News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 18th September 2013


Jonathan Yeo Portraits features works by one of the most highly regarded portrait painters active in Britain today. The exhibition includes innovative portraits - all produced from life - of some of today's leading cultural, media and political figures, many of whom sat for portraits for the first time with Jonathan Yeo. It presents an overview of the Yeo's work to date, beginning with the drawings he made of the party leaders on the 2001 general election campaign trail, private studies of his family, and portraits of well known figures such as Rupert Murdoch, Erin O'Connor, Grayson Perry, David Walliams, Dennis Hopper, Nicole Kidman, Michael Parkinson and Sienna Miller. It also features several new and previously unseen artworks, including a 6ft high oil on canvas portrait of Damien Hirst, showing the artist sitting in a chair, dressed in a chemical dry suit and holding a mask: an outfit chosen to reflect the tools of his trade; Kevin Spacey as Richard III, which he played in the recent Old Vic production; and Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban in Pakistan following her campaign for girls to have the right to attend school. Yeo employs a range of media to create a diverse portfolio of portraiture, capturing his sitters through photographs, etchings and hand finished inkjet prints, as well as traditional oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery until 5th January.

Blackpool Illuminations have extended the holiday season and entertained visitors to the seaside town since 1879, when 8 plain electric arc lamps bathed the Promenade in what was described as 'artificial sunshine'. While the basic idea remains the same, the style and scale of Blackpool's end of season electrical extravaganza have little in common with that first experiment in lighting. Traditional lamps are still used, but now alongside the newest technology such as lasers, fibre-optics, low-voltage neon and even real fire and water. The show now costs £2.4m to stage, and stretches for 6 miles of spectacular colour, light and movement. New features this year include the World's Biggest 3D Holographic Experience, with 40 3D holographic characters ranging from tigers and elephants to pirates, zombies and mermaids; Art For Walls, the biggest gallery of original illuminated urban art in the world, comprising 48 panels by 12 artists; It's Sooty!, a tableaux depicting Sooty, Sweep and pals in action; and Sky Galaxy, with over 2000 multi-coloured lights in the sky, randomly twinkling in ever-changing patterns; plus old favourites Haunted House, Teddy Bears Picnic, Theatre D'Amour, Rangoli Peacock, Sanuk, Venus Reborn, Bling and Brilliance renewed and improved. Visitors can become part of the display, as they travel along the Promenade aboard a tram dressed up by lights as a wild west train, ocean liner or space rocket, from dusk to 11.30pm most nights. Blackpool Promenade, until 10th November.

Francis Bacon Henry Moore: Flesh And Bone places the works of the two greatest British artists of the 20th century in close relation, 50 years after their first joint showing. The exhibition brings together 20 paintings by Francis Bacon alongside 20 sculptures and 20 drawings by Henry Moore to explore themes such as the treatment of the human figure and the artists' responses to the violence of the 20th century. It shows surprising parallels in the work of two artists whose careers have rarely been linked until now. In their different mediums, Moore and Bacon created unforgettable images of the human figure. The distinctive visual languages that each artist developed over more than half a century were marked by a growing simplicity and monumentality of form. Their perspectives differed: Moore clung to a belief in humanism, while Bacon espoused a post-humanist, nihilistic view of the world. In expressing their visions of humanity, the two artists had very different approaches: Bacon working from the outside in, disintegrating and dissolving form; Moore from the inside out, pushing anatomical structure to the surface. Among the highlights are Bacon's 'Study from Portrait of Pope Innocent X', 'Second Version of Triptych', 'Lying Figure in a Mirror', 'Head II' and 'Portrait of Man with Glasses III'; and Moore's 'King and Queen', 'Three Upright Motives: No.1: Glenkiln Cross', 'Four Figures in a Setting', 'Animal Head' and 'Reclining Figure: Festival'. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 19th January.


Victoriana: The Art Of Revival offers a major examination of Victorian revivalism in all its forms. Featuring graphic design, film, photography, ceramics, taxidermy, furniture, textiles and fine art, this multi-media show explores work inspired by the 19th century and created over the last 20 years, highlighting the ongoing influence of the Victorian age. From the macabre to the quaint, the sensational to the surreal, the exhibition brings together 28 major contemporary artists who encapsulate the many forms and motivations of modern takes on Victorian style. Highlights of the weird and wonderful inventions and interventions include Rob Ryan's take on a pair of ceramic Staffordshire dogs 'I Remember, Nobody Remembers'; Jane Hoodless's part eaten wedding cake 'Shorn Out of Wedlock'; Miss Pokeno's combination of armchair and taxidermy 'Trophy Chair'; Carole Windham's ceramic couple 'Dearly Beloved'; Timorous Beasties's 'Devil Damask Flock Wallpaper'; Patrick StPaul's collection of strange things in glass jars 'Whisper in the Midst of Silence'; and Yumiko Utsu's altered painting 'Octopus Portrait': plus works by Yinka Shonibare, Grayson Perry, Paula Rego, Dan Hillier, Paul St George, Kitty Valentine and Jake and Dinos Chapman. Guildhall Art Gallery, London, until 8th December.

Zoe Beloff: Dreamland - The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society And Its Circle 1926-1972 is an installation inspired by Sigmund Freud's visit to Coney Island Amusement Park in New York. Zoe Beloff takes Freud's interest in this site of fantasy as a starting point to display the history of the Coney Island Psychoanalytic Society, a small group of Freud followers, now considered an urban legend. Through recounting the activities of the society and in particular its founder Albert Grass, Beloff's work explores the unconscious of one of the world's great amusement parks, seeing it as an overlooked repository of society's dreams and desires. Among the elements are: drawings and an architectural model of the proposed Dreamland Amusement Park, designed to illustrate Freud's theory of dream formation, including Dream Work, Unconscious, Consciousness and Psychic Censor Pavilions; slides of the original The World In Wax exhibit, together with wax hands and glasses similar to those worn by Freud; weathered paintings on plywood of a bumper car ride called 'Engines of the ID', where patrons would choose cars with names like Infantile Impulse or Raw Regression and collide into each other on the floor marked out according to Freud's map of the psyche; a history of the Coney Island Amusement Park from the 1880's to the present day, as well as background on Sigmund Freud's visit; Archives of the Society, containing magazines, letters, snapshots, books and information panels; and Dream Films made by members of the Society. Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, until 2nd November.

Frank Holl: Emerging From The Shadows is the first major retrospective in more than 100 years of the eminent Victorian artist widely regarded in his own lifetime as a leading figure in social realist and portrait painting. Frank Holl's early death at 43 meant that he never fully received the acclaim his work merited. This exhibition brings together around 30 of Holl's major works to examine how, during his short career, he became a distinct and insightful voice in British painting. Holl was a leading exponent of subject painting, capturing scenes of everyday lives, a phenomenon that ran in tandem with the popularity of the novels of Charles Dickens. His early powerful portrayals of the impact of loss, departure and death, such as 'The Lord Gave and the Lord Hath Taken Away', resulted in a commission by Queen Victoria to go to the poor fishing village of Cullercoats to capture a community's hard life at first-hand in 'No Tidings from the Sea'. Holl joined the group of eminent artists, including Luke Fildes, Hubert von Herkomer and Millais, who illustrated the newly launched The Graphic, whose aim was to present a realistic picture of the poor and destitute of London, producing 'Gone' and one of his most celebrated works, 'Newgate, Committed for Trial'. There was then a change in direction for Holl, rejecting subject painting in favour of portraiture, a change that was a response to both a shift in artistic taste and his financial need. Holl soon became an acclaimed portraitist, with subjects including William Gilbert, Samuel Cousins, William Gladstone and Prince Edward. Watts Gallery, Compton, Surrey, until 3rd November.

Opened Up: 200 Years Of The Hunterian Museum celebrates renowned collections of human anatomy and pathology as well as natural history and works of art that have been created over the last two centuries. The exhibition reveals those who took care of the collections, where and how they were displayed, who visited them, what role they play in surgical education today, and how these diverse objects have informed the medical world and fascinated illustrious visitors from medics to monarchs. It includes hidden objects brought out of storage and cutting edge medical models crafted by those working behind the scenes both then and now, continuing 200 years of medical museum tradition. Objects include an early anesthetic inhaler; a wild boar skull suffering from 'lumpy jaw' bone infection; Joseph Lister's original carbolic acid spray engine; a Red Admiral butterfly with dissected wing; and a photograph of an Edwardian charwoman cleaning one from an entire room full of human skulls.

Extinct comprises specimens and images of extinct and endangered animals. This features the remains of prehistoric giants, such as the woolly mammoth and the immense Megalodon shark, alongside creatures lost only a few decades ago, including the Tasmanian tiger. The display raises questions about human interaction with the natural world and highlights the plight of critically endangered species.

Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, London, until 9th November.

Chagall: Modern Master reveals a radically different picture of the Russian painter from the one often presented in art history. The exhibition showcases Marc Chagall as a passionate visionary and pioneer of the avant-garde, who combined his own response to the art movements of the day with an open display of affection for his native Russia and Hasidic Jewish heritage. It provides a rare opportunity to see a substantial body of work that demonstrates the depth and diversity of Chagall's art as it matured during the pivotal years from 1911 to 1922. Over 70 paintings and drawings are presented in a broadly chronological order, with thematic groupings charting Chagall's encounters with avant-garde artistic movements, highlighting how he combined these new pictorial languages with his own imaginative and fantastical motifs to create his innovative and expressive works. The exhibition examines the 3 crucial years spent in Paris, where he explored his personal relationship to the emerging movements of Cubism and Orphism in paintings such as 'Half Past Three (The Poet)' and 'Paris Through the Window'. It brings to light how Chagall responded to the traumas of war and religious persecution following a return to Russia at the outbreak of the First World War, including 'Departure for War' and 'Jew in Red'. The 8 years Chagall was forced to spend in Russia were marked by the consolidation of his signature painterly style, as demonstrated by 'Anywhere out of the World' and 'Promenade'. The exhibition also explores Chagall's lifelong interest in the theatre, with a rare presentation of the 7 large scale murals designed for the State Yiddish Chamber Theatre in Moscow in 1920, including the epic 8m long 'The Wedding Feast' frieze. Tate Liverpool until 6th October.

The Universal Addressability Of Dumb Things explores the world of new technology, as well as tracing its connections to the beliefs of our distant past. It is a cabinet of curiosities, with historical and contemporary works of art, videos, machines, archaeological artefacts and iconic objects, like the giant inflatable cartoon figure of Felix the Cat (the first image ever transmitted on television) inhabiting an 'enchanted landscape', where objects seem to be communicating with each other and with visitors. The exhibition reflects on a world where technology can bring inanimate 'things' to life, where websites predict what we want, where we can ask our mobile phones for directions and smart fridges suggest recipes, count calories and even switch on the oven. By digitising objects, it can also make them "disappear" from the material world, re-emerging in any place or era. Loosely divided into four themes or scenes, the Vegetable World, Animal Kingdom, Mankind and the Technological Domain, works by artists such as William Blake, Louise Bourgeois, Martin Creed, Richard Hamilton, Nicola Hicks, Jim Shaw and Toyen are displayed alongside a medieval silver hand containing the bones of a saint, an electronic prosthetic hand that connects with Bluetooth, a bisected 3D model of Snoopy showing his internal organs, an early Doctor Who cyberman, and many other treasures that all share connections. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, until 20th October.


The Lindisfarne Gospels tells the story of how and why one of the greatest landmarks of human cultural achievement was made, and its influence on Medieval Europe. Created by the community of St Cuthbert on Lindisfarne, the Lindisfarne Gospels is not only a book, an illuminated manuscript and a sacred text, but also one of the best examples of medieval creativity and craftsmanship. At the centre of the exhibition is an opportunity for a close up view of the gospel book itself, written in honour of St Cuthbert. The stunningly designed calf-skin pages, created in 700 by Bishop Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, comprise nearly 2,000 yards of perfectly formed Latin calligraphic script, decorated with strange beats and spiral designs, containing the works of the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as they recount the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The cover is also richly decorated and adorned with jewels. In addition to the book itself, there are many artefacts from Anglo-Saxon England, such as St Cuthbert's own treasures, including his jewelled cross, sapphire ring and travelling altar; a folded gold cross and other ornate gold objects from the Staffordshire Hoard; intricately carved stone from Lindisfarne depicting Viking raiders; and silver from Hexham; alongside some of Britain's most significant medieval manuscripts, such as the St Cuthbert Gospel - Europe's oldest surviving bound book - and the Durham Gospels. These items place the Lindisfarne Gospels within a wider context of Anglo-Saxon creativity and show how incredibly complex and elaborate medieval craftsmanship was. Palace Green Library, Durham University, until 30th September.

Life And Death In Pompeii And Herculaneum looks at the Roman home and the people who lived in these ill-fated cities. Pompeii and Herculaneum, on the Bay of Naples in southern Italy, were buried by a catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in just 24 hours in AD 79. This event ended the life of the cities but at the same time preserved them until rediscovery by archaeologists nearly 1700 years later, and their excavation has provided unparalleled insight into Roman life. This exhibition brings together over 250 objects, embracing both recent discoveries and celebrated finds from earlier excavations, many of which have never before been seen outside Italy. Owing to their different locations the two cities were buried in different ways and this has affected the preservation of materials at each site. Herculaneum was a small seaside town whereas Pompeii was the industrial hub of the region. The exhibition explores the lives of individuals in Roman society, not emperors, gladiators and legionaries, but businessmen, powerful women, freed slaves and children. Among the highlights are a wall painting from Pompeii showing the baker Terentius Neo and his wife, holding writing materials showing they are literate and cultured, plus loaves of bread that were baking in an oven; pieces of wooden furniture that were carbonised by the high temperatures of the ash that engulfed the city, including a linen chest, an inlaid stool, a garden bench and a baby's crib that still rocks on its curved runners; and plaster casts of victims, including a family of 2 adults and their 2 children, huddled together, just as in their last moments under the stairs of their villa, and a dog, fixed forever at the moment of its death as the volcano submerged the city. British Museum until 29th September.

Mexico: A Revolution in Art 1910 - 1940 examines an intense period of artistic creativity that took place in Mexico following the turmoil of the revolution between 1910 and 1920, which led to a period of profound political change in which the arts were placed centre stage. Under state-sponsored schemes, artists were employed by the Ministry of Education to further the political aims of the revolution. Art was embraced as symbolic of the inherent creativity and industry of the nation and was, therefore, seen as representative of the principles of the revolution. Mexico attracted large numbers of significant international artists and intellectuals who engaged with the political changes taking place, and responded to the rich and varied country they found on arrival there. For many, Mexico was an unspoilt land rich with history, stunning scenery and a diverse population that heralded a sense of discovery and a promise of adventure. The exhibition of over 120 paintings and photographs, places work by significant Mexican artists alongside that of individuals who were affected by their experiences in Mexico. These include David Alfaro Siqueiros, Josef Albers, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philip Guston, Marsden Hartley, Henrietta Shore, Paul Strand, Leon Underwood and Edward Weston. Highlights include Roberto Montenegro's 'Mayan Woman', Diego Rivera's 'Dance in Tehuantepec', Tina Modotti's 'Workers Reading El Machete', Clemente Orozco's 'Barricade', Edward Burra's 'El Paseo', Jose Chavez Morado's 'Carnival in Huejotzingo', Robert Capa's 'Women in truck with banners supporting presidential candidacy of General Manuel Avila Camacho, Mexico City', and a self-portrait by Frida Kahlo. Royal Academy of Arts until 29th September.