News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th January 2003

Commencing

Unseen Vogue: The Secret History Of Fashion Photography has been produced by sifting through over one and a half million unused images in the archive of the fashion bible British Vogue. From first efforts by famous photographers and great pictures by forgotten ones, to out-takes from now legendary shoots, it reveals images which were commissioned by Vogue but never published, either due to editorial arguments or 'excess of imagination' on the part of the snappers. Either way, this collection offers an alternative version to the official history of fashion photography. It features previously unseen work by such legends as Horst, Cecil Beaton, William Klein, David Bailey, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, Bob Richardson, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, Nick Knight and current hottie Mario Testino (although surely the world has seen even his holiday snaps). The photographs are given an extra dimension by the inclusion of editors' notes and sketches, photographers' letters, and even models' payslips. A fresh insight into a world about which we thought we already knew too much. Design Museum until 23rd February.

Barbara Hepworth Centenary Exhibition is the first of many planned to mark the anniversary of the birth of one of the twentieth century's most important and influential sculptors. Hepworth's first love was carving, and although her early work in stone was representational, she soon moved on to abstracts, using woods such as walnut, teak and guarea, and stones such as marble and alabaster. Together with her second husband Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore, Hepworth was at the centre of a group of British sculptors living in Hampstead, who created a revolutionary new approach to European abstract sculpture of the 1930s. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Hepworth and Nicholson moved to St Ives in Cornwall, where she developed a deep affinity with the location. In the 1950s she started working with metal, constructing forms in sheet metal, and bronze casts from her original carvings. As a result, Hepworth's sculpture could be shown out of doors, and she went on to undertake many large scale public commissions, often exhibiting her trademark 'big lump with a hole drilled through it (usually larger on one face of the material than the other)'. This exhibition shows the full range of her work, with marble carvings in the gallery, and large bronzes outdoors in the park. New Art Centre Sculpture Park & Gallery, Salisbury until 6th April.

Piranesi's Carceri is an exhibition of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's celebrated Imaginary Prisons series of etchings. These images of dark cavernous spaces traversed by vertiginous walkways have a nightmarish quality that gripped the imagination of Romantic artists like William Wordsworth and Thomas de Quincey. The influence of these works can still be felt in today's cinematic visions of dystopian cities of the future. In essence, Piranesi was creating the world of Blade Runner in the 18th century. Perhaps best known for his etchings of ancient and modern Rome, Piranesi also opened up new vistas in the world of fantasy architecture, breaking loose from practical restraints to allow his imagination free rein. Piranesi's architectural fantasies developed out of his early training as a theatrical designer in his native Venice, but he invested the genre with a dark brooding menace that was entirely new. Despite being 200 years old, these images remain freshly, almost futuristically, threatening. British Museum until 21st April.

Continuing

Marcus Gheeraets II: Elizabethan Artist is the first solo exhibition to consider the work of this important but little known late Elizabethan and Jacobean immigrant Flemish artist. This is all the more surprising since Gheeraets produced some of the most haunting portraits in British art, and defined the public images of many of the leading Britons of his age. Gheeraerts depicted his male subjects as heroes, often in the increasingly fashionable full length format, as in that of Elizabeth I's final favourite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. Although his father is best known for a portrait of Elizabeth I (also included here), the younger Gheeraets legacy is the 'pregnancy portrait' - depicting women who are clearly (even exaggeratedly) pregnant. It was an age when a wife's role was to bear many healthy children to extend a family's name and influence, yet childbirth was so hazardous, that these portraits were commissioned to record the features of a loved one who might shortly be dead. The exhibition includes the exceptional 'Portrait Of An Unknown Lady', which has not been exhibited for more than thirty years; Captain Thomas Lee, also known as 'the man with bare legs'; and over twenty other works, including paintings, engravings and portrait miniatures, together with 16th century illustrated medical books, and a 'mother's legacy' book, written for her unborn child were she did not survive childbirth, the author of which sadly did not. Tate Britain until 20th April.

The Jane Austen Centre recently added an unusual new portrait of Austen to its display. It was painted by Melissa Dring, who as well as being a portraitist, is a forensic artist, and works with police forces producing reconstructions and court illustrations. She has used her experience in this field to create a likeness of Austen based on contemporary first hand descriptions by her family and friends. Most images of Jane Austen have been developed from the 1810 watercolour by her sister Cassandra, which is generally held not to have been a good likeness. Perhaps this new portrait is the closest to real life yet created. The permanent exhibition tells the story of Austen's life in Bath, and the effect it had on her, and her writing. It is located in a Georgian town house in the street where Austen lived 1805, set between the architectural masterpieces of Queen Square and the Circus. The novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are largely set in the city, and Bath features in all six her of her works. The Jane Austen Centre continuing.

Magic Pencil - Children's Book Illustration Today is a display of more than 300 paintings and drawings for children, by thirteen of Britain's best known contemporary illustrators. Mythological monsters, spooks and fairytale princesses leap out of the pages in a wide range of colours and styles. These encompass Angela Barrett's fantasy visions, Sara Fanelli's collages, Raymond Briggs and Posy Simonds more adult worlds, and modern classics by Quentin Blake and Tony Ross. The exhibition considers what moves an artist to draw, if children's book illustration is really art, and how we learn to 'read' pictures. Each artist is assessed individually, revealing how and why they work, with examples of their different approaches, techniques and draughtsmanship. The exhibition also examines how today's illustrators reflect contemporary concerns, often through subject matter not always associated with children's books. This current work is placed in the context of the long tradition of British children's book illustration through examples of books from the past 300 years from the permanent collection. The British Library until 31st March.

Arthur Rackham celebrates the work of one of the world's most popular artist-illustrators, who produced some of the finest colour book illustrations of the early twentieth century. His interpretations of Rip Van Winkle, Peter Pan, Alice In Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Wind In The Willows, have achieved classic status around the world. Trained as a black and white illustrator of magazines alongside Aubrey Beardsley, the influence of Art Nouveau permeates is work. A master of the grotesque, Rackham drew anthropomorphised trees, gnarled dwarfs and gnomish creatures to contrast with his childish, naive vision of the world. He chose well known classic folk and fairy tales, which he drew with a bold scratchy pen, and painted in pale washes. This is the first full scale exhibition of his work in Britain for over twenty years, and brings together over 70 original works, as well as sketches, landscapes and portraits from public and private collections, many of which have never been seen in public before. It provides for the first time, a survey of the full range of Arthur Rackham's artistic output, from juvenile sketches and illustrations to paintings and first edition books, highlighting his impish, childish nature through family photographs, travel sketches and scrapbooks compiled by his descendants. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 2nd March.

Shopping: A Century Of Art And Consumer Culture brings the nation's number one leisure activity into the art gallery. It is an exhibition that had to happen, now that shopping has overtaken the mere satisfaction of physical necessities, and the browsing, selection and purchase of commodities has become one of the defining activities of modern urban life. The show comprises over 240 works, beginning with 'Your Supermarket 2002' by Guillaume Bijl, a recreation of a Tesco Metro, with shelves of fresh food, drinks and household products - and even checkout tills - but nothing is actually for sale. There are photographs by Eugene Atget, Berenice Abbott and Walker Evans chronicling the disappearing world of small shops and specialist stores in Paris, New York and elsewhere. Early examples of art's crossover into the commercial sphere include Frederick Kiesler's studies of shop windows, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's application of Bauhaus principles to the presentation of objects, and highly theatrical window displays by The Surrealists. Installations include recreations of Claes Oldenburg's 'The Store'; Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein's 'The American Supermarket', where real foods such as Warhol's signed stacks of Campbell's soup cans are mixed together with works such as Robert Watts' chrome fruits and multicoloured wax eggs; and Damian Hurst's 'Pharmacy', where thousands of packets are arranged with clinical precision. Tate Liverpool until 23rd March.

Rewind provides an opportunity to revisit favourite television commercials, press and poster advertising campaigns, graphics and packaging from the sixties to the present, as well as study more recent examples of product, interactive and environmental design. In 1962, a group of designers and advertising art directors working in London joined forces to create a new organisation, British Design & Art Direction (D&AD). Since then, D&AD's annual award scheme has become an international barometer of changing trends. This exhibition shows winning work from the awards, rewinding across four decades to chart developments in design and advertising through a wide range of disciplines. From 'Beanz Meanz Heinz', through the Guinness 'Surfer' commercial, to the Apple iMac, this major retrospective, reflects the rise of Britain's creative industries. It also shows how design and advertising have become an integral part of the fabric of the world economy - and a reflection of the times in which we live. There is a People's Vote to chose the public's favourite campaign from the 43 Gold Award winners on show, which can be found on the V&A web site via the link opposite. Victoria & Albert Museum until 2nd February.

Concluding

Star Trek - The Adventure is a £24m 'multi-media interactive experience through four decades of Star Trek adventures, where stars, creators and state of the art technology will come together to reveal the secrets of the creative process'. The show is receiving its world premiere in a 7,000 sq metre 'hi-tech climate controlled environment' (that's tent to you and me) in Hyde Park - the biggest event to be staged there since the Great Exhibition of 1851. The extravaganza (at last something which actually deserves the word) offers the first chance for civilians to experience the interiors of various generations of the Enterprise at first hand, including a red alert on the bridge; the transporter room, where they can experience being 'beamed up'; and the engineering bay with the latest technology, together with hundreds of props, costumes and artifacts, and interactive demonstrations and simulators. Last (and by no means least) there is more merchandising on offer than you would think possible in one universe. "It's an exhibition Jim, but not as we know it." Entertainment crosses the final frontier. Star Trek - The Adventure, Speakers Corner, Hyde Park until 31st January.

Somerset House Courtyard Ice Rink, is now as regular a Christmas feature in London as the Holiday Season outdoor skating arena at the Rockefeller Center in New York (although the skating is possibly not as stylish). The rink, which at 9000sqm is larger than ever and capable of accommodating some 2000 skaters a day, has been installed in the courtyard at a cost of around £300,000. It is open from 10am to 10pm, and as darkness falls the courtyard is illuminated by flaming torches and architectural lighting on the building's 18th century facades. A 40ft Christmas tree donated by the city of Basel has been erected at the north end of the courtyard. Both skaters and spectators can enjoy traditional hot snacks and drinks in the rinkside cafe. Tuition is available for beginners and ice guides can accompany inexperienced skaters. The rink is open throughout the Christmas and New Year period, closing only on Christmas Day. Somerset House until 26th January.

Gainsborough brings together the largest group of works by the 18th century master ever assembled, from collections around the world. Alongside some of the most iconic images in British art, the selection includes many lesser known pieces, some being seen in Britain for the first time in living memory. They demonstrate the range, quality and originality of Thomas Gainsborough's art, from the glamour of his society portraits, to the naturalism of his rural landscapes. He was one of the few major painters to be equally at home in both genres. There are works from his early years in London, less successful times in Ipswich, the 15 year period he spent in Bath where his 'face paintings' became the rage - "phizmongering" as he called it - to his later experimental period which put him in conflict with the Royal Academy. Among the grand full length portraits are Mary, Countess Howe, Sir Edward Turner, Lady Anne Rodney and The Linley Sisters. The landscapes, which Gainsborough referred to as his "fancy pictures" include The Harvest Wagon, Wooded Landscape with Country Wagon, Milkmaid and Drover, The Watering Place and Cottage Door with Girl and Pigs. This exhibition is spectacular proof (if it were needed) that Gainsborough deserves his place as one of the greatest British artists. Tate Britain until 19th January.