News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 18th April 2001

Commencing

Creative Quarters: The Art World In London traces how artists have been drawn to particular districts of London at different times over the last 300 years. It also examines the nature of these creative quarters and the interaction of artists with other trades and industries. Starting with William Hogarth in Covent Garden in 1685, the eight locations include Willam Blake and Barbara Hepworth at different times in Hampstead, J M W Turner in Chelsea, and Francis Bacon in Soho, and arrive in the East End today. The exhibition locates a total of 132 artists in their time and place, and includes works by Lucien Freud, Henry Moore, William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and James McNeill Whistler. These depict the artists themselves, and the studios and streets in which they worked, and are shown alongside rare contemporary objects. The Museum Of London website has an accompanying online exhibition. Museum Of London until 15th July.

Magna, the UK's first Science Adventure Centre, which has been created on a massive scale in a former steelworks in Rotherham, has just opened. It houses four pavilions exploring the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water, plus two shows and an outdoor adventure park. Visitors can operate a real JCB and walk through a virtual coal mine; see an airship and experience a tornado; watch a blacksmith at work and feel the heat of a firestorm; make waves in a giant water tank and get up close to a spurting geyser. The drama and danger of the steel making process is vividly recreated in multimedia presentations, The Face Of Steel and The Big Melt, which run at regular intervals. Magna Rotherham continuing.

Cleopatra Of Egypt: From History To Myth juxtaposes what can be gleaned from history about the real Queen of the Nile with the myths that have grown up around her. Huge sculptures, bronzes, ceramics, coins, gems and caricatures chart Cleopatra VII's life and liaisons with the two great Roman leaders of the day, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Newly identified images of Cleopatra feature alongside contemporary Hellenistic and Roman representations. The myth of Cleopatra is traced to the present day through paintings, ceramics, jewellery, plays, opera and cinema, revealing how she has been reconceived generation by generation, as ideas about what constitutes the essence of the ideal woman have changed. British Museum until 26th August.

Continuing

Wellington Arch, one of London's most famous landmarks at Hyde Park Corner has been returned to its full glory after a £1.5m restoration by English Heritage. The arch, which was designed by Decimus Burton in 1825 as an entrance to Buckingham Palace, is now open to the public for the first time. The platforms beneath the sculpture Quadriga, The Angel Of Peace Descending On The Chariot Of War, offer not only a close up of the largest bronze in England, but also views across Hyde Park, Green Park and the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Inside there is a permanent display about the history of the arch. This includes the first designs, why it was moved from its original position, and how a statue of the Duke of Wellington came to be erected on top and then replaced. Another exhibition looks at London's statues and memorials, executed by some of Britain's greatest sculptors, which celebrate great figures of the past. Future 2 - Zoom In On London is a temporary display of photographs by ordinary Londoners and visitors, capturing life and events in the capital over the last 100 years. Wellington Arch continuing.

Dan Dare Got There First celebrates Britain's first and best known spaceman, whose exploits were regaled on the front page of the Eagle comic in the 1950s. It examines how remarkably accurate some of its predictions for the future were (and glosses over the absence of large green creatures with domed foreheads from contemporary life). Creator Frank Hampson's visions of satellite television, space shuttles, the channel tunnel and swing-wing aircraft are just some of the stuff of science fiction which have become science fact. The Ministry of Defence reputedly subscribed to the Eagle to see what he would come up with next. Displayed here are examples of original artwork, models of space ships used by Hampson as reference, and a recreation of the studio in which he worked. There is also collection of merchandise, with ray guns, walkie talkies, jigsaws, games and pop up books. Croydon Clocktower until 3rd June.

The Musical Years traces the history of popular musical entertainment from commedia dell'arte to the present day, through original designs, sketches and costume drawings. It highlights important landmarks such as the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, revue, and modern stage and screen musicals. Designers whose work is featured include Cecil Beaton, Erté, Tim Goodchild, Oliver Messel and Berkeley Sutcliffe.

My Fair Lady: Beyond The Stage offers an insight into the design and production process which brought the National's smash hit production to the stage. It focuses on the contribution made by the National's production workshops in the realisation of the show. Examples of costumes, accessories and props are displayed, together with some of the original designs created by Anthony Ward. Royal National Theatre, Lyttleton Circle Foyer: The Musical Years - Olivier Foyer: My Fair Lady until 30th June.

Hogarth's Election Entertainment: Artists At The Hustings illustrates that little has changed in politics in the last 250 years. The methods of bribing the electorate may be more sophisticated but the intentions (and results) are the same. This exhibition centres on the four paintings that comprise Hogarth's An Election, based on the notorious contest for the Oxfordshire seats in the General Election of 1754, which paint a darkly comic view of the greed and corruptibility of mankind. They are joined by the best works of his successors in satirical and political engravings, paintings and cartoons to the present day, gathered from collections all over Britain. These include Thomas Rowlandson's The Poll (1784); Robert Dighton's Westminster Election series (1784-96); Benjamin Haydon's monumental comic reworking of Chairing The Member (1828); George Cruikshank's A Radical Reformer (1818); George Caleb Bingham's The County Election (1854); Ronald Searle's The Candidate (1954), and Steve Bell's Pant Burning (1997). If there is any fun to be had from the General Election (whatever its date) then this is it. Sir John Soane Museum until 25th August.

Ben Tewson: The Good, The Good And The Ugly is the culmination of one man's 20 year obsession with the visual environment we create for ourselves. The architect Ben Tewson has spent most of his life studying and thinking about British architecture and design. In this show, employing photographs, design objects, press clippings and collected items, he celebrates the best (from Bakelite televisions to the Dome), condemns the worst (from urban graffiti to country fly-tipping), and champions the neglected. Tewson's mission is nothing less than to shake the British nation out of its apathy to architectural heritage and the environment. This exhibition presents a very strong case. Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax until 12th May.

Inventing New Britain: The Victorian Vision celebrates the extraordinary creativity of the Victorian age when Britain literally ruled the world. The results of the explosion of innovation in arts, design, science and technology thus spread to the ends of it. The Victorian imagination provided the foundations upon which the modern world was built. It is after all thanks to Charles Babbage's Difference Engine that you are reading this now. Marking the centenary of Queen Victoria's death, this exhibition endeavours to embody the creativity, spectacle and sense of adventure that powered her age. In addition to charting the known landmarks, such as underground trains, steam driven ships, bicycles and motor cars, it acknowledges the unknown, such as a Hiram Maxim's steam driven aeroplane of 1894 - which almost worked. It also balances technological advances including electric light, photography, the telephone and X-rays, with social advances such as public libraries, art galleries, free schooling and social housing. Victoria & Albert Museum until 29th July.

Concluding

Kerry Stewart is a pop sculptor whose work has been likened to a waxworks with a surreal edge. Her tragi-comic life size figures of pregnant schoolgirls, nuns, ghosts and monsters all have a strong attitude in the mysterious and intriguing situations they portray and stories they tell. The naïve quality of the hand coloured fibreglass, plaster and silicon models suggest both a childlike view of the world and a sense of the outsider. This exhibition in the Project Space, brings together two new works - a couple on holiday in France and a young woman getting ready for a night out - with three recent pieces. They combine to produce a group that is both humorous and dark, and which directly engages the viewer in a shared daydream. Stewart came to prominence in the mid '90s as one of the Young British Artists at the Saatchi Gallery. Tate Liverpool until 22nd April.

David Bailey: Birth Of The Cool concentrates on the work from the early years of the career of Britain's best known photographer, presenting both the familiar and previously unseen masterpieces from the years 1957 to 1969. Many of the now iconic images of the '60s were created by Bailey, here represented by portraits of Jean Shrinpton, John Lennon, Catherine Deneuve, Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, the Kray twins, Cecil Beaton, Sylvia Plath and other seminal figures. It is arguable whether he simply recorded the important people and events of the period, or in fact actually created them. In Bailey, the photographer himself became a pop icon, and it was he who was the inspiration for the central character Antonioni's film Blow Up. Bailey continues to work, and part of the exhibition juxtaposes the '60s images with his new Cool Britannia series from the '90s, which includes portraits of Naomi Campbell, Damien Hirst and Jarvis Cocker. Dean Gallery, Edinburgh until 22nd April.

Futurist Photography celebrates the early 20th century avant-garde movement which embraced not just the arts but an entire way of life. Filippo Tomaso Marinetti gave it a manifesto in 1909, calling for a progressive movement to sweep away the old art in the museums and enter the new century with a bang. The speed of photography made it a key element, although paradoxically the images produced were always very carefully composed, and did not exploit its ability to capture the accidental moment. The aim was to create the impression of speed rather than actually to record it. Parascientific experiments, spiritualist photography, multi-portraits, montage effects and the chronophotographs of Etienne-Jules Marey provided the starting point from which Futurist photography grew. This exhibition comprises over 150 rare prints never before seen in the UK. The Estorick Collection specialises in Futurist art of all kinds. Estorick Collection until 22nd April.