News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th February 2006


The Time Galleries are the first stage of the Time And Space Project, aimed at better explaining the story of time at Greenwich, which will ultimately include a new planetarium. These new galleries are divided into four themes. Time And Longitude explores British solutions to the longitude problem, through detailed mapping measurements of the night sky at Greenwich, and the development of an accurate, portable clock that worked on board ships - the Harrison marine timekeepers - with exhibits including the H4, the most important timekeeper ever made, which solved the problem and finally won Harrison the Longitude Prize, together with earlier and later chronometers and sextants. Time And Greenwich looks at the need to develop increasingly accurate time keeping, with the machines that measured the time and the people who used them, with exhibits from the Shepherd master clock installed at the Royal Observatory, which was the heart of the world's first time distribution network, sending time signals around the UK, to the actual GPS receiver used by Robin Knox-Johnston on his round the world voyage of 1994. Time For The Navy considers the provision of accurate timekeepers for the Royal Navy, with marine chronometers, regulator clocks and deck watches, used for navigation from the 1820s until the 1950s. Time In Society examines the role of timekeeping in our everyday lives, with exhibits including sundials, compendiums, clocks, wristwatches and calendars of all periods. Royal Observatory, Greenwich continuing.

Witness commemorates the 90th anniversary of both the battle of the Somme, and the appointment of the first officially commissioned war artists, recognising that art could and should be used to record war and human experience. Oils, watercolours, prints and sculpture from the First World War are displayed alongside first hand accounts of experiences, from battle and its aftermath, to life on the home front. The exhibition features around 50 works from established artists such as William Orpen to young futuristic painters such as Christopher Nevinson, including both internationally renowned paintings such as 'We Are Making A New World' and 'Over The Top' by Paul Nash and 'A Battery Shelled' by Percy Wyndham Lewis, and lesser known but important works of the period, such as 'Women's Canteen at Phoenix Works Bradford' by Flora Lion, Gassed and Wounded' by Eric Kennington and 'The Underworld: Taking Cover In A Tube Station During A London Air Raid' by Walter Bayes. Many of the artists had seen active service: William Roberts and Wyndham Lewis as gunners, Kennington, Paul and John Nash as infantry, and Nevinson in the medical corps, which gives their work added authority. Accompanying first hand eyewitness accounts, taken from letters, diaries and memoirs, detail the experiences of those both living through and fighting during the war, from land girls and nurses, to Tommies, fighter pilots and the artists themselves. Imperial War Museum North, Manchester until 23rd April.

Ugo Rondinone - zero built a nest in my navel is the first major UK exhibition of the leading Swiss artist, who has been described as 'a visionary trapped by reality'. Working across a bewildering range of different media and styles, Rondinone references literature, music and theatre as well as the visual arts, to create sensory and theatrical installations. He came to prominence in Europe in the early 1990s with installations combining photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, light and sound. Rondinone's exhibitions can include India ink landscapes in the Romantic tradition and target paintings recalling the images of 1960s psychedelia. Pop art inspired works with an up beat feel are often contrasted with the longing of photographs of a man and woman who never meet, or films of clowns slumped in the corner of the gallery. For this exhibition, Rondinone has created a new installation that centres on a large structure in reflective Perspex, like an open ended maze, which frames a series of masks and sculptures that project an interior mental state onto a spectral, Gothic landscape. Pre-recorded dialogue of a man and woman arguing loops in a darkened sensory environment, and like a Beckett play, presents a never ending circle of disconnection. Then there's the giant 6ft light bulb hanging from the roof. The exhibition title is taken from a number of haikus Rondinone has been writing every day like a diary, and transferring onto canvas and other materials, which are scattered around the walls. Whitechapel Gallery until 26th March.


David Adjaye - Making Public Buildings features the work of this leading contemporary British architect, with many designs and models shown for the first time. Adjaye's buildings emphasise the experience as much as the functionality of architecture, exploring scale, measure, space, light and material. His aim is to intensify the experience of spaces, through an almost sculptural use of light, colour, tone and materials. This approach to creating spaces, fusing the architectural with the artistic, has led to collaborations with artists including Olafur Eliasson and Chris Ofili. The exhibition is in three sections, following Adjaye's method from design to production. The first, brings together his influences and source material, with images from travels to non-Western cities shown alongside polaroid photographs representing an overview of his previous designs. The second, focuses on 10 major public projects, either realised or currently in development, illustrated with models, sketches and other materials: Idea Store, Chrisp Street, London; Nobel Peace Center, Oslo; Idea Store, Whitechapel, London; Art Pavilions with TBA-21 including Olafur Eliasson at the Venice Biennale; Stephen Lawrence Centre, Deptford, London; Bernie Grant Centre, Tottenham, London; Rivington Place, Shoreditch, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Market Hall, Wakefield; and Fairfield Housing, Hackney, London. The third, screens films of completed civic projects, residential work and projects that combine art and architecture. Whitechapel Gallery, London until 26th March.

Carrying The Colours is an opportunity to examine banners created to express pride and protest, from iconic trade union colours and political activists, through those of sporting and religious organisations, to special issue groups. It features a selection from one of the most important collections of trade union banners in the country, providing a chance to see some of these beautiful and striking banners from the glory days of the union movement between the mid 19th and the mid 20th centuries. The exhibition tells the stories behind the banners and explains their background: the organisations who commissioned them, and why were they made; how they helped to forge an identity for the people and the groups who carried them; who made them - such as Victorian entrepreneur George Tutill's London factory - and how they did it; and looks at where they were used, at events such as strikes, Whit Walks, Galas, parades, protests and demonstrations of all kinds. As well as the banners themselves, there are photographs, archive film footage, oral history and the inevitable 'interactives' to put the colours into context. The exhibition also reveals the painstaking work of the Textile Conservation Studio in preserving banners from museums all over the country. History Museum Manchester until 29th October.

Martin Kippenberger is the first British show of the remarkably diverse body of work by the maverick German artist. It provides an opportunity to consider Kippenberger both as an artist and as an influence on subsequent generations of British and European artists. Like Andy Warhol, Kippenberger employed the process of art production, drawing on popular culture, art, architecture, music, politics, history, and his own life for inspiration. Often using everyday objects and materials, and creating numbers of multiples, books and ephemera, Kippenberger was working in the face of a perceived 'death of painting', the apparent end of the avant-garde, and the impossibility of producing anything that was authentic or original. A wide variety of works of different media are on show, including around forty paintings, four large installations, ten sculptures, and over fifty works on paper, in addition to one hundred posters. The centrepiece is Kippenberger's large-scale installation 'The Happy End of Franz Kafka's Amerika' comprising an arrangement of around fifty tables and chairs placed on a reconstruction of a green carpeted soccer pitch, which contains examples of classic 20th century furniture, in addition to remnants from previous exhibitions, other artist's work, and flea market acquisitions. Kippenberger's idea of delegating the act of painting to others is demonstrated with 'Lieber Maler, male mir (Dear Painter, Paint for Me)' and 'The Installation der Weißen Bilder (The Installation of The White Paintings)'. Tate Modern until 14th May.

Embracing The Exotic: Jacob Epstein And Dora Gordine provides an opportunity to view the work of two contrasting, British based emigre sculptors, Jacob Epstein, and his lesser known female contemporary, Dora Gordine.

Comprising more than 40 sculptures and drawings, alongside ethnographic pieces that inspired them, this exhibition examines how Epstein and Gordine both responded to, and were inspired by, non-western cultures in much of their work, despite their radically different working methods. Epstein, one of the most significant figures in British sculpture in the first half of the twentieth century, was a great admirer of African and Oceanic sculpture. This 'primitive' influence, linked to his revival of the methods of direct carving, and his contact with the Paris artists Brancusi and Modigliani, is obvious in sculptures. It is also apparent in his often-explicit drawings and carvings on themes of fertility and birth. Epstein's preference for models of non-European origin was often controversial during his lifetime, but resulted in some of his most striking pieces. Dora Gordine, a self taught sculptor, designer, collector and society figure, began her career in Paris, where she was encouraged by Maillol, and travelled widely, concentrating from the outset on models of non-European origin. Her first solo exhibition in London included heads of Indian, Chinese, Cingalese, Javanese, Malay, Iranian and Greek models. Highlights here include her bronze bust 'The Chinese Philosopher' and the lifesize 'Javanese Dancer'. This is a rare opportunity to see Gordine's unjustly neglected work. Ben Uri Gallery,108A Boundary Road, London NW8, 020 7604 3991, until 19th March.

The Greatest Fairy Tale: The Amazing Life And Story Of Hans Christian Andersen celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth one of the world's greatest storytellers, whose repertoire most famously includes The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and The Emperor's New Clothes. The exhibition is a journey through Andersen's life, fairy tales and artistry, using the magic of his stories. Blending narrative, interactive and media-based installations, it presents the author's life in a sequence of six thematic stages, from childhood to world wide fame, revealing how some of his most famous tales have their origins in his own nature and experiences. The dramatised voice of Hans Christian Andersen provides a guide through the exhibition, as he reflects upon his life and the events that shaped his work and his famous fairy tales. The storyline is supported by a unique collection of personal artefacts and manuscripts - the largest collection of original Andersen objects ever to leave Denmark. The exhibition also includes the Fairy Tale Factory, a series of creative activity stations, where visitors can create their own fairy tales; The Never-Ending Inspiration, a collection of significant illustrations and unique works of art inspired by Andersen's famous fairy stories; and The Legacy of Hans Christian Andersen, an assessment of how his fairy tales continue to be a source of inspiration to others, including film makers, artists and writers. City Art Centre, Edinburgh until 23rd April.

Diann Bauer - bludgeonerator is a new monumental piece by the American born but London resident artist, whose works bring together violent images from a number of diverse cultures to create large scale paintings and installations. The integration of varied visual styles in Bauer's work generates a sense of confusion and dissolution between space, object and subject, suggesting a narrative that seems graspable, but is just out of reach. Combining source material from nineteenth century Japanese woodcuts, European Baroque painting and experimental contemporary architecture, Bauer creates a swirling visually complex representation of space, time and movement. She presents spectacle, and her images - not for the faint hearted - feature Samurai warriors and fire breathing dragons fighting battles against apocalyptic backgrounds of atomic clouds and nuclear explosions, represented in her characteristic colours of tangerine, petrol blue, black and white. This new work comprises a large, elaborately detailed wall drawing, executed on aluminium panels forming a wall that cuts into the gallery space. By blurring the boundaries of where the work ends and the gallery space begins, it plays with expectations of the distinction between the work and the built environment. This is Bauer's first solo show in a publicly funded London gallery. The Showroom, 44 Bonner Road, London E2, 020 8983 4115, until 12th March.


Quiet Resistance: Russian Pictorial Photography 1900 - 1930s provides an opportunity to explore a hitherto overlooked aspect of Russian photography. Alongside the better known avant-garde artists of Soviet Russia in the 1920s and 1930s, there was another pictorial trend in Russian photography, which strove to approximate photography to painting, using mainly 'soft' lenses and special, often very sophisticated, printing techniques. Pictorial photography challenged the realist documentary work, and like painting, sought to convey the emotions, and to express the artists' individual senses and meanings. Among the greatest exponents of the school whose works are featured here were Alexander Grinberg, Yury Yeremin, Nikolai Andreev, Nikolai Svishchov-Paola and Alexander Rodchenko. Their depictions of daily life, landscapes and old mansions, city scenes, female nudes and dancers, and portraits of peasants at work, had much in common with their European contemporaries. The 100 photographs in the exhibition recall early 20th century experiments in photography, such as exploring human movement through nymph like dancers, and altering prints by overpainting and scratching. Among the highlights are Yeremin's nudes and dancers, which led to his imprisonment for 'producing pornography'; a study of a bridge in snow by Grinberg, who was sent to a labour camp; Svishchov-Paola's three young women on a staircase, limbs forming Modernist shapes; and Rodchenko's Circus series and scenes from classical operas and ballets. Gilbert Collection at Somerset House until 26th February.

Conrad Shawcross: The Steady States introduces three specially commissioned sculptures, designed for the galleries in which they are shown. They combine Shawcross's interest in sculpture, science and philosophy, and demonstrate the intellectual rigour, technical dexterity and sense of drama associated with his work. The pieces draw upon complex themes within the fields of cosmology, quantum mechanics and musical theory. Shawcross is particularly interested in how these elements combine and link with modern theories about the universe, such as 'the big bang' and 'string theory'. Despite the fact that all this sounds futuristic, the works have an old fashioned homemade Heath Robinson quality. 'Space Trumpet' (inspired by a primitive radio telescope) is like a huge gramophone horn waiting for a black and white dog the size of King Kong to stare at it. 'Harmonic Tower' is a massive version of a Harmonograph (the Victorian predecessor of the spirograph), which is the size of a Baywatch lookout tower. 'Loop System Quintet' comprises five wooden machines connected by a single drive-shaft that draw different but interconnected 'knots' of light in space (in ratios predetermined by the cogs that drive them related to theories of musical harmony) as though they were waving gigantic sparklers at a bonfire party. Seeing is disbelieving. Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool until 26th February.

The Regency Country House is the first ever comprehensive survey of the key English country houses of 1800 to 1830. In the mid 20th century, after several decades of neglect and the estimated loss of 1,700 English country houses, the surviving houses of the Regency period took on a new lease of life, partly thanks to Country Life authors such as Christopher Hussey, who played a significant role in the rediscovery and popularisation of the Regency period, a time when the English country house took on many of the qualities and attributes that we still take for granted today. The exhibition is illustrated with material from the Country Life Picture Library. It encompasses the princely palaces and houses associated with the Prince Regent, nobleman's houses such as Tregothnan, and Eastnor Castle, and gentleman's houses such as Southill, Bedfordshire and Sheringham. The work of leading country houses architects is featured, including the Wyatt dynasty, Henry Holland, John Nash, C R Cockerell, Robert Smirke, William Wilkins, Thomas Hopper, Humphry Repton and Sir John Soane. It is through the work of these architects that the exhibition explores major architectural themes of the Regency, from the emergence of the Graeco-Roman style to the Gothic Revival, the Picturesque and Cottage Ornee (rustic buildings of picturesque design) and the influential role of Thomas Hope, whose country house and garden at Deepdene influenced the revival of the Italian style of garden design. Sir John Soane Museum, London until 25th February.