News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th January 2005


Robert Mapplethorpe Curated By David Hockney is one artist's view of another: a personal selection of portraits, still lifes, flowers and nudes by the photographer whose work and life captured the spirit of his generation. The pair first met in 1970, when Hockney visited Mapplethorpe while he was living and working with the poet and rock musician Patti Smith at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. They became friends, and Mapplethorpe photographed Hockney on several occasions, including the 1976 portrait on New York's Fire Island. The exhibition comprises around sixty of Mapplethorpe's dramatic black and white photographs, taken in the years 1975 to 1988. They highlight Mapplethorpe's aesthetic sensibility, the controlled balance between light and shadow, balance and symmetry, beauty and obscenity. There are portraits of leading creative figures in contact with both Mapplethorpe and Hockney, including artists Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, and Louise Bourgeois, writers William Burroughs and Bruce Chatwin, and Patti Smith. Hockney has also selected portraits of famous acquaintances, including Richard Gere, Lord Snowdon, Yoko Ono, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Marianne Faithful and Iggy Pop. Many of the images are Mapplethorpe's lesser known works, and some have never previously been exhibited in London. Alison Jacques Gallery, Clifford Street London, 020 7287 7675 until 12th March.

SuperCity: Will Alsop's Vision For The Future Of The North, inspired by the way the built environment of the North has been regenerated in recent years, ponders on possible changes to come. Architect Will Alsop imagines what cities of the future could look like, how they might work, and how they could change the lives of those who live in them. He considers a situation in which the M62 corridor is a singular entity, a huge coast to coast SuperCity, 80 miles long and 15 miles wide, where city limits are blurred, and its inhabitants live in Liverpool, shop in Leeds and go clubbing in Manchester. Using the latest forms of advanced transportation, the SuperCity residents could wake up by the Mersey and commute to an office overlooking the Humber, while air travel from a central hub puts the world on their doorstep. The exhibition is a visual and mental journey in which architectural visions are tested against the needs and realities of the region, examining what impact it would have on the traditional definition of a city and the people who work, rest and play in such a radical new landscape. Featuring large scale sculptural forms created by Alsop, it surveys the complete spectrum of city life, from housing and working to transport, food chains and leisure spaces. Among these are Stack, a vertiginous tower that proposes a new way of housing 5,000 people with provision to learn, work and play; and Pier, a vast structure and multi-sensory experience with every shop, transport link and service expected of a modern city. Urbis, Manchester until 15th May.

Living Paint: J D Fergusson traces the Scottish Colourist's connection with France, and the influence of the Post Impressionists and the Fauves, that profoundly changed his style at the turn of the twentieth century. It also looks at the importance that John Duncan Fergusson placed on his Highland Celtic ancestry, and the key role he played in encouraging other artists in Scotland, and promoting Scottish art. The exhibition of around fifty portraits, nudes, landscapes and still lifes, in the distinctive Colourist style that marries bright colours with everyday subjects, is a broad selection of Fergusson's work, demonstrating his experimental and varied output. Of all the Colourist group, Fergusson in particular benefited from contact with avant-garde artists in Paris, and his response to this artistic revolution was ahead of any of his British contemporaries. The exhibition includes some of his most famous works, including 'The White Dress: Portrait of Jean', 'At My Studio Window', 'Danu, Mother Of The Gods and 'Jean Maconochie'. The Fleming Collection, London until 24th March.


Futurist Skies: Italian Aeropainting offers a rare and exhilarating birds-eye view of the world through the eyes of Italian Futurist artists. The movement that was always fascinated with technology, speed and the machine, found its ultimate subject in aeropainting - striving to capture the visual and metaphysical sensations of flight in dramatic and often intensely poetic imagery - which came to dominate Futurist art throughout the 1930s. Aeropainting was stylistically diverse, ranging from conventional views of the earth depicted from above, as in the work of Tato (Guglielmo Sansoni) and Alfredo Ambrosi, to the abstract, 'biomorphic' imagery of Enrico Prampolini and the dizzying, cinematic perspectives characteristic of Tullio Crali, as in 'Nosediving on the City'. However, whether representational or experimental, the work of the aeropainters consistently adheres to the Manifesto dell'aeropittura that "the changing perspectives of flight constitute an absolutely new reality, one that has nothing in common with the reality traditionally constituted by earthbound perspectives". Eventually, aeropainting was transformed into a propaganda machine for the Fascist regime, celebrating its military aspirations and adventures. In the process, it lost something of the spirit of enquiry and sense of wonder that pervades this exhibition of over sixty works, which include paintings, sculptures and ceramics by artists such as Domenico Belli, Mario Molinari, Giovanni Korompay, Fillia (Luigi Colombo), Nicolay Diulgheroff, Bruno Munari and Giacomo Balla. Estorick Collection, London until 20th February.

Jane Austen: Film And Fashion is a celebration of costume design in film and television - but with a difference. This unusual exhibition offers an opportunity to compare fact with fiction, by featuring both costumes created for recent television and film adaptations of Jane Austen's novels, alongside thirty original pieces of fashionable dress and accessories dating back to the Regency period from the resident collection. Jane Austen lived in Bath periodically, and scenes from two novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, are set in the city, with key scenes taking place in the Assembly Rooms, which houses the exhibition. In the novels there is very little information about what the characters actually wore, making it a difficult task for costume designers to dress the actors authentically. The exhibition explains how each designer went about the process, providing an insight into their methods of working. It includes costumes from productions such as the BBC's Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth, and the film versions of Sense and Sensibility, with Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant, and Emma, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow. Free audio guides that accompany the exhibition include first hand narratives from actors such as Greg Wise and Amanda Root, as well as the costume designers themselves. The Museum Of Costume, Bath until November.

Andy Goldsworthy: Passage is an exploration of the possibilities of a relatively new Norman Foster designed private gallery, whose proportions and 11,000 sq ft floor space, give Tate Modern's Turbine Hall competition. Goldsworthy has produced numerous site specific works all over the world, and specialises in bringing the outdoors indoors. In the 24 ft high Gallery 1, he has deposited an 18ft high stone tower, formed of granite pieces transported from a beach in Scotland (the largest weighing one and a half tonnes) that rely on purely their density and a system of sanded cavities for their balance. Timber enclosures surround the granite, but allow the bold visitor into its core for a more intimate inspection of the natural joints. Survivors can move on to Gallery 2, a 150ft long low ceilinged space, housing a 40ft long winding clay piece, created by applying mixture of hay and human hair soaked with slip to bind clay around tree branches. The walls are lined with photographic images of icicles, stalks, branches, leaf sculptures and a 3km long moonlit chalk path. Finally, in the more intimate Gallery 3, Goldsworthy has created a series of 6ft long wooden boxes at floor level, for visitors to examine snaking and rounded forms of sweet chestnut leaves, held together by thorns. All good 'what I did in my autumn half term holiday' stuff. Further information can be found on the Albion web site, via the link from the Galleries section of ExhibitionsNet. Albion, London until 31st March.

Circling The Square: Avant-garde Porcelain From Revolutionary Russia is a comprehensive survey of the remarkable avant-garde ceramics produced by the extraordinarily unlikely combination of the Imperial Porcelain Factory of Russia and Boshevic Revolutionary designers in the heady times immediately following the Russian Revolution of 1917. Inspired by the promise of a new society, leading artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Rudol'f Vilde, and Kuz'ma Petrov-Vodkin, supplied the factory with bold and innovative designs, often incorporating stirring images and slogans in support of the new regime. "Proletariat of the World Unite" and "Blessed is Free Labour" shown with interlocking axes and scythes, executed in the exquisite colours, finish and standard of the 150 year old Lomonosov factory in St Petersburg, is a culture clash of a dimension rarely experienced. In 1923 the factory started producing an extraordinary range of porcelain with purely abstract designs by the Suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich and his students Nicolay Suyetin and Ilya Chashnik. Sadly after the mid 1920s the purity of the vision was lost, replaced by scenes of dreary heroic workers and factory chimneys. In addition to a wide selection of this unique porcelain, the exhibition features a group of design drawings by the leading Russian artists of the early 20th century, many of which have not been exhibited before. The Hermitage Rooms, Somerset House until 31st July.

Disraeli - A Man Of Many Parts marks the bicentenary of the birth of Benjamin Disraeli, one of the most influential figures of Victorian Britain, with an exhibition that endeavours to illuminate key aspects of his life, career and character.His critical role in shaping Victorian England, his politics and literary aspirations, his complex relationship with his Jewish origins, as well as his intriguing relationship with Queen Victoria, are examined through cartoons, documents, letters, books and original artefacts. The ambience of Disraeli's study in his house, Hughenden Manor, has been recreated with its books, furniture and family portraits. Disraeli was twice Prime Minister, instituted a series of important social reforms, and was formative in shaping the ideology of the modern Conservative party, while maintaining a parallel career as a prolific novelist. His flamboyant persona - the complete antithesis of his political rival Gladstone - which he astutely adopted to further his political ambitions, masked the much more sensitive and romantic nature revealed in his novels. Disraeli was not known by his contemporaries as The Sphinx for nothing. An accompanying programme of lectures and events draw upon the many components of Disraeli's life and career. The Jewish Museum, London until 27th February.

Faces In The Crowd - Painters Of Modern Life From Manet To Today turns on its head the presumption that all forward movements in 20th century art were through abstraction, by exploring modernity through realist art. Taking Edouard Manet as its starting point, and moving through figures such as Rene Magritte, Umberto Boccioni, Pablo Picasso, Eduardo Paolozzi, Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter and Cindy Sherman, this exhibition traces a history of avant-garde figuration. In doing so, it presents a story that is just as radical as that of the abstract. Manet's vividly realist scenarios or Jeff Wall's cinematic tableaux offer a compelling snapshot of the modern. By contrast, Edvard Munch or Francis Bacon present a tortured or exhilarated inner life. Whereas for Alexander Rodchenko, Joseph Beuys or Chris Ofili, the figure can be a harbinger of change: symbolic, revolutionary or transgressive. This exhibition includes not only painting, but also sculpture, photography and the moving image, with each work pivotal to the story of Modernism. Representations of the human figure are seen as expressions of modernity, becoming ciphers for the experience of modern life; as images of modern life, picturing both the epic and the everyday; or as agents of social change, where avant-garde realism proposes new world orders. Whitechapel Gallery until 27th February.


The Vaughan Bequest Of Turner Watercolours, comprising thirty eight works from throughout J M W Turner's career, makes its annual appearance. When London art collector Henry Vaughan made the bequest in 1900, it was with the stipulation that the watercolours not be subjected to permanent display, since continual exposure to light would result in their fading. Further, he ruled that the collection could only be shown in January, when daylight is at its weakest and least destructive level. The Vaughan Bequest includes works from Turner's early topographical wash drawings of the 1790s, through to the colourful and atmospheric watercolour sketches of Continental Europe, executed in the 1830s and '40s. Despite the fact that modern technology now enables the light levels to be monitored and controlled at all times, the annual January exhibition has become a tradition, where Turner's radiance brightens the greyest Edinburgh day. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh until 31st January.

Robert Frank: Storylines is the first solo exhibition in Britain of work by one of the world's most important living photographers. For more than fifty years, Frank has broken the rules of photography and film making, challenging the boundaries between the still and the moving image. Having trained in his native Switzerland, he emigrated to New York in 1947 and began working for Harper's Bazaar and Life. Frank developed a technique of combining realism with the narrative potential of photographic sequencing, which enabled him to capture the poetic qualities of everyday life, travelling extensively in South America, post Second World War Britain and Paris, and rural United States. In the late 1950s he abandoned traditional photography and concentrated on making films, pioneering a revolutionary approach that combined autobiography, poetry, and emotion with gritty realism. Frank returned to photography in the 1970s to make complex constructions, containing multiple prints in black and white and colour, as well as stills from films and videos. The exhibition includes over one hundred and fifty black and white photographs never before displayed outside America, and three films. These include images from 'Peru' 1949, 'London' 1951-52, 'Black White and Things' 1952, 'Wales' 1953, 'Chicago' 1956 and 'The Americans' 1958, the groundbreaking series of photographs of everyday life which changed the language of post war photography. Tate Modern until 30th January.

Space Of Encounter: The Architecture Of Daniel Libeskind is the first exhibition in the UK of the work of the architect who has produced some of the most controversial buildings of our time. With their expressive forms and highly developed symbolism, Libeskind's designs consistently stir debate among both critics and the public. This exhibition explores Libeskind's architectural vision through a display of 16 key projects, including his master plan for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site in New York, shown with specially commissioned 2 metre high illuminated model; Denver Art Museum, which is a series of geometric shards; Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, an image of the world shattered into fragments; the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the building that established his reputation; and the proposed Spiral extension to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Previously unseen architectural models, drawings, plans and elevations are combined with film and slide projections in a display conceived in close collaboration with Studio Libeskind. Completed and unrealised projects are shown side by side with those undergoing construction, underscoring the consistency of Libeskind's architectural philosophy. Also included in the exhibition are Chamberworks and Micromegas, a series of intricate drawings, and costume and set designs for the Deutsche Oper Berlin production of Saint Francis Of Assisi. Barbican Art Gallery until 23rd January.