News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th June 2009


Futurism celebrates the centenary of the dramatic art movement, launched by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, with the publication of the Manifesto of Futurism on the front page of Paris newspaper Le Figaro. Drawing upon elements of Divisionism and Cubism, the Futurists created a new style that broke with old traditions and expressed the dynamism, energy and movement of their modern life. The exhibition both showcases the work of key Futurists, such as Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Gino Severini, Carlo Carra and Luigi Russolo, and explores art movements reacting to Futurism. Highlights include Umberto Boccioni's dynamic bronze 'Unique Forms of Continuity in Space'; Carlo Carra's 'Funeral of the Anarchist, Galli'; Gino Severini's 'Dance of the 'Pan-Pan' at the Monico'; and responses to the challenge represented by Futurism in works such as Delaunay's 'Eiffel Tower'; Jacob Epstein's 'Torso in Metal from the Rock Drill'; and Picasso's 'Head of a Woman (Fernande)' and 'Pipe, Glass, Bottle of Vieux Marc', onto which he pasted the Futurist periodical, Lacerba. There are aslo major works by artists such as Georges Braque, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Kasimir Malevich, Natalya Goncharova, Liubov Popova, David Bomberg, Wyndham Lewis and C R W Nevinson. Tate Modern until 20th September.

Enchanted Worlds explores a world of magic, mystery and fairytales, with artworks dating from the 1780s to the contemporary. Delving into tales of fantastical worlds, it discovers some very strange creatures, in painting, sculpture, photography, film, animation, puppetry, print and illustration, from some of the world's most revered artists of the genre. The exhibition looks at the fairy phenomenon in British art from the early influence of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, to the popularisation of fairy stories throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, including art work inspired by the classic fairytales Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. Whilst much of the work is strikingly beautiful, there is more than simple whimsy at play, as the art is layered with cautionary tales and dark humour. Among the featured artists are Richard Dadd, Jean Cocteau, Lotte Reininger, David Hockney, Quentin Blake, Paula Rego, Jan Pienkowski, William Heath Robinson and Mabel Lucie Attwell. In addition, visitors have an opportunity to examine the enigmatic Cottingley Fairy photographs up close, and decide whether they are real or not. There is also a display of rare first edition fairy tale books illustrated by artists such as Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and Mervyn Peake. Harris Art Gallery, Preston, until 5th September.

French Porcelain For English Palaces: Sevres From The Royal Collection brings together around 300 pieces created by the pre-eminent European porcelain factory of the 18th century. The finely painted and gilded works by Sevres were loved by royalty, aristocrats, connoisseurs and collectors. The factory's unrivalled techniques and complex methods of production appealed to their liking for the rare, exotic and extravagant. The Royal Collection contains the world's finest group of Sevres pieces, much of it acquired between 1783 and 1830 by George IV, who popularised the taste for French porcelain in Britain. Porcelain production started in 1740 at the chateau de Vincennes on the outskirts of Paris, and the factory was re-established in the village of Sevres in 1756. Louis XV began the royal association with the factory, becoming first a customer and then a major shareholder, before acquiring it wholly as royal property in 1759. Among the highlights of the exhibition are a garniture of three vases first bought by Marie-Antoinette; a vase that was probably bought by Louis XV's mistress Madame du Barry, featuring a youthful profile of the French king; and the Table of the Grand Commanders, which was made for Napoleon, and given as a gift to George IV by Louis XVIII. Also on display is part of the most expensive dinner service created at Sevres in the 18th century for Louis XVI; and a pair of mounted vases that once formed part of the furnishings of the King's private apartments at Versailles. Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, until 11th October.


The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is with us again, as it has been every year since 1769 - the usual collection of the good, the bad and the ugly - from amateurs to RA's, proving that popular taste and critical approval find no meeting point. Around 1,200 works covering paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculpture, architectural designs and models have been selected from around 10,000 submissions, for inclusion in the largest contemporary art exhibition in the world. Over £70,000 is given out to artists included in the exhibition through 10 prizes. This year the show has been masterminded by Ann Christopher, Eileen Cooper and Will Alsop, with the theme Making Space. Highlights include a gallery of film curated by Richard Wilson, which includes his own site specific installation; an architecture gallery with projects by Zaha Hadid, Eric Parry, Norman Fostwer and Piers Gough; and Bryan Kneale's 'Triton III' stainless steel sculpture of concave and convex forms in the courtyard. There is also a memorial gallery dedicated to showing the works of the late Jean Cooke, featuring some of her key paintings, including 'Jamais je ne pleure et jamais je ne ris'. The Royal Academy of Arts until 16th August.

Tennyson Transformed is part of the celebrations of the bicentenary of the birth of the Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson, confirming that his influence on Victorian culture was not just literary. The exhibition explores how Tennyson's life and work was interpreted by artists, illustrators, photographers and other creative practitioners. It includes the poet's papers, rare first editions and artworks illustrating his poetry, by contemporaries such as William Holman Hunt, Millais, J W Waterhouse and Arthur Hughes. Among the highlights are Julia Margaret Cameron's haunting photographs for 'Idylls Of The King'; and James Mudd's brooding and handsome portrait photograph of Tennyson, sporting his wide brimmed hat, unkempt locks and curled moustache - this is what a Romantic poet is supposed to look like. The Collection, Lincoln, until 31st August.

Super Contemporary celebrates the creativity of London's designers, with 15 commissions that take a fresh look across architecture, industrial design, graphics, fashion and communications in the capital. The exhibition illustrates how, with their pursuit of new, better and braver, ideas, these creatives are pushing at the forefront of design, and inventing for new worlds. David Adjaye, Industrial Facility and Thomas Heatherwick take key features of the London streetscape, the bus shelter, the telephone box and the lamp post, and re-imagine their design possibilities aesthetically and practically. El Ultimo Grito, working with Urban Salon, turn Trafalgar Square and Nelson's column into a sky garden. Ron Arad calls for the reinstatement of the much missed neon tower at the Hayward Gallery. Paul Smith, BarberOsgerby, Tom Dixon and Paul Cocksedge address the perennial problems of litter, noise, pollution, rain and surveillance, with solutions such as a rabbit rubbish bin. Nigel Coates offers his thoughts on a future for Battersea Power Station, and Zaha Hadid has a vision for the city of London. Wayne Hemingway has produced an outlet to help student designers and entrepreneurs, Ross Phillips provides interactive video pods, and Kit Grover turns folk law into a pin broach. An accompanying pictorial timeline places iconic London designs of the last 50 years against the world events that bred them. Design Museum, until 4th October.

Henry's Women brings together portraits of each of Henry VIII's wives for the first time, along with some of their personal objects, and paintings of Henry himself, and his daughters, Mary I and Elizabeth I, as part of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of his accession to the throne. The exhibition features the earliest surviving panel portrait of Katherine of Aragon, which incorporates symbolisms of the Queen's struggle to remain Henry's wife; a possible contemporary portrait of Anne Boleyn, currently dated to the reign of her daughter, Elizabeth I; a portrait of Anne of Cleves, possibly offered to envoys in 1539 prior to her meeting the king; a portrait recently re-identified as Catherine Howard; the earliest full length portrait of Elizabeth I as queen; and a portrait of Mary I, thought to be a marriage portrait for her marriage to Phillip II of Spain. Each wife is united with a personal object related to her fate, including a lock of Kateryn Parr's hair taken from her corpse; the marriage annulment document of Henry and Anne of Cleves; the only surviving letter of Catherine Howard, written to her alleged lover Thomas Culpepper; the music book written for Anne Boleyn by one of her alleged lovers Mark Smeaton; together with Henry's own rare and beautifully crafted rosary. The exhibition is staged Henry's Council Chamber, which is open to the public for the first time. It was one of the first rooms to be built by the king when he took possession of the Palace, and is dressed in rich silk fabric hangings, decorated with golden Fleur de Lis and the Tudor rose. Hampton Court Palace until 3rd August.

Great North Museum has just opened after a 3 year refurbishment of the Hancock Museum site, incorporating collections from the Hancock Museum, Newcastle University's Museum of Antiquities, the Shefton Museum and the Hatton Gallery. The £26m project, designed by Terry Farrell and Partners, has seen the fabric of the Grade II listed building restored, an extension added to the rear, and a new high-tech museum created inside. This displays a selection of objects from the combined collections, amounting to some 500,000 artifacts, in the best contemporary way. Highlights include a large scale, interactive model of Hadrian's Wall; The Living Planet, showing the evolutionary process over 350m years of natural history, including full size models of an elephant, a great white shark, a polar bear, a giraffe and moa skeleton; an interactive Bio-Wall, featuring hundreds of creatures, revealing how they live and how they survive in such extreme places as the Arctic and deserts; live animal tanks and aquaria, with wolf fish, pythons, lizards and leaf cutting ants; a geology gallery housing a glittering display of gems and crystals; spectacular arms, art and archeological remains from Ancient Greece; Egyptian treasures, such as the mummy of Irtyru and a statue of Ramses II; a planetarium; and, of course, a life size T-Rex dinosaur skeleton. Great North Museum, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, continuing.

Richard Long: Heaven And Earth provides an opportunity to view the work of the British artist who extended the possibilities of sculpture beyond traditional materials and methods, radically rethinking the relationship between art and landscape. Long's work is rooted in his deep affinity with nature, developed during solitary walks. Comprising over 80 works, selected across 4 decades, the exhibition includes large-scale mud wall works, and new photographic and text works documenting walks around the world, plus a big selection of the artists' books, postcards and other printed matter. Long's walks have taken him through rural areas in Britain, and as far afield as the plains of Canada, Mongolia and Bolivia. He never makes significant alterations to the landscapes he passes through, but adjusts the natural order of wilderness places, up-ending stones, or making simple, geometric shapes. Long's work explores relationships between time, distance, geography, measurement and movement. He usually works in the landscape, and presents his work in various forms, which include artists' books and postcards, but sometimes uses natural materials in the gallery. The exhibition includes key early works such as 'A Line Made by Walking', made in a field, where Long walked back and forth until the flattened grass caught by the sunlight became visible as a line, a path going 'nowhere', which he then photographed; and six major stone sculptures, such as 'Norfolk Flint Circle', an eight metre sculpture consisting of a single layer of flints lying close together on the floor laid in the gallery, as on his walks, in simple geometric configurations such as circles, lines, and ellipses. Tate Britain until 6th September.


Madness & Modernity looks at the relationship between mental illness, the visual arts and architecture in Vienna around 1900. The exhibition presents the range of ways madness and art interacted in Vienna, from designs for utopian psychiatric spaces, to the drawings of the patients confined within them. It shows how psychiatry influenced early modernism in the visual arts, and how modernism shaped the lives and images of mentally ill people. Vienna was one of Europe's leading centres for psychiatric innovation around 1900, and there was an overwhelming sense of the Viennese living in 'nervous times'. Anxieties about mental health were allied to anxieties about the modern, capitalist city, with its new technologies, modes of work and play, and speeds of life. The experience of modernity gave a new impetus to the study of madness. The exhibition comprises around 80 exhibits, including the work of artists such as Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka, and leading modernist designers and architects Josef Hoffmann and Otto Wagner, who sought to create a new kind of environment for the care and confinement of mentally ill people. As well as original paintings, drawings and design objects, the display also includes artworks by asylum patients, therapeutic equipment, architectural models and drawings, and two specially commissioned films by the artist David Bickerstaff. These contrast the buildings of Wagner with the kind of asylums they were designed to replace, taking viewers on a journey through the spaces of Vienna asylums of the 18th and 20th centuries. The Wellcome Collection, London, until 28th June.

Barge: Breathing New Life Into Docklands features designs submitted in competition to British Waterways and H2O Urban Limited for their plan to convert 5 Spits Barges as part of an initiative to revitalise the waterspace of London's Docklands. The barges, a combination of Belgian Spits and French Peniches, started life as commercial boats, carrying their cargo along the waterways of mainland Europe, prior to their relocation to the Isle of Dogs. The project is an opportunity to create a floating residential and commercial scheme that challenges perceptions of waterspace design, as well as delivering a sustainable and flexible live/work space. The winning schemes will be developed and delivered in a prominent location at South Quay, as part of a comprehensive redevelopment masterminded by architect Richard Rodgers. The chosen schemes are by BACA - a design that offers design flare and variety in three areas, the dockside, the urban space around the barges and the on-deck space; and by PCKO - an adaptable design that creates a new urban realm and landmark space with the surrounding decking. Submissions from shortlisted practices, Brid Carr Architecture and Amin Taha, are also on display, alongside the winners and other entrants. New London Architecture, The Building centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1, until 27th June.

John Busby: Nature Drawings And Illustrations is a selection of drawings, paintings and illustrations from John Busby's studio, celebrating his long held interest in the natural world. During his career Busby has illustrated some 35 books, and produced two books about drawing birds for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, some of which are also on display. Busby always works from personal observation and field notes, involving bird and animal behaviour, movement and posture, so while making his work, he is always asking what the animal doing, and why. Busby aims to combine accuracy with artistry, and to be true to whichever species he is depicting, using the language of drawing expressively, while allowing the composition to come from the experience, and being true to the moment. The observance of the interaction and inter-dependence of all living things has inspired Busby to produce drawings and paintings with a truth and reality that few other artists of the natural world can match. Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, until 27th June.