News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th January 2014

Commencing

Hannah Hoch is the first major British exhibition of work by the influential German artist. Hannah Hoch was an important member of the Berlin Dada movement and a pioneer in collage. Splicing together images taken from popular magazines, illustrated journals and fashion publications, she created a humorous and moving commentary on society during a time of tremendous social change. Acerbic, astute and funny, Hoch established collage as a key medium for satire whilst being a master of its poetic beauty. Bringing together over 100 works, the exhibition includes collages, photomontages, watercolours and woodcuts, spanning the 1910s to the 1970s, including major works such as 'Staatshäupter (Heads of State)' and 'Flucht (Flight)'. The show charts Hoch's career beginning with early works influenced by her time working in the fashion industry to key photomontages from her Dada period, such as 'Hochfinanz (High Finance)', which sees notable figures collaged together with emblems of industry in a critique of the relationship between financiers and the military at the height of an economic crisis in Europe. Hoch explored the concept of the 'New Woman' in Weimar Germany, presenting complex discussions around gender and identity in a series of both biting and poignant collages. The exhibition includes a number of works from the series 'From an Ethnographic Museum', in which Hoch combines images of female bodies with traditional masks and objects and layers of block colours, capturing the style of the 1920s avant-garde theatre and fashion. Hoch entered a period of lyrical abstraction that explored the materials and possibilities of a newly developing consumer culture in her later works, such as 'Raumfahrt (Space Travel)' and 'Um Einen Roten Mund (Around a Red Mouth)', which makes use of cut-outs from colour-print and popular culture, incorporating red lips, petticoats and crystals. Whitechapel Gallery, London, until 23rd March.

The People's Business: 150 Years Of The Co-operative celebrates the history of the business that grew to first manufacture and then to sell products, and continues to support the families and communities of Great Britain and the world 'from the cradle to the grave'. This people's business began its humble origins as the Co-operative Wholesale Society in Greater Manchester in 1863 and grew to become Britain's largest mutually owned business. The exhibition both explores the story and values behind the 'caring sharing co-op' and offers a unique insight into the ways in which we shop and live have changed radically over the last century and a half. Themes that the exhibition covers include: The Business - origins and history, values, principles, ownership; Services And Commodities - products, manufacturing, ethical consumerism; Innovation - dividend, supply chain, own brand; Solidarity - protecting the environment, consumer rights, fairtrade; and Working And Living Together - The Co-operative Party, societies, campaigns. The exhibition features items from the National Co-operative Archive including original advertisements, pamphlets, food packaging, merchandise, artifacts, photographs and film, alongside a mock 1920s shop. People's History Museum, Manchester, until 11th May.

Uproar!: The First 50 Years Of The London Group 1913-1963 examines and celebrates the first half century in a turbulent history. The London Group exploded onto the British art scene in 1913 as a radical alternative to the art establishment, and in the wake of two modernist exhibiting platforms, Frank Rutter's liberal Allied Artists' Association and The Camden Town Group, headed by Walter Sickert, whose members the new group absorbed. The first minuted meeting took place on 25 October 1913, and Jacob Epstein is credited with coining the Group's name the following month. The London Group's controversial early years reflect the upheavals associated with the introduction of early British modernism and the experimental work of many of its members. The 'uproar' which followed Mark Gertler's exhibition of The Creation of Eve at The London Group's third show in 1915 lends its name to this display, which showcases 50 works by 50 artists. It features artists and works that highlight each decade covering the full range of its history: The London Group's inception; its Camden Town Group roots; the controversy of the early First World War years; Bloomsbury domination in the 1920s; emigre artists during the 1930s-1940s; avant-garde sculptors; and the contribution of artists' groups, ranging from the Vorticists to the Surrealists, the Abstract-Creationists and the Euston Road School. Featured artists include early modernists such as Walter Sickert, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Jacob Epstein, Robert Bevan and Paul Nash, and more recently, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Jon Bratby and Kenneth Armitage, as well as less-known but equally controversial figures such as Eileen Agar, Rodrigo Moynihan and Jessica Dismorr. Ben Uri Gallery, London, until 2nd March.

Continuing

Mind Maps: Stories From Psychology explores how mental health conditions have been diagnosed and treated over the past 250 years. Divided into four episodes, this exhibition looks at key breakthroughs in scientists' understanding of the mind, and the tools and methods of treatment that have been developed, from Mesmerism to Electroconvulsive Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to the latest cutting edge research and its applications. Bringing together psychology, other related sciences, medicine and human stories, the exhibition is illustrated through historical and contemporary objects, artworks and archive images. Highlights include: the first deep-brain EEG (electroencephalograph) recording of brain waves ever made, using electrodes inserted deep inside the brain (rather than as usual on the scalp) to measure simultaneously the electrical activity of many thousands of nerve cells; a Cavallo-style electrical generator, made by George Adams in late 18th century, including the 'medical bottle' that regulated the shocks it administered to patients; a Hipp chronoscope for measuring the speed of thought in 1880s psychological laboratories, an extremely precise stop-clock that allowed scientists to measure events such as reaction time, attention and perception on the timescale of nerve impulses; 'Nervone' nerve nutrient, launched in the 1920s, available to the public over the counter or prescribed by doctors for a range of conditions such as fatigue, anxiety, headache and depression; a contemporary EEG sensor net used for studying sleep, which, together with the sophisticated computers, have made EEG much easier to use; and 40 versions of the same PET scan colour-coded in different ways by a scanner's computers in order to show how 'hot spots' of activity can be make to appear and disappear. Science Museum until 12th August.

Peter Blake Illustrates Under Milk Wood By Dylan Thomas is a celebration and an exploration of the Welsh poet's most enduring work, on display for the first time. Peter Blake's illustrations of Dylan Thomas's 1953 'play for voices' is the culmination of a 28 year project. A longtime admirer of Thomas, Blake has always been fascinated by the radio play and remembers first hearing Under Milk Wood while at the Royal College. He claims to listen to it twice a week and read it once a month as he continues to work on the characters, dreams, scenes and locations. Blake aims to take the text literally and illustrate the Thomas's descriptions, but they are his personal interpretations. The exhibition of some 200 works features portraits drawn in black and white pencil on tinted paper, watercolours illustrating the dream sequences, 'narratives and locations' in a mix of media including collage, and photographs that Blake took himself on a visit to Laugharne in the 1970s. All the portraits are both imaginary and real because Blake believes that a face cannot be invented so he borrows from images he finds. Among the faces he has borrowed are Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, racing driver Tommy Sopwith, Beryl Bainbridge, Billie Piper and Terry Wogan, whose familiar features have been used in a portrait of a woman. National Museum, Cardiff, until 16th March.

Henry Moore: Reclining Figures explores a lifelong fascination and 'absolute obsession' with the reclining figure. This display follows Henry Moore's career across 5 decades, with large sculptures shown alongside small-scale maquettes, drawings and prints, illustrating his interest in the reclining figure as a vehicle for artistic experimentation. The maquettes show some of the different approaches Moore took with the reclining figure, illustrating his interest in classical and primitive sculpture, landscape and nature.

Barbara Hepworth: Two Forms traces a shift in work from figurative to abstract sculpture. The starting point is Barbara Hepworth's series of 'Mother and Child' sculptures, a subject she repeatedly returned to between 1927 and 1934, during which time she gave birth to her children. Carved in stone or wood, the subject held significance as the sign of a newfound intimacy in art, and as an expression of vitality in the wake of the First World War and the approach of the Second World War. After this, the subject of a mother and child disappeared from her work, and in its place came pure and simple abstract forms that are not merely experiments but express what she called 'a spiritual vitality or inner life'.

The Hepworth Wakefied, Henry Moore: Reclining Figures until 1st April ~ Barbara Hepworth: Two Forms until 4th May.

Castiglione: Lost Genius is the first British exhibition of works by one of the great artists of the Baroque. Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione was perhaps the most innovative and technically brilliant Italian draftsman of his time. Although he practised as a painter, he won fame for his drawings and prints. Castiglione worked in oils on paper to produce large, vibrant compositions, and combined drawing and printmaking in the technique of monotype. Despite leading a violent and turbulent life, Castiglione produced works of grace and rare beauty, which were highly esteemed for a century after his death, but he unaccountably fell from fame in the modern era. In 1762 George III bought a vast collection of 250 drawings by Castiglione and his assistants, which is now the finest surviving group of his works, and from which this exhibition is selected. The show is organised chronologically, starting with early pastoral scenes created in Genoa, where Castiglione developed a highly unusual technique that became his hallmark - large oil sketches on paper. He conceived these compositions as finished works of art rather than studies, working from his head straight onto paper in a distinctive palette of red-brown and blue-grey. Castiglione went on to invent the monotype, a hybrid of drawing and printmaking, which involved drawing in ink onto a copper plate, scraping with sticks, rags or the finger to bring out the image, and taking a single impression on a sheet of paper. The show ends with smaller oil sketches from Castiglione's last years, where he made up for his loss of mobility by adding more color. Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, until 16th March.

Turner In Brighton examines how artists perceived the town at the height of its development in the 1820s, during the reign of George IV. The exhibition is centred on the recent acquisition of J M W Turner's watercolour 'Brighthelmston, Sussex', which 'improved upon nature' by including the Royal Pavilion, the Albion Hotel and the Chain Pier in one view. It is accompanied by watercolours, oil paintings, drawings, sketchbooks, and prints that document Turner's impressions of Brighton, together with engravings by George Cooke of Turner's paintings. These are shown alongside works depicting the town by artists including John Constable, John Baxter, Henry Eldridge, William Daniell and John Nash. Also in the exhibition are four of Turner's sketchbooks containing the drawings he made during his visits to Brighton and surrounding areas of Sussex, and a leather wallet that Turner adapted into a travelling paint box. Brighton Pavilion, until 2nd March.

Foreign Bodies, Common Ground offers a unique exploration of global health, bringing together painting, photography, sculpture, film and performance. The works were made during residencies at medical research centres in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam and Britain. The contributing artists were given a simple and wide-ranging brief: to find out about research being undertaken and produce work responding to their investigations. The result is a series of moving, challenging and humorous works, richly varied in form and tone, recording journeys taken within the complex realm that lies between scientific processes and local communities, often on the frontlines of communicable diseases. Lena Bui's drawings, photography, video and installation explore zoonosis, the transfer of disease from animals to humans, tracing the relationship between the consumption of animals and the conditions of their breeding, killing and packaging in Vietnam. Katie Paterson's interest in animals takes a longer view, with 'Fossil Necklace', a biological history of the planet, as each of the work's 170 beads is carved from a fossil representing a major event in the evolution of life. Elson Kambalu's residency explored the different understandings of medicine and research in Malawi, with 'Kafukufuku Man' and 'Kafukufuku Women' addressing cultural fears of drawing blood, refering to local fables used as a means of translating medical terms and techniques. B-Floor Theatre, Thailand's vanguard physical theatre company, are featured in footage and a photographic montage of their performance, whilst a vertical shadow puppet installation carries the company's wryly comic vision of the battle between humans and ever-mutating diseases, driven by the survival instincts of both. Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1, until 9th February.

Concluding

Daumier: Visions Of Paris is the first major exhibition of the prolific French artist and social commentator to be held in Britain for over 50 years. Admired by the avant-garde circles of 19th century France, Honore Daumier was described by Baudelaire as one of the most important men 'in the whole of modern art'. The exhibition explores Daumier's legacy through 130 works, including paintings, drawings, watercolours and sculptures. Daumier lived and worked through widespread political and social change in France, which encompassed the upheavals of the revolutions to establish a republic, in the face of continued support for the monarchy. The exhibition is displayed chronologically, spanning the breadth and variety of his often experimental artistic output and exploring themes of judgement, spectatorship and reverie. One of Daumier's favourite subjects became the silent contemplation of art, as seen in 'The Print Collector' and in the terrified performer alone on the stage in 'What A Frightful Spectacle'. His extraordinary visual memory allowed him to recall and portray many facets of everyday life in both sympathetic and critical observations. The display features works depicting his working class neighbours on the Quai d'Anjou on the Ile Saint-Louis, as well as topical issues such as fugitives of the cholera epidemics or the experience of travellers in 'A Third Class Carriage'. Daumier also drew parallels between the abuse of power by lawyers in 'The Defence' and the silent vulnerability of those on the margin in 'Clown Playing A Drum'. A staunch Republican, Daumier was particularly renowned for his daring and uncompromising caricatures of the manners and pretensions of his era, including the corruption of the government of Louis-Philippe, the King of France. At the end of his life he created scenes and allegories of the link between nationalism and military action: the ideal female figures of France and Liberty, contrasted with the jester or Don Quixote, two characters Daumier closely identified with. Royal Academy of Arts until 26th January.

Stanley Spencer: Heaven In A Hell Of War provides a unique opportunity to see the responses to the First World War away from their permanent country home of Sandham Memorial Chapel, while it undergoes restoration. Stanley Spencer painted scenes of his own wartime experiences, as a hospital orderly in Bristol and as a soldier on the Salonika front. His recollections, painted entirely from memory, focus on the domestic rather than combative and evoke everyday experience - washing lockers, inspecting kit, sorting laundry, scrubbing floors and taking tea - in which he found spiritual resonance and sustenance. Peppered with personal and unexpected details, they combine the realism of everyday life with dreamlike visions drawn from his imagination. In his own words, the paintings are 'a symphony of rashers of bacon' with 'tea-making obligato' and describe the banal daily life that, to those from the battlefield, represented a 'heaven in a hell of war'. For Spencer, the menial became the miraculous - a form of reconciliation. These large scale paintings, which took 6 years to create, were completed in 1932. As well as being one of Britain's most important war artists, Spencer was a key figure in the development of figurative art in 20th century Britain and this exhibition offers a chance to look up close at his accomplished paintwork, sensitive use of colour, and masterly still-life. Somerset House, Strand, London WC2, until 26th January.

Alan Sorrell - A Life Reconstructed is the first major survey of the almost forgotten mid 20th century British artist. If Alan Sorrell is know at all today, it is for his archeologically informed drawings of early historical sites and monuments and tableaux of ancient life, particularly his striking reconstructions of archaeological sites in England such as Old Sarum and Silchester. However, Sorrell worked in a variety of disciplines as this exhibition reveals. Many works have classical themes but a contemporary sensibility and execution, such as 'Benvenuto Cellini Escaping from Rome', 'Procession: Rome', 'The Artist in the Campagna' and 'The Appian Way'. Sorrell travelled the world capturing everyday scenes such as 'Processing the Catch, Wharf Scene, Iceland', 'Sudanese Express Passing Abu Simbel', 'The Long Journey' and 'The Postman'. Although he failed to be appointed an official war artist this show includes some of Sorrell's striking war images. For the Festival of Britain in 1951 he was commissioned to create a 9m mural for the bar on the HMS Campania, used as floating exhibition space, and the result, 'Working Boats from Around the British Coast' featuring a rollicking procession of fish, boats and mermaids, was only recently rediscovered and is receiving its first public showing in 60 years. Sir John Soane's Museum, 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2, until 25th January.