News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th September 2008


Design Cities tells the story of contemporary design over the last 150 years through seven key cities at their creative height: London - The Great Exhibition 1851, Vienna - fin de siecle 1908, Dessau - Bauhaus 1928, Paris - Le Corbusier 1936, Los Angeles - Post War Confidence 1949, Milan - Pop Art And Innovation 1957, Tokyo - The Creative Explosion 1987 and London - Looking Forward To The Olympics 2008. The exhibition provides an opportunity to look at the masters of modern and contemporary design through their sketches, drawings, models and objects that they have designed and created. The exhibition features a full range of objects from textiles and fashion to industrial pieces, furniture and prints, and includes design classics, as well as work by a spectrum of designers that together evoke an impacting impression of their era. Key exhibits include work by William Morris, Christopher Dresser, Owen Jones, Josef Hoffman, Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe, Herbert Bayer, Marianne Brandt, William Wagenfeld, Le Corbusier, Jean Prouve, Charlotte Perriand, Eileen Gray, Cassandre, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Eliot Noyes, Saul Bass, Harry Beroia, Achille Castiglioni, Bob Noorda, Gio Ponti, Joe Columbo, Vico Magistretti, Ettore Sottsass, Mario Bellini, Sony Research, Yamaha research, Issey Miyake, Shiro Kuramata, Ron Arad, Jasper Morrison, Ross Lovegrove, Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Barnbrook, Sam Hecht, David Chipperfield and Peter Savile. Design Museum, London until 4th January.

Ladybird Make And Do celebrates the art work of Ladybird children's books, centring on the Make And Do series, launched in the 1960s, which encouraged the creation of toys out of household detritus, predating the 'Blue Peter sticky backed plastic' experiences. Although Ladybird books were actually launched in 1915, it was after the Second World War that they found their iconic form. Thanks to a standardised 56 page format made from just one sheet of paper, Ladybird books were not expensive to produce, and for this reason, they kept the same price of half a crown, or two shillings and sixpence, for the next 29 years. The exhibition draws on material from the Ladybird archive, including 24 pieces of original artwork from Things To Make, Tricks And Magic, More Things To Make and Easy To Make Puppets, copies of first editions of the books, and finished examples of the toys for which they contained instructions. As well as providing a picture of childhood in the simpler times of the 1950s and 1960s, the clarity and strength of their material is reflected in their use in unexpected places. How It Works: The Motor Car was used as a reference book by the driving school division of Thames Valley Police; How It Works: The Computer was a recommended text of both universities and the Ministry of Defence; and Understanding Maps was used to train army recruits for the Falklands War. Havant Museum, East Street, Havant, Hampshire, until 1st November.

Soho Archives 1950s & 1960s documents the bohemian area of London's West End, a haven for creativity and criminality, scandal and sexuality, and a source of inspiration for photographers. The exhibition features images from three archives, capturing the vibrancy and exoticism of Soho in what many believe to have been its greatest days, as Britain emerged from the era of post Second World War austerity. Jean Straker founded the Visual Arts Club in Soho in 1951 'for artistes and photographers, amateur and professional, studying the female nude', and his works are remarkable for their lack of artifice, their sexuality and curiosity, and for reflecting the sexual predilections of the era. Magnum photographer David Hurn documented Soho's strippers, in the many peep shows and strip clubs, and with a sympathetic and insightful gaze, depicts these working women in their public and private spaces, both performing and at rest. The Daily Herald Archive shows how press photographers were drawn to Soho, as both a hub of criminality, and the backdrop for an explosion of youth culture. With images from scarred gangsters to the wedding of pop star and teen idol Tommy Steele, these photographs and the scandal they caused are icons of the 1950s and 1960s. The Photographer's Gallery, 5 & 8 Great Newport Street, London WC2 until 16th November.


Francis Bacon is a retrospective that brings together some 70 of the best and most important paintings from throughout the turbulent life of one of the greatest painters of the 20th century. The exhibition, marking Bacon's centenary, explores his philosophy that man is simply another animal in a godless world, subject to the same natural urges of violence, lust and fear that are physically evident in the body. Bacon is known for his idiosyncratic twisted images of people and animals, often splattered with paint, displaying raw emotion, considered to be some of the most powerful images in art. The human body is a recurring theme in his work, and the paintings are displayed just as they were when they were first made, together with many other paintings of animals and visceral landscapes. Highlights include the infamous 'Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X', 'Figure Study 1', 'Crucifixion', 'Study from the Human Body', and 'Study of George Dyer in a Mirror', together with celebrated triptychs such as 'Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion', 'In Memory of George Dyer' and 'Three Studies for a Crucifixion'. The exhibition also includes the first public display of items from the archive material found in Bacon's studio, which shed new light on his working methods, and the first full length painting of a pope, thought to have been destroyed, that was found rolled up and hidden. Tate Britain until 4th January.

Footlights: Capturing The Essence Of Performance examines how artists have captured the fleeting nature of theatrical performances over the centuries. This wide ranging exhibition offers a glimpse into the world of the performer, and reveals how the visual arts can record momentary events for posterity. As well as paintings, prints, posters, drawings and photographs made by artists depicting a wide variety of spectator orientated events (including some featuring the audience), the show also includes costume and scenery designs. Among the works included - all on paper - are Toulouse Lautrec's iconic Follies Bergere poster of Jane Avril, and print of actress Yves Gilbert in front of her audience; images of Berlin cabaret by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner; Stefano della Bella's prints of 17th century street performers; Hogarth's 'Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn' and 'The Laughing Audience'; Antonia Reeve's photographs of Japanese actor Mikijiro Hira, in costume as Macbeth and Medea; and designs for the Russian theatre, such as the set of Coq d'Or by Natalya Goncharova, and costumes by Mikhail Larionov for Les Contes Russes. There is also a small related display of photographs focussing on Scottish stars of stage and screen. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh until 16th November.

The Courtauld Cezannes features the Gallery's entire collection of works by Paul Cezanne, hailed as the finest in Britain, on show together the first time, revealing the development of his ideas. The seminal paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints from the major periods of Cezanne's long career include 'Montagne Sainte-Victoire', 'Card Players', 'Still Life with Plaster Cast', 'Lac d'Annecy', 'Man With a Pipe', 'L'Etang des Souers, Osny', 'The Turning Road', 'Apples, Bottle and Chairback', and 'Madame Cezanne Sewing'. In addition, there is a group of nine handwritten letters, previously unseen in public, sent to his protege Emile Bernard, in which Cezanne reflects upon the fundamental principles of his art, and offers the famous advice to "treat nature in terms of the cylinder, the sphere and the cone". The exhibition also presents the findings of a research project on Cezanne's work, using the latest imaging technologies, which has provided fresh insights into his working methods and techniques, in particular his experimental use of colour and line.

French Prints From Manet To Picasso, is a complementary display of 15 French prints form the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, including works by Manet, Gaughan, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse and Picasso.

Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, until 5th October.

Hotel is a record of photographer Steve Schofield's exploration of the way the British choose to spend their holiday and leisure time. In particular, he looks at how the choice of the themed experience allows people to blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality, for what is a momentary break from their weekly routines. By photographing the workers in these 'hyper real experiences' Schofield conveys the sense of waiting, not only for the arrival of the guests, but also for the delivery of the promise of an experience that in reality cannot truly be delivered. Schofield travelled to traditional working class resorts such as Blackpool, Southend on Sea and Brighton, visiting all kinds of hotels, from Elvis, Beatles and Pop Culture themed venues, where the past is recreated with a fake 'King', or a plasma screen pumping out black and white performances by the Fab Four, to a Victorian experience, where the workers are dressed in period costume, suggesting total subservience. His richly detailed photographs reveal a sub-cultural world beneath the mask of polite British society. Derby Art Gallery until 2nd November.

Time Out Times celebrates the 40th anniversary of London's listings bible with a display following the life of the capital though the iconoclastic eyes of its favourite living guide. Classic covers from the magazine tell London's story from the swinging sixties to the noughties by revisiting old issues, familiar faces and forgotten tales of the city. From fringe theatre to radical politics to high fashion, Time Out's journey is a mix of sex, drugs and rock and roll, of art and fashion, triumph and turmoil. The exhibition charts how the magazine kept at the cutting edge of London's myriad cultural scenes, surviving censorship battles, court cases and strikes, to become an icon within the city it records, and well beyond. The brainchild of Tony Elliott, it was born on a kitchen table in Hampstead, with the information set with an IBM Golfball typewriter, taken to the London Caledonian Press, for a run of 5,000 printed on a folded A2 sheet, and delivered by bicycle, for distribution on the King's Road, Chelsea, at free concerts and in the bookshops and 'alternative' hangouts in the city. Time Out quickly became a barometer of change in the capital - a curious and open minded guide to the extraordinary possibilities London offers to those who live or pass through it. Today Time Out has a weekly circulation of 87,000, a website that chalks up 1.75m unique users a month, and this year has seen launches in Sydney, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Bangalore, making 25 international editions. The London Museum, until 19th October.

Turmoil And Tranquillity: The Sea Through The Eyes Of Dutch And Flemish Masters 1550 - 1700 focuses on the emerging genre of maritime art in the Low Countries, during the 17th century. The exhibition of some 70 paintings examines the emergence of the seascape as an independent painting style, with works by early Flemish masters including followers of Jan Brueghel the Elder and Joachim Patinir, Cornelis van Wieringen and Andries van Eertvelt. It displays highly dramatic seascapes and depictions of storms and shipwrecks, which characterised Dutch seascapes of the period. The use of allegory, with examples depicting ships as symbols for the soul, is traced in paintings such as the 'Wreck of the Amsterdam' by an anonymous Flemish artist and Adam Willaerts's 'Jonah and the Whale'. The interplay between paintings of tranquil coastal waters and the assertion of a Dutch national identity is explored through the work of Jan Porcellis, Simon de Vlieger, Ludolf Backhuysen and Jacob van Ruisdael. Depictions of Mediterranean and Scandinavian scenes and other foreign shores, are examined through works by Hendrick van Minderhout, Simon de Vlieger, Gasper van Wittel (called 'Vanvitelli') and Pieter Mulier the Younger, 'the Cavaliere Tempesta'. The demand for paintings recording battles at sea and illustrious naval heroes is illustrated with works by Abraham Storck and the Willem van de Veldes, who moved to London, and for 20 years had their studio in the home of this exhibition. The Queen's House, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich until 11th January.


Skeletons: London's Buried Bones features 26 examples from a collection of 17,000 skeletons that have been archived and examined at the Museum of London's Centre for Human Bioarchaeology over the last 30 years. The skeletons reflect London's rich past and varied social geography, from the affluent district of Chelsea to the Cross Bones cemetery in Southwark, believed to have been established originally as a graveyard for prostitutes. Each has its own tale to tell, and collectively they uncover 2,000 years of history, increasing our understanding of how Londoners once lived, and providing insights into the health, diet, diseases and lifestyle of the deceased. The skeletons include: a 22 week old foetus, whose remains were found with its mother, which is the youngest ever individual discovered on a British archaeological site; Chelsea's resident butcher and beadle, William Wood, who had a condition linked to having a diet high in rich foods and died at the age of 84 in 1842; a young female discovered at the Royal Mint, whose bones were stained green from copper residues; and a young woman (possibly a prostitute) found in Cross Bones burial ground in south east London with traces of syphilis in her bones. Causes of death revealed range from 'decay of nature' (old age) through now almost eradicated diseases, such as smallpox and rickets, and those still current, such as prostate cancer, to the CSI favourite 'blunt force trauma'. Each of the 26 skeletons is accompanied by a recent image taken by photographer Thomas Adank of the burial site where they were discovered. The Wellcome Collection, London until 28th September.

The State Rooms Of Buckingham Palace, the 19 rooms that 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, the special display features the spectacle of the Palace's Ballroom set up for a State Banquet, held in honour of a visiting Head of State. These are the occasions when the Queen and other members of the Royal Family entertain around 160 guests on the first evening of a State Visit. The horseshoe shaped table is dressed with a dazzling display of silver-gilt from the magnificent Grand Service, and adorned with flower arrangements and candelabra. Lavish buffet arrangements of jeweled cups, ivory tankards, tureens, dishes and fine English and Continental porcelain flank the table. Film footage shows the behind the scenes work of Royal Household staff, including chefs, footmen, pages, florists and housemaids, who ensure the highest standards of presentation and delivery. Visitors can also enjoy a walk in the 39 acre garden with its 19th century lake, which provides a haven for wild life in the centre of London, including 30 different species of birds, and more than 350 different wild flowers, and offers views of the Garden Front of the Palace. Buckingham Palace until 28th September.

London Open House is the annual scheme that allows public access to architecturally interesting but usually private buildings across the capital. Over 700 buildings of all kinds, both historic and new, include Wilton's Music Hall, the Young Vic and Royal Court theatres, Cadogan, St John's Smith Square and LSO St Luke's concert halls, The Treasury and Foreign and India Office, BBC Bush House and Channel 4 building, Westminster Hall and Portcullis House, Tooting Bec Lido, Arsenal Stadium, Lloyds of London, Centre Point, Foster and Partners and Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners architectural offices, Roof Gardens Kensington, the British and the London Libraries, Old Turkish Baths Bishopsgate, Waterman's and Haberdashers' Halls, Dulwich College and Old Royal Naval College Greenwich, Barts Hospital Great Hall, the Reform Club, Lincoln's Inn, City Hall, Guildhall, the Royal Courts of Justice, and the 2012 Olympic Park construction site. There are also talks, conducted walks and other accompanying special events taking place at various locations over the course of the weekend. 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 Festivals in the Others section of ExhibitionsNet. Across London on 20th and 21st September.