News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th October 2005

Commencing

The Science Of Aliens explores the possibility of life on other worlds, derived from the work of leading scientists, who used the latest discoveries and scientific principles to imagine alien worlds and creatures. The exhibition is divided into four zones: Alien Fiction reflects alien life as represented in films‚ television and literature, revealing how they are modern expressions of deeper themes that have fascinated generations through fairytales and myths, with exhibits of science fiction creatures including the Queen from the film Aliens, Vogons and the Clangers. Alien Science begins with an exploration of the evolution of life on Earth, including frightening specimens from Earth's deepest oceans, and how they help scientists understand the possibilities for alien life forms, before embarking on a journey around our solar system and into deep space in search of aliens. Alien Worlds imagines the kind of life that could evolve on two fictional‚ but scientifically credible worlds, where giant interactive landscapes enable visitors to interact with the creatures‚ learn more about them, and influence their behaviour‚ making them hide‚ hunt and move around their planets‚ before triggering world altering global events - the first time these cutting edge interactives have been seen in the UK. Alien Communications looks at the search for alien intelligence‚ showing how scientists are listening for signals from outer space, and how they have attempted to communicate with alien civilisations. The Science Museum until 26th February.

National Waterfront Museum is a new £30.8m museum designed by architects Wilkinson Eyre, which tells the story of the deep impact that the industrial revolution had on the people of Wales. It is a mix of old and new, incorporating a Grade II listed waterfront warehouse, and a glazed, central walkway, joining it to a new glass and slate building, comprised of four interlinked pavilions increasing in size from one end to the other. There are 15 themed galleries celebrating Wales's story of industry and innovation from the 18th century into the future. Over one hundred audio visual exhibits and 36 interactive displays, using the latest technology, complement some of the oldest surviving technological artefacts in Wales. Among the heavyweight exhibits from its industrial heritage are a 28-tonne rolling steel mill from the Llanwern works, one of very few surviving coal wagons, a brick press, a replica of the Pen-y-darren steam locomotive, a Cardiff built monoplane, and outdoors alongside the quay, the lightship Helwick.

Nelson In Wales is a temporary exhibition examining Nelson's Welsh connections - the copper plates that sheathed the hulls of the British fleet, making them faster than their opponents, were cast in Swansea, while the fleet's guns and cannonballs were cast at Cyfarthfa, then the largest ironworks in the world. It includes a large and detailed model of the flagship Victory, and Nelson memorabilia, which as well as telling the story of his life, considers Nelson's image as the hero of early 19th century Britain. National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, continuing.

Diane Arbus: Revelations is the largest retrospective ever assembled of work by the legendary New York photographer, whose work captured 1950s and 1960s America, and transformed the art of photography. The exhibition consists of nearly 200 of Arbus's most significant photographs, including many images that have never been exhibited publicly before. Among the iconic pictures are 'A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx', 'Identical twins, Roselle, N.J.', 'Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park' and 'A young man in curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C.'. The exhibition also reveals the artist's methodology and intellectual influences, through a presentation of contact sheets, cameras, letters, notebooks, and other writings, as well as books and ephemera from Arbus's personal library. She was born in New York City and was a photographer primarily of people she discovered in the metropolis and its environs. In her photographs, the self-conscious encounter between photographer and subject becomes a central drama of the picture. Her "contemporary anthropology" - portraits of couples, children, carnival performers, nudists, middle class families, transvestites, people on the street, zealots, eccentrics, and celebrities - stands as an allegory of post war America and an exploration of the relationship between appearance and identity, illusion and belief, theatre and reality. Alternatively, she created a 20th century version of a Victorian Freak Show. Victoria & Albert Museum until 15th January.

Continuing

Araki: Self? Life? Death? is the first major exhibition to be held in London of work by Nobuyoshi Araki, arguably Japan's greatest living photographer, and certainly its most controversial. Araki's inexhaustible creative energy is clearly evident in the 300 books he has published over the last four decades, while his photographs, which often challenge social taboos surrounding sex and death, have drawn critical attention throughout the world. This exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of his prolific career, with over 4,000 images on show. Encompassing contemporary Japanese sub-culture, Araki's subjects range from poetic scenes of old Tokyo, to erotic images of kimono-clad women bound in rope, and shots of nudes with exotic flowers as props. The exhibition features many of Araki's most significant works, including images of Tokyo's Shitamachi children, 'Satchin and Mabo'; 'Sentimental Journey', an intimate collection of 'diary' photographs of his honeymoon; and 'Tokyo Nude', a group of large format photographs, displayed in pairs, contrasting languid nudes with desolate Tokyo streets. Many rare images, previously unpublished outside Japan, are presented, together with new works created specially for the show. The exhibition also features a display of books published by Araki, as well as sketchbooks, scrapbooks, Xerox photo albums and other working materials seen for the first time. Through his innovative approach to his medium - sometimes combining painting, drawing and film - Araki has become an influential figure in contemporary art, beyond the field of photography. Barbican Gallery until 22nd January.

The De La Warr Pavilion, the Modernist architectural icon on the seafront in Bexhill, celebrates its 70th anniversary by reopening on 15th October as a national centre for the contemporary arts, following an £8 million refurbishment and redevelopment programme. Commissioned by the 9th Earl De La Warr in 1935, and designed by German emigre architects Eric Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff, the De La Warr Pavilion was Britain's first public building built in the Modernist style. Following the refurbishment by architects John McAslan+Partners, unsympathetic post Second World War alterations have been removed, and the spaces opened up to reveal their original splendour, with public access restored again to all parts of the building, after its long slow decline. It now comprises: foyer, shop, cafe and bar, restaurant, ground floor art gallery with seminar room, first floor gallery, open air ground floor and roof sun terraces - including Neil McLaughlin's new bandstand with a shell like canopy, a 1,000 seater auditorium, and a large studio performance space, all linked together by the magnificent sweeping curved chrome-steel stairway. Barber & Osgerby have designed a new range of furniture for the public areas in keeping with the modernist style. The refurbished De La Warr Pavilion will offer an extensive programme of performing and visual arts. Further information can be found on the DLWP web site via the link from the Heritage section of ExhibitionsNet. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, continuing.

Universal Experience: Art, Life, And The Tourist's Eye is an exhibition that explores the phenomenon of global tourism, through the work of 50 major contemporary artists from around the world. With nearly 700 million people travelling internationally each year, tourism has become the largest industry in the world. Installations and sculptures, large scale film projections and intimate photographs and videos, transport visitors on a journey to real and imagined spaces and places, backwards and forwards through recent history. These works reveal how tourism is not only transforming the world we inhabit, but also revolutionising the way we view and understand our surroundings, at home and abroad. Among those artists featured are Chris Burden, Maurizio Cattelan, Tacita Dean, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Gabriel Orozco, Robert Smithson, Thomas Struth, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Zhan Wang and Andy Warhol. Highlights include 'The Moment', a vast kaleidoscopic audio visual work by Doug Aitken, capturing the acute sense of disorientation experienced on waking in an unfamiliar place; Thomas Hirschhorn's 'Chalet Lost History', a labyrinthine low tech installation about the looting of Baghdad's archaeological museum, equating the exploitation of military conquest with tourism and pornography; and Darren Almond's video piece 'Ozwiecim' capturing 'holocaust tourists' as they arrive and depart in buses from Auschwitz. Hayward Gallery until 11th December.

Edvard Munch By Himself focuses on self portraits by the Norwegian artist, and it is the first time that such a large cross section, from all stages of his career, has been brought together. The exhibition comprises 150 paintings, drawings, etchings and sketchbooks, as well as rarely seen photographs. Starting with the first self portrait painted as a 17 year old student at the Royal School of Drawing, Kristiania, the exhibition concludes with the last works produced in seclusion at his house in Ekely in the 1940s. It provides a unique opportunity to survey Munch's career as he recorded himself passing through moments of self doubt, depression, illness and passion. Unlike the studio self portraits of other artists, Munch injected his own likeness into a variety of scenes, including the assassination of Marat, the decapitation of John The Baptist and the crucifixion of Christ. These works capture the Munch's obsession with his own physical and mental well being, concerns shaped by personal experiences, including the deaths of his mother and his elder sister from tuberculosis, and his own weak health and bouts of depression. Included in the exhibition are 'Self-portrait Man with Bronchitis', representative of his preoccupation with his health, and 'Self-Portrait Between Clock and Bed'. Munch's strong use of colour and distortion of the human form became characteristic of the way in which he communicated his feelings as a consequence of his personal experiences. His stark, uncompromising self portraits reflect his close friendship with and admiration for the work of his contemporaries, including among others, Henrik Ibsen, Knut Hamsun, and August Strindberg, who advocated the portrayal of the unconscious in their work. Royal Academy until 11th December.

The Cassell Silver is a display of eleven masterpieces of English silver from the 15th to 18th centuries, from the collection formed by Sir Ernest Cassel, including unique pieces of silver associated with some of England's most prominent families. Cassel was a German immigrant, who arrived in England in 1869 with, it is said, a bag of clothes and a violin. Within fifteen years, he had become one of the most successful financiers in Europe, married an Englishwoman, converted from Judaism to Catholicism, and become a friend and financial adviser to the Prince of Wales. Cassel built up a celebrated art collection, an important part of which was the early English silver. The highlights of the display are the Proctor ewer and basin, and the Bell Salt. The ewer and basin, hallmarked London 1592-3, are exceptional examples of Tudor plate with floral decoration within strapwork. The enamelled roundel on the basin depicts the arms of Richard Proctor, Master of the Merchant Taylors' Company, for whom they were made. Ewers and basins, used for washing hands at the table before forks were introduced, were the most prestigious type of table plate in Renaissance Europe, and formed the centrepiece of ornamental buffet displays. The salt, hallmarked London 1597-8, is shaped in the form of a bell, and has pale gilding and strapwork decoration. Salt was of high symbolic importance on medieval and Renaissance tables as the seating of people at the table in relation to the salt represented their social status. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford until 6th November.

Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec: London and Paris 1870-1910 identifies the largely unrecognised exchange of artistic ideas between Britain and France during this seminal period in the development of modern art. The exhibition features more than 100 works, including paintings, pastels, drawings, prints and sculpture. There are about twenty works each by Edgar Degas, Walter Sickert and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec that are known to have been exhibited in British galleries at the time. Among the many iconic images is Degas's 'L'Absinthe', not shown in a London exhibition since the 19th century, and 'Interior (The Rape)'. Such works, characterised by their daring technique and colour allied to a choice of starkly modern subject matter, depicting the realities of urban life, elicited powerful responses from a subsequent generation of artists in Britain and France. While Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec are the artists at the heart of the exhibition, it also presents innovative depictions of modern life by other prominent painters, such as Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and James Whistler, as well as now less widely celebrated figures including James Tissot, Henri Fantin-Latour and William Rothenstein. The exhibition reveals the parallels between Toulouse-Lautrec's imagery and that of Sickert and his contemporaries, and looks particularly at the close relationship between intimate paintings of interiors by Sickert, Bonnard and Vuillard, each of them redolent with intense psychological power. Tate Britain until 15th January.

Concluding

Sense And Sensibility - Cotman Watercolours Of Durham And Yorkshire both examines the unique contribution to English watercolour painting by John Sell Cotman, and reveals the local history of the Yorkshire and Humber region. The exhibition comprises 81 major works from across Britain, many of which are seen on display together for the first time, alongside a selection of archival material relating to Cotman. It also includes drawings created under his tuition by the young Cholmeley daughters of Brandsby Hall near York. So enamoured were the girls with their handsome young tutor that they wrote a poem, 'Cotmania' in his honour. It is thought by some that they were the inspiration for the setting of Wilkie Collins's novel The Woman In White. While still in his early twenties Cotman made three visits to the north between 1803 and 1805. He worked at a wide variety of locations, including Fountains, Rievaulx, Byland and Kirkstall Abbeys, and sketched in the grounds of Harewood House, Castle Howard and Duncombe Park. His studies of these places include some of his finest and most important works. During his lifetime Cotman's paintings did not bring him success, being too subtle, too refined and too undemonstrative for contemporary taste, but Cotman's muted and meditative Durham and Yorkshire watercolours, seeming to capture an unearthly silence, are now widely regarded as some of the most perfect achievements of British Art. Harewood House until 30th October.

Lucy Orta is the first major solo exhibition in the UK of the contemporary artist whose work examines the social bonds within communities and the relationships between individuals and their environments. Lucy Orta's work has been categorised as belonging to the 'jumble sale school' - or more correctly 'car boot sale school' since one piece 'M.I.U. VII' incorporates a lorry. In fact, many of the pieces look like they belong to a disaster emergency response team - I'm sure 'Refuge Wear Intervention London East End' and 'Body Architecture-Collective Wear 4 Persons' were on the pavement outside Kings Cross in July. Orta describes her work as being 'at the intersection of dress and architecture'. This exhibition brings together sculptures, videos, objects and photographs created by Orta over the last ten years, including a diverse range of collaborative projects and performances, installations and social interventions held in cities around the world. A new work on its first outing consists of 23 silver bodysuits attached to canvas stretcher beds that float mysteriously at waist height, like canoes on floodwater. In terms of being an artist reflecting the world around her, could Orta possibly be the contemporary equivalent of Hogarth? The Curve at The Barbican until 30th October.

Kindertotenlieder: Mariele Neudecke is a new work by the German born, British resident artist, who uses sculpture, film and photography to create representations of landscapes, drawing on Northern Romantic ideas. She is perhaps best know for her atmospheric creations of landforms within glass vitrines - a sort of vegetarian alternative to Damien Hirst. The charm of her 'tank works' comes from their combination of the ruinous wilderness of the landscapes with the quaint domesticity of their dolls house setting. Premiering here is a five part moving image installation in response to each of Gustav Mahler's Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children), fusing contemporary visual art with classical music and literature. Mahler's composition was written in 1901 following the deaths of two of his children, setting verse by German Romantic poet Friedrich Ruckert, which evokes emotions of grief, loss and guilt. Neudecker has drawn upon the metaphors of light and weather referred to in Ruckert's verse. She breaks new ground by creating a mysterious, multimedia mausoleum, in which Kathleen Ferrier's recording of the song cycle provides the soundtrack for glimpses of digitally generated vistas. Neudecker's installation unfolds like a sequence of sets for an imaginary opera. In one room a misty, romantic sunrise gradually spreads across the wall. In another, a pinprick of light animates a doorknob, revealing a video of a child playing a field. Elsewhere, a mirror reflects bolts of forked lightning, and visitors can peep around doors to view a vast alpine landscape. Impressions Gallery, York until 28th October.