News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 18th September 2002


David Wilkie: Genre Painter celebrates the work of one of the most spectacularly successful British artists, who, despite being compared to Hogarth, and receiving the tribute of a painting by Turner commemorating his death, is now little known. Wilkie specialised in scenes of everyday, domestic life - genre painting - which were in some ways the equivalents of modern soap operas, being based on the little dramas of home life with which everyone could identify. The greatest years of Wilkie's popular acclaim were during the Napoleonic Wars, when he created images of the ordinary man and woman, which made an enormous emotional impact at a time of national crisis. His pictures were all the more effective by virtue of their psychological realism, telling a complex emotional story, by combining warm-hearted humour with more ambiguous small details. Wilkie was also the most technically gifted British painter of the Romantic period, with a striking ability to render the reality of things, and he drew comparisons to the Old Masters with his depictions of the human form. This is the first major survey in Britain of Wilkie's extraordinary achievements for over forty years, and includes many virtually unknown works from private collections. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 1st December.

In Splendid Isolation is a 'through the looking glass' experience, with new works by Helen Maurer and Sarah Woodfine which play with perception and illusion. Helen Maurer explores the properties of light and glass, using overhead projectors and fibre optics to create scenes. Everyday glass objects and layers of glass sheets are arranged on projectors and shelves, so that the light source casts or reflects an image onto a wall. Sarah Woodfine's meticulous pencil drawings of buildings play with perspective, slipping between two and three-dimensional realities. These include flat-pack models of Tudor-style barns and cottages, which are not fully functional and point toward an illogical place - a shadowy realm where apparitions reach out and unspeakable terrors lie behind their two dimensional walls. Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth until 19th October.

Japanese Prints During The Allied Occupation 1945-1952 shows how Japan recovered culturally after its disastrous defeat in the Pacific War in 1945. It examines how one school of printmakers, under the leadership of Onchi Koshiro, found themselves as artists among the spokesmen for a new search for the nation's heart in its aesthetic traditions. Connoisseurs among the occupying forces and administrators rapidly appreciated their work, and an important part of this process was the meeting of Onchi and his circle, together with another artist Munakata Shiko, and the American graphic artist Ernst Hacker. This exhibition is principally comprised of material collected by Hacker at that time, including prints, printed books, archives and contemporary photographs, which were recently acquired by the museum and are on public display for the first time. By 1952, when the Allied Occupation ended, Onchi and Munakata were being eagerly collected in the USA. The two are now recognised throughout the world as Japan's greatest 20th century print artists, but it was the Americans who introduced them to the world. This exhibition provides an opportunity not only to see their works, but also to appreciate Japanese society in the transitional period under the Allied Occupation. British Museum until 1st December.


Over The Rainbow: Selected Works By Peter Blake is an update on the recently knighted (and unbelievably 70 year old) grandfather of British pop art. Since his retrospective at the National Gallery six years ago, Blake apparently considers himself in semi retirement, producing only small shows which he calls 'encores'. This particular encore, which is the first exhibition of his own material Blake has curated outside London, focuses on printed works. His images are fuelled by a love affair with the ephemera of consumer culture from the 19th century to the present day. Blake is best known for the brightly coloured works he created during the 1960s, which conjure up the vitality and excitement of Carnaby Street and Swinging London. The silkscreen prints, which mix newer work with the familiar, include his celebrations of the Fab Four, and his series of images of bikini clad 1960s fantasy girl Bobbie The Babe. There is also the first wood engraving he created after leaving college. Harley Gallery, Worksop 01909 501700 until 13th October.

The Rolling Stones By Gered Mankowitz is the first exhibition of the most famous collection of photographs of the Stones, documenting arguably their most important musical period, onstage, backstage and at home from 1965 to 1967. Gered Mankowitz was only eighteen when his work so impressed the Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham that he was invited to become their official/unofficial photographer. Mankowitz joined them for their successful and important autumn 1965 tour of America, and over the next three years had unlimited access, shooting them at recording sessions, in their homes, and during their performances on stage and television. The results formed not only an archive of the lives of the iconic group of the period, but also provided covers and other shots for their albums. To those who grew up with the Stones in the 60s and 70s, it will be a trip down memory lane, to those who grew up in the 80s and 90s it will be an insight into the heyday of the most enduring rock 'n' roll band, which has just embarked on what may be its final tour. Proud Camden Moss, 10 Greenland Street, NW1 020 7482 3867 until mid November.

An Area Of Outstanding Unnatural Beauty is the latest project of Artangel, the arts agency best known for the Rachel Whiteread's inside out concrete house in Mile End. This one is provides "an alternative information bureau" in a similarly run down part of London - King's Cross. Local artist Richard Wentworth has put together a collection of curios amassed over his 25 years in the area, "a cartographic archive of tracks and traces, maps and meanders", which creates a rather different picture from the seedy transient image with which it is usually associated. It encapsulates King's Cross at a point of resolution, with the vast tracts of land that have been under the threat (or promise) of redevelopment for the entire quarter century finally seeing the bulldozers moving in. The Victorian domestic scale and its bohemian existence (not to mention the famous gasometers) are now being replaced by the Channel Tunnel link and a massive housing development. Located in a former plumber's merchants, the installation will play host to weekly salon evenings celebrating its disorderly past, including a table tennis competition with a prize of a trip to King's Cross in Sydney. Further information can be found on the Artangel web site via the link from the Others Organisations section of ExhibitionsNet. General Plumbing Supplies, York Way N1 until 4th November.

Mackintosh In France is an unusual exhibition of watercolours by the architect, designer and polymath Charles Rennie Mackintosh. These were created in the final years of his life, which he spent in the South of France. Dividing his time between the coast at Port Vendres and the Pyrenean mountains, he devoted himself to painting, producing a series of over 40 landscapes. These works record the man made and natural landscapes of the area, distilled through an architect and designer's eye. The Mackintosh House Gallery at The Hunterian Glasgow until 12th October.

100 Photographs: A Collection By Bruce Bernard is a special farewell exhibition from a great and discriminating friend of photography. Bernard is now best known as a photographer, but he was also a historian of photography, and a gifted picture editor, chiefly of the Sunday Times. In 1996, four years before his death, the artist and collector James Moores commissioned him to create a collection of photographs. The result is extraordinarily varied, from prints of the American Civil War to shots of Marilyn Monroe. These encompass not just key historical images and photographs by the likes of Man Ray, Diane Arbus and Weegee, but his own personal and fresh view, with many pictures by anonymous and unknown photographers, revealing his witty and acerbic sense of humour.

Stepping In And Out: Contemporary Documentary Photograph takes as its starting point Bruce Bernard's belief in the ability of photography to both record and comment on all human life. Eight projects offer insights into the scope of contemporary documentary photography and the motivations of the photographers responsible for their creation. Victoria & Albert Museum - both exhibitions until 2nd February.

A Century Of Queen's Wedding Dresses 1840-1947 is a special exhibition drawn from The Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection marking the Queen's Jubilee. The display of wedding dresses and accoutrement reflect the changes in dress that have occurred over the period. Highlights include the dresses of the Queen and Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra's lace wedding veil, a collar of the Order of the Garter, two Victoria and Albert Badges, a Crown of India Badge, and a folding lace fan which belonged to Queen Mary. The Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection is a permanent presentation of dress worn by members of the Royal Family, and officials and dignitaries undertaking ceremonial roles, such as heralds or members of Orders of Knighthood, dating from the 18th century to the present day. These include and a collection of dresses owned and worn by the present Queen from various times during her reign, and a new collection of dresses belonging to Diana, Princess of Wales. There are also recreations of a dressmaker's workroom, a tailor's shop, and dressing rooms. Kensington Palace until 27th April


The State Rooms of Buckingham Palace 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, to mark the Golden Jubilee, there is an exhibition of gifts received by the Queen during 76 State Visits abroad, and 149 visits to Commonwealth countries, or from 75 foreign Heads of State visiting this country. Among the gifts are a carved ebony model of the Toran Gate in Ahmedabad, presented by the Governor of the State of Gujarat; a steel, brass and Sevres porcelain wine-bottle cooler in the form of a giant grasshopper, given by President Pompidou of France; a model of an outrigger canoe from the Local Council of the Island of San Cristobal in the Solomon Islands; brass and enamel coffee pots presented by the Indian High Commissioner; and an embroidered silk scarf given by President Mandela during a visit to South Africa. Buckingham Palace until 29th September.

Shuttleworth Air Displays attempt to fly all of the airworthy aeroplanes and drive all of the vehicles in this fantastic collection. Among these are the world's oldest airworthy aeroplane, the 1909 Bleriot XI; original World War One aircraft, the 1916 Sopwith Triplane and 1918 Bristol Fighter F2B; exact replicas of the 1910 Bristol Boxkite and 1917 Bristol M1C; and famous aircraft from World War Two, the 1940 DH82A Tiger Moth, 1941 Hurricane and 1942 Spitfire. The Collection is housed in eight hangars on an old fashioned all grass aerodrome, and includes an aeroplane engineering workshop giving close up views of restoration and maintenance; a garage displaying the veteran and vintage cars - several of which have regularly completed the London to Brighton run, motorcycles, a Penny Farthing amongst other bicycles, and commercial vehicles such as the Clayton & Shuttleworth steam traction engine; and a separate coach room for horse drawn carriages. The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, Biggleswade - Air Displays on 21st September and 6th October - The Collection is open throughout the year.

London Open House, the annual scheme to allow the public access to architecturally interesting but usually private buildings across the capital, boasts a record number of locations this year. Over 500 buildings of all kinds, both historic and new, include Dulwich Picture and Courtauld Institute galleries, National Maritime and Sir John Soane museums, London School of Economics and Peckham libraries, Old Vic and Royal Opera House theatres, Royal Albert and Wigmore Halls, Gray's and Lincoln's Inn, BBC Bush House and Television Centre, the ITN and Channel 4 buildings, Foster and Partners and Imagination offices, No 1 Poultry, Banqueting House, City Hall, Great Eastern Hotel, Kenwood House and Royal Courts of Justice. There are also conducted walks taking place at various locations over the course of the weekend. In 2001 almost half a million visits were made during the two days. Entrance is free, and some venues include accompanying special events. Further details and how to obtain a directory can be found on the London Open House web site via the link from the Other Festivals section of ExhibitionsNet. Across London on 21st and 22nd September.