News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th February 2000


The Ballroom at Buckingham Palace 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.

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.

Picture Yourself In The Year 2000 gives everyone the opportunity to join the ranks of celebrities who have visited this charity photo booth, had their picture taken and recorded a message for the millennium (remember that?). So it's Tom Cruise (must have had the seat wound right up or we would only have seen his forehead), Catherine Zeta Jones (can you become pregnant from photo booth seats?) - and now you. National Theatre until 26th February.


Painted Illusions: The Art of Cornelius Gijsbrechts id 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.

Yayoi Kusama, who has been described as the Japanese Andy Warhol, receives her first major exhibition in this country, with work from her entire forty year career. She explores her obsessions of food, nets, dots and sex, in paintings, collages, watercolours, sculptures, performance events and installations, including an entire yellow room emblazoned with black polka dots. The centrepiece is a recreation of her 1966 work Driving Image "in which the surface of mannequins and household furnishings are entirely covered in her vibrant painted signature patterns and placed on a bed of broken macaroni". Ah, the '60's. Don't say you haven't been warned. Serpentine Gallery until 19th March.

Princes of Victorian Bohemia is a series of strikingly original photographic images created in the 1860s by the painter David Wilkie Wynfield. They are mostly portraits of his Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries, and his subjects include Millais, Holman Hunt and Manet. Wynfield used a narrow depth-of-field, dramatic close-ups, and historical costume to model his sitters in the image of the courtiers and noblemen painted by the Old Masters. He was one of the first photographers to use "soft-focus" as a means to create artistic photography, and his works inspired the rather better known Julia Margaret Cameron. National Portrait Gallery until 14th May.

Audible Light is a series of installations and environments created by eight artists, with backgrounds in music, performance, film, video and architecture, from Britain and Europe. Each explores sonic illumination - the artificial generation and interaction of sound and light. Some pieces are interactive, and are affected by the movement of the viewer. Museum Of Modern Art Oxford until 19th March. 01865 722733.

Tempus: The Art Of Time is another millennial exhibition exploring time in art and science, from Ancient Egyptian sundials to thermoluminescence testing. Through calendars and diaries, paintings and the written word, it examines how cultures and civilisations down the ages have striven to record, measure or represent this elusive concept. Like the Royal Observatory, Cambridge can claim real credentials for staging such an exhibition, in their case thanks to Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Stephen Hawking. There is an accompanying programme of school and adult projects and events. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge until 30th April.


Heaven: An Exhibition Which Will Break Your Heart brings together a group of international artists to reveal how religious and spiritual experience has changed this century. Celebrities and supermodels are now idolised and adored as once were saints and angels, a tropical beach resort has become most people's view of paradise, and we worship at the graves of the famous, at rock concerts and fashion shows. Jeff Koons' sickly sculpture of Michael Jackson, in a style usually associated with porcelain shepherdesses placed on tasteless mantelpieces, provides one of the show's modern icons. The Tate Gallery Liverpool until 27th February.

London Eats Out tells the story of dining in the capital from 1500 to the present day - a gastronomic time trip lasting five hundred years, featuring fast food from street sellers to sushi bars. It explores the etiquette, style and social distinctions of the capital's eateries. There is a full programme of accompanying events, including Tastings of punch, chocolate and tea, Interviews with leading London chefs, Lectures on the historical rivalries of coffee, tea and chocolate, and Demonstrations of how to cook celebration food. The museum is now featuring late night opening. Museum Of London until 27th February.

Eileen Agar was born one hundred years ago in Buenos Aires, and on returning to Britain she retained a Spanish air of poetic flamboyance. Instead of settling for suburban respectability, she became a leading member of the surrealist movement, being the only female British artist to be included alongside Picasso and Miro in the 1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition. This show includes 120 paintings, collages, photographs, found objects - and some very strange hats. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh until 27th February.