News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 18th May 2005


Style And Splendour: Queen Maud Of Norway's Wardrobe 1896-1938 is a display of the wardrobe of the British Princess (daughter of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) who became Queen Consort of the newly independent Norway in 1905. Queen Maud was renowned for her fashionable style, and her clothes document a revolutionary period of fashion history, from the elaborate decorative dress of the Victorian era, to the streamlined chic of the 1930s. This display includes some 50 outfits, ranging from her wedding trousseau of 1896 to the latest Worth designs purchased just months before her death in 1938. Queen Maud's wardrobe encompasses both her public and private lives, from coronation robes, sumptuous state gowns and elegant evening dresses for official occasions, to her riding habits, winter sportswear, and simple tailored suits for afternoons in the garden with her grandchildren. These are accompanied by a wide variety of gloves, hats, shoes and handbags that made the essential finishing touches to the ensembles. She engaged with contemporary fashion throughout her life, and commissioned the great couturiers of the day, notably the French houses of Worth and Morin-Blossier, and the British Redfern and Reville, as well as accomplished dressmakers such as Blancquaert and the Norwegian designer Sylvian. Her wardrobe illustrates the impeccable standards of couture dressmaking and tailoring of the period. Flawlessly beaded gowns, perfectly cut and hand-finished suits, beautifully embroidered and appliqued dresses all exemplify the superb workmanship of the era. Victoria & Albert Museum until 8th January.

Heroes & Villains is a collaboration between the caricaturist Gerald Scarfe and the National Portrait Gallery. It juxtaposes the pen and ink drawings of contemporary and historical figures by the illustrator, animator and designer with portraits from the National Portrait Gallery's collection. Scarfe's distortions of well known figures reveal the wit and vision of an exceptional draughtsman. This is a general retrospective, with subjects as wide ranging as Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Oswald Mosley, Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill, Graham Green, the Beatles, Margaret Thatcher and Diana, Princess of Wales. In the portraits the sitters are afforded dignity and grace, but then Scarfe tears into them with his customary savagery. Alongside Scarfe's work, there is a display of his historical influences, such as Hogarth and Gillray. In addition, visitors can delve into the world of caricature and portraiture through a range of hands on activities. Millennium Galleries Sheffield until 21st August.

C R Cockerell: The Professor's Dream is an exploration of Cockerell's contribution to British architecture in the early 19th century. Cockerell was one of the most talented British architects of his generation, best known for the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and the National Monument on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, as well as an archaeologist and a teacher. Before he was 25 or had designed a single building, Cockerell was famous throughout Europe for his part in discovering two of the most important and complete groups of ancient Greek sculpture ever found, the gina Marbles and the Phigaleian Marbles. Diaries and other records of his travels played an important part in his work as Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy Schools from 1839 to 1859. This display of plans, sketches, drawings, diaries,reconstructions, watercolours and plaster casts, recording Cockerell's archaeological expeditions, designs and subsequent lecture manuscripts, chart his travels, and how the knowledge he gained, was passed on in the training of architects in Britain. The exhibition takes its title from a spectacular watercolour that illustrates his vision of 4,000 years of Western architecture. In this synoptic image Cockerell shows the fundamental principles of the art of building well passing mysteriously (like the spark of artistic genius between generations) from structure to structure in hereditary succession. Royal Academy of Arts until 25th September.


Castellani And Italian Archaeological Jewellery is the first exhibition to explore in depth the artistic and scholarly contributions to jewellery made by three generations of the Castellani family in 19th century Rome. From the establishment of his workshop in 1814, Pio Castellani's appreciation of the craftsmanship of ancient jewellery, and his desire to improve contemporary Italian craft and design, drove him to pursue the rediscovery of 'lost' arts in jewellery making. These were such ancient techniques as: granulation, the applying of granules of gold to an object's surface; micromosaics, tiny plaques created from hundreds of tesserae, minute pieces of gold, silver or coloured glass; and cameos, biblical and mythological scenes carved into semi-transparent gems such as sapphires and emeralds. Castellani jewellery was at first inspired by Etruscan and early Christian art then being unearthed around Rome, but later went on to embrace Egyptian, Medieval, Renaissance and other classical and historical styles. The Castellani shop by the Trevi Fountain became a compulsory stop on the European grand tour. This exhibition includes over 150 objects, gathered from collections around the world presenting the full range of richly decorated Castellani jewellery, including broaches, necklaces, scarabs, parure and diadems. The Gilbert Collection until 18th September.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, after nearly thirty years, has now fully embraced the great British maxim 'if wet in the church hall', with the opening of the Underground Gallery. The park comprises 500 acres of the landscaped grounds of Bretton Hall, designed in the 18th and 19th centuries, in which are displayed changing exhibitions of around 40 works by Henry Moore, Anthony Caro, Eduardo Chillida, Barbara Hepworth, Anthony Gormley and others. Four years ago, the Longside complex was created, when a series of barns were converted to gallery spaces by Bauman Lyons, to house the Arts Council's national collection of modern sculpture. Its temporary space is currently featuring Size Matters, an exhibition that plays with assumptions, illusions and expectation of appropriate scale, in sculpture, paintings and video. Longside was followed by a new building, designed by Fielden Clegg Bradley, which provides a new entrance, plus the inevitable visitor's centre. Now, from the same team of architects, comes the 3.5m 165ft long Underground Gallery, actually a terrace set into the hillside, like an 18th century ha ha, with one wall of glass. The opening show features a retrospective of William Turnbull's 60 year career, and the new space provides the opportunity to include in the display not just outdoor sculpture in bronze and stone, but also Turnbull's more delicate pieces, with paintings, drawings and prints displayed alongside. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield until 9th October.

Avant-Garde Graphics 1918-1934 gives an insight into the development of modern visual communication and design during the inter-war years. It was a moment of radical inventiveness in the history of art and culture in Europe, and the advance of the machine age brought with it mass production and a new sense of internationalism. This 'heroic' period of modernity found a particularly forceful expression in graphic design and photomontage, with new techniques enabling a fusion of typography, painting and photography for artistic, commercial and political ends. The Futurists were pioneers in this field, exploiting the visual dimension of the written word to dramatic effect. Drawn from one of the world's greatest collections of 20th century graphics - that of Merrill C Berman - this exhibition chronicles the evolution of the movement in works by artists related to the Dutch De Stijl group, French Dadaists, the German Bauhaus, Italian Futurists and the Constructivists of Russia and Central Europe. It comprises over 120 posters by artists including Jean Arp, Herbert Bayer, Willi Baumeister, Theo van Doesburg, John Heartfield, Hannah Hoch, El Lissitzky, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Alexandr Rodchenko, Oskar Schlemmer, Kurt Schwitters and Piet Zwart. Estoric Collection, London until 5th June.

Diane Maclean: Sculpture And Works On Paper is an unusual attempt by the environmental artist Diane Maclean to convey the sights and sounds that occur deep within the Earth. Eighteen metres long, and composed of eleven separate vertical shafts, a stainless steel outdoor sculpture known as 'Mountain' rises six metres high, with a 'canyon' at the centre, through which visitors can wander. The shafts are inspired by mineral composition, and reveal the molecular and crystal structure of the Earth, showing the beautiful aesthetic qualities of minerals. The sculpture's highly reflective angular steel facets are reminiscent of the surfaces of the cut gemstones and natural crystals it relates to. Peepholes in Mountain show highly magnified photographic images on paper, taken through high-powered microscopes, revealing the composition of minerals such as aerinite, and those found in a newly discovered Martian meteorite. An audio installation within the canyon space allows sounds of geological processes that occur within the planet to echo through the sculpture, adding to the atmosphere of walking through a part natural, part man made cavern. Natural History Museum until 4th September.

Queen Victoria And The Crimea - Treasures From The Royal Library charts the course of the first 'modern' war, and the public reaction to it, through material from the Royal Collection and Royal Archives. In the hundred years between the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo and the outbreak of the First World War, British forces fought in only one European war - the Crimean War of 1854-56. Improved communication, the advent of photography, the growth of the pictorial press, and the presence of war reporters in the Crimea, allowed the British public to follow the unfolding events of conflict for the first time. In many ways, this had a similar effect of bringing home the reality of war as that of the reporting of Vietnam in America a century later. Queen Victoria took a keen personal interest in the welfare of the soldiers, and at the conclusion of the hostilities she instituted the Victoria Cross, which remains the highest award for gallantry in the British armed forces. The display includes contemporary prints, watercolours, photographs, letters and medals. Documents show the Queen's practical concern for the wounded, sending beef tea, Windsor soap and other provisions to improve their comfort. As recorded in her own sketch on Buckingham Palace notepaper, the Queen visited soldiers at Fort Pitt Military Hospital, Chatham in 1855, and later sent the men handkerchiefs and comforters. Also among the documents on display are letters illustrating the relationship between Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale. The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle until April.

Andreas Slominski is the first solo exhibition in London by the German artist who always shapes the works on view to the location in which they are seen. A notorious prankster, he likes to create an air of artfully manipulated mystery with his work, which is rooted in irrationality and spontaneity, with a dash of Dadaist humour. In his reaction against a world geared to streamlined efficiency and simplicity, Slominski consciously aims for maximum complexity, and uses deliberately labour intensive methods in the engineering of his pieces. He examines everyday activities, and creates preposterous inventions for carrying them out, derived from a fanatical attention to detail (hardly German at all). The other frequent component of Slominski's installations are his custom made traps and decoys, which are diverse in scale and form, depending on the prey for which they are intended - mice, birds, dogs, foxes, leopards or deer. Simultaneously sculptural and functioning objects with potential for brutality, they would work, but that is not the primary reason for their construction, as Slominski aims to ensnare onlookers through their curiosity. A unique opportunity to see objects, interventions and schemes that Slominski has devised specifically for this presentation, and experience the element of surprise that he continually delivers. Serpentine Gallery until 12th June.


Lee Miller: Portraits is a collection of images from the life of the woman whose path was one of 'poacher turned gamekeeper turned conservationist'. A legendary beauty and fashion model, Miller became an acclaimed photographer, first of fashion, and then on the battlefield. Her relationships with Surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray, and painter and collector Roland Penrose, placed her at the heart of 20th century artistic and literary circles, and in a career spanning more than three decades, she came into contact with an astonishing range of people. Many of these became her friends and the subjects of her penetrating portraits, including Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Jean Cocteau, Colette, Fred Astaire and Marlene Dietrich. This exhibition presents more than 120 black and white portraits, including intimate studies of friends and lovers, as well as poignant portraits of women engaged in a variety of wartime occupations from her time as Vogue's war correspondent during the Second World War. In 1944 Miller flew to Normandy, sending back photographs and written reports from the front as she witnessed historic events including the siege of St Malo, the Allied advance, the liberation of Paris, the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau and the destruction of Hitler's mountain retreat. Throughout her career Miller never lost her Surrealist eye and her incisive portraits make characteristic use of doors, mirrors, windows and other architectural features as devices to frame and isolate the subject. National Portrait Gallery until 30th May.

Matisse, His Art And His Textiles: The Fabric Of Dreams is the first exhibition to explore the relationship of textile designs to Matisse's paintings. Textiles were a primary source of inspiration to Matisse throughout his life. He started acquiring fabrics from an early age, and accumulated an extraordinary collection, from traditional French fabrics to Persian carpets, African wall hangings, Moroccan embroideries and jackets. The exhibition is a selection of Matisse's fabrics and costumes, together with some 30 paintings, and a number of drawings and prints to which they relate. Alongside a display of brilliantly coloured silk swatches from Bohain are the sober low key still lifes that Matisse produced in his early years as a Beaux-Arts trained painter working within a northern tradition. The fabric that liberated Matisse in the most radical phase of his career was a length of flowered, cotton 'toile de Jouy', seen in many works, particularly 'Still Life with Blue Tablecloth' and 'Portrait of Greta Moll'. When Matisse began painting in Nice, he turned his studio into a private theatre, where models in Arab robes and turbans, silk sashes and harem pants, posed on divans, carpets and cushions in front of screens draped and dressed with lengths of fabric. Later he was galvanised by Kuba fabrics from Zaire, small raffia strips and oblongs woven into geometrical patterns that he called 'African velvets', which lie behind his last great invention, the paper cut-outs. Royal Academy of Arts until 30th May.

Can Buildings Curate is the first exhibition to explore the role of the gallery setting in the creation of an exhibition. This is particularly timely, since nowadays, many artists make a big deal of the fact that their latest work wasn't just created for a specific show, but for the space in which it is to be viewed. Looking back over the last century, this exhibition considers the practice of, and relationship between, artists, architects and curators. Among the site specifics here are: silicon splatter-sculptures by Neal Rock, colonising neglected areas of the gallery; an 'intervention' by curator Mathieu Copeland and artist David Cunningham in non-gallery spaces; a piece by Michael Asher, who has been creating conceptual, site-specific installation works for five decades; and works by Cerith Wyn Evans and Cai Guo-Qiang, who escape the curatorial limits of the gallery altogether and forge new life in half-forgotten structures. These come together with the designs for latest built work by the architectural office Decosterd + Rahm for the Lucy Mackintosh Gallery; and a collection of 'Indicative Projects', both built and unbuilt, by OMA/Rem Koolhaas, Diller+Scofidio, SANAA (Sejima/ Nishizawa), RSie, AS-IF, Hirsch/Muller and Zaha Hadid, architects who collaborate with artists, curators or art institutions in unorthodox ways. The whole thing is held together by fragments of an archetypal 'White Cube', today's favoured backdrop, which are scattered around the gallery. Architectural Association Gallery, 36 Bedford Square, London W1, 020 7887 4000 until 27th May.