News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th September 2004


Space Of Encounter: The Architecture Of Daniel Libeskind is the first exhibition in the UK of the work of the architect who has produced some of the most controversial buildings of our time. With their expressive forms and highly developed symbolism, Libeskind's designs consistently stir debate among both critics and the public. This exhibition explores Libeskind's architectural vision through a display of 16 key projects, including his master plan for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site in New York, shown with specially commissioned 2 metre high illuminated model; Denver Art Museum, which is a series of geometric shards; Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, an image of the world shattered into fragments; the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the building that established his reputation; and the proposed Spiral extension to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Previously unseen architectural models, drawings, plans and elevations are combined with film and slide projections in a display conceived in close collaboration with Studio Libeskind. Completed and unrealised projects are shown side by side with those undergoing construction, underscoring the consistency of Libeskind's architectural philosophy. Also included in the exhibition are Chamberworks and Micromegas, a series of intricate drawings, and costume and set designs for the Deutsche Oper Berlin production of Saint Francis Of Assisi. Barbican Art Gallery until 23rd January.

Toulouse-Lautrec And The Art Of The French Poster recreates an exhibition held in London in 1894 highlighting the fashion for poster art in Paris in the late nineteenth century. Much of the material passed into the hands of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and this is the first chance to assess its importance since 1894. Remarkably, the selection by the original organisers is more or less the same as would be made today, with Henri deToulouse-Lautrec, Jules Cheret, Grasset, Steinlen, Bonnard and Vallotton featuring strongly, plus a mixture of more commercial images to provide an overall background. The poster had come of age as an art form from the late 1880s onwards, facilitated by the advent of modern colour lithography - the printing of large coloured images from stones pulled on a lithographic press. This led to an explosion of imaginative 'high class' imagery, whereby every day products were sold through coloured images created by some of the greatest artists alive. The key figure is now recognised to be Toulouse-Lautrec, though contemporaries favoured Cheret, and would not have realised the long term artistic significance of artists such as Bonnard and Vallotton. The exhibition stresses the role of Toulouse-Lautrec by including his work as a general printmaker, as well as examples of the work of Mucha and other non-French artists, to show the wider field in Paris at the time. The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle until 13th March.

Sudan: Ancient Treasures focuses on recent archaeological discoveries that highlight the rich and diverse cultures that flourished in the forgotten civilisation of the Nile, long eclipsed by its better known neighbour, Egypt. The exhibition features some of the finest Sudanese objects produced during all phases of human settlement from the Palaeolithic through to the Islamic period, roughly 200,000 years ago to AD 1885. The Kushite sites at Jebel Barkal, Meroe and Naqa, dating from the 8th century BC into the 4th century AD, feature impressive monuments, temples, palaces and even pyramids - there are more pyramids in Sudan than there are in Egypt. Key objects on display include large stone sculptures - massive lions devouring bound prisoners, and statues of Egyptian gods - gold statues of Kushite kings, pottery, musical instruments, gold jewellery, wall paintings, and inscriptions in Egyptian, Meroitic, Greek and Arabic. Maps, plans and photographs help to set the objects in their archaeological and environmental context. The display reveals the many different aspects of Sudanese history, from the worldly power of the Kerma kings - accompanied to their death by 400 human sacrifices - to the humble graves of Christian rulers, and from the grandiose temples built by the Egyptian Pharaohs to the churches and mosques of later periods. The exhibition ends with a look at the current major threat to Sudan's archaeology by the construction of a new dam that will flood 170 kilometres of the Nile Valley. British Museum until 9th January.


Christopher Dresser: Design Revolution is a retrospective marking the centenary of the death of the man who was Britain's first professional, independent, industrial designer. Far ahead of his time, Dresser pioneered a new modern style, creating objects for the emerging consumer culture, many of which have become design classics. Dresser worked across a broad range of industries, and the exhibition displays over 200 objects in metalwork, furniture, ceramics, textiles, wallpaper and cast iron, together with other watercolour designs. Among the highlights are a group of geometric teapots designed for James Dixon and Sons, an 'Egyptian' chair of ebonized wood, and a jardiniere made of riveted bands of different metals. From the 1850s to the 1870s, Dresser was unique in Europe, embracing the potential of the machine age to produce beautiful designs efficiently. He created designs for more than 50 manufacturers, including, ceramics for Wedgwood and Minton, metalwork for Coalbrookdale and carpets for Brintons. Dresser made an extended visit to Japan promoting British manufactures in 1876, where he visited artists, metal works and potteries. On his return to England, greatly influenced by the simplicity of what he had seen, Dresser's style was transformed, and he designed minimal, sleek ceramic and metalwork pieces, which are among his most important creations. From then onwards, most of his designs bore his signature, establishing his name as a brand and assuring consumers they were buying 'good taste' - the Terence Conran of his age. Victoria & Albert Museum until 5th December..

Mirror - Christoph Girardet And Matthias Muller is a group of collaborative and solo works by the artists who specialise in creating montages of Hollywood clips and found television footage to suggest what might be going on behind the scenes. 'Mirror' is a new CinemaScope film presented as a double screen projection, inspired by the work of director Michelangelo Antonioni, which creates an atmosphere of 'the in-between' of belonging and isolation: a woman and a man are guests at an evening party - a love affair evaporates, the images shift, objects and people disappear and recompose. 'Beacon' similarly evokes 'the in-between', through the romantic connotations of the sea, as container of history, exotic underworld, and means of escape and travel, by combining travelogue footage and feature film scene settings into a single, imaginary locale. 'Play' is a montage of audiences, in which the onscreen action can only be seen reflected in their facial expressions and gestures, individual behaviour condenses into collective behaviour, and the event is transferred from the stage to the auditorium, so audience members become the actors in an unpredictable drama. In addition, two individual works, Girardet's 'Half Second Hand' and Muller's 'Promises', can be seen at night on the gallery's projection window. Site Gallery, Sheffield until 16th October.

Timeframes: Lodge Jeapes McGhie - TV Title Pioneers salutes the work of three BBC designers, who played a crucial role in transforming titles of television programmes, from little more than silent film captions, into a creative art. In the 1960s, Bernard Lodge, Alan Jeapes and Charles McGhie were the first to realise the potential of moving graphic sequences combined with sound. In 30 seconds they were able to capture the mood of the programme and engage the viewers. The exhibition is a combination of stills, screenprints, storyboards, lightbox slides and moving images of work by Lodge: 'Dr Who', 'The Late Show', 'Tea Party' and 'Telltale'; Jeapes: 'Thorndyke', 'Famous Gossips' and 'Softly Softly'; and McGhie: 'Late Night Horror', 'Out Of The Unknown' and '13 Against Fate'. When they joined the BBC there were no rules to break, as the department consisted of signwriters who created basic handwritten captions. Lodge, Jeapes and McGhie were art college trained, and used design, animation and experimental visuals to create kinetic solutions. The results were original and creative, and their seminal work has influenced television design ever since. What Saul Bass was to film titles, these three designers were to television - they invented the genre of the title sequence. Kemistry, London EC2, 020 7729 3636, until 30th October.

The Anderson Collection Of Art Nouveau provides an opportunity to see a unique collection of objects in a complementary setting. Sir Colin and Lady Morna Anderson were passionate collectors of Art Nouveau furniture, jewellery, glassware, textiles, metalwork and ceramics in the 1960s, and amassed one of the finest private collections of its kind, which they later donated for public display. The items demonstrate the quality of craftsmanship produced on the Continent and in Great Britain around the turn of the 19th century. The collection, shown in its entirety, includes glass by Lalique and Tiffany, posters by Alphonse Mucha, ceramics by Minton and Royal Doulton and furniture by Louis Majorelle and Emile Galle. The continental Art Nouveau style developed very much in parallel with the Arts and Crafts Movement in Great Britain, and the exhibition illustrates the cross-currents between the two styles. The house in which it is shown, designed by M H Baillie Scott in 1900, is one of best surviving examples of the Arts and Crafts Movement, though the interiors clearly show the influence of Art Nouveau, from the stained glass windows that incorporate flowers and birds, to the flowing carved wooden frieze of mountain ash in the main hall. A perfect partnership. Blackwell, Bowness-on-Windermere until 3rd October.

Poo - A Natural History Of The Unmentionable tells visitors everything they ever wanted to know about poo, and more besides, with lots of disgusting details to delight kids. Based on Nicola Davies's new book of the same title, with illustrations of Neal Layton, it features everything from professional poo eaters to faecal farmers. Sensitive visitors turn away now, as there are 'interactives' which inform the senses about the different types of animal poo by recreating their smells. The exhibition examines those species whose success depends on poo, from the giant otter that uses its faeces to mark its territory, to the Egyptian vulture that eats its own poo to make itself more attractive to the opposite sex. It also shows how information about an animal such as its species, its diet and how much water it drinks, can be found from its poo. This even applies to extinct species, as the fossilised poo (coprolite) of a Tyrannosaurus rex shows it was a carnivore. Looking at disposal, the exhibition reveals that most poo gets eaten, for which the scientific name is 'coprophagy'. The most efficient coprophage is the dung beetle (of which there are over 7,000 different kinds), which is capable of finding poo before an animal has finished producing it, and in the tropics, can completely remove a normal portion of human dung within an hour. Take a pair of surgical gloves and a clothes peg for your nose. The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, Tring until 28th November.

The Queen's Working Wardrobe Memories Of Royal Occasions 1945-1972 is an exhibition of dresses on loan from The Queen, recalling some historic events and state visits from the first half of her reign. They display diverse styles and fashions, reflecting the different aspects of her life and work. The earliest is Princess Elizabeth's Auxiliary Territorial Service uniform, from when she joined the ATS during the Second World War. As Head of State, The Queen wears evening dress under her robes when she opens Parliament, and these are represented by a Norman Hartnell gown in ivory satin, with gold beading and embroidery, worn when she opened the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington in 1963. Certain occasions dictate style, and observing Papal protocol when meeting Pope John XXIII at the Vatican during a state visit to Italy in 1961, she wore a full length black lace dress, with matching veil. The Queen is equally careful in choosing outfits for lighter occasions such as a nautical blue and white suit from when she knighted yachtsman Francis Chichester at Greenwich in 1967 after his solo voyage around the world. Representing the many entertainment functions she attends, is a dramatic off-the-shoulder black velvet evening dress worn when she met Marilyn Monroe and Bridget Bardot at the Royal Film Performance of The Battle Of The River Plate in 1956. Colourful dresses are often chosen for state visits, such as an organdie evening dress with pink silk bows and embroidered with Mayflowers, the floral emblem of Nova Scotia, worn to a banquet in Halifax during her 1959 tour of Canada. Kensington Palace until July.


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, musical entertainment at Buckingham Palace is the focus of a special display in the Ball Supper Room. Historic fancy-dress costumes, musical instruments and manuscripts, photographs and souvenirs can be see in the room that has been the setting for many glittering events in the Palace's history. The star exhibit is a gilded and painted grand piano, built for and played by Queen Victoria, at whose instigation the Ball Supper Room was constructed. As part of the audio tour of the State Rooms, visitors hear the voices of performers, the sounds of the original instruments on show, and some of the music specially composed for the royal family. Among the highlights are Johann Strauss's waltz for Queen Victoria's coronation; Felix Mendelssohn's special arrangements of his Songs Without Words; and The Queen's Suite by Duke Ellington, written and performed in 1959. Visitors can also enjoy a garden walk that offers views of the Garden Front of the Palace and the 19th century lake. Buckingham Palace until 26th September.

Mariele Neudecker: Over And Over, Again And Again features recent works by the German born, British resident artist, who uses sculpture, film and photography to create representations of landscapes. She is perhaps best know for her atmospheric creations of landforms within glass vitrines - a sort of vegetarian alternative to Damien Hirst. There are two new vitrine works in this exhibition: 'There Go I' and 'Over and Over, Again and Again', commissioned by the Metrological Office. Both display jagged mountain ranges, composed of peaks and grottos covered with trees, and cloaked in the perpetual fog and snow of Neudecker's chemical compositions, very much in the tradition of the German Romantics. Another tank piece, 'I Don't Know How I Resisted The Urge To Run' is an eerie petrified forest just waiting for some Brothers Grimm fairytale to begin. 'Another Day' is a record of the simultaneous rising and setting of the sun on opposite ends of the globe - South East Australia and the Western Azores - displayed on a double sided lightbox. 'Winterreise' (A Winter's Journey) is a filmic response to Schubert's song cycle, the iconic work from the German Romantic 'Lieder' tradition. Neudecker has created a short film for each of the 24 movements, using locations based on the sixtieth degree of latitude that experience snowscaped winters: the Shetland Islands, Helsinki, Oslo and St. Petersburg. Tate St Ives until 26th September.

London Open House, the annual scheme that allows public access to architecturally interesting but usually private buildings across the capital, boasts a record number of locations this year. 585 buildings of all kinds, both historic and new, include Dulwich Picture and Courtauld Institute galleries, Royal Observatory and Science Museum Darwin Centre, Hackney Empire and Dominion theatres, St John's Smith Square and the LSO St Luke's concert halls, the Treasury and Foreign and India Office, BBC Bush House, Television Centre and White City Media Village, and Channel 4 building, Westminster Hall and Portcullis House, Foster and Partners and Richard Rogers Partnership offices, Wembley Stadium and St Pancras International construction sites, 30 St Mary Axe (the Gherkin), King's Library at the British Museum, Mansion House, Reform Club, Lincoln's Inn, City Hall, Lloyds of London, and Royal Courts of Justice. There are also talks, conducted walks and other accompanying special events taking place at various locations over the course of the weekend. Last year, over 350,000 visits were made during the two days. Entrance is free, but because of limited access, a few of the buildings require prebooking. Further details and how to obtain a directory of participating buildings can be found on the London Open House web site via the link from the Other Festivals section of ExhibitionsNet. Across London on 18th and 19th September.