Private View held by Richard Andrews
This Is Tomorrow is part reconstruction, part celebration, of the iconic show that launched Pop Art in Britain in 1956, and also part examination of the process by which it came about. Famously advertised with Richard Hamilton's poster 'Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?', the exhibition highlighted the new technology and popular culture that had started to influence all aspects of everyday life in the 1950s. The idea was to invite contributors to form 12 groups, each including artists, architects, musicians and graphic designers, with each group producing work on the theme of modern life. The groups worked independently, but saw the final display as one environment, suggesting a radical model of collaboration across art forms. This presentation of unique and rarely seen archive material includes the full set of 12 promotional posters the groups designed, photographs of the opening and individual displays, and original press cuttings, together with letters, plans and other background materials charting the creative process, as well as documentary film clips. There is also a limited edition of the original This is Tomorrow catalogue designed by Edward Wright, an important example of innovative graphic design, which has been out of print for over 50 years. This is Tomorrow was a groundbreaking exhibition because of the issues it addressed that became crucial in contemporary art in the 1960s and 1970s, such as the process of collaborative action, thinking and discussion, and how art can physically interact with the viewer by creating an environment inside the art gallery. Whitechapel Gallery, London, until 6th March.
Pre-Raphaelite Galleries, which comprise the ground floor galleries of the grade 1* listed building have been refurbished, and now incorporate new interpretation facilities. The galleries feature 37 works by Pre-Raphaelite artists, and 23 works by their Heirs, plus related Arts and Crafts Movement textiles, ceramics, metalwork, furniture and costumes. Highlights include founder member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Dante Gabriel Rossetti's 'Risen at Dawn; Gretchen Discovering Faust's Jewels', Edward Burne-Jones's 'Goldfish Pool' and stained glass window designs for St Martin's Church, Brampton, Ford Madox Brown's 'Windermere, A Storm', textiles by William Morris and ceramics by William De Morgan, plus works by later artists influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, including Arthur Hughes, Charles Ricketts, Paul Nash and John Duncan. There are also portraits of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones by George Howard (9th Earl of Carlisle), who, together with William Rothenstein and Gordon Bottomley, was responsible for establishing the collection. The Jacobean house of panelled rooms, impressive staircase and period furnishings that holds the gallery is worthy of a visit in its own right, with an outstanding collection of objects and paintings, including a large study of the Dixons in its Drawing Room in 1842, and George Romney's portrait of the Bishop of Carlisle. Old Tullie House, Carlisle, continuing.
Images Of Nature is a new permanent gallery showcasing natural history artworks, encompassing some of the most beautiful, historic paintings and modern images of nature. It provides an opportunity to see how artists and scientists have viewed the world in over 110 images that span the last 350 years. There are prints, watercolours and paintings from eminent natural history artists such as Henrik Gronvold, Robert Havell, John Gerrard Keulemans the prolific bird illustrator, Dutch artist Roelandt Savery (including his famous painting of a dodo) and botanical artist Georg Ehret. Alongside this historic body of work are modern images created by scientists, imaging specialists, photographers and micro-CT scanners, including tiny, intriguing scientific images of stained-glass-like meteorite slices and a 3D scan of a shark head. The gallery also has an area for temporary annual displays, which begin with botanical and zoological Chinese watercolours from the collection of 19th century amateur naturalist, John Reeves. These watercolours are too delicate for permanent display, so will change every 3 months, featuring about 100 paintings over the year. Interactive kiosks provide an opportunity to examine individual artworks in more detail, offer information about the Reeves collection, chart the story of scientific illustration, and examine the dodo's changing image. Natural History Museum, continuing.
Waterline is a photographic exhibition revealing the joys and trials of the heyday of cruising, from the 1920s to the 1970s. Cruising grew in popularity after the First World War, with passengers wanting to travel by sea for pleasure, rather than simply to get from one place to another. Liners were microcosms of society, where class boundaries were preserved, with first class passengers and officers travelling in greater style and luxury than third class passengers and crews. Following the Second World War and hardships of the 1950s, the 1960s brought rising incomes, increased leisure time and other social changes, and liners of two and three classes were converted into one class ships, where attention was increasingly paid to better facilities for all. The images in this exhibition reflect the experiences of passengers and crew, and show the range of destinations visited, near and far. Conga lines, lifeboat drills, sumptuous displays of cruise food and visits ashore all feature in historical film footage. Photography was a profitable business in the early days of cruising, when few passengers owned cameras, and onboard photographers worked long hours, developing negatives in makeshift dark rooms to prepare prints sold to holidaymakers. The photographers captured all aspects of shipboard life, exotic destinations, local communities, flora and fauna, famous landmarks and the ships themselves. These photographs were also used by companies for publicity and made into calendars and postcards for sale. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until April.
Lucien Pissarro In England: The Eragny Press 1895 - 1914 celebrates the work of the French painter, engraver and printmaker, with the first comprehensive display of his books. The exhibition features the 32 books printed by Lucien Pissarro and his wife Esther at their home in London, along with his preparatory drawings, and paintings by his father, Camille Pissarro, the Impressionist painter, who assisted him during the 1890s. The exquisite handmade Eragny books are beautifully printed, using wood blocks designed by Lucien and cut by him and his wife, with a degree of artistry which owed much to the influence of the English Arts and Crafts movement. These illustrations, often printed in colour and sometimes with added gold, accompanied the texts of French and English authors, ranging from classic to modern literature. The first book, published in 1895, was the fairytale 'The Queen of Fishes' by Gerard de Nerval, translated into English by Margaret Rust. Other highlights include 'Un Coeur Simple' by Gustave Flaubert and 'Of Gardens' by Sir Francis Bacon, first published in 1625. To point up the influence of the English art scene on Lucien's work and his concurrent artistic contribution in England, there are a number of books from several famous contemporary private presses, including William Morris's Kelmscott Press and Charles Ricketts's Vale Press. It is this curious blend of two quite different traditions - a French artistic upbringing and the English craft revival in full swing - which gives the Eragny books their unique character. The books are accompanied by material from the Pissarro Family Archive, including paintings by Camille, such as 'The Cricket Match', photographs, letters and other memorabilia. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 13th March.
Paper Memories features childhood fashion memories preserved in paper. The exhibition comprises a collection of more than 100 authentically recreated life-sized children's clothes made from paper by one dedicated woman, which is on public display for the first time. All the clothes are modeled on items of clothes made between the 1940s and the 1970s, and have been painstakingly created over the last few years by fashion expert Felicity Austen. The unique collection, ranging from school uniforms to party outfits, fancy dress to holiday clothes, includes 10 pairs of paper shoes, as well as paper dresses, shirts and even socks. Austin re-created the clothes after studying original garments, looking at family photographs and advertisements, and hearing the reminiscences of a number of people who provided memories of their childhood clothes. Some of the clothes represent 'home made' garments, very popular at the beginning of the period represented, and others, those produced commercially in factories, but all predate the concept of 'children's fashion'. Each garment took hours to put together, using everything from tissue paper to wrapping paper. The clothes are supported by photographs and objects of the period. Also included in the exhibition are other nostalgic paper artefacts, from Coronation memorabilia and old photos, to school books and brown paper packages tied up with string. Snibston Discovery Park, Ashby Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, until 15th May.
London Under Siege: Churchill And The Anarchists, 1911 marks the 100th anniversary of the Houndsditch Murders and the siege of Sidney Street. The exhibition sets the murders and the siege in their historical and social context, explores immigration at the time, and the then Home Secretary Winston Churchill's role in the events. The Houndsditch Murders took place on 16th December 1910, when a group of armed Latvian revolutionaries attempted to break into H S Harris's jeweller's shop in Houndsditch. Three City of London policemen were fatally shot and two were disabled for life. The murders remain the highest loss of police life on a single day in Britain. The Siege of Sidney Street took place two weeks later on 3rd January 1911, when over 200 armed police and a detachment of Scots Guards laid siege to 100 Sidney Street in Stepney, where two of the Houndsditch gang were hiding. The stand-off eventually saw the building burn to the ground, with the remains of the gang members found inside. The scene was captured in an iconic photograph showing Winston Churchill in overcoat and top hat (which was punctured by a stray bullet) surrounded by police and soldiers. The siege of Sidney Street is part of East End and socialist folklore, and the area at the time was home to radical political groups, most of whom had come from Eastern Europe, thus helping to exaggerate people's imaginations about immigration and other cultures. The display includes exhibits from the trial of suspected gang members in May 1911: several objects used by the Houndsditch gang, such as never before seen guns from the crime scene, safe-breaking equipment, an ammunition belt, cap, gloves and a dagger; plus the overcoat worn by Winston Churchill on the day of the siege, and an order of service from the funerals of the murdered policemen at St Paul's Cathedral. Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay E14, until April.
The Brunel Institute is a heritage and visitor centre, which recently opened alongside the SS Great Britain, the Victorian engineer's masterpiece and only surviving ship. Designed by Alec French Architects, it comprises a conservation suite and archive, major reference library, lecture theatre and seminar rooms, education space, and teaching offices. The institute houses the National Brunel Archive, including Isambard Kingdom Brunel's drawing instruments, notebooks and diaries, letters, engineering drawings, and photographs of projects both under construction and completed. The institute's entire collection comprises over 45,000 objects, including: over 6,000 maritime books, such as Registers from provincial ports, and the East India Company Ships; 2,500 ship plans, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries; 100 ship models of all kinds; 35,000 maritime photographs and postcards; hundreds of periodicals covering the history and development of shipping from the 18th century onwards, including The American Neptune, Yachting Monthly, Sea Breezes, Blue Peter, Ships and Ship Models and Model Shipwright; the complete run of Mariner's Mirror and most of Lloyd's Register; diaries and personal letter relating to passengers and crew of the SS Great Britain; over 50 films of historic maritime craft; and hundreds of works of art. The Brunel Institute, Great Western Dockyard, Bristol, continuing.
Picasso To Julie Mehretu features graphic art from across the world, exploring the significant interchange of ideas between artists mainly working in Europe and America during the past hundred years. It showcases some of the greatest artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, starting with Picasso's study for 'Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon', the painting that changed the art world in 1907, and concluding with work by Julie Mehretu, the Ethiopian-born artist who is one of the stars of the contemporary international art scene. The exhibition features 70 works, most of which have never been on public display before. Impromptu sketches and compositional studies are shown alongside works that are complete in themselves. Some drawings are intended to provide a template for the final product, others to capture retrospectively something executed in another medium. As well as Pablo Picasso, the exhibition features works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Georgio de Chirico, Henri Matisse, Rene Magritte, David Smith and Louise Bourgeois and major contemporary artists, including Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Francesco Clemente, Judy Chicago and William Kentridge. A highlight is Picasso's double page composition 'Leaping Bulls' dating from 1950, the first entry in the Visitors' Book for the Institute of Contemporary Arts. British Museum until 25th April.
The Tiger In Asian Art examines the most enduring and powerful symbol of cultural identity for the people of Asia. For over 3,000 years the tiger has inspired countless legends, beliefs, poems and works of art across Asia, and it is the national animal of India, Malaysia, China and North and South Korea. The tiger is also one of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, textiles, photographs and other works of art, from historical to contemporary, many of which have never been seen in the West before, from a wide range of Asian countries and regions, including Tibet, Vietnam and Mongolia. It examines the cultural and spiritual significance of the tiger to these places, and the role that the creature plays to the human psyche, looking at it as a protector, spiritual power, material, hunted animal and declining figure. Among the highlights are contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Huang's 'Free Tiger Returns to the Mountain' series, employing a technique using ash gathered from incense burned at Shanghai temples; 17th century Japanese artist Hokusai's 'Tiger in a Snowstorm'; a 16th century Chinese Ming military banner depicting a tiger surrounded by flame and cloud motifs; a Jaipur hunting scene; and a 17th century Japanese tiger netsuke belt toggle sculpture. Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1, until 12th February.
Future Beauty: 30 Years Of Japanese Fashion is the first exhibition in Europe to comprehensively survey avant-garde Japanese fashion, from the early 1980s to now. Japanese designers made an enormous impact on world couture in the late 20th century. Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto redefined the very basis of fashion, challenged established Western notions of beauty, and turned fashion into art. The tight silhouettes of Western couture were jettisoned for new fluid shapes. Out went the magnificent ornament and extravagant techniques of the post-war tradition and in came a stark, monochrome palette and an entirely new decorative language - holes, rips, frays and tears - emerging from the stuff of fabric itself. This exhibition examines the work of these designers in relation to Japanese art, culture and costume history, and explores the distinctive sensibility of Japanese design and its sense of beauty embodied in clothing. It brings together over 100 garments, some never seen before in Britain, with specially commissioned photographs by Japanese artist and photographer Naoya Hatakeyama. There are focused presentations on each of the principle designers in the show, featuring a range of archive and recent works: Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, Jun Takahashi and Tao Kurihara, as well as Mintdesigns and a number of emerging designers such as Akira Naka, Anrealage, N e -Net, Sacai , Somarta, Mikio Sakabe, Matohu and Taro Horiuchi. Also included are catwalk collection films, and a wealth of rare books, catalogues and magazines, which highlight Yamamoto, Miyake and Kawakubo's collaborations with artists, photographers and designers. Barbican Art Gallery, London, until 6th February.
Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power And Brilliance showcases the most important British portrait painter of his generation, and explores his development as one of the most celebrated and influential artists in Europe at the start of the 19th century. The first exhibition of works by Thomas Lawrence in London for over 30 years offers an opportunity to experience the beauty and virtuosity of his paintings, and also re-examine them in the light of recent scholarship on the art of the Regency period. Beginning as a child prodigy working in pastels, Thomas Lawrence succeeded Joshua Reynolds as Britain's greatest portrait painter. With the temperament and flair to capture the glamour of the age, Lawrence created the image of Regency high society with dazzling brushwork and an innovative use of colour. His international reputation was ensured when the Prince Regent commissioned portraits of all the foreign leaders involved in the downfall of Napoleon. The 54 portraits on view, many of which are rarely seen in public, are Lawrence's greatest paintings and drawings, conveying the power and originality of his work. These include portraits of Charles William Lambton, the famous 'Red Boy', Elizabeth Farren, three portraits of Pope Pius VII, Field Marshall Gebhardt von Blucher and Charles, Archduke of Austria. Providing a fresh understanding of Lawrence and his career, the exhibition explores both his technical innovations as a draughtsman and painter, and his unprecedented international reputation. It also places him within the broader contexts of the aesthetic debates, networks of patronage and international politics of his day. National Portrait Gallery until 23rd January.