News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th February 2014

Commencing

Strange Beauty: Masters Of The German Renaissance takes a fresh look at paintings, drawings and prints by major artists of the period, examining the striking changes in the ways these works were perceived in their time, in the recent past, and how they are viewed today. The exhibition has a particular focus on works by Hans Holbein the Younger, Albrecht Durer and Lucas Cranach the Elder. The German Renaissance was part of the cultural and artistic awakening that spread across Northern Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, and German artists developed an international reputation, their fame reaching all parts of Europe. Paintings such as Holbein's 'The Ambassadors', Albrecht Altdorfer's 'Christ taking Leave of his Mother', Lucas Cranach the Elder's 'Cupid complaining to Venus', Hans Baldung Grien's 'Portrait of a Man' and Durer's 'Saint Jerome' were highly valued in the 16th century for qualities such as expression and inventiveness. However, by the 19th and early 20th centuries German Renaissance art was receiving a very mixed reception. Some viewers admired the artists' technical mastery and their embodiment of a perceived German national identity, while others perceived these works of art as excessive or even ugly, particularly when compared to works of the Italian Renaissance. Other highlights in the show include Matthias Grunewald's drawing 'An Elderly Woman with Clasped Hands', the Holbein miniature of 'Anne of Cleves', Hans Baldung Grien's 'Portrait of Young Man with a Rosary', and for the first time ever, a reconstruction of the altarpiece Benedictine Abbey of Liesborn, created around 1465, but dismembered, sold and scattered across the globe in 1803. National Gallery until 11th May.

Making Painting: JMW Turner And Helen Frankenthaler explores the act of painting through the work of two artists separated by one hundred years and nearly four thousand miles. JMW Turner, celebrated as a great 19th century painter of landscape, transformed the way we see and interpret our natural surroundings. In her canvases of the late 1950s onwards, American artist Helen Frankenthaler translated landscape into abstract compositions characterised by flooding colour and increasingly large scale. The exhibition explores the fellowship that the two artists, a Romantic 19th century Briton and an Abstract Expressionist 20th century American, share in paint across their temporal divide. It includes a significant group of paintings by Frankenthaler from the 1950s to the 1990s, which revolutionised painting, creating bouquets of washy, pastel forms and dark lines, alongside oil paintings and watercolours by Turner from throughout his career, which progress from early bucolic scenes to skies of riotous swirling pigment. There is an exhilarating sense of freedom in Frankenthaler's work, just as there is in the late paintings of Turner. Turner Contemporary, The Rendezvous, Margate until 11th May.

Court And Craft: A Masterpiece From Northern Iraq features a brass container inlaid with intricate scenes of courtly life in gold and silver, a masterpiece of luxury metalwork from the Islamic world. Originally thought to be a wallet, document carrier, or saddlebag, it is now believed to be a shoulder bag, made in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq around 1300. Through some 40 works, the exhibition explores the origins, function and imagery of this masterpiece, as well as the cultural context in which it was made. The 14th century illustrations of the Il-Khanid court, 3 of which are on display, depict such shoulder bags worn by the page of the Khatun, the wife of the ruling Khan. The exquisite crafting of the bag resembles goldsmiths' work, and it is possible that similar bags were produced in gold and even encrusted with jewels. A bejewelled container of the same shape is held by one of the attendants to the Chinese princess Humayun, in a manuscript of poems by Khwaju Kirmani. A highlight of the exhibition is a life-size display recreating this lavish court scene and featuring objects similar to those depicted: crescent-shaped gold earrings like those worn by the lady, a Chinese mirror similar to the one held by the page, and a Syrian glass bottle as depicted on the table. The bag is richly ornamented with roundels featuring musicians, hunters and revellers, over a geometric fretwork pattern characteristic of the inlaid brass vessels for which the city of Mosul was famous. The objects in the exhibition, demonstrate that the technical and stylistic traditions of Mosul metalwork not only survived the Mongol conquest but flourished well into the Il-Khanid period. A section of the exhibition examines the inlaid metalwork tradition of Mosul during the 13th and early 14th centuries. Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London, until 18th May.

Continuing

Richard Hamilton is the first retrospective to encompass the full scope of one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Richard Hamilton is widely regarded as a founding figure of pop art, and he continued to experiment and innovate over a career of 60 years. This exhibition explores his relationship to design, painting, photography and television, as well his engagement and collaborations with other artists. It features the groundbreaking installation 'Fun House'; a print of the era-defining 'Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?'; and the depiction of Mick Jagger in 'Swingeing London 67'; as well as images looking at wider contemporary issues and political subjects, such as the Kent State shootings and the IRA 'dirty protests'; as well as figures like Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair in works such as 'Treatment Room' and 'Shock and Awe'. Hamilton's interest in interiors, architecture and design is also represented by his depictions of everything from the Guggenheim Museum in New York to a classic Braun toaster. This show reflects the importance of his exhibition designs and installations, with key examples such as a recreation of his first installation 'Growth and Form', and 'Lobby', in which a painting of a hotel lobby is echoed by a column and staircase in the gallery room itself. Hamilton was also notable for his many collaborations with other artists, which include a life-long series of Polaroid portraits that he invited other artists to take of him, such as Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. This interest in the work of others can also be seen in his final computer-aided paintings, which were inspired by the Italian Renaissance masters. Tate Modern until 26th May.

Seven Billion Two Hundred And One Million Nine Hundred And Sixty-Four Thousand And Two Hundred And Thirty-Eight is the number of people alive at the moment that this show opened. The exhibition brings together for the first time all of Gavin Turk's neon pieces made between 1995 and 2014, examining the evolution of his work. Quintessentially a modernist medium - now rendered obsolete by digital LED - neon is the vaporous stuff of retro-futuristic glory, of Hollywood optimism and capitalist spectacle, and of history's malleability and forgetfulness: neon light's inventor, French chemist Georges Claude, envisioned their use for fascist propaganda. Set within a darkened chamber, Turk's luminous symbols beacon with occultish effect. Visually reduced to minimal typographies, they offer communication in its barest form: a seeing eye, a flickering flame, primordial hieroglyphs, with their ancient mysteries and secrets, evolved to modern day usage. The title of the exhibition reflects Turk's fascination with world population and inspired him to create the largest neon work of his career to date. 'We are One', is an eight and a half metre wide piece designed to broadcast the world's population from the museum's facade for the duration of the exhibition. Two pieces hold special significance for Turk: a red star, made in conjunction with his Che Gavara series, is a replica of the actual signage on his London studio, and an eight pointed Maltese cross, a symbol dating back to the First Crusade, whose points represent the eight lands of origin, the origin of languages, and the values of truth, sincerity and faith. The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, until 21st April.

By George! Handel's Music For Royal Occasions explores the life and work of the composer most closely associated with the British monarchy. German born George Frideric Handel enjoyed the patronage of three British monarchs during his lifetime: Queen Anne, George I and George II. Handel tutored the royal princesses and composed music for almost all important royal events. He went on to compose the coronation anthems for George II, as well as 'Music for the Royal Fireworks' and the 'Water Music'. Among the exhibits are the 1727 Order of Service for the Coronation of George II, annotated by the Archbishop of Canterbury; the painting 'A perspective view of the building for the fireworks in the Green Park taken from the reservoir' by Paul Angier; autographed manuscripts including 'Zadok the Priest' (performed at every coronation since 1727), the 'Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne', and 'Lessons for Princess Louisa', composed to teach the Royal princesses to play the harpsichord; musical instruments of the period; rarely-seen documents from the archives of Westminster Abbey giving an insight into the organisation of major Royal events; and paintings of the Royal Family, including Philip Mercier's 'The Music Party' (Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, and his sisters, Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, Princess Caroline Elizabeth, Princess Amelia Sophia Eleanora), and portraits of King George I, by studio of Sir Godfrey Kneller, and King George II by John Shackleton. Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1, until 18th May.

Bailey's Stardust is a major retrospective of the work of one of the world's most distinguished and distinctive photographers. David Bailey has made an outstanding contribution to the visual arts, creating consistently imaginative and thought-provoking portraits. This exhibition of almost 300 images embraces the variety of Bailey's photographs from a career that has spanned more than half a century. It also includes a new portrait of Kate Moss, exhibited for the first time, together with previously unseen images from his recent travels to the Naga Hills in India. The portraits have been personally selected and printed by Bailey from the subjects and groups that he has captured over the last five decades: actors, writers, musicians, politicians, filmmakers, models, artists and people encountered on his travels, many of them famous, some unknown, all of them engaging and memorable. The exhibition is structured thematically, with iconic images presented alongside lesser-known portraits, its title reflecting the notion that we are all made from, and return to, 'stardust'. Portraits of a wide range of sitters - from the glamorous to the impoverished, the famous to the notorious - are presented in a series of contrasting rooms, and through images of skulls and pregnancy, powerful meditations on birth and death. There are rooms devoted to Bailey's travels in Australia, Papua New Guinea and East Africa, as well as icons from the worlds of fashion and the arts, including Jean Shrimpton, Marianne Faithful, Terence Stamp, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon, Cecil Beaton and Rudolph Nureyev, Meryl Streep and Damien Hirst and people of the East End of London. National Portrait Gallery until 1st June.

Great Medical Discoveries: 800 Years Of Oxford Innovation marks the 800th anniversary of the birth of Roger Bacon, who became known as England's 'Doctor Mirabilis', and celebrates the city as a world centre of medical learning. Scientists, philosophers and physicians have made Oxford an outstanding scientific centre from the medieval period onwards. From Roger Bacon, who led the way towards the emergence of medical science as an inductive study of nature, based on and tested by experiment, to Dorothy Hodgkin's discovery of the structure of penicillin during the Second World War, and its current position at the forefront of medical research and clinical practice, Oxford has been responsible for some of the world's most important medical discoveries. This exhibition tells of the curiosity, innovation, and tenacity that have contributed to our understanding of human biology in both health and disease through a unique display of original manuscripts, prescriptions, laboratory notebooks, letters, rare books and artefacts. Highlights include the medical records of Albert Alexander, the first patient to receive penicillin; a diagram by Christopher Wren illustrating the Circle of Willis (the arterial blood supply in the brain); Robert Hooke's book Micrographia, which first put forward and illustrated the idea that the body was made up from cells; a Glucose Sensor, which monitors the amount of sugar in a tiny blood sample; the Oxford Knee, a replacement that does not require cutting of muscles; and a recent prototype for self-adjustable glasses for the use in the developing world. Bodlian Library, Oxford, until 18th May.

Hockney, Printmaker celebrates one of Britain's most prolific and versatile artist's long and fruitful career as a printmaker. The first major exhibition to concentrate on the complete trajectory of David Hockney's printwork focuses on his two main techniques - etching and lithography - in two distinct sections, exposing new insights beyond the purely formal aspects of his work, delving into his mastery of technique. Over 100 works, from his first self portrait print from 60 years ago, reveal the thought and technical expertise that underlies his extensive print oeuvre. The show includes well known works such as 'A Rake's Progress', and 'Illustrations for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm', while complete sets include 'The Weather Series' and 'A Hollywood Collection', which are shown alongside portraits of some of his famous sitters and friends, such as Celia Birtwell, Henry Geldzahler, Peter Langan, Gregory Evans and John Kasmin. Later works include a selection of 'homemade prints', which Hockney devised in the early 1990s using photocopiers, plus examples of inkjet-printed 'computer drawings' such as 'Rain on the Studio Window', a prelude to his renowned iPad works. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 11th May.

Concluding

After Life features poignant and surprising photographic portraits of extinct and endangered animals. Fascinated by taxidermy since childhood, photographer Sean Dooley brings to life the stories of the earth's lost and fading species through his pictures of specimens preserved in musems and private collections across the country. Each portrait captures a species that is losing, or has lost, the fight for survival. Exploring the consequences of man's actions, and inactions, in taking species for granted, this series of striking images includes portraits of a baby polar bear, the extinct passenger pigeon, the critically endangered ruffed lemur, and the Lord Howe swamphen, now extinct, of which there are only two (stuffed) examples in the world. Because of the rarity of these specimens, sometimes the last remnants of a particular species, they are important, either as sources of knowledge that can help conservation, or as reminders of creatures that no one will ever see again. Though often beautiful, the images underline that these examples are an extremely poor substitute for having the animals live in the wild. The exhibition also includes Dooley's photographs from BioBlitz, the museum's review of its Natural History collections. These images capture and record the process of reviewing some 250,000 specimens, from chimpanzee skeletons to a cupboard full of stuffed owls, over a 12 month period, giving an insight into the diverse collection and how better to understand and use it in future. Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23, until 2nd March.

Uproar!: The First 50 Years Of The London Group 1913-1963 examines and celebrates the first half century in a turbulent history. The London Group exploded onto the British art scene in 1913 as a radical alternative to the art establishment, and in the wake of two modernist exhibiting platforms, Frank Rutter's liberal Allied Artists' Association and The Camden Town Group, headed by Walter Sickert, whose members the new group absorbed. The first minuted meeting took place on 25 October 1913, and Jacob Epstein is credited with coining the Group's name the following month. The London Group's controversial early years reflect the upheavals associated with the introduction of early British modernism and the experimental work of many of its members. The 'uproar' which followed Mark Gertler's exhibition of The Creation of Eve at The London Group's third show in 1915 lends its name to this display, which showcases 50 works by 50 artists. It features artists and works that highlight each decade covering the full range of its history: The London Group's inception; its Camden Town Group roots; the controversy of the early First World War years; Bloomsbury domination in the 1920s; emigre artists during the 1930s-1940s; avant-garde sculptors; and the contribution of artists' groups, ranging from the Vorticists to the Surrealists, the Abstract-Creationists and the Euston Road School. Featured artists include early modernists such as Walter Sickert, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Jacob Epstein, Robert Bevan and Paul Nash, and more recently, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Jon Bratby and Kenneth Armitage, as well as less-known but equally controversial figures such as Eileen Agar, Rodrigo Moynihan and Jessica Dismorr. Ben Uri Gallery, London, until 2nd March.

High Spirits: The Comic Art Of Thomas Rowlandson examines life at the turn of the 19th century through the work of one of the leading caricaturists of Georgian England. The absurdities of fashion, the perils of love, political machinations and royal intrigue were the daily subject matter of Thomas Rowlandson. Satirical prints, the precursor of the newspaper cartoon, were a key part of life in Georgian England, and Rowlandson was working at a time when English satirical prints were prized by collectors across Europe. A number of the works in the exhibition were purchased by George, Prince of Wales, later Prince Regent and King George IV. Ironically the Prince was often the butt of caricaturists' jokes and sometimes tried to prevent the publication of images that he felt were particularly offensive. The exhibition features over 90 of Rowlandson's drawings and prints, offering a new perspective on an era perhaps best known through the novels of Jane Austen. Collected by fashionable society, they were also enjoyed by the crowds that gathered in front of the latest productions in print shop windows to gossip about and laugh at the scandals of the day. Favourite themes were drunken gatherings, runaway coaches, rowdy theatregoers, impoverished artists and 'loose' women. Caricatures were passed around at dinner parties and in coffee houses, pasted into albums and used to decorate walls in homes and coffee houses. They were even applied to decorative screens, which could easily be folded away so not to offend female guests with the often bawdy imagery. An example, decorated with hundreds of figures and scenes painstakingly cut from Rowlandson's satirical prints, is on public display for the first time in this exhibition. The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, until 2nd March.