News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th March 2010


Henry Moore reveals the range and quality of work by the British artist who was at the forefront of progressive 20th century sculpture. Bringing together the most comprehensive selection of Henry Moore's works for a generation, the exhibition presents over 150 of his significant works, including stone sculptures, wood carvings, bronzes and drawings, with the largest number his reclining figures ever to be brought together. Moore first emerged as an artist in the wake of the First World War, in which he served on the Western Front. This exhibition emphasises the impact on his work of its historical and intellectual contexts: the trauma of war, the advent of psychoanalysis and new ideas of sexuality, and the influence of primitive art and surrealism. The show explores the defining subjects of Moore's work, including the reclining figure, showing its development over the course of his career, including threatening and sexualised works, which suggest the influence of Freud and psychoanalytical theories, such as 'Reclining Figure'; the iconic mother and child, ranging from the nurturing bond of 'Mother and Child' to 'Suckling Child'; abstract compositions such as 'Composition'; the influence of world cultures through his primitive masks and works such as 'Girl with Clasped Hands'; and seminal drawings of London during the Blitz, the depictions of rows of sleeping figures lying huddled in claustrophobic tunnels, capturing a sense of profound humanitarian anguish and the fragility of the human body, which helped to build the popular perception of the Blitz. Tate Britain until 8th August.

Gallery Of Costume has reopened after a 2 year, £1.3m refurbishment, which included the creation of new gallery space, a lecture room and education workshop, and restoration work to the Grade II listed Georgian building. The collection comprises more than 20,000 pieces, covering clothes, shoes and accessories, including some incredibly rare, historical items. It charts the history of clothes for men, women and children, from 17th century work-wear, to the designs of modern fashion icons, including Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes, Gianni Versace, Philip Treacy and Alexander McQueen. Many of the clothes represent high fashion of the day, while other, much rarer items represent the basic but equally interesting dress of working people, such as the clogs and shawls of Lancashire weavers. The gallery's latest acquisition, a fuchsia pink Givenchy couture dress designed for and worn by Audrey Hepburn in 1967, is on display for the first time, alongside one-offs by fashion houses such as Hardy Amies, Balenciaga, Chanel, Courreges, Worth, and Yves Saint Laurent. The gallery now has space for temporary exhibitions, the first of which is Suffragettes To Supermodels, celebrating a century of fashion from 1910 to the present day. Platt Hall Museum, Rusholme, Manchester, Suffragettes To Supermodels until 4th September.

Paul Sandby RA (1731 - 1809): Picturing Britain celebrates one of the Royal Academy of Arts' Foundation Members, regarded as the 'father of English watercolour'. The innovations and subject matter that Paul Sandby introduced into the practice of watercolour painting in Britain had a profound influence on artists of successive generations, including Thomas Girtin and JMW Turner. However, from the mid 19th century, Sandby's work slipped into obscurity. This exhibition of some 80 works highlights the range and variety of his techniques and subject matter, from exquisite watercolour depictions of the British countryside, from Surrey to Scotland by way of Wales, to print series of street vendors, which capture everyday life in 18th century London with Hogarthian wit. Through his extensive tours, initially as a military draughtsman and later as a professional artist, Sandby pioneered landscape painting. He both sought new sites and portrayed familiar ones with a fresh eye, capturing the diverse nature of the landscape of his day, and provides an important record of a country experiencing rapid social, economic and political change. The exhibition focuses on the finest examples of Sandby's work from a career which spanned 50 years, including the majestic landscape 'The Rainbow', and the depiction of 'Part of Wenlock Abbey in Shropshire', together with works which demonstrate the exceptional range of his creative output, from maps of North Britain (one of which is over 3m in length), to paintings, prints and his set of 12 London Cries, including the curiously titled 'My Pretty Little Gimy Tarters'. Royal Academy of Arts until 13th June.


Painting History: Delaroche And Lady Jane Grey examines Paul Delaroche's 'The Execution of Lady Jane Grey' in the context of his historical paintings, particularly the scenes from English history, which made his reputation. The exhibition features 7 of Delaroche's major paintings, including 'The Princes in the Tower', 'Young Christian Martyr', 'Strafford on his way to Execution' and 'Cromwell and Charles I'. Displayed alongside, are Delaroche's preparatory drawings for Lady Jane, and comparative paintings and prints by his contemporaries, including Eugene Lami, Claude Jacquand and François-Marius Granet. In post-revolutionary France, artists began to combine monarchist sympathies with a Romantic interest in English literature and history, and like many of his peers, Delaroche was preoccupied with the themes of usurpation and martyrdom. The exhibition also considers Delaroche's historical paintings in light of his close relationship with the theatre. From the 1820s, there was an increasing tendency in French theatre to draw on pictorial forms, and for plays to be divided into so-called 'tableaux' as well as acts. This had a profound influence on Delaroche, who was also keenly receptive to the spatial possibilities offered by stage craft. Meanwhile, his work lent itself to dramatic recreation, and on several occasions, his paintings were represented on the stage.

A Masterpiece Recovered: Delaroche's Charles I Insulted, an accompanying exhibit, is Delaroche's recently recovered monumental painting 'Charles I Insulted by Cromwell's Soldiers', on display for the first time in recent history. The work was damaged by shrapnel during the Blitz, after which it was rolled up and evacuated to Scotland, where it has remained in storage. Presently in the process of conservation, the painting retains its war wounds, but Delaroche's scene remains entirely legible and has lost none of its emotive intensity. National Gallery until 23rd May.

Amber: Treasures From Poland offers a unique opportunity to see some fascinating and beautiful artefacts from the Polish national collection of works in amber. This exhibition introduces amber from prehistory to natural history, looking at how people related to amber from the Stone Age onwards, and at the techniques and skill of the craftsmen who created some of the finest examples of amber art ever seen. From the earliest times, the southern shores of the Baltic Sea have been associated with the gathering, trading and working of amber. It is a natural substance found in many varieties of colours and forms, which has been used by man since the ice sheets retreated 10,000 years ago. Amber is used around the world for medical or spiritual wellbeing, for adornment or decoration, and for scientific reasons. Most exhibits in this show are from Malbork Castle, which houses the national collection of Baltic amber artefacts, comprising some 2,000 items. Also included are works from the Gdansk Amber Museum, as well as a collection of insects trapped in amber and some historical amber artefacts from the resident collection. Highlights include the famous Gierłowska lizard, the recently discovered piece of amber containing an almost complete lizard; the 17th century Michael Redlin Casket, constructed of oval plates with eglomise'e technique engravings of ocean scenes; a 17th century home altar, with a relief illustrating the Last Supper; and the 18th century Poniatowski cabinet, containing engraved scenes and inscriptions relating to the most significant events from the life of Stanislaw August. Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, until 17th April.

War, Plague And Fire is a new gallery telling the story of London from the accession of Elizabeth I, through the ravages of the English Civil Wars, to the cataclysmic disasters of the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666. During this turbulent period, London expanded beyond the bounds of the Roman city wall and, through the enterprise of trading companies, began its transformation into a world class city. Displays of artifacts and documents bring alive the key events of the period: the Civil War and the execution of King Charles I; the Great Plague, which killed around 100,000 Londoners; and the Great Fire, which destroyed a third of London in just 5 days. Highlights include: a detailed model of the Rose Theatre, where Shakespeare performed; a collection of delftware pottery; two printing plates of the Copperplate map - London's earliest known map; the tunic believed to have been worn by Charles I at his beheading, complete with blood stains; Oliver Cromwell's death mask; a collection of Jacobean jewels; documents and objects from the Great Plague; evocative paintings of the Great Fire; various objects melted by the heat of the Fire, including a glass window and a pottery jar; and back on display after three years refurbishment, with new fibre optics, visual and sound effects, the Great Fire Experience, the 96 old model that is one of the museum's most loved exhibits. Museum of London, continuing.

Irving Penn Portraits is the largest British exhibition ever devoted to portraiture by one of the greatest photographers of his generation. It includes over 120 prints from Irving Penn's seven decade career, ranging from his early portraits for Vogue in 1944 to some of his last work, including previously unexhibited portraits of Lee Krasner, Edith Piaf, Harold Pinter and Cecil Beaton. The exhibition is a survey of Penn's portraits of major cultural figures, including Truman Capote, Salvador Dalì, Marlene Dietrich, Christian Dior, T S Eliot, Duke Ellington, Alfred Hitchcock, Nicole Kidman, Willem de Kooning, Jessye Norman, Rudolf Nureyev, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, Tennessee Williams, Ingmar Bergman, Arthur Miller, Louise Bourgeois and Woody Allen (in disguise as Charlie Chaplin). Penn began his career as a photographer in the 1940s, making portraits that were a groundbreaking stylistic shift from existing conventions of portrait photography. In contrast to his contemporaries, who often used complex or dramatic sets, or showed sitters in their working environments, Penn worked in a studio that was almost empty, using simulated daylight and only the simplest props. From the 1950s Penn began to photograph many of his subjects close up, gradually eliminating the visible framework of the studio, resulting in a greater emphasis on gesture and expression. As time when on, Penn moved into even more intense head and shoulder studies. In addition to individual portraits, the show features some of Penn's celebrated group portraits, including the 1967 photograph Rock Groups, which captures Janis Joplin and her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, alongside the Grateful Dead, and his photograph of Ellsworth Kelly, Chuck Close, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Kenneth Noland. National Portrait Gallery until 6th June.

Goya's Prison: The Year Of Despair, examines work from the period in the artist's life which became a significant turning point for him. Following a severe illness in 1792, Goya convalesced in Andalusia, living with wine exporter and private collector, Sebastian Martinez, an enthusiast of English painters, such as Reynolds, whose work Goya was able to study. During this period of recuperation, Goya produced a set of small cabinet paintings on tin plate that were to define the rest of his career. In painting this series of pictures, Goya allowed himself to produce images that were of personal interest, rather than those dictated by the restrictions imposed by his patrons. The subjects were diverse: six bullfighting scenes, a shipwreck, a raging inferno, a murderous stagecoach holdup, a travelling theatre, a lunatic asylum, and the inside of a prison, which probably best conveyed his state of mind. This series of small works became the tinplate templates for much of his subsequent work. In these works Goya discovered his niche, whether his former patrons liked it or not. This shift away from the huge official tapestry commissions to smaller and more intimate works was instrumental in restoring his reputation. The exhibition explores the story behind the painting 'The Interior of a Prison', with reference to other pictures in the cabinet series. Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, until 11th April.

Ron Arad: Restless is a retrospective of the work of the internationally acclaimed London based maverick, variously described as a designer, architect and artist. Spanning three decades, the exhibition traces the development of Ron Arad's designs from his early post-punk approach, assembling works from readymade parts, to his technologically advanced sculptural objects made of highly polished metals. Bringing together over 120 works, the exhibition features some of Arad's most celebrated pieces, including 'Rover Chair', a car seat salvaged from a scrap yard mounted on a steel frame, that famously caught the eye of Jean Paul Gaultier; 'Well-Tempered Chair', a reinterpretation of the overstuffed club chair using four thin sheets of tempered steel bent and held together by wing nuts; 'Reinventing the Wheel', a bookcase inspired by a children's toy, featuring a globe floating inside a sphere, with a wheel-within-a-wheel construction, keeping the shelves level as it is rolled around; and 'Lolita', a chandelier made up of 1050 LED lights embedded within 2,100 crystals, which has its own mobile phone number, so text messages can appear at the top of the chandelier and wind down the ribbon curves, creating the impression that it is slightly spinning. Architectural projects featured include the rotating mountain top restaurant and gallery Les Diablarets in Gstaad, Swizerland; the recently opened Mediacite shopping complex in Liege, Belgium; and the Design Museum in Holon, Israel. Barbican Gallery until 16th May.


Warriors Of The Plains: 200 Years Of Native North American Honour And Ritual explores the world of Native North American warfare and ritual. The exhibition focuses on the material culture of Native North American Indians of the Plains between 1800 and the present, and the importance of the objects in a social and ceremonial context. Men of these tribes were expected to join a 'warrior society', a social, political and ritual group that engaged in warfare and organised ceremonial life. The societies played a prominent role in battles, offering members the opportunity to gain honours through individual acts of bravery such stealing horses, capturing women, and taking scalps during war raids, but also had a rich ritual life that was marked by a strong sense of spirituality. In their ceremonies society members made use of objects such as pipes, rattles and headdresses, as these were significant to their shared ideas of ritual and honour. The exhibition includes examples of feather headdresses, shields, moccasins, painted hides, scalps, pipes, tomahawks, traditional and contemporary costumes, and ceremonial face painting. Although many of these items seem initially familiar from popular culture, the exhibition uncovers the deeper ritual significance of these iconic objects. The legacy of the warrior societies is also examined, revealing how crucial they are in the maintenance of tribal identity among Plains Indians today. British Museum until 5th April.

Sargent, Sickert, Spencer focuses on three of the most original painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although at first glance the lives and careers of John Singer Sargent, Walter Sickert and Stanley Spencer appear disparate, this exhibition shows that their lives and careers intersected in a number of ways. Comprising over 70 works, from landscapes and portraiture, to interiors and nudes, and including little seen sketches and studies, the show examines what divided these painters stylistically, and what united them artistically. The exhibition explores a number of themes: Artists On The Move: with images of locations as diverse as Sargent's Jerusalem, Corfu, Sicily and Majorca, Sickert's Paris, Dieppe and London and Spencer's Sarajevo, with particular focus upon Sargent and Sickert's views of Venice; War Zones, with depictions of soldiers and military life by Sargent and Spencer, and their friends and associates, including Henry Tonks and Muirhead Bone; Music, Music Halls And Theatres, surveying Sickert's images of music and performance, in Paris, London and Dieppe; Landscapes, from Sargent's 'Olives in Corfu' to Spencer's 'Landscape in North Wales'; Interiors And The Nude, with their frequently unsettling depictions of nude female models, such as Sickert's 'Mornington Crescent Nude' and Spencer's 'Self-Portrait with Patricia Preece'; and God And Love, examining Spencer's overarching themes, in such visionary works as 'Love Among the Nations' and 'Love on the Moor'. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, until 5th April.

Suburbia looks at how public transport helped to create the myths and identity of suburbia, and how it has featured in the cultural fabric of London over the last 100 years. The exhibition examines how transport shaped the suburbs, and celebrates suburban lifestyle, architecture, design and popular culture. Previously unseen posters, photographs, early publicity material, signs and maps give a historic context, supported by film and interviews with suburbanites past and present. This display complements the permanent gallery that tells the story of the early 20th century Suburban Dream. The look of the suburbs is explored through images of domestic and commercial architecture and gardens, shown alongside pictures of the railway and Underground stations built to serve them. The show charts the changing building styles that define the suburban experience - along with film, drawings, plans, 'before and after' photographs, and recently acquired toys and games. It also reveals how many Tube stations got their names. The tricks of the trade of estates are highlighted in a section focused on property advertising, together with responses by cartoonists of the day to these early marketing techniques. A suburban lifestyle section looks at defining influences such as fashion, West End shopping, interior design, pastimes, hobbies, music, television and film. London Transport Museum until 31st March.