seamlessly integrated his high society personal life with his professional artistic quest to experiment with photography and fashion. Using the settings of Britain's grandest country houses as the perfect backdrop, Beaton persuaded his friends to sit for him in their exotic costumes, often designed by him, for these most unconventional of photographs. Over time Beaton photographed and chronicled the lives of three generations of the Pembroke family in the surroundings of the house, and on 14th January 1980, just three days before his death, Beaton celebrated his 76th birthday with a lunch party there. The images in the exhibition are fascinating both as social history and also for their technical brilliance, as Beaton excelled at capturing spontaneous shots of pure joy. Wilton House, Wilton, Salisbury, until 14th September.
Body & Void: Echoes Of Moore In Contemporary Art features works by some of the most recognised contemporary artists together with those of one of Britain's greatest 20th century artists. This is the first exhibition to look at how Henry Moore's sculptural vocabulary has been explored and reinterpreted by contemporary artists, placing their works alongside some of Moore's key works. Outdoor works include large-scale sculptures by Rachel Whiteread, Tony Cragg and Thomas Schutte, alongside Moore's 'Reclining Figure: External Form', together with new works by Richard Deacon and Richard Long produced specifically for the exhibition. In the galleries, pieces by Joseph Beuys, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, Sarah Lucas and Rachel Whiteread, are shown alongside Moore's 'Stringed Mother and Child', 'Reclining Figure', 'Working Model for Upright Internal/External Form' and 'Helmet Head No 4: Interior-Exterior'. Also on display are drawings, paintings and installations by artists including Paul Noble, Simon Starling and Paul McDevitt, and photographs of some of Richard Long's most famous pieces of Land Art, which echo Moore's preoccupation with found objects, as is most evident in his maquettes made of small pieces of bone, stone, and shells. The Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, Hertfordshire, until 26th October.
Comics Unmasked: Art And Anarchy In The UK is the largest exhibition of mainstream and underground comics, ever staged in Britain, showcasing works that uncompromisingly address politics, gender, violence, sexuality and altered states. From the 1825 Glasgow Looking Glass, thought to be the first ever comic, to Judge Dredd's helmet from the recent film adaptation of the 2000AD Judge Dredd series, it traces a long and tumultuous history of the British comic book. With over 200 exhibits, the display explores the full anarchic range of the medium with works that challenge categorisation, preconceptions and the status quo, alongside original scripts preparatory sketches and final artwork that demystify the creative process, from such names as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Dave Gibbons, China Mieville and Mark Millar. The exhibition looks at intriguing historical figures, from 19th century occultist, magician and writer Aleister Crowley and his original tarot card painting of 'The Universe', to H P Lovecraft to Punch and Judy. Highlights also include an example of a medieval 'comic' from 1470, 'Apocalypse'; a ventriloquist dummy of Ally Sloper, one of the earliest comic strip characters; 1970's underground comics tried at court for obscenity, such as 'Oz', which is accompanied by a previously unheard recording of the Oz trial itself; 21st century original artwork and manuscripts of 'Kick-Ass', 'Sandman' and 'Batman and Robin'; and Keaton Henson's 2012 doll's house installation, 'Gloaming'. At a time when digital comics have never been more popular, the exhibition has worked with webcomic pioneer Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and digital graphic novel company Sequential to display digital comics and graphic novels, reflecting the culture shift in the industry. British Library until 19th August.
Bellini To Boudin - Five Centuries Of Painting comprises some 50 works across a wide range of periods, styles and techniques by some of the most remarkable artists from the 15th to 20th centuries. Well known works include Bellini's 'Virgin and Child'; a selection of works by Degas, including the unfinished 'Woman at her Toilette'; Manet's 'A Cafe on the Place de Theatre-Francais'; the 1632 Rembrandt Self-portrait, Lucas Cranach the Elder's 'Judith with the Head of Holofernes'; 'The Beach at Trouville, the Empress Eugenie' by Boudin; Pissaro's 'The Market Stall'; Gaughan's 'Breton Girl'; Renoir's 'Lady with Auburn Hair; and Cezanne's 'Chateau du Medan'. Less familiar works include Whistler's 'Nocturne: Grey and Gold Westminster Bridge'; 'Portrait of a Gentleman' from the studio of Frans Hals; Manet's 'The Ham'; 'The Dog' by Jean Baptiste Oudry; and Sir John Lavery's portrait of Mary Burrell on her 21st birthday. The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, until 26th March.
The Glorious Georges celebrates the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian accession to the British throne. The Georges presided over a remarkable era of British history which saw the emergence of many institutions and habits that we regard as quintessentially British today. The Hanoverians surrounded themselves with courtiers - elegant, but decadent and riven with intrigue and scandal - who captured society's imagination and turned the Georgian monarchs and their courtiers into celebrities. A re-presentation of the Queen's State Apartments explores who the Hanoverians were, how they came to rule Britain and how their extraordinary bitter family rows played out in public. Among the exceptional royal ephemera on display are a 1727 book of drawings titled 'The Exact Head Dress of ye British Court Ladyes and Quality', by George I's miniaturist, Bernard Lens III, revealing what the court looked like; and George II's broadsword, with its appropriately hybrid mixture of manufacturers: the hilt was made in Glasgow, the blade in Germany, a reminder that George II was the last British monarch to fight in battle, at Dettingen, near Frankfurt, in 1743. Other highlights include ghostly white paper gowns in the rooms leading up to the State Bedchamber, with a special light effect that projects the shimmering fabrics of actual 18th century gowns on to them; and the richly painted walls and ceiling in the Drawing Room. Hampton Court Palace until 30th November.
Building The Picture: Architecture In Italian Renaissance Painting explores the role of architecture within Italian Renaissance painting of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The exhibition aims to increase appreciation and understanding of some of the most beautiful and architectonic paintings by Italian masters such as Duccio, Botticelli, Crivelli and their contemporaries. It looks in new ways at buildings depicted in paintings, and investigates how artists invented spaces in mind and paint that transcended the reality of bricks, mortar and marble. Architecture within paintings has often been treated as a passive background or as subordinate to the figures. This exhibition shows how, on the contrary, architecture underpinned many paintings, and was used to design the whole picture from the very start. This was the case in Sandro Botticelli's 'Adoration of the Kings', where the ruins in the picture were planned first and still dominate the composition. Renaissance paintings are full of arches, doorways and thresholds, like those in Carlo Crivelli's 'The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius' that invite the viewer into the picture. Architecture could also be designed to tell a story, articulating the plot, deepening understanding of the narrative and helping to engage with the events. In Domenico Veneziano's 'Saint Zenobius Bishop of Florence restores to life a widow's son killed by an ox cart in Borgo degli Albizzi, Florence', the compressed perspective of the street heightens the emotion of the desperate mother whose son had just died. Other highlights of the show include the Venetian master Sebastiano del Piombo's 'The Judgement of Solomon', Sassetta's Saint Francis renounces his Earthly Father', Domenica Beccafumi's 'The Story of Papirus', and 'The Ruskin Madonna' by Andrea del Verrocchio. National Gallery until 21st September.
In Fine Style: The Art Of Tudor And Stuart Fashion traces changing tastes in fashionable attire in the 16th and 17th centuries. For the Tudor and Stuart elite, luxurious clothing was an essential element of court life. Garments and accessories - and the way in which they were worn - conveyed important messages about wealth, gender, age, social position, marital status and religion. Using paintings, drawings, jewellery and rare surviving examples of clothing and accessories, the exhibition explores the style of the rich and famous of the period. Both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I enforced laws dictating the fabrics, colours and types of garment that could be worn at each level of society. 'Cloth of gold', which incorporated gold-wrapped thread, crimson-dyed fabrics and certain types of fur were reserved for those of the highest status. On the preparatory drawing for his portrait of William Parr, Hans Holbein the Younger notes that the sitter wore a gown of purple velvet. a fabric usually reserved for royalty, thus reflecting Parr's standing in the royal household as captain of the Gentleman Pensioners. In many cases, the clothing worn by the sitter was more costly than the painting itself. In 1632 Charles I paid Anthony van Dyck £100 for a portrait of the royal family, while spending £5,000 a year on clothing. Renaissance jewellery was often full of symbolism, including classical or mythological figures, and set with stones thought to hold magical properties. The Darnley or Lennox Jewel, an exquisite gold heart-shaped locket set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds, incorporates a serpent entwined around the Tree of Life and skull cameos, serving as a memento mori. The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, until 20th July.
Unlocking Lovelock: Scientist, Inventor, Maverick celebrates the life and 70 year career of one of Britain's most important living scientists and inventors, offering a unique insight into his creative mind and achievements. Professor James Lovelock's career has spanned scientific fields as diverse as medicine, environmental science, atmospheric chemistry and space exploration. He is most famous for formulating the Gaia hypothesis - the idea that Earth is a self-regulating system - which has profoundly shaped the way many scientists think about the planet. The exhibition includes images of Lovelock's home laboratory where he conducted numerous scientific experiments, together with scientific notebooks, charts and data, manuscripts of books, articles and lectures, patent material, photographs, audio-visual material, offprints and examples of Lovelock's own rough scribblings. Prominent in the display is the electron capture detector, one of Lovelock's most important inventions, a device capable of detecting tiny concentrations of environmentally harmful compounds in the Earth's atmosphere. In 1967 he used it to measure the supposedly clean air blowing off the Atlantic onto the west coast of Ireland and found that it contained CFCs, now known to cause ozone depletion. In addition, there is the watchmaker's lathe that Lovelock used to build many of his inventions and the home-made gas chromatography equipment that journeyed to the Antarctic and back, which proved crucial to scientists' current understanding of global atmospheric pollution. Science Museum until 9th April.
Richard Hamilton is the first retrospective to encompass the full scope of one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Richard Hamilton is widely regarded as a founding figure of pop art, and he continued to experiment and innovate over a career of 60 years. This exhibition explores his relationship to design, painting, photography and television, as well his engagement and collaborations with other artists. It features the groundbreaking installation 'Fun House'; a print of the era-defining 'Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?'; and the depiction of Mick Jagger in 'Swingeing London 67'; as well as images looking at wider contemporary issues and political subjects, such as the Kent State shootings and the IRA 'dirty protests'; as well as figures like Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair in works such as 'Treatment Room' and 'Shock and Awe'. Hamilton's interest in interiors, architecture and design is also represented by his depictions of everything from the Guggenheim Museum in New York to a classic Braun toaster. This show reflects the importance of his exhibition designs and installations, with key examples such as a recreation of his first installation 'Growth and Form', and 'Lobby', in which a painting of a hotel lobby is echoed by a column and staircase in the gallery room itself. Hamilton was also notable for his many collaborations with other artists, which include a life-long series of Polaroid portraits that he invited other artists to take of him, such as Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. This interest in the work of others can also be seen in his final computer-aided paintings, which were inspired by the Italian Renaissance masters. Tate Modern until 26th May.
Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight seeks to highlight how important a role diagrams have played in communicating scientific ideas. For many people, the rise of the infographic is linked to the digital age, yet this exhibition shows that scientists and statisticians have used images to explain data for centuries. The items on display run from a 17th century illustrated diagram to a moving infographic of currents in the world's oceans compiled by NASA. Among the highlights are the earliest piece in the show, Robert Fludd's 'Great Chain of Being', a visual representation of a hierarchically ordered universe from 1617; Eberhard Werner Happel's map charting the oceans' currents, based on the observations of contemporary explorers and mariners, from 1685; Edmond Halley's 'An Historical Account of the Trade Winds, and Monsoons', which was the first meteorological map in 1686; William Farr's 'Temperature And Mortality Of London', charting cycles of temperature and cholera deaths for 1840-1850; John Snow's plotting of the 1854 London cholera infections in Soho, which revealed they stemmed from a public water pump in Broad Street; Florence Nightingale's 'Rose Diagram' from 1858, showing that significantly more deaths in the Crimean War were due to poor hospital conditions than battlefield wounds; Ernst Haeckel's 'The Pedigree of Man', organising all life on Earth into trees, inspired by the ideas of Charles Darwin, from 1879; and the Epidemic Planet chart, based on the Global Epidemic and Mobility model, which researchers used to accurately forecast the 2009 pandemic influenza outbreak. British Library until 26th May.
Ruin Lust offers a guide to the mournful, thrilling, comic and perverse uses of ruins in art from the 17th century to the present day. The exhibition explores ruination through both slow picturesque decay and abrupt apocalypse with works by over 100 artists. JMW Turner and John Constable were among those artists who toured Britain in search of ruins and picturesque landscapes, producing works such as Turner's 'Tintern Abbey: The Crossing and Chancel, Looking towards the East Window' and Constable's 'Sketch for Hadleigh Castle'. John Martin's 'The Destruction of Pompei and Herculaneum' recreates historical disaster, while Gustave Dore's engraving 'The New Zealander' shows a ruined London with the cracked dome of St Paul's Cathedral in the distance. Work provoked by the wars of the 20th century include Graham Sutherland's 'Devastation' series depicting the aftermath of the Blitz; and Jane and Louise Wilson's photographs of the Nazis' defensive Atlantic Wall along the north coast of France. Paul Nash's photographs of surreal architectural fragments in the 1930s and 40s, and Jon Savage's images of a desolate London in the late 1970s show how artists also view ruins as zones of potential, where the world must be rebuilt. Britain's ruinous heritage has been revisited and sometimes mocked by later artists. Keith Arnatt photographed the juxtaposition of historic and modern elements at picturesque sites for his deadpan series A.O.N.B. (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty); John Latham's sculpture 'Five Sisters Bing' was part of a project to turn post-industrial shale heaps in Scotland into monuments; and Rachel Whiteread's 'Demolished - B: Clapton Park Estate', shows the demolition of Hackney tower blocks, in which Modernist architectural dreams are destroyed. Tate Britain until 18th May.