Private View held by Richard Andrews
Renaissance Impressions: Chiaroscuro Woodcuts examines the artistic development of the revolutionary, yet short lived, printing technique in the 16th century. Often based on designs by celebrated Renaissance masters such as Parmigianino, Raphael and Titian, depicting well-known biblical scenes and legends, chiaroscuro woodcuts were the first colour prints that made dramatic use of light and shadow - chiaroscuro - to suggest form, volume and depth. The exhibition presents over 100 rare prints by artists from Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. In the early 1500s, several printmakers in Germany competed to claim authorship of the chiaroscuro woodcut, which involved supplementing the black line block with one or several tone blocks to create gradations of colour from light to dark for aesthetic effect. The result produced greater depth, plasticity of form, atmosphere and pictorial quality than the earlier, plainer woodcuts. Later innovations in Italy, such as unevenly cut colour fields led to works that have a more painterly character, as if they had been modelled in colour and light. Highlights of the exhibition include Hans Burgkmair the Elder's depiction of 'Emperor Maximilian on Horseback' (widely thought to be the first known example of a chiaroscuro woodcut) and 'St George and the Dragon'; Ugo da Carpi's 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes', and 'Archimedes'; Andrea Andreani's 'Rape of a Sabine Woman' printed in several versions; Giovanni Gallo's 'Perseus with the Head of Medusa'; and Hendrick Goltzius's series of landscapes and deities, including 'Landscape with Trees and a Shepherd Couple' and 'Bacchus'. Royal Academy until 8th June.
Cezanne And The Modern features works by some of the most important artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements. The works on show are part of a collection formed by Henry and Rose Pearlman, which is one of the most important in North America, and this is the first time it has ever been shown in Europe. The exhibition comprises a group of paintings and watercolours by Paul Cezanne, as well as paintings and sculptures by artists including Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, Jacques Lipchitz, Edgar Degas and Amedeo Modigliani. The display includes 24 works by Cezanne: 6 oils, 2 drawings and 16 watercolours, which constitute one of the finest and best preserved groups of his watercolours in the world. The majority of these are Provencal landscapes, while others depict his characteristic motifs such as a skull, female bathers and Mont Sainte-Victoire. Other highlights are a colourful and unusual composition by Vincent Van Gogh, 'Tarascon Stage Coach'; Amedeo Modigliani's portrait of Jean Cocteau; 3 bronzes by Jacques Lipchitz and 1 by Wilhelm Lehmbruck; and an extraordinary painted relief, 'Te Fare Amu' by Paul Gauguin, from his open-air dining room in Tahiti. In addition, there are works by artists who are little known in England, notably Chaïm Soutine. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 22nd June.
Volcanoes And Earthquakes is a new gallery devoted to the most awe-inspiring, intense, powerful and dangerous phenomena in nature. The breathtaking impact of volcanoes and earthquakes has caused worldwide fascination, making them Hollywood film spectaculars as well as the cause of the biggest global tragedies. This gallery takes visitors on a journey through the causes of the world's most devastating natural disasters and explores how science is attempting to minimise their impact around the world. Through immersive experiences, real-life case studies and up to date information from around the world, this display provides a fresh and intriguing account of the almighty force of our natural world. It reveals what it's like to be a survivor of one of the world's most dangerous earthquakes, such as the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and most recently, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; and examines the scientific foundations of a volcano such as Mount Vesuvius in Italy, which famously destroyed the roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which caused of one of the most powerful eruptions in history. Exhibits include original objects from world famous events, including a calendar with a waterline and broken clock from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan; a 3.8bn year old rock; golden strands of magma, spun into volcanic glass by high winds, known as Pele's Hair; interactives and videos showing activity from around the world, including a live earthquake data feed; an earthquake simulator; a CGI film on what scientists are doing to understand tectonics; and discoveries from recent scientific field trips. Natural History Museum, continuing.
Vikings Life And Legend focuses on the core period of the Viking Age from the late 8th century to the early 11th century. The Viking expansion from the Scandinavian homelands during this era created a cultural network with contacts from the Caspian Sea to the North Atlantic, and from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean. The exhibition features many new archaeological discoveries and capitalises on new research and recent discoveries that have changed our understanding of the nature of Viking identity, trade, magic and belief and the role of the warrior in Viking society. It was the maritime character of Viking society and their extraordinary shipbuilding skills that were key to their achievements. At the centre of the exhibition are the surviving timbers of a 37m long Viking warship, the longest ever found and never seen before in Britain. The size of the ship and the amount of resources required to build it suggest that it was almost certainly a royal warship, possibly connected with the wars fought by Cnut to assert his authority over this short lived North Sea Empire. The Vale of York Hoard is displayed in its entirety for the first time since it was found near Harrogate in 2007. Consisting of 617 coins, 6 arm rings and a quantity of bullion and hack-silver, it is the largest and most important Viking hoard since the Cuerdale Hoard was found in Lancashire in 1840, part of which is also included in the exhibition. Ostentatious jewellery of gold and silver demonstrates how status was vividly displayed by Viking men and women. These include a stunning silver hoard from Gnezdovo in Russia, which highlights the combination of Scandinavian, Slavic and Middle Eastern influences that contributed to the development of the early Russian state in the Viking Age. British Museum until 22nd June.
Edward Lear In Greece features collection of watercolours by the Victorian writer, poet and artist. Although now perhaps best known for his limericks and nonsense verse, Edward Lear was also a superb zoological draughtsman, a talented musician and a celebrated landscape artist. Lear began to draw commercially at the age of 16 and his illustrations of birds quickly brought him to the attention of an affluent patron. He then turned his attention to landscape drawings and moved to Rome, after which he kept travelling until his death, producing over 10,000 sketches inspired by his journeys. This display highlights Lear's draughtsmanship and versatility, examining his enchanting depictions of Greek landscapes. It includes both highly finished studio watercolours, such as 'Athens', and sketches drawn in situ and annotated with Lear's notes about details of the landscape and weather. Lear's sketches, in particular, are now widely admired for the elegance and precision of his drawing, and for their vivid and spontaneous evocation of place. Unlike many other artists of the time, he was as captivated by the recent history and contemporary life of Greece as by the country's antique past. Lear travelled widely throughout Greece, from Athens and the Peloponnese to the remote mountains of the Epirus region in the north west, which are represented in the 'Suli' watercolours. Lear wrote of his aim to travel to and paint sites not previously represented by other artists, including Mount Athos, the Holy Mountain of the Orthodox Church, and widely depicted in the display, and the island of Corfu, where he lived and worked on and off for a decade. Scottish National Gallery until 18th June.
Ruin Lust offers a guide to the mournful, thrilling, comic and perverse uses of ruins in art from the 17th century to the present day. The exhibition explores ruination through both slow picturesque decay and abrupt apocalypse with works by over 100 artists. JMW Turner and John Constable were among those artists who toured Britain in search of ruins and picturesque landscapes, producing works such as Turner's 'Tintern Abbey: The Crossing and Chancel, Looking towards the East Window' and Constable's 'Sketch for Hadleigh Castle'. John Martin's 'The Destruction of Pompei and Herculaneum' recreates historical disaster, while Gustave Dore's engraving 'The New Zealander' shows a ruined London with the cracked dome of St Paul's Cathedral in the distance. Work provoked by the wars of the 20th century include Graham Sutherland's 'Devastation' series depicting the aftermath of the Blitz; and Jane and Louise Wilson's photographs of the Nazis' defensive Atlantic Wall along the north coast of France. Paul Nash's photographs of surreal architectural fragments in the 1930s and 40s, and Jon Savage's images of a desolate London in the late 1970s show how artists also view ruins as zones of potential, where the world must be rebuilt. Britain's ruinous heritage has been revisited and sometimes mocked by later artists. Keith Arnatt photographed the juxtaposition of historic and modern elements at picturesque sites for his deadpan series A.O.N.B. (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty); John Latham's sculpture 'Five Sisters Bing' was part of a project to turn post-industrial shale heaps in Scotland into monuments; and Rachel Whiteread's 'Demolished - B: Clapton Park Estate', shows the demolition of Hackney tower blocks, in which Modernist architectural dreams are destroyed. Tate Britain until 18th May.
Germany Divided explores how 6 key artists redefined art in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, and negotiated with the recent past, on both sides of the Iron Curtain. All the artists in the exhibition came originally from eastern Germany and migrated to the West, the majority before the borders were sealed in 1961. As a generation, they came out of the experience of growing up in the aftermath of a Germany defeated in the Second World War, and its subsequent partition in 1949. Much of their work is informed by the sense of collective guilt experienced by the German people over its recent past, the country's physical and psychological destruction, and the division of the country by two opposing ideologies - the democracies of the free West and the Communist system of the Soviet bloc. The exhibition features over 90 works, around half by Georg Baselitz, with the remainder by Markus Lupertz, Blinky Palermo, A R Penck, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. The works by Baselitz cover the principal phases of his career from the 'Pandemonium' drawings of the early 1960s, the development of his ironic 'Heroes' in the mid 1960s, the subsequent fracturing of his motifs to the eventual inversion of the motif from the late 1960s. There are also an important examples by Richter, including his 'Pin-up' and 'Installation' drawings, the characteristic Ice Age meets cybernetics stick-figures of Penck, as well as sculptural drawings by Lupertz and Palermo, and a drawing and sketchbook by Polke satirising the 'economic miracle' of post-war reconstruction in West Germany. British Museum until 31st August.
Philip-Lorca diCorcia Photographs 1975 - 2012 is the first exhibition in Britain of work by the New York based photographer, one of the most important working in the medium today. This survey contains over 100 photographs from 6 major series, which demonstrate the way in which Philip-Lorca diCorcia negotiates the line between fiction and documentation. Although actual locations are often used, and the people in the photographs are themselves, rather than models or actors, the overall composition, lighting and positioning of subjects have been carefully planned in advance. 'Hustlers' (1990 - 1992) depicts male prostitutes, each in a different carefully staged setting. The evocative titles of each photograph give the name, age, hometown and the amount diCorcia paid each man for posing for the picture. 'Streetwork' (1993 - 1999) shows unsuspecting passers-by photographed on the street, a theme also developed in the series 'Heads' (2000 - 2001), where single, isolated figures walking through New York's Times Square are captured as if frozen in time. In 'Lucky 13' (2004) - an American phrase that describes the warding off of a losing streak - dramatically lit pole-dancers are presented in near life size photographs, suspended in time and space and caught in the act of falling. diCorcia's current series 'East of Eden' (2008 onwards) draws loosely on narrative incidents from the Old Testament in images that are stylistically varied and include landscapes and staged scenes. The exhibition also encompasses the entirety of the series 'A Storybook Life' (1975 - 1999) 76 photographs that are sequenced to suggest a network of interconnected lives and stories. The Hepworth Wakefield until 1st June.
Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight seeks to highlight how important a role diagrams have played in communicating scientific ideas. For many people, the rise of the infographic is linked to the digital age, yet this exhibition shows that scientists and statisticians have used images to explain data for centuries. The items on display run from a 17th century illustrated diagram to a moving infographic of currents in the world's oceans compiled by NASA. Among the highlights are the earliest piece in the show, Robert Fludd's 'Great Chain of Being', a visual representation of a hierarchically ordered universe from 1617; Eberhard Werner Happel's map charting the oceans' currents, based on the observations of contemporary explorers and mariners, from 1685; Edmond Halley's 'An Historical Account of the Trade Winds, and Monsoons', which was the first meteorological map in 1686; William Farr's 'Temperature And Mortality Of London', charting cycles of temperature and cholera deaths for 1840-1850; John Snow's plotting of the 1854 London cholera infections in Soho, which revealed they stemmed from a public water pump in Broad Street; Florence Nightingale's 'Rose Diagram' from 1858, showing that significantly more deaths in the Crimean War were due to poor hospital conditions than battlefield wounds; Ernst Haeckel's 'The Pedigree of Man', organising all life on Earth into trees, inspired by the ideas of Charles Darwin, from 1879; and the Epidemic Planet chart, based on the Global Epidemic and Mobility model, which researchers used to accurately forecast the 2009 pandemic influenza outbreak. British Library until 26th May.
Warhol, Burroughs And Lynch features the lesser-known photographic work of three renowned American artists.
Andy Warhol: Photographs 1976 - 1987 offers the product of Andy Warhol's later career, when he focused on photography. Using 35mm black and white film, Warhol carried a camera with him most of the time, capturing everyday details, people, street scenes, celebrity parties, interiors, cityscapes and signage, reflecting his characteristic indifference to hierarchy. Warhol's interest in serial and repeated imagery, seen throughout his work, is brought to play through his series of 'stitched' photographs, with identical images arranged in grid form, stitched together with a sewing machine.
Taking Shots: The Photography Of William S Burroughs is the first exhibition in the world to focus on William S Burroughs's vast photographic oeuvre, and offers new and important insights into his artistic and creative processes. Burroughs's photographs, striking in their self-containment, lack any reference to other practitioners or genres. While they can be gathered into categories of street scenes, still lifes, collage, radio towers, people, his dynamic approach to image making sits outside of any canonical structure.
David Lynch: The Factory Photographs reveals David Lynch's enthusiasm for the industrial and the man made. Featuring black and white interiors and exteriors of industrial structures, the exhibition exudes Lynch's unique cinematic style through dark and brooding images. Shot in various locations including Germany, Poland, New York, New Jersey and England, the works depict the labyrinthine passages, detritus and decay of these man-made structures - haunting cathedrals of a bygone industrial era slowly being taken over by nature. The exhibition is accompanied by one of Lynch's sound installations.
The Photographers' Gallery, 16 - 18 Ramillies Street, London W1, until 30th March.
Kevin Coates: A Bestiary Of Jewels showcases new work by the London based artist - a jeweller, and sculptor in diverse materials. The virtuoso works of art that Kevin Coates creates from gold, precious stones, shell and other exotica, are both exquisite and fantastical. Coates's ambitious new project features sculptural jewels in a poetic elaboration of the bizarre medieval encyclopaedias known as Bestiaries, which assemble lore and myth about animals, and feature fantastical hybrid creatures such as serpents with feet or birds with hooves. Crucially, Coates has paired a series of individual creatures with their significant human, where the jewel is mounted in a modelled and hand painted Bestiary 'page'. These include 'A Parrot for Flaubert', 'A Starling for Mozart', 'A Rhinoceros for Kaendler' and 'A Dodo for Mr. Dodgson'. This unlikely combination has produced a series of dazzling and unique works. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 30th March.
Beyond El Dorado: Power And Gold In Ancient Colombia looks at the complex network of societies in ancient Colombia, a hidden world of distinct and vibrant cultures spanning 1600 BC to AD 1700. In ancient Colombia gold was used to fashion some of the most visually dramatic and sophisticated works of art found anywhere in the Americas before European contact. This exhibition features over 300 exquisite objects drawn from one of the best and most extensive collections of Pre-Hispanic gold in the world. Although gold was not valued as currency in pre-Hispanic Colombia, it had great symbolic meaning. It was one way the elite could publicly assert their rank and semi-divine status, both in life and in death. The remarkable objects in the exhibition reveal glimpses of these cultures' spiritual lives, including engagement with animal spirits though the use of gold objects, music, dancing, sunlight and hallucinogenic substances that all lead to a physical and spiritual transformation enabling communication with the supernatural. Animal iconography is used to express this transformation in powerful pieces demonstrating a wide range of imaginative works of art, showcasing avian pectorals, necklaces with feline claws or representations of men transforming into spectacular bats though the use of profuse body adornment. The exhibition explores the sophisticated gold working techniques, and the technical skills achieved both in the casting and hammering techniques of metals by ancient Colombian artists. Objects include painted Muisca textile and one of the few San Agustín stone sculptures held outside Colombia. Those, together with spectacular large scale gold masks and other materials were part of the objects that accompanied funerary rituals in ancient Colombia. British Museum until 23rd March.