Private View held by Richard Andrews
The Ideal Home Show will once again provide the unlikely spectacle of a village of new houses built inside Earl's Court, enabling thousands of visitors to indulge in the undoubted pleasure of traipsing round sneering at the furnishings. It's even better than touring your friends' new house, because you don't have to be tactful, or pretend to be kind or enthusiastic. Reflecting the increasing interest in gardening, this year there will be ten fully laid out gardens as well. All this, plus the customary demonstrations of cooking, DIY and gardening, and the real draw - the gadgets. A great British institution. Earl's Court Exhibition Centre until 9th April.
Kei Ito is a haute couture designer in the contemporary Japanese tradition, for whom clothes are wearable sculpture, and Zen a discernible influence. This results in dresses that look like a chrysalis shell, or are made up from a mixture of silk and PVC, and are just about wearable by a few, whose social life could be described s a mixture of inspiration and desperation. For the rest of us, they are better viewed as exhibits in a gallery. The City Gallery, Leicester, 0116 254 0595, until 8th April.
The 100 Cartoonists Of The Century presents the lot - all the famous ones you know, and many you don't - showing the variety of ways the medium has been explored. From David Low's TUC carthorse to Dudley Watkins's Desperate Dan, from Donald McGill's saucy seaside post cards to Steve Bell's John Major, and from Giles' Grandma to Gerald Scarfe's blood and guts, it's all here. The British Cartoon Centre, London WC1, 0171 278 7172, until 12th April.
Photographs by Snowdon: A Retrospective is a selection from a 50 year portfolio, which admirably demonstrates that it is by no means restricted to the rich and famous. Snowdon's early work as a fashion photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair included mould breaking shots of models posed on aircraft wings and piles of cars. London, his book published in 1958, was instrumental in creating the image of Swinging London. In fact his wedding to Princess Margaret in 1960, inspired design student Geoff Reeves to paint a pair of sunglasses with a Union Jack, thus starting one of the fads of the era. Later work includes pictorial essays on social problems, reflecting his involvement in charities. National Portrait Gallery until 4th June.
The Art Of Barbie is an exhibition of creations for the world's greatest, most perfect, and longest enduring supermodel. Fifty fans, including designers Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen, (do you really think these boys should be playing with dolls?), artists Rachael Whiteread and Antony Gormley, and photographer David Bailey, present their visions for Barbie - and even a few for Ken. Proud Galleries, London WC2, 0171 839 4942, until 12th April.
Seeing Salvation: The Image of Christ explores how the figure of Christ has been represented in the western artistic tradition, and the language of Christian imagery. Through paintings, sculptures, coins and engravings, it examines different aspects of the visual identity of Christ, and the pictorial questions that artists have confronted as they made His image. Works range from the earliest known Crucifixion, a 5th century ivory relief, to Salvador Dali's controversial Christ of St John of the Cross, painted in 1951. Though Christianity is now "uncool", it remains the bedrock of western culture. This millennial exhibition asks what such images mean in today's faithless world. There is an accompanying television series beginning on 2nd April, presented by the director of the National Gallery, Neil MacGregor. National Gallery until 7th May.
Buckingham Palace The Ballroom is to be opened to the public for the first time this year as part of the Summer Opening of the State Rooms. 122 feet long and 60 feet wide, it has been at the centre of state entertaining since it was built for Queen Victoria, and opened in 1859 with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War. Since 1954, 48 heads of state have been entertained there at state banquets. It is also used for investitures, and there will be an exhibition with examples of all the major honours awarded. The State Rooms contain many works of art from the Royal Collection. Buckingham Palace 6th August until 1st October.
Painted Illusions: The Art of Cornelius Gijsbrechts is dedicated to the art of deception, with work by one of the most important painters of illusionistic or trompe l'oeil pictures in European art, seen in London for the first time. One of the favourite themes of 17th century trompe-l'oeil painters was the letter rack, with papers and other objects tucked into, or hung from, ribbons stretched across a board. Gijsbrechts raised this to a new level of sophistication, with an extraordinary assortment of letters (often addressed to himself as "painter to the king of Denmark"), almanacs (which date the paintings), engravings, royal proclamations, miniature portraits, quill pens, tidies with pockets, and tools and equipment of every imaginable kind. National Gallery until 1st May.
Bauhaus Dessau celebrates the Bauhaus school, which despite its brief 14 year existence, became probably the most important influence on the architecture, design and craft of the 20th Century. Although it started in Weimar in 1919, the school enjoyed its most successful period during the late 1920's, at a purpose built headquarters at Dessau, designed by its founder, the architect Walter Gropius. The exhibition concentrates on this period, with Marcel Breuer's cantilevered tubular steel chairs, Marianne Brandt's light fittings, Herbert Bayer's advertisements, Gunts Stoltz's textiles, paintings by Klee and Kandinsky and designs and models of the Dessau building itself. Design Museum 10th February until 4th June.
1900: Art at the Crossroads is a recreation of the exhibitions staged in the different national pavilions at Paris Exposition of 1900, effectively a survey of the art of the day, during the birth of modernism. It is a fascinating juxtaposition of now forgotten artists who were the toast of their time, and the usual suspects including Picasso, Monet, Munch, Klimt, Mondrian, Cezanne, Matisse and Kandinsky. The exhibition brings together hundreds of paintings and sculptures from all over the world, and is shown in all 12 galleries of Burlington House, with the works arranged in themes. Royal Academy 16th January until 3rd April.
Panamarenko is the first London exhibition of the extraordinary work of a virtually unclassifiable Belgian artist, inventor and visionary. His pseudonym - an abbreviation of Pan American Airlines Company - betrays his obsession with flying machines. Styling himself a latter day Leonardo, his work over thirty years has fused artistic and technological experiment, and includes aeroplanes, flying carpets, cars, flying saucers, helicopters and birds. Shown here are drawings, models, sculptures and spectacular structures, including one gallery entirely filled with an airship, and a submarine moored outside. Hayward Gallery until 2nd April.
All For Love is a selection of images from the Hulton Getty Picture Collection, which is perhaps the world's greatest library of illustrative material. Its cornerstone is the Picture Post collection, which is the embodiment of the art of photojournalism and features the work of many of its pioneers. This exhibition explores the concept of love in all its eclectic forms, from John and Yoko, through the film Casablanca, back to Melrose Abbey, where Robert the Bruce's heart is buried (not featured itself). Hulton Getty Picture Gallery until 25th March.