News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th April 2006


Bellini And The East explores the impact of the East on the work of the 15th century Venetian painter, Gentile Bellini. The exhibition focuses on this interaction between three cultures: Venetian, Byzantine and Turkish, and three religions: Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox and Islam. Bellini was Venice's most prestigious painter, and between 1479 and 1481, the Venetian Senate sent him to work for the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. This exhibition brings together for the first time all the works made while Bellini was in Turkey. His portrait 'The Sultan Mehmet II' is shown together with medals of the Sultan by Bellini and other European artists. First hand knowledge of the Islamic civilisations of the Mediterranean is demonstrated by the accurate depictions of particular objects in his paintings, including the Anatolian prayer mat in 'Virgin and Child Enthroned'. The intricately patterned and gilded 'Seated Scribe', while wholly Venetian in style, shows the influence of Islamic techniques in its colouring and gilding. The painting is displayed with a group of drawings depicting men and women whom Bellini saw in Istanbul. Many former Greek territories became Venetian colonies, reflected by Bellini's portrait 'Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus', and his work began to show further discernable influences. While 'Cardinal Bessarion and the Bessarion Reliquary', represents the Greek Reliquary Cross in a naturalistic Venetian style, other works, such as 'Madonna and Child', show traces of the iconic Greek style. National Gallery until 25th June.

Dynamics And Function: Realised Visions Of A Cosmopolitan Architect celebrates the life and work of Erich Mendelsohn, who, with Serge Chermayeff, designed the De La Warr Pavilion, the first public Modernist building in Britain. With his earliest buildings, the Einstein Tower in Potsdam, the hat factory in Luckenwalde and the Mosse Building in Berlin, Mendelsohn catapulted himself to the forefront of the avant-garde. He subsequently designed department stores, commercial buildings, factories and private houses in Germany, the Soviet Union, Norway, England, Palestine and the USA. This exhibition includes models, sketches, photographs and plans of Mendelsohn's buildings, revealing how his architectural style developed throughout his life.

Motion Path is a twelve screen video work by Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone, shot in four of Mendelsohn's major public buildings: the Schocken department store in Chemnitz, The Metal Workers' Union Building in Berlin, the B'nai Amoona Synagogue in St. Louis, and the De La Warr Pavilion. The camera glides through each building, revealing the spaces as a set of changing relationships between vistas, voids, solids, reflections and apertures.

Bridget Smith: Rebuild is Smith's photographic record, charting the 3 year £8m refurbishment programme that restored the De La Warr Pavilion to its former glory.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea until 2nd July.

Shared Experience: Art And War examines how Britain, Australia and Canada lived through and recorded the Second World War. The exhibition combines paintings and sculpture from the collections of the War Museums of the three nations to compare and contrast national and individual stories from the greatest world conflict in human history. Featuring works by British war artists Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious, Leonard Rosoman, and Australian and Canadian artists Sidney Nolan, Stella Bowen, Russell Drysdale, Miller Brittain, Alex Colville and Pegi Nicol MacLeod, many of which are being shown in the UK for the first time, it aims to capture the breadth and depth of the impact the war had on individual lives across the globe. The paintings and sculptures are grouped into themes: Battle reflects heroism and excitement alongside the inevitable destruction and loss; Military Service depicts the waiting and preparing as well as actual fighting; Civilian Work acknowledges the way society was re-ordered, through the effects of new technology and the need to replace workers and increase output; Captivity and Casualties attempts to reflect the constraints and the demands placed on people, and the price they had to pay, both at the time and afterwards; and Home and Leisure includes dreams of escape, fleeting pleasures, living with loss, the celebration of peace and the return home. Imperial War Museum until 25th June.


Modernism: Designing A New World 1914 - 1939 explores the key defining movement of 20th century design, and the dreams that swept Europe, Russia and America, in the wake of the First World War, as its pioneers planned for a new and better world. The exhibition features works by key Modernist figures, including artists Piet Mondrian and Fernand Leger, architects Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, furniture designers Marcel Breuer and Alvar Aalto, fashion designer Sonia Delaunay and photographer Man Ray, with over 300 objects and more than 50 film clips. Highlights include the earliest surviving fitted kitchen, discovered recently in Frankfurt after continual use for 80 years; Miroslav Zikmund and Jiri Hanzelka's legendary silver Czech Tatra 87 car; the design for Corbusier's largest and most luxurious building, the Villa Stein De Monzie; paintings such as Leger's 'Ball Bearings', and Mondrian's 'Tableau I, Red, Black, Yellow and Blue'; examples of 'Healthy Body Culture' including X-ray machines and sun lamps and a photograph by Alexander Rodchenko of 'Sun Lovers' engaging in outdoor exercise; iconic cantilever chairs by Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto; drawings by Wassily Kandinsky, based on photographs by Charlotte Rudolph of the dancer Gret Palucca; Harry Beck's first sketch for the London Underground map; and fashions including Sonia Delaunay's knitted wool swimsuit, a suit with a bright, geometric pattern designed by Giacomo Balla, and Alexander Rodchenko's productivist outfit, designed in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Victoria & Albert Museum until 23rd July.

The Nine Lives of I K Brunel is part of the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Britain's greatest and most versatile engineer. It charts the highs and lows of his career, and his various brushes with disaster. The centrepiece is a recreation of the broad gauge railway locomotive the Iron Duke, which pulled services on the Great Western Railway from London to Bristol. Other major exhibits include the funnel from the Great Eastern - Brunel's last and biggest ship, broken up for scrap after it failed to make a profit; a section of the South Devon Railway - an experimental system where the train was pulled along using a vacuum, which was abandoned when rats gnawed the seals; and the propeller from HMS Rattler - the naval vessel that inspired Brunel to abandon plans to make the make the SS Great Britain a paddle steamer. In addition there are Brunel's letters and journals, as well as sketches of his ideas for bridges over the Avon Gorge where the Clifton Suspension Bridge now stands, drawings for a new sea terminal at Portbury, and the drawing instruments Brunel used to lay out his designs. Alongside SS Great Britain, Great Western Dockyard, Bristol until 31st October.

The Forces That Made I K Brunel is a companion exhibition that looks at the science behind Brunel's designs. Through a series of interactive displays, visitors can investigate tunnelling, bridge building, railway construction and shipbuilding, employing both the pioneering techniques devised by Brunel, and the latest high tech methods and materials. At-Bristol, Harbourside, Bristol until 17th December.

The Man Who Hated Pooh! The Political Cartoons Of E H Shepard features the now almost forgotten work by the man who is best known as the illustrator of A A Milne's Winnie the Pooh and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows. Even though drawing Pooh and Toad was very much a sideline for Shepard, it is for their images that he is remembered today, although from the 1920s until the 1950s, he was primarily Punch magazine's leading political cartoonist, alongside Bernard Partridge. This exhibition is the first to completely ignore Pooh and Toad, and focus exclusively on Shepard's political cartoons. It comprises 50 of his original works that were published in Punch between 1933 and 1952. Shepard's political cartoons were often full of literary allusions, and his humour remained gentle and uplifting rather than savage. Among the highlights are 'The Goose-Step' with a heavily armed goose marching through an occupied Rhineland town from 1936, 'Shades of Success' from 1939, with Franco looking over a map of Spain while Hitler and Mussolini look over his shoulders and 'Full Circle', from 1944, in which the face of Stalin looks down from a cinema screen on the leaders of Finland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. The exhibition also includes some of Shepard's other book illustrations, including Three Egyptian Maidens, Chinese Dragons and Lady Fortescue's Perfume in Provence. The Political Cartoon Gallery, 32 Store Street, London, WC1, 020 7580 1114, until 21st May.

Pixar: 20 Years Of Animation provides an artistic and technological insight into the studio that revolutionised animated films, from Toy Story to the forthcoming Cars. The exhibition brings together 250 concept drawings, rough sketches (including early pencil drawings of Woody and Buzz Lightyear) and paintings; 50 3-D maquettes - resin figures created to ensure that the details of the characters are accurate; and computer generated multimedia artworks, to demonstrate the creativity behind the technology. It reveals how the studio has driven advances in technology to allow it to bring imagined worlds to life. Technological developments with CGI (computer-generated images) are charted through refinements over the years, which have achieved ever-greater degrees of realism through subtle changes in skin, fur‚ and other surfaces. The material reveals the levels of detail needed to realise and develop characters‚ storylines and worlds - three key elements utilised by Pixar in film production. At the heart of the exhibition are two specially created audio visual marvels. The first is a spectacular 8ft diameter zoetrope, a cinema device that creates the optical illusion of static images in motion, which features characters from both Toy Story films and uses a series of strobe lights to animate Buzz‚ Woody‚ Wheezy and others. The second is Artscape, an 11 minute audio visual installation that utilises digital technology to immerse viewers in various works on view. The exhibition also looks at the history of animation in film‚ using objects from the museum's permanent collection‚ including original Victorian magic lanterns‚ zoetropes‚ cameras and early pieces of animated film. The Science Museum until 10th June.

Cadbury World, the only British visitor attraction entirely devoted to chocolate, has been reborn after a £2m refurbishment, which has added a variety of new attractions. These include a revamped demonstration area with lots of hands on chocolate action; a refurbished Aztec Forest jungle with boardwalks and waterfalls, showing where cocoa became central to the Indians' way of life; an interactive Happiness dance room; a 3D cinema screen where 'Flex6' the robot brings to life the pack and wrap process; Essence, which takes visitors back to the early 1900s to discover the secrets behind the beginning of Cadbury chocolate making; The Purple Planet, an interactive space age adventure in a place where it apparently 'rains chocolate'; and a new a self guided tour around the attraction following a headset commentary featuring Sally Boazman. These join the old favourites including the television archive, which offers a trip down memory lane with the help of some familiar advertisements from the 1950's onwards; the Cadbury Dairy Milk Centenary Time tunnel; Beanmobiles, which provide a ride through a chocolate wonderland populated by familiar characters; and the Cadbury Collection, a museum of memorabilia that is home to a wide range of historical artefacts. Cadbury World, Bourneville, Birmingham, continuing.

Soane's Magician: The Tragic Genius Of Joseph Michael Gandy explores the relationship between the British master architect John Soane, and Joseph Michael Gandy, who painted Soane's masterpieces in dramatic, luminous perspective views. Gandy's watercolours, over 30 of which are on display in this exhibition, are not only some of the most brilliant images of architecture ever painted in Britain, but they also tell the story of the most creative partnership of its type in the history of British architecture. As a student of architecture at the Royal Academy Gandy won the Gold Medal, and following a period studying in Italy, began work in Soane's office. Soane soon recognised that Gandy's genius lay in depicting architecture in perspective, with the use of striking lighting effects, so much so, that he was later dubbed 'The English Piranesi'. For the next 35 years Gandy drew Soane's designs, either to open a client's cheque book, to show a completed project at its best at the annual exhibitions at the Royal Academy, or simply to archive previous unbuilt schemes. Gandy was unique in his ability to express on paper Soane's manipulation of space and light, and the two men shared an idealism unique to the period. As Soane's career came to a close in the 1820s, Gandy painted dozens of huge perspectives imagining London reconstructed by Soane as a monumental neo-classical city of triumphal arches and heroic sculpture. Sir John Soane Museum, London until 12th August.


Please Close The Gate is a collection of mostly new sculpture, largely shown outdoors, which is generally formed in metal or wood and then given a layer of paint. This acts as a kind of shell, and either helps to give it an image, or to dematerialise its form. Among the highlights are: Rose Finn-Kelcey's 'Pearly Gate', an oversized painted wooden five bar gate standing slightly ajar; Keith Wilson's 'Thames Walkway: Boat Race (sheeted)', made in painted galvanised steel, mapping the path of the Oxbridge boat race from Putney Bridge to Chiswick Bridge; Bob and Roberta Smith's 'Vegetable Sculptures', comprised of gaudily coloured vegetables balanced precariously on top of each other; Franz West's 'Sitzwust', a giant shocking pink aluminium sausage; and Helen Chadwick's best known work 'Piss Flowers', casts in white painted bronze exhibited outside on grass as was originally intended; together with classic works by Barbara Hepworth, 'Sphere with Inside and Outside Colour' and 'Makutu', which use colour in more subtle ways. Works by Phyllida Barlow, Franz West and William Turnbull feature one colour over a single medium; and wall mounted works by Ellen Hyllemose and Cedric Christie take 'ugly', building materials, such as scaffolding and mdf, and make them beautiful through the addition of paint. New Art Centre Sculpture Park & Gallery, Roche Court, Salisbury until 7th May.

Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake And The Romantic Imagination explores the birth of the Gothic movement, the taste for fantastic and supernatural themes that dominated British culture from around 1770 to 1830. Featuring over 140 works by Henry Fuseli, William Blake and their contemporaries, the exhibition presents an image of a period of cultural turmoil and daring artistic invention. The central exhibit is Fuseli's 'The Nightmare', which draws on folklore and popular culture, medicine, concepts of imagination, and classical art to create a new kind of highly charged horror image. The most extensive display of Fuseli's paintings and drawings seen in Britain for a generation includes 'The Weird Sisters', the two canvases showing Titania and Bottom from 'The Midsummer Night's Dream', and 'Macbeth and the Armed Head', as well as his rarely seen erotic designs - shown tastefully behind a gauze curtain. Works by Fuseli's contemporaries and followers, dealing with themes of fantasy, horror and perverse sexuality, include over 25 watercolours and paintings by Blake, among which are 'The Night of Enitharmon's Joy', 'The House of Death', 'Ghost of a Flea, The Whirlwind: Ezekial's Vision', 'The Witch of Endor Raising the Spirit of Samuel' and 'Death on a Pale Horse', together with works by Joseph Wright of Derby, George Romney, James Barry, Maria Cosway, John Flaxman, Theodore von Holst, and James Gillray. The exhibition also presents a recreation of a 'Phantasmagoria' - a kind of animated slide show with sound effects and shocking images - providing an opportunity to experience the same chills and thrills as in the 1800s. Tate Britain until 1st May.

Moonrise Over Europe: JC Dahl And Romantic Landscape features 'moonlights' by the Norwegian artist Johan Christian Dahl, one of the 19th century's foremost landscapists, his predecessors and contemporaries, including the great German Romantic Caspar David Friedrich. Dahl was fascinated by the theme of moonlight and this exhibition has as its centrepiece his 'Mother and Child by the Sea', a highly atmospheric oil painting showing a woman and her infant looking out over the moonlit water as a small boat carrying the child's father makes its way to the dark and rocky shore. The exhibition sets the painting in context with Dahl's work as a whole, and his development as a painter of 'moonlights', while studying his relationship to Friedrich, whose work has often overshadowed Dahl's. It also explores the fascination with moonlight that came to preoccupy Romantic artists in Europe during the period from the mid 18th to mid 19th centuries, including Friedrich, and such masters of the night as Carl Gustav Carus, Wright of Derby, John Russell, JMW Turner, Jean-Francois Millet, Claude-Joseph Vernet, Honore Daumier and Samuel Palmer, all of whom are represented here. This unusual exhibition offers a unique chance to see some haunting examples of Romantic landscape that have not been shown in Britain before. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham until 23rd April.