Private View held by Richard Andrews
Americans In Paris 1860 - 1900 examines the work of the American artists drawn to Paris to study and work during the second half of the 19th century. The exhibition includes works by high profile artists such as James McNeill Whistler, including his 'White Girl' (hugely controversial when first shown at the notorious Salon des Refuses of 1863) and 'Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 Portrait of the Artist's Mother'; and John Singer Sargent, including the painting that helped make him a sensation in Paris 'Portrait of Madame X', 'The Daughters of Edward Darley', 'Portrait of Carolus-Duran', 'Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood' and 'In the Luxembourg Gardens'. Alongside there are artists who are less familiar, such as Theodore Robinson - 'The Wedding March'; Henry Ossawa Tanner - 'The Young Sabot Maker'; Willard Leroy Metcalf - 'In the Cafe (Au Cafe)' and 'The Ten Cent Breakfast'; and Frank Weston Benson - 'Eleanor'. Something like a third of American art students in Paris at this time were women, and among those represented here are Cecilia Beaux; Elizabeth Nourse; Ellen Day Hale - 'Self Portrait'; Elizabeth Jane Gardner (the first American woman to win a medal at the Paris Salon) - 'The Shepherd David'; Mary Fairchild - 'In the Nursery - Giverny Studio'; and Mary Cassatt (the only American to show with the French Impressionists) - 'Young Woman in Black (Portrait of Madame J)'.
Cassatt was also an accomplished print maker, and a separate solo exhibition includes prints from all stages of her career.
The National Gallery until 21st May.
Charley Peters: My Secret Rooms merges the boundaries of the real and the imaginary within the home. Peters has created a collection of photographic narratives, where the domestic environment becomes the setting for a series of visual stories. They are tales in which dreamers furtively aspire to the mythologies of the movie world, or enact various enigmatic rituals, generally involving feminine empowerment. In Peters's images something exquisitely sensual, although somewhat otherworldly, always appears to be going on behind half closed doors. Her disguised protagonists are drenched in a suspenseful mood of film noir shadows, wearing stiletto heels, fishnet stockings, and Monroe wigs. Looking at female protagonists in literature and using imagery built around make believe, childhood play and fantasy, Peters investigates the links between the interior spaces of the physical body, the mind and the home. Often taking the lead role in her own scenarios, she invites visitors to take a peek into a world inhabited by familiar faces in this series of secret rooms. Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery, until 8th April.
Amazon To Caribbean: Early Peoples Of The Rainforest explores the cultural links between the inhabitants of mainland South America and the Caribbean. This exhibition looks at the Amerindian cultural identity from the rainforests to the islands. It comprises ethnographic cultural artefacts, from headdresses made of parrot and other feathers, decorated combs, armlets, body ornaments and jewellery, body paint containers and applicators, jaguar skin belts and other items of ceremonial dress, decorated canoe paddles, anaconda themed textiles, baskets and carved stools (representing power), to archaeological finds, including weapons and hunting implements (both ceremonial and practical, such as clubs, blowpipes, arrows and spears), ceramic pots and gourds, utensils employed in the production and consumption of the staple crop cassava, and tools of all kinds, many of which have never been on display in Britain before. These traditional artefacts are accompanied by carving, sculpture and paintings by leading contemporary artists, such as Aubrey Williams, Ronald Taylor and Oswald Hussein, whose works, though modern, draw on traditional themes, narratives and motifs, that portray the Amerindian spirit as a force that continues to endure. Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, London SE23 until 31st October.
Tropicalia: A Revolution In Brazilian Culture 1967 - 72 endeavours to capture the revolutionary movement that influenced the art, politics, music and fashion that exploded onto the cultural scene of late 1960's Brazil - the South American equivalent of Swinging London. It revisits the energy and excitement of this seminal moment in Brazilian culture, and examines its relationship with the complicated urban and political landscape of Latin America in the late '60s and early '70s. The exhibition includes over 250 exhibits, showcasing the range and breadth of the movement, including album covers, fashion, posters, documentaries, advertising, books, pop influenced paintings, theatre sets, architectural drawings and models, television footage and music. At its centre is a recreation of Helio Oiticica's 1969 Whitechapel Art Gallery installation 'Tropicalia', comprising straw beds, tents pitched on an indoor sandy beach dotted tropical plants, gravel walkways between wicker screens, live parrots, the music of Caetano Veloso and ramshackle huts evoking the shanty town dwellings of a Brazilian favella. The exhibition also includes seminal works by visual artists of the era, including Lygia Clark, Amilcar De Castro, Antonia Dias and Lygia Pape. The movement continues to have an impact on a new generation of artists, writers and musicians working in Brazil today, who are represented by Arto Lindsay, Marepe, Ernesto Neto, Rivane Neuenschwander and Dominique Gonzalez-Forster. Let the sunshine in! Barbican Gallery until 21st May.
Please Close The Gate is a collection of mostly new sculpture, largely shown outdoors, which is generally formed in metal or wood and then given a layer of paint. This acts as a kind of shell, and either helps to give it an image, or to dematerialise its form. Among the highlights are: Rose Finn-Kelcey's 'Pearly Gate', an oversized painted wooden five bar gate standing slightly ajar; Keith Wilson's 'Thames Walkway: Boat Race (sheeted)', made in painted galvanised steel, mapping the path of the Oxbridge boat race from Putney Bridge to Chiswick Bridge; Bob and Roberta Smith's 'Vegetable Sculptures', comprised of gaudily coloured vegetables balanced precariously on top of each other; Franz West's 'Sitzwust', a giant shocking pink aluminium sausage; and Helen Chadwick's best known work 'Piss Flowers', casts in white painted bronze exhibited outside on grass as was originally intended; together with classic works by Barbara Hepworth, 'Sphere with Inside and Outside Colour' and 'Makutu', which use colour in more subtle ways. Works by Phyllida Barlow, Franz West and William Turnbull feature one colour over a single medium; and wall mounted works by Ellen Hyllemose and Cedric Christie take 'ugly', building materials, such as scaffolding and mdf, and make them beautiful through the addition of paint. New Art Centre Sculpture Park & Gallery, Roche Court, Salisbury until 7th May.
Jacob Van Ruisdael: Master Of Landscape is a retrospective of the work of the pre-eminent landscape painter of the 17th century, renowned for the unmatched number of subjects he depicted and the wealth of clearly observed naturalistic detail. It comprises some 50 of Ruisdael's paintings, alongside 36 of his drawings and rarely seen etchings, illustrating the diversity and scope of the landscapes he depicted. The grandeur of Ruisdael's compositions, with ruined castles on rocky crags and torrents cascading down hillsides, coupled with his skill in portraying natural phenomena and carefully observed detail, made him one of the greatest masters of the Golden Age of Dutch painting. Such was Ruisdael's ability to render nature's subtleties in a faithful manner, that botanists have been able to identify species of plants and trees in his paintings, and oceanographers have marvelled at his accurate depiction of breaking waves, as in 'A Rough Sea at a Jetty'. But that was not all. Reality and imagination coexist in Ruisdael's work - his landscapes tell a story. The inimitable and versatile style he pioneered broke with painting traditions set by previous generations, and his innovative approach to depicting nature had a profound effect not only on landscape painting in Holland, but it also in England, France and America. The drawings on display include sketches, initial studies for paintings and finished stand-alone works, while the etchings represent the range of his output as a printmaker. Royal Academy until 4th June.
The Cartoon Museum, which has just opened, is the first of its kind in London, exhibiting examples of British cartoons, caricature, and comic art from the 18th century to the present day. It will provide a regularly changing display of more than 250 original cartoons; together with 3,000 books in the Heneage Library available for research; a dedicated comics library; a shop with books, prints, cards and cartoon ephemera; a Young Artists Gallery with facilities for drawing and learning about cartoons; and a programme of children's and adult cartooning and animation classes. Among the highlights of the opening display are: rare and original artwork on loan from The Beano, the Dandy, and Topper featuring all the favourite characters; classic works by Gillray including 'The Plum Pudding', 'John Bull - taking a luncheon', and 'The Zenith of French Glory'; 3D cartoons including Gerald Scarfe's Chairman Mao caricatured in a leather armchair; joke cartoons by Larry, Kipper Williams, Tony Husband, Nick Newman and many more; Roland Emett's working 'Fairway Birdie', made by the eccentric cartoonist who specialised in wacky contraptions; war cartoons including Sir David Low's 'All Behind you, Winston', and Bruce Bairnsfather's, 'If you know a better 'Ole...'; a colour mural painted by cartoonists including Steve Bell, Dave Brown, Martin Rowson, Peter Brookes, Chris Riddell, MAC and Hunt Emerson; and annual cover drawings by Carl Giles, featuring the Giles family and his immortal Granny. The Cartoon Museum, London WC1 continuing.
Mark Titchner: It Is You features the artist whose works explore systems of belief - both secular and spiritual - often focusing on discredited or marginalised ideologies and objects. Using language and motifs taken from advertising, religious iconography, club flyers, Trade Union banners, political propaganda and occultism, Titchner's works demand attention, yet despite their directness, remain curiously ambiguous - attempting to address the big questions yet falling short of answering them. Working across a number of media, including print, wall drawing, video, sculpture and installation, this exhibition brings together works produced over the last decade, including Titchner's recent major multi-media installation 'When we build let us think that we build forever', shown in Britain for the first time. It also features two new commissions: 'How to Change Behaviour (Tiny Masters of the World Come Out)', and 'The Invisible Republic'. Titchner employs writings and texts from sources as diverse as Martin Heidegger, Wilhelm Reich, The Silver Jews, Emmanuel Swedenborg, Fugazi, The Old Testament, William Blake, Kabbalah and corporate manifestos. The works in this show address themes ranging from the fiction and folly of permanence, expressed through a kind of psychotic modernism, to the collective power of psychic amplification, from a lament to the failure of utopian socialism, to the decoding of the universe by a desktop PC. All human life and more besides etc, etc. Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol until 23rd April.
Winslow Homer: Poet Of The Sea is the first solo exhibition in Britain of a painter who is a household name in his native America, and considered by many to be America's greatest artist. All the more surprising since it was the inspiration he found in Britain that produced his greatest works, seascapes of Northumberland, which he produced in the 1880s, before returning to build a studio on a similarly desolate coastline in Maine. Homer's accent is uniquely American, and his vision has become part of America's pioneering self-image. He painted fine military scenes, inventive images of domestic life and work, portrayals of black experience, but he is at his most magical in his landscapes and seascapes, both in oil and watercolour featured in this exhibition. Homer realistically captures the hard life of the fishermen, the women who waited for them and processed their catches, and the life and death dramas engendered by the wild storms of the North Sea and Maine coasts, especially in works such as 'Blown Away', 'Life Line, 'Beach Scene', 'The Wreck of the Iron Crown' and 'Sharks, or The Derelict'.
In The Age Of Winslow Homer: American Prints 1880 - 1900 is an accompanying exhibition of 50 prints produced during what became known as the Etching Revival, which saw a dramatic increase in the production and purchase of prints. Many of the new etchers chose similar subjects to Homer - harbour views, seascapes, ships at sea, landscapes and scenes they saw on their
Dulwich Picture Gallery until 21st May.
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.
Presenting A Cooling Image features photographs from the Lafayette studio glass plate negative archive. Discovered on a London building site in 1988, the portraits in the Lafayette archive encapsulate the upper echelons of society at the turn of the 20th century. Covering the period from 1885 to 1933, there are images of royalty, aristocracy, the noted and the notorious. Society hostesses and debutantes captured in these portraits all carry a fan, as a costume accessory or as integral part of their outfit, often for presentation at court, and displayed alongside them are similar or corresponding fans This exhibition aims to place each fan in its historical and social context, reflecting on who may have owned it, and when and where it may have been used. From the stiff formality of the Marchioness of Winchester, photographed in her official robes for Edward VII's coronation in 1902, to the understated elegance of Miss Mary Latta's fashionable attire for presentation at court in 1923, the Lafayette archive records the transformation of fashion from the rigid corsetry of Queen Victoria's era to the fluid dropped waists of the 1920s flapper. Such stylistic alterations are equally noticeable in accessories, including the fans on display. As well as formal occasions, there are images from Fancy Dress balls, usually high profile social events such as the Devonshire House Ball, attended by Royalty. This is the first time that many of the 30 images on show have been seen publicly since they were first made. The Fan Museum, Greenwich until 26th March.