Private View held by Richard Andrews
The Art Of Lee Miller celebrates the life and career of one of the most original and creative photographic artists of the 20th century. It brings together the greatest images of and by Lee Miller, and features works never before exhibited or published, including satirical drawings and some of the most disturbing photographs ever taken. It also explores Miller's other talents as model, Surrealist muse and journalist, charting her unconventional and eventful life, whose path was one of 'poacher turned gamekeeper turned conservationist'. A legendary beauty and fashion model, Miller became an acclaimed photographer, first of fashion, and then on the battlefield. Her relationships with Surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray, and painter and collector Roland Penrose, placed her at the heart of 20th century artistic and literary circles, and in a career spanning more than three decades, she came into contact with an astonishing range of people, including Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and Jean Cocteau. With over 140 works, including drawings, a rare collage, film extracts and magazine pages, the exhibition represents the entire range of Miller's activities. Among her most outstanding photographs on view are the avant-garde 'Exploding Hand'; the shocking 'Severed Breast', exhibited for the first time; 'Women with Fire Masks', capturing life during the Blitz; the posthumous war portraits 'Burgermeister of Leipzig's Daughter Suicided' and 'Dead SS Guard in Canal'; and Alfred H Barr Jr, the first director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, feeding the pigs at her family home in Sussex from the 'Working Guests' series. Victoria & Albert Museum until 6th January.
Animated Adventures is the opening show at the Lightbox gallery and museum designed by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye. The exhibition takes visitors behind the scenes at Aardman Animation, the British company that created Wallace and Gromit, and has produced award winning television commercials and series, as well as full length features including Creature Comforts, Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep. The exhibition features an introduction to the history of British animation, and also explains how Aardman began, and the work that has inspired its animators. The display then shows how the animators turn their original ideas into finished films, from storyboards to set design, and reveals industry secrets, exploring everything from set design to CGI technology. Among the highlights are the original sets from the film Wallace and Gromit, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and exclusive original behind the scenes material from the new television series Shaun the Sheep. Various 'interactives' allow visitors to try adding sound effects to film, create title credits, make a mini movie, learn to draw Gromit, and create their own models to take home.
Story Of The Lightbox narrates the design and construction process of the unusual building, documenting its evolution from original architectural ideas and drawings, through construction to its completion.
The Lightbox, Chobham Road, Woking, Surrey, Animated Adventures until 13th January ~ Story Of The Lightbox until 29th October.
Making History: Antiquaries In Britain 1707 - 2007 explores the work and achievements of the Fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries of London from its foundation in the early 18th century to the present day. The exhibition examines key stages in the creation of Britain's historical narrative from the earliest archeological discoveries. It comprises around 190 exhibits, featuring works of art, antiquities, books and manuscripts of unique historical importance. Among the highlights are a processional cross of Richard III and his defeated Yorkist army recovered from the battlefield of Bosworth; an early copy of the Magna Carta; the inventory of Henry VIII's posessions at the time of his death; the earliest known medieval manuscript illustrations of Stonehenge, recently discovered; the 'Winchester Domesday', one of the most detailed descriptions of any European town of the middle ages; the earliest known portraits of two Saxon kings, discovered 'forming the wainscot of a small closet' at Basyton House in 1813; a 450,000 year old flint hand-axe; the 13th century illuminated 'Lindsey Psalter'; and 'The Roll Chronicle', a mediaval genealogical tree proving the descent of Henry IV from Adam and Eve. There are drawings and paintings of historic sites and monuments by artists such as Constable, Turner, Girtin, Byrne-Jones and Blake, and a selection from the Society's collection of early English royal portraits from Henry VI to Mary Tudor, displayed together in public for the first time. Royal Academy of Arts until 2nd December.
The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army features the largest group of objects relating to the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty ever to be loaned abroad by the Museum of the Terracotta Army and the Cultural Relics Bureau of Shaanxi Province in Xi'an, China. The exhibition is the first to be housed in the original Reading Room at the heart of the British Museum. The majority of the 120 objects come from the tomb of Qin Shihuangdi, the First Emperor, a tomb complex that is unparalleled in terms of its extent and magnificence. Arguably the most famous archaeological site in the world, it was discovered by chance by villagers in 1974, and excavation has been ongoing at the site since that date. The exhibition features around 20 complete terracotta warrior figures of different ranks - an extraordinary feat of mass-production, as each figure was given an individual personality, although they were not intended to be portraits. In addition, there is a replica figure, decorated in the original brightly painted colours. Displayed alongside these iconic figures are examples of significant recent finds, which have very rarely been seen outside of China. Terracotta acrobats, bureaucrats, musicians and bronze birds have been discovered on the site, designed to administer to or entertain the Emperor in his afterlife. They are of crucial importance to the understanding of his attempts to control the world even in death. The exhibition demonstrates the historical and archaeological context of these famous objects, as well as detailing the most recent research and excavation. It also presents a reassessment of the First Emperor himself, the man who created China as a political entity. British Museum until 6th April.
The Stanley Spencer Gallery has reopened after a refurbishment programme that has seen the introduction of a mezzanine floor, which has significantly increased the display space. It is the only gallery in Britain devoted exclusively to an artist in the village where he was born and spent much of his life.
Cookham and its surrounding area remained a source of inspiration throughout Stanley Spencer's life, and formed the setting for numerous idiosyncratic biblical and figure paintings, as well as landscapes. The gallery occupies the former Victorian Methodist Chapel where Spencer was taken to worship as a child. It contains a permanent collection of his work, together with letters, documents, memorabilia, and the pram in which Spencer wheeled his equipment when painting landscapes. The reopening show features highlights from the collection of major works by Spencer, including the newly acquired portrait of Eric Williams of Wooden Horse fame, 'View from Cookham Bridge' and a pencil drawing 'Ecstasy in a Wesleyan Chapel'. Other highlights include 'The Betrayal', 'The Last Supper', 'St. Veronica Unmasking Christ', 'Christ Overturning the Money Changers' Table', 'Christ preaching at Cookham Regatta', 'Listening from Punts', 'Beatitudes of Love: Contemplation', 'Sarah Tubb and the Heavenly Visitors', 'Neighbours', 'The Month of March: Dressmaking, 'The Fairy on the Waterlily leaf', studies for the Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere and drawings for the 'Shipbuilding on the Clyde' series. The Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham, Berkshire, continuing.
Henry Moore At Kew is the largest collection of Henry Moore's work ever to be displayed in one place, and includes a combination of pieces that have never been brought together before, some which have never been seen in London. 28 large scale sculptures can be seen throughout Kew's 300 acres of formal gardens, glasshouses, lakes and natural landscape, as they change through the seasons. The exhibition highlights the inspiration that Moore took from nature, and his enjoyment of seeing his works in a landscape setting. From 1958 Moore began creating works of sculpture on a very large scale that broke the confines of the traditional gallery space, and demanded to be seen in the open. Also, Moore always wanted his sculpture to be free standing, capable of being seen in the round. Here, some works are displayed in groups, while others are completely isolated in the landscape. The sculptures range from his more realistic figures to wholly abstract pieces, including 'Large Reclining Figure' made of polystyrene and white resin, 'Mother and Child: Blocked Seat', 'Draped Reclining Mother and Baby', 'The Wall', 'Double Oval', 'Hill Arches' and 'Locking Piece'. The exhibition is supported by events and activities, including an exhibition explaining how Moore worked, with 12 maquettes (some of the works on view), 'found objects' that were the inspiration for much of his sculpture, and illustrate how his influences evolved into art, together with a selection of his tools, plus The Art Of Henry Moore film, guided tours and lectures. Kew Gardens, until 30th March.
France In Russia: Empress Josephine's Malmaison Collection brings together some of the paintings, sculpture and furnishings that Napoleon's consort Josephine acquired for her chateau of Malmaison, which were purchased by Tsar Alexander I in 1815. In addition to 16th and 17th century paintings by Claude, Potter and Teniers, sculpture by Canova and decorative arts, the exhibition also includes luxury items borrowed from Josephine's fashionable country retreat, such as textiles, personal effects and letters. Among the highlights are: Antonio Canova's contemporary life size marble sculpture 'Dancer', commissioned by Josephine; Claude Lorrain's 'Landscape with Tobias and the Angel' from the four part Times of Day series; Francois Gerard's iconic portrait of Josephine, originally on display at Malmaison; 22 pieces from a 213 piece porcelain dessert service, including the a series of 'picture plates' reproducing paintings from Josephine's collection, such as Metsu's 'Breakfast' and Francois Fleury Richard's 'Valentina of Milan'; Paulus Potter's almost life size definitive dog painting 'A Wolfhound'; a clock base in the form of a triumphal arch by the Florentine mosaicist Giacomo Raffaelli; a console table with sphinx legs and sea-bed mosaic top by Jacob Desmalter; Francois Flameng's informal painting 'Reception at Malmaison', showing Napoleon in game of tag with his stepdaughter in the grounds, watched by members of the families; 'The Gonzaga Cameo', showing a double portrait of an emperor and his wife; and personal effects belonging to Josephine, including a silver embroidered court dress and an ecritoire designed by the goldsmith Martin-Guillaume Biennais, together with letters on widely diverse subjects. Hermitage Rooms, Somerset House until 4th November.
Memories, Moments And Other Curiosities is a collection of sculpture and 'cabinets of curiosities' by Nicola Dale, Claire Douglass, Liz Frolich, Simon Le Ruez and Kelly McCallum, based on personal experience, disintegration and domestic spaces, expressed in different ways, reflecting their individual approaches. Nicola Dale illustrates the proposition that 'our view of history changes depending on our position' by cutting long leafed flowers from the pages of the populist history book 'The People's Century' to create a memorial wreath. Claire Douglass's mixed media works refer to comparisons between her memories of growing up in Britain with friends from different ethnic backgrounds. Liz Frolich's works echo that of an archaeologist and collector of curios, juxtaposing objects and materials that come together to tell a story. Simon Le Ruez makes delicately disquieting sculptures that use materials subversively, to create physical and psychological tensions. Kelly McCallum is interested in how things age, and how they decay or are preserved, creating works that combine Victorian taxidermy with insects and precious metals. Saltburn Galllery, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, until 7th October.
The Changing Face Of Childhood: British Children's Portraits And Their Influence In Europe looks at how the representation of children in British art changed over the centuries, and how these changes were taken up by European artists.
In the 1630s Van Dyck painted Charles I's children as innocent creatures subjected to the established style of courtly representation. 100 years later Gainsborough set new standards, with keenly observed renditions of child like behaviour, and subjects who were placed in their own environment. As painted by Joshua Reynolds, and his successor Thomas Lawrence, they were no longer stiffly posed miniature reflections of their aristocratic parents, but genuinely child like, running wild in landscapes that reflect their personalities. This new way of seeing children as independent characters became popular throughout Europe, and as a result, European artists like Angelika Kauffman travelled to England to see the works, and contributed to the wide dissemination of this 'modern' portrait type. All over Europe in the second half of the 18th century interest in children's portraits spread, not just among the nobility, but among the newly emerging bourgeoisie. Highlights include Gainsborough's 'The Painter's Daughters', Peter Lely's 'Young Man as a Shepherd', Joshua Reynolds's 'Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire and Her Daughter Lady Georgina Cavendish', Thomas Lawrence's 'The Children of Lord George Cavendish', Henry Raeburn's 'The Allen Brothers', William Beechy's 'Sir Francis Ford's Children Giving a Coin to a Beggar Boy' and Francis Cotes's 'The Young Cricketer: Portrait of Lewis Cage'. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 4th November.
Impressionists By The Sea explores the origins and development of the fashionable contemporary beach scene from the early 1860s to the early 1870s, in the work of Eugene Boudin, Manet and Claude Monet. It then looks at beach scenes of the 1880s, in which the Impressionists, notably Monet, turned their backs on the depictions of people, and used their new approach to capture the effects of weather and light on the coastline. During the 19th century, the northern coast of France was transformed from the preserve of local sea faring populations into 'the summer boulevard of Paris' with the arrival fashionable holidaymakers. Painters initially portrayed the coast in Romantic terms, focusing on the forces of nature and the depiction of picturesque scenes of local fishermen. By the 1860s, however, stylish holidaymakers began to appear in paintings, as resorts such as Deauville and Trouville became fashionable. Highlights include Boudin's 'The Beach at Trouville - The Empress Eugenie', Manet's, 'On the Beach: Suzanne and Eugene Manet at Berck', Monet's 'The Beach at Sainte-Adresse' and 'Shadows on the Sea, Pourville', Renoir's 'Children on the Seashore, Guernsey', Isabey's 'The Beach at Granville', and Courbet's 'The Waterspout'. To provide the context within which the Impressionists' pictorial innovations were made, their works are accompanied by late Romantic views by Eugene Isabey and Paul Huet, austere Realist interpretations by Gustave Courbet, and conventioinal representations of beach scenes by Whistler and Cazin. Royal Academy of Arts until 30th September.
Out Of This World: The Art Of Josh Kirby is the first major retrospective of the artist whose speciality was other-worldly characters, creatures, fantasy cities and landscapes. It spans Kirby's career from his early days as a freelance artist, to his cover illustrations for Terry Pratchett and Eric/Faust fantasy books. The exhibition displays his best known work, such as film posters for Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi and Monty Python's Life Of Brian, and the Discworld series of books, alongside the less familiar, including illustrations for Corgi and Panther publishers in the 1950s and 1960s. It provides a unique opportunity to view Kirby's often highly complex paintings un-cropped and in their original format. His heroes and heroines are archetypal fantasy figures, but his scenes are infused with ribald humour. Fantasy art is often associated with airbrushing, but Kirby's works were meticulously hand painted, usually in gouaches or oils, over a period of four to eight weeks.
Unnatural Selection: Jewellery, Objects And Sculpture By Peter Chang is the first time Chang's early and contemporary drawings, prints and sculptures have been presented alongside his jewellery, objects and current sculpture, providing a comprehensive overview of his work. Peter Chang exploits the intrinsic qualities of plastic - its malleability and colour - to make shapes in all sizes, from jewellery to outdoor sculpture. Inspired by many things, from the natural world to the urban environment, Chang uses self devised techniques to combine throw-away everyday acrylic, polyester resin and PVC, with precious metals and other materials, into objects that have a sci-fi feel.
Walker Gallery Liverpool, both exhibitions until 30th September.
The State Rooms Of Buckingham Palace, which are used to receive and entertain guests of State on ceremonial and official occasions, have once again been thrown open to visitors. They are furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude; sculpture by Canova and Chantrey; Sevres porcelain; and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. This year, the special display celebrates the Queen and Prince Philip's diamond wedding anniversary, featuring the bridal gown designed by Norman Hartnell, in ivory silk, with a 15 foot train, decorated with crystals and over 10,000 seed pearls, satin shoes made by Edward Rayne, and a diamond tiara and pearl necklace, together with the bridesmaid's dresses and Prince Philip's dress uniform. Accompanying these is a selection from over 2,500 wedding gifts the couple received, including the 'Girls of Great Britain' tiara and 'County of Cornwall' diamond and ruby bracelet from Queen Mary, a Steuben glass bowl and cover engraved with a merry-go-round from President Truman, a Cartier diamond and platinum necklace from the Nizam of Hyderabad, a pair of Meissen chocolate pots from Pope Pius XII, a gold and jade necklace from King Farouk of Egypt, and an intricate piece of lace woven from yarn spun by Mahatma Ghandi. Visitors can also enjoy a walk in the 39 acre garden with its 19th century lake, which provides a haven for wild life in the centre of London, and offers views of the Garden Front of the Palace. Buckingham Palace until 28th September.