News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th August 2007


Warhol: A Celebration Of Life… And Death presents a broad sweep of Andy Warhol's work from the early 1950s to 1986 in a wide range of media - painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, film, photography and installation. It is the most comprehensive retrospective of Warhol's work being staged in Britain to commorate the 20th anniversary of his death. The show includes examples of all of his most iconic works, such as 'Campbell's Soup Can', 'Brillo Box', 'Heinz Box', 'Marilyn', 'Elvis', 'Baseball', 'Coca-Cola', 'Do-It-Yourself' and 'Dance Diagram', but it also spotlights aspects of Warhol's art that are not so well known. Special displays are dedicated to 'Marilyn, Liz, Jackie and Elvis', 'Portraits of the 1970s and 1980s', 'Consumer Products', 'Death and Disaster', 'Skulls', 'Stitched Photographs', and 'War, Death and Religion'. Among the highlights are 'Silver Clouds', a room of floating silver-coloured helium balloons; the 'Skull' series of screenprints made in the same way as his earlier celebrity portraits; a number of Time Capsules; the slowed down 'Screen Tests', in which visitors to the Facory simply had a camera turned on them; and 'White Burning Car III' from the 'Death and Disaster' series, one of which set a new record for Warhol at auction when it was sold for $71.7m at Christies in New York earlier this year. National Gallery Complex, Edinburgh until 7th October.

Picasso On Paper focuses on Picasso's work as a graphic artist, with over 120 drawings, etchings, lithographs, linocuts and woodcuts made over a period of more than seventy years, some well known, but also some never before seen in Britain. The works chart Picasso's constant experimentation and reinvention as an artist, ranging from etchings done in the early 1900s, during Picasso's so-called 'Rose Period', to the Cubist works of the pre-war years, the Surrealist works of the 1920s and 1930s, the colour linocuts of the 1950s and the sexually charged work of his late years. Among the highlights are 'The Frugal Meal', 'Nude', 'Group of Female Nudes', 'Minotauromachie', 'Weeping Woman I', 'Portrait of Dora Maar', 'The Bull', 'Woman in an Armchair No 1 (from the red)', 'Portrait of a Young Girl, after Cranach the Younger II' and 'Still life with a Glass under Lamplight'. A unique opportunity to trace the development of Picasso's extraordinary career in its entirety. Dean Gallery, Edinburgh until 24th September.

Picasso: Fired With Passion concentrates on Picasso's work in ceramics, metalwork, jewellery and photography. It draws upon Picasso's output from 1947 to 1955, during a significant period of his life when he was working at Vallauris in southern France. Over 100 objects reveal the diversity of his work across different media. In addition, personal photographs and mementos, give a sense of both work and life, and his friendships with contemporaries, such as the artists Jean Cocteau and Georges Braque photographer Lee Miller and surrealist painter, poet, and historian Roland Penrose. Highlights include brightly coloured plates decorated with fish and birds, a jug with a stylised female figure, a vase entitled 'Aux Danseuses', a ceramic vase 'Chouette' and a silver platter. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh until 28th October.

Richard Long: Walking And Marking is a retrospective of the man who has made walking into a form of art, expessing man's relationship with the landscape. For 40 years Long has recorded his perambulations around the world in photographs, maps, drawings and sculptures. Mud, a material that he has used in a number of ways for much of his career, is a major theme of the exhibition. Long has remade three of his large scale mud wall drawings in situ, and the display also features mud dipped works on paper and mud splash drawings. Much of Long's work consists of laying rocks or sticks in lines, circles and spirals in remote locations, such as the Himalayas, the Sahara, Patagonia and Alaska, photographs of which are included in the exhibition, along with maps and texts to convey the idea of his walks. Long has also made work using his own finger and hand prints on tree sections, driftwood, and other materials that he has collected, a number of which are on display for the first time. Long has also made a new large cross-shaped sculpture in Cornish slate in the gardens at the rear of the Gallery. Scottish National Gallery until 21st October.


Temptation In Eden: Lucas Cranach's 'Adam And Eve' is the first exhibition in England devoted to the work of Lucas Cranach the Elder, Germany's greatest Renaissance artist. Eve's temptation of Adam was a subject which was ideally suited to Cranach's gifts as a portrayer of landscape, animals and the female nude, and to which neither Protestant nor Catholic theologians could object, combining devotional meaning with pictorial elegance and invention. Over 50 depictions of this subject survive by Cranach and his workshop, and this is arguably the most beautiful, beguiling and inventive. The painting is particularly admired for its treatment of the human figure and for the profusion of finely painted details, including rich menagerie of birds and animals, and profusion of vegetation. It is shown together with Cranach's associated paintings, possibly painted to be viewed as a group, 'Adam and Eve', 'Apollo and Diana', 'Cupid Complaining to Venus', and 'A Faun and his Family', for the first time in several hundred years. A number of animal studies are also displayed, to show the complex processes that went into transforming these real beasts into their idealised representation. These drawings, together with engravings and woodcuts, offer a unique opportunity to consider Cranach's powers of observation and story telling, as well as his skills as a graphic artist, qualities that also characterise his paintings. A further section of the exhibition examines how the painting was made, revealing changes and refinements introduced during its execution. The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery at Somerset House, until 23rd September.

Cult Fiction explores the reciprocal relationship between comics and art. Featuring the work of 16 contemporary artists, including Raymond Pettibon and Marcel Dzama, and 12 leading comics artists and graphic novelists, including Killoffer and Posy Simmonds, the exhibition explores links between the two genres. The visual language of comics and graphic novels has influenced many contemporary artists who have used its conventions of pictorial narrative and fusion of word and image. Fine artists Adam Dant, Kerry James Marshall and Olivia Plender have published their own comics, while Glen Baxter and David Shrigley employ a combination of word and image in forms that are reminiscent of popular cartoons. The recurring themes and characters typical of comics iconography can be seen in Laylah Ali's cast of bowling-ball headed characters, while Kerstin Kartscher and Paul McDevitt employ graphic elements from comic book imagery to create works that suggest narrative without using words. The comics artists are mainly from the generation of independent author-draughtsmen whose subject matter tends to be autobiographical, offbeat and sometimes transgressive. In her 'New York Diary', Canadian Julie Doucet portrays herself in vulnerable and compromising situations, exemplifying the comic medium's ability to communicate difficult emotional themes, the realities of life within a war zone are charted in Joe Sacco's 'Palestine', while everyday characters such as R Crumb and Harvey Pekar's file clerk in 'American Splendor' and Daniel Clowes' misfit 'David Boring .../…' become unlikely heroes of everyday tales. Nottingham Castle until 16th September.

Crafting Beauty In Modern Japan celebrates 50 years of the annual Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition, and features some of the most beautiful Japanese art crafts produced in the last half century, ranging from traditional to ultra-modern. Each of the 112 works on display has been created by a different leading artist, many of whom have been designated by the Japanese government as 'Living National Treasures'. The exhibition is divided into six sections, each featuring a different medium: ceramic, textile, lacquer, metal, wood and bamboo, and other crafts, such as cut gold leaf, glass and dolls. Among the highlights are 'Genesis', a highly refined porcelain bowl with vivid, glass-like coloured glazes by Tokuda Yasokichi III, and a rugged stoneware rectangular plate in black Bizen style made by Isezaki Jun; a woven silk kimono 'Path Leading into the Woods' by Murakami Ryoko, and 'Melody' by Matsubara Yoshichi, a design of fans scattered all over the wearer's body, a very modern adaptation of the traditional technique of indigo stencil dyeing; Kuroda Tatsuaki's ornamental red lacquer box with flowing design; Osumi Yukie's vase 'Sea Breeze' in hammered silver, and Nakagawa Mamoru's vase with inlaid stripe design in copper and silver alloy; Katsushiro Soho's basket 'Shallow Stream' in split bamboo, and Nakagawa Kiyotsugu's box decorated with a complex mosaic inlay in ancient sacred cedar wood; and Ishida Wataru's covered glass container with pate de verre, 'White Age (Age 99)'. British Museum until 21st October.

The State Rooms Of Buckingham Palace, which are used to receive and entertain guests of State on ceremonial and official occasions, have once again been thrown open to visitors. They are furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude; sculpture by Canova and Chantrey; Sevres porcelain; and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. This year, the special display celebrates the Queen and Prince Philip's diamond wedding anniversary, featuring the bridal gown designed by Norman Hartnell, in ivory silk, with a 15 foot train, decorated with crystals and over 10,000 seed pearls, satin shoes made by Edward Rayne, and a diamond tiara and pearl necklace, together with the bridesmaid's dresses and Prince Philip's dress uniform. Accompanying these is a selection from over 2,500 wedding gifts the couple received, including the 'Girls of Great Britain' tiara and 'County of Cornwall' diamond and ruby bracelet from Queen Mary, a Steuben glass bowl and cover engraved with a merry-go-round from President Truman, a Cartier diamond and platinum necklace from the Nizam of Hyderabad, a pair of Meissen chocolate pots from Pope Pius XII, a gold and jade necklace from King Farouk of Egypt, and an intricate piece of lace woven from yarn spun by Mahatma Ghandi. Visitors can also enjoy a walk in the 39 acre garden with its 19th century lake, which provides a haven for wild life in the centre of London, and offers views of the Garden Front of the Palace. Buckingham Palace until 28th September.

The Dawn Of Colour celebrates the centenary of the Autochrome and the birth of colour photography. Whilst the fundamental principles were understood by the 1860s, colour photography remained elusive, and the search for a practical process of colour photography became photography's 'Holy Grail'. This exhibition reveals how several pioneers succeeded in making colour photographs but their processes were complicated and impractical. Photographic plates of the time were sensitive only to certain colours, and only when 'panchromatic' plates, sensitive to all colours were introduced, was the way clear for the invention of the first practicable method of colour photography - the Autochrome process - by Auguste and Louis Lumiere. Best known as film pioneers with their invention of the Cinematographe in 1895, they had also been experimenting with colour photography for several years. Autochrome plates are covered in microscopic red, green and blue-violet coloured potato starch grains, and when the photograph is taken, light passes through these colour filters to the photographic emulsion. Along with the search for, and explanation of, the process, the exhibition features Autochromes by famous photographers, such as Henry Essenhigh Corke, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Etheldreda Janet Laing, Mervyn Joseph Pius OGorman, John Cimon Warburg and Lionel de Rothchild, as well as examples by anonymous amateurs, covering a wide range of subjects - portraiture, still-life, travel and documentary photography. National Media Museum, Bradford until 23rd September.

Dutch Portraits: The Age Of Rembrandt And Frans Hals surveys the unprecedented range and variety of painted portraiture in the Netherlands of the 17th century, and gives insights into the fashion, occupations and ambitions of the merchants and entrepreneurs - the newly emerged middle class elite. To establish and reinforce their social position, the bourgeoisie regularly commissioned portraits to commemorate the important moments in their lives: births, marriages, and professional and civic appointments, and artists were forced to find new solutions in portrait painting to satisfy the evolving demands of their clientele. This exhibition comprises around 60 works, all painted between 1599 and 1683, including 9 by Rembrandt and 12 by Frans Hals, who were the greatest masters, but tens, if not hundreds, of other painters also worked in this genre, and paintings by 29 of these are also featured. Exhibits range from small portraits meant for the private home, to much larger portraits for and about the public sphere. Among the highlights are Rembrandt's 'The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp' and 'The Syndics'; Frans Hals portrait celebrating the wedding of the wealthy merchant couple Abraham Massa and Beatrix van der Laen; the family portraits 'Willem Kerckhoven and his Family' by Jan Mijtens and 'The Twins Clara and Aelbert de Bray' by Salomon de Bray; and the large scale group portraits of members of charitable institutions and civic guards, 'Loef Vredericx' by Thomas de Keyser and 'The Meagre Company' by Frans Hals and Peter Codde. National Gallery until 16th September.


Spirit & Life: Masterpieces Of Islamic Art features over 165 rare Islamic painted miniatures, glass, metalwork, jewels, plates, vases and manuscripts (many of which took a lifetime to complete) from the collection of the Aga Khan, never before displayed in Britain. Highlights include: probably the earliest extant manuscript of the Canon of Medicine of Ibn Sina, used in Europe and the Middle East as the standard medical textbook for over 500 years; a folio from the 'Houghton' Shahnama, decorated with 258 miniatures, attributable to almost all of the major Persian artists of the first half of the 16th century, one of the finest illustrated manuscripts of any period; a page from the Blue Qur'an, a wonder of Islamic calligraphy created in the early 10th century; a dervish's begging bowl, from the end of the 16th century, made in the form of a boat, with a wide band of elegant inscriptions in Persian and several bands of floral interlace decoration; an 11th century bird incense burner, a masterpiece of medieval bronze casting, with pierce work decoration; a late 10th century Egyptian lustre jar, decorated with knotting or braiding cables and foliated kufic calligraphy; three folios from the Akhlaq-i Nasiri, a philosophical treatise dealing with ethics, social justice and politics from medieval Iran, uniquely illustrated with 17 full page miniatures; and one of the most sumptuous and rarest examples of a complete robe from the Mongol period, originating in Central Asia in the late 13th or early 14th century. The Ismaili Centre, South Kensington, London until 31st August.

Prunella Clough is one of the most interesting and significant modernist British painters of the post war period, who devoted her career to finding beauty in unconsidered aspects of the urban and industrial landscape. She scrutinised the surfaces and textures of the contemporary environment, transforming subjects such as lorries and factory yards, the detritus of street and gutter, and the bright colours of plastics into images of compelling mystery and beauty. The exhibition comprises over 30 works from across Clough's career, with a group of her early social realist paintings contrasted with a group of abstracted canvasses from her better known later work. The juxtaposition demonstrates that Clough's preoccupation with abstract formal qualities - composition, colour and texture - while in the foreground in the later works, also clearly underpinned her earlier, figurative work. Among the highlights are early paintings such as 'Fishermen in a Boat', 'Lowestoft Harbour', 'Lorry with Ladder' and 'Man Entering Boiler House' and the late abstracted works 'Samples', 'Spin Off' and 'Disused Land'. At the heart of the show is an archive display of Clough's photographs, which gives an insight into her complex and layered working process, and her very particular vision of the modern world. Tate Britain until 27th August.

Global Cities looks at the changing faces of ten dynamic international cities: Cairo, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Tokyo. Exploring each city through five thematic lenses - speed, size, density, diversity and form - the exhibition draws on comparative socio-economic and geographic data originally assembled by the London School of Economics for the 10th International Architecture Exhibition at the 2006 Venice Biennale. This unique show presents existing films, videos and photographs by artists and architects Atelier Bow Wow, Huseyin Alptekin, Francis Alys, Laurence Bonvin, Osman Bozkurt, Hala Elkoussy, Kendell Geers, Dryden Goodwin, Andreas Gursky, Naoya Hatakeyama, Francesco Jodice, Eva Koch, Maha Maamoun, Neutral, Scott Peterman, Melanie Smith, Dean Sameshima, Guy Tillim, Paromita Vohra and Yang Zhenzhong, to offer subjective and intimate interpretations of urban conditions in all ten cities. It addresses major issues facing some of the most influential urban centres around the world, from migration to mobility, from social integration to sustainable growth. The exhibition uses London as a touchstone for comparison, and special commissions by Nigel Coates, Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher, Fritz Haeg, OMA*AMO/Rem Koolhaas, Nils Norman and Richard Wentworth explore the local context through issues such as sustainability, public space and social inclusion. Tate Modern until 27th August.