News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th April 2013


Sebastiao Salgado: Genesis is the 3rd long-term photographic exploration of contemporary global issues by the Brazilian photojournalist. This epic exhibition is the culmination of 8 years work, exploring 32 countries, and features 216 of Sebastiao Salgado's black and white documentary photographs. They capture some of the furthest and wildest corners of the world, drawing together images of landscapes and wildlife, alongside indigenous communities that continue to live in accordance with their ancestral traditions and cultures, showing rare insights into their lands. The images chart a journey to rediscover the mountains, deserts and oceans, the animals and peoples that have so far escaped the imprint of modern society. They present a pictorial depiction of the lands and lives of a still pristine planet, portraying the breathtaking beauty of a lost world that somehow survives, revealing what is in peril, and what must be saved. The display embraces the dark heat of the Brazilian rainforest, the icy light of Siberia, an Ecuadorian dawn, and dusk in the Galapagos, and range from the cold of a Patagonian winter to the heat of the Sahara. During the years in which Salgado travelled around the world to produce this collection of images, he often stayed with the people he photographed, and many of the places represented are important research areas particularly for studying the variety of species biodiversity. The exhibition follows the 5 themes: Sanctuaries, Planet South, Africa, Northern Spaces, and Amazonia and Pantanal. Natural History Museum until 8th September.

Bellini, Botticelli, Titian…500 Years Of Italian Art traces the transition from religious to non religious art, and explores themes that cross the centuries. The exhibition of over 40 paintings, displayed chronologically, includes works of striking quality and originality covering the period from 1400 to 1900, some of which have not been on public display for more than a century. It includes landscapes, portraits and devotional works from the Renaissance, including Giovanni Bellini's 'Madonna and Child', Sandro Botticelli's 'The Annunciation', Bartolomeo Veneto's 'Sta Catherine', Titian's 'The Adulteress brought before Christ' and 'Head of a Man' (both originally one large painting), Cavaliere d'Arpino's 'The Archangel Michael and the Rebel Angels', Carlo Dolci's 'Salome', Grammatica's 'Madonna with Child and St Anne', Domenichino's 'Landscape with St Jerome', Andrea Casali's 'Triumph of Galatea', Luiga da Rios's 'Overlooking a canal', Federico Andreotti's 'The Violin Teacher', and Francesco Guardi's 'View of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice'; religious and mythological scenes by Luce Giordano and Francesco Solimena; and depictions of Vesuvius and views from Naples by Pierre-Jacques Volaire and Gaspare Vanvitelli. Compron Verney, Warwickshire, until 23rd June.

Geoffrey Farmer: The Surgeon And The Photographer is the first showing of this installation in its completed form. Constructing 365 hand-puppets from book images clipped and glued to fabric forms, Geoffrey Farmer has populated the gallery with this recently completed puppet calendar 'The Surgeon and the Photographer'. In 2009, on a rumour that a well known second-hand book store in Vancouver would soon be closing, Farmer acquired several hundred books, which he used to create the collaged forms. The figures are arranged in small and large groups, suggesting crowds or processions, portraits of days and months through the 90m long space. Each puppet is an individual character, with its own story, created in its own way - one a sketch come alive, another, an animated statue - and viewed from different angles they reveal different moods. At the end of the gallery, Farmer projects a newly commissioned, computer-controlled montage, 'Look in my Face; my name is Might-have-been; I am also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell….'. The montage is comprised of selected whole images, before being cut to construct the figures. The images are matched to a sound library and organised by both chance and predetermined categories. Farmer's process-orientated approach, which is both intuitive and research-based, draws on storytelling, dreams, popular culture, literature and theatre, influenced by the sculptural, collage and assemblage traditions of Hannah Hoch and Robert Rauschenberg. The Curve, Barbican, London until 28th July.


George Catlin: American Indian Portraits is the first exhibition in Britain of the work of the 19th century American artist, writer and showman since the 1840s. George Catlin documented Native American peoples and their cultures to serve as a record of what he believed to be a passing way of life. What he created is regarded as one of the most important records of indigenous peoples ever made. Catlin was not the only artist to embark on such a project in the 19th century, but his record is the most extensive still in existence. This exhibition comprises over 60 exhibits, including paintings, manuscripts and illustrated books. Catlin made his first Native American Indian portrait in 1826, a sketch of Seneca chief Red Jacket. He made 5 trips in the western part of the United States during the 1830s before the Native American peoples of those regions had been subsumed into the legal boundaries of the United States. The 'Indian Gallery' comprised the materials and work Catlin produced, during and inspired by those trips, which included some 500 portraits, pictures and indigenous artefacts. Catlin aimed to meet as many Indian peoples as he could and his total was around 48 different indigenous groups or 'nations' by the time the 'Indian Gallery' reached its zenith. Catlin's entrepreneurial spirit led him to tour the 'Indian Gallery' in the eastern states from 1837-39, but he failed in selling it to the United States government. He then went on to tour the gallery in Europe for the next 10 years, including exhibitions held in Britain, France and Belgium. Always needing to make financial gains from his endeavours, Catlin used brash entrepreneurial methods to promote the spectacle of the 'Indian Gallery' during its European tour. He was so successful that his record of Native Americans still dominates their representation today. National Portrait Gallery until 23rd June.

Metropolis: Reflections On The Modern City offers visions of the changing rhythms and human interactions of modern cities and urban life. The exhibition features some 35 works in a variety of media, created in the past decade by 25 artists of international standing. Among the highlights, Miao Xiaochun's monumental photographic work 'Orbit' depicts the frantic pace of Beijing, a moving landscape where vehicles and pedestrians are captured in their metropolitan lives; Dayanita Singh's 'Dream Villa' photographic series portrays a mysterious and atmospheric view of modern India, infused with light and colour; Mohamed Bourouissa's series 'Peripherique' offers scenes reflecting a carefully staged moment of physical or emotional tension set in the bleak housing estates that encircle Paris; Grazia Toderi's 'Orbit Rosse' comprises moving nocturnal images of cities superimposed to create a mesmerising and hypnotic effect; and Jochem Hendricks's 'Front Windows' depicts an anonymous looking apartment block near Frankfurt station, the silence shattered by the smashing of the windows from the inside. Other artists in the exhibition include Zhang Enli, Beat Streuli, Jitish Kallat, Semyon Faibisovich, Christiane Baumgartner, Ola Kolehmainen, Aleksandra Mir, Nicholas Provost, Matias Faldbakken, Barry McGee, Yang Zhenzhong, Cao Fei, Romauld Hazoume, Josef Robakowski and Rashid Rana. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery until 23rd June.

The Bride And The Bachelors: Duchamp With Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg And Johns examines one of the most important chapters in the history of contemporary art. The exhibition explores Marcel Duchamp's impact on four great modern artists - composer John Cage, dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, and visual artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Tracing their creative exchanges and collaborations, the show features 25 works by Duchamp, and more than 30 by Johns and Rauschenberg, as well as music by Cage and live dance performances of Cunningham choreography. Contemporary artist Philippe Parreno has devised the exhibition's mise en scene, activating time and movement within the exhibition to create a vital way of experiencing the work of the featured artists, invoking the notion of the ghost, existing between presence and absence. The varied sequence of Parreno's orchestration of live and pre-recorded sound, arranged in concert with live dance performances, enables the exhibition to change over time, creating continually fresh perspectives. Among the highlights are Duchamp's 'The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)', 'Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2)', the earliest replica of 'Fountain', and a version of 'Bottlerack' that was a present to Robert Rauschenberg; Rauschenberg's 'Bride's Folly', 'White Paintings', 'Express', and stage set 'Tantric Geography' designed for Cunningham's Travelogue; Johns's 'No' and'M'; and Johns and Cunningham's 'Walkaround Time'. Barbican Art Gallery, London, until 9th June.

Secrets Of The Royal Bed Chamber allows visitors to explore the elaborate, sometimes bizarre bedchamber rituals, unusual sleeping arrangements and uxurious excesses of the Stuart and Hanoverian courts. The exhibition reveals what really took place in the royal bedchamber, where heirs were born, marriages consummated, monarchs were struck down and died, and important affairs of state were conducted. The monarch would meet courtiers and ministers during an elaborate morning ceremony, during which the most privileged of his servants, woke, washed and dressed the King before the business of the day began. Courtiers fought for the illustrious and intimate positions to serve the bedchamber to get close to the monarch, such as the 'groom of the stool' or the 'necessary woman'. The state bedchamber became the most sought after room in the palace for the rich and the powerful, where privileged access brought honour or the king's favour. Now, for the first time, 6 examples from the world's largest and rarest collection of early state beds are presented in a display that tells the story of how and why the bedchamber became the most public and important destination in the Palace. Each bed has a dramatic, and often poignant, tale to tell. Queen Anne's magnificent velvet state bed was ordered by a dying queen in her final year, childless after many sad losses, and facing the prospect of her dynasty ending with her death. The infamous 'Warming Pan Bed', the state bed of James II's Queen, Mary of Modena, was the scene of the royal birth that sparked the quiet revolution that led to the end of the Stuart line. The unique 'travelling bed' of George II, which comes apart into 54 pieces, journeyed as far afield as his second home in Hanover and even the battlefields of Europe. The exhibition also offers a chance to view architect John Vanbrugh's Prince of Wales's Apartments, opened for the first time in 20 years. Hampton Court Palace until 3rd November.

Xu Bing: Landscape Landscript is the first exhibition devoted to the landscapes of the contemporary Chinese artist. Xu Bing's international success rests on his ability to embed complex ideas about art and culture within accessible and playful works that engage the audience. The work that brought Xu Bing initial popular recognition, 'Tianshu or Book from the Sky', a four-volume, stitch-bound book, in the style of classical texts, is filled with what appear to be Chinese characters, but is, in fact, composed in a script invented by him, printed with over 4000 hand carved woodblock characters that have no intelligible meaning. 'Book from the Ground', which exists as a website, an installation, a computer programme, and a printed book, is, conversely, a writing system that can be understood by anyone from any culture, literate or not. Drawing on glyphs or what Xu Bing calls 'pictograms' developed in a variety of contexts over the past half century, from airport signage to international brand logos and 'emoticons', the work tells the story of a day in the life of an ordinary man. Central to all Xu Bing's art is the theme of language: its uses and changes, misunderstandings, and dialogues within and between cultures. His 'Landscript' series uses Chinese characters for landscape features to compose paintings that have the appearance of traditional Chinese landscapes. In this way, characters for 'stone' make up an image of rocks; the character for 'tree' makes up trees; and 'grass' for grass and so on. Xu Bing has produced 4 new pieces for this exhibition, which are displayed alongside his early landscape sketches and prints, and more recent works that depart from traditional landscape styles. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 19th May.

Looking At The View examines how British artists across the centuries have depicted the landscape around them in a multitude of ways, from detailed close ups of nature to distant views framed by trees or soaring bird's-eye perspectives. The exhibition of over 70 works by 50 artists reveals that apparently unconnected artists have looked at the landscape in surprisingly similar ways. It spans 300 years of British art from the golden age of Romantic landscape painting through to Land Art and contemporary artists' use of photography and film. The display groups artists from different periods according to a common motif, whether a horizon line or a winding path. By juxtaposing work across time it highlights unexpected affinities between works by artists as various as Lucian Freud and Victorian agricultural painter Thomas Weaver or contemporary artist film-maker Tacita Dean and Pre-Raphaelite painter John Brett. The exhibition offers an insight into the ways artists compose images, orientate the viewer and lead the eye. Richard Long's photograph of a path trodden through a field guides the viewer's gaze much like Romantic painter John Crome's painting of Norwich in 1818. Tracey Emin's photograph of herself in a wild landscape casually reading in an armchair echoes the ease with which Joseph Wright of Derby's sitter lounges among the foliage in a painting of 1781. Thus shared visual languages that transcend different periods, movements and media are revealed. Pairings of historical and contemporary art works in the display sometimes highlight changing social or political conditions. An idyllic painting by Sir William Nicholson from 1917 of a patchwork of English fields from on high at first resonates with contemporary artist Carol Rhodes's aerial view until the the urbanisation in the later work becomes apparent. Tate Britain until 2nd June.


Through American Eyes: Frederic Church And The Landscape Oil Sketch reveals the majestic scenes and striking colouration in the work of the man considered by many to be the greatest American exponent of the landscape oil sketch. Frederic Church's oil sketches reveal the freshness of his work and the spontaneity of his style as he captured scenes out of doors, some of which he elaborated later in the studio. Regarded as one of the most ambitious of the Hudson River School landscape painters, Church's works reveal a voracious appetite for travel to locations as distant as Ecuador, 'Distant View of the Sangay Volcano, Ecuador', Jordan, 'Ed Deir, Petra', Jamaica, 'Ridges in the Blue Mountains, Jamaica', Germany, 'Konigssee, Bavaria', and the waters off Labrador where he studied icebergs. The exhibition of some 30 oil sketches also includes works executed closer to Church's home on the Hudson in upstate New York, including 'Winter Twilight from Olana' and 'Hudson, New York at Sunset', which reflect his interest in the American landscape and his exploration of the effect of light. They are accompanied by Church's completed oil painting 'Niagara Falls, from the American Side', a canvas of over 2m square, to illustrate the journey from sketch to completed oil painting. National Gallery until 28th April.

Ansel Adams: Photography From The Mountains To The Sea features the work of one of the most popular and influential photographers in American history. Ansel Adams was a photographic pioneer, who brought the American wilderness into the homes of millions with his spectacular images of rugged and romantic landscapes. This is the first exhibition to focus on Adams's lifelong fascination with water in all its forms, combining some of the most famous photographs of the 20th century with lesser-known examples, providing a new context for enjoying this important artist and his legacy. It includes images of crashing waterfalls, dramatic rapids and geysers, placid ponds, raging rivers and beautiful icescapes. Fluid, ephemeral, and unpredictable, Adams returned to water throughout his career, and this selection traces his development from a young boy taking holiday snaps to one of the most accomplished image makers of modern times. It shows his progress from an early 'Pictorialist' style, towards a distinctly Modernist approach, demonstrated through his use of techniques such as sharp focus, seriality, and sequence. Highlights include the very first photograph Adams ever made at the age of 14, featuring a watery pool at the Panama Pacific Exhibition of the 1915 World's Fair; the three American Trust murals, produced in the 1950s on an unprecedented scale, and testament to his technical innovation; Adams's favourite work, 'Golden Gate before the Bridge'; and the iconic images 'Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite' and 'Stream, Sea, Clouds, Rodeo Lagoon, Marin County, California'. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until 28th April.

Light Show explores the experiential and phenomenal aspects of light by bringing together sculptures and installations that use light to sculpt and shape space in different ways. The exhibition showcases artworks created from the 1960s to the present day, including immersive environments, free-standing light sculptures and projections. From atmospheric installations to intangible sculptures that you can move around - and even through - visitors can experience light in all of its spatial and sensory forms. Individual artworks explore different aspects of light such as colour, duration, intensity and projection, as well as perceptual phenomena. They also use light to address architecture, science and film, and do so using a variety of lighting technologies. The display comprises some of the most visually stimulating artworks created in recent years, and also includes rare works not seen for decades and specially re-created. The show features works by 22 artists including David Batchelor, Jim Campbell, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Bill Culbert, Olafur Eliasson, Fischli and Weiss, Dan Flavin, Ceal Floyer, Nancy Holt, Jenny Holzer, Ann Veronica Janssens, Brigitte Kowanz, Anthony McCall, François Morellet, Ivan Navarro, Philippe Parreno, Katie Paterson, Conrad Shawcross, James Turrell, Leo Villareal, Doug Wheeler and Cerith Wyn Evans. Hayward Gallery until 28th April.