News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th February 2008

Commencing

Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913 - 2008 brings together rare vintage prints with contemporary classics from Vanity Fair and the Conde Nast Archive. It provides a photographic history of celebrity portraiture, with works of master photographers from Edward Steichen and Cecil Beaton, to Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino. Some of the greatest portrait photographs of the 20th century were taken for, or published in, Vanity Fair. This selection of 150 images features works from the magazine's first period, 1913 to 1936, displayed for the first time with works from its contemporary incarnation, 1983 to 2008. In the first period, celebrated subjects such as Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow, Louis Armstrong, Noel Coward, Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, Anna May Wong and Paul Robeson are shown in portraits by Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Baron De Meyer, Man Ray and George Hurrell. Since the magazine's re-launch, the works of Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, Nan Goldin, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber and Mario Testino are featured, depicting a wide range of subjects from Arthur Miller to Madonna. From the beginning, British, Irish and American authors were profiled and their writings published, and among the vintage portraits in the exhibition are iconic images of H G Wells, James Joyce, D H Lawrence, Rebecca West, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and George Bernard Shaw. Since its reincarnation, iconic cover images featured here include the Reagans dancing, a very pregnant Demi Moore, a formal portrait of President Bush's Afghan War Cabinet, and actresses Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley photographed naked. National Portrait Gallery until 26th May.

Niki de Saint Phalle is a comprehensive survey of the Franco-American painter and sculptor's entire career, with key examples of all phases of her work, and an exploration of her themes and concerns. It encompasses de Saint Phalle's early 'Assemblages' and paintings in the 1950s, based on found everyday objects that she embedded in plaster as a relief, often littered with violent objects such as knives, scissors, nails and blades; her acclaimed 'Shooting Paintings (Tirs)' in the early 1960s, such as 'Portrait of My Lover', where the head has been substituted by a target studded with darts, which developed into works where she embedded pockets filled with paint and foodstuffs within a thick layer of plaster on canvas, and other artists were invited to shoot the paintings in order to make the pictures 'bleed'; her religious altars such as 'Autel O.A.S', and works on the theme of the Bride - white papier mache sculptures of women - in the mid 1960s, which led on to the 'Nanas', very large brightly coloured sculptures of women that, due to their generous size and form, have become iconic and enduring archetypal images of maternity and femininity, and other large sculptural works; a wide selection of graphic work; and late works including the 'Skull Meditation Room' and 'Il Giardino dei Tarocchi', sculptures based on Tarot cards. Tate Liverpool until 5th May.

The Movieum Of London is a new museum that celebrates the British film industry, going behind the scenes to showcase the talent that has produced some of the world's most famous movies, and revealing the creative process that went into their making. Featuring real sets, props and movie equipment, it shows how the contributions of the individual departments come together to create a film, including special effects, animatronics, make up and wardrobe. The displays comprise: The History Of The Studios - Elstree, Pinewood and Shepperton, from the Golden Age to the Golden Compass, an insight into the studios where movie history was made; Real Life Sets, where visitors can step into the action of the sound stage and be part of the movie making experience; From Film Lover To Film Maker, a step by step guide to film making from an initial script to the final edit; Prop Art, some of the most famous props in film making history created and introduced by the most prolific artists of today; From Script To The Screen, the process of animation through the years, from Beatrix Potter, Dangermouse, Bagpuss and Mr Benn to Peppa Pig, original art used in the making of the episodes and films; Chapman Entertainment, exploring the magic of stop motion animation and how Fifi and the Flowertots are brought to the screen; and Comic Artists In Residence, where the characters and page come to life with the artists behind the magic of 2000AD and Garth. The Movieum Of London, County Hall, South Bank from 22nd February.

Continuing

Designs Of The Year is an exhibition that launches a new annual award to celebrate the most innovative, interesting and forward looking new work in design of all kinds. It gives an overview of the most significant achievements in design and architecture in the last year, whether they are projects by a practice, a team or an individual. Selected from around the world, the finalists featured in the show comprise 100 projects nominated by a group of internationally respected design experts, curators, critics, practitioners and enthusiasts, including Nick Knight, Philipp Rode and Wayne Hemmingway. These projects fall within seven categories to cover all design disciplines: architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, interactive, product and transport. Designs range from Thomas Heatherwick's East Beach Cafe in Littlehampton to Micael Rojkind's Chocolate Museum in Mexico City; Peter Marigiold's Movisi Make/Shift Shelving to Barber Osgerby's Saturn Coat Stand; United Visual Artists' Volume; One Point Six 3D light installation at the V&A to Paul Cocksedge's Private View, which uses material that allows only infrared light to pass through; Yohei Kuwano's Muji Wind Up Radio to Jasper Morrison's Refrigerator; and the Fiat 500 to JCDecaux's Velib Communal Bicycles in Paris. A winner in each category will go forward for consideration as the overall prize winner, to be announced on 18th March. Design Museum, London, until 27th April.

Blake's Shadow: William Blake And His Artistic Legacy explores the continuing influence on the world of creativity and ideas of a unique figure in British visual culture. William Blake has inspired people with such wide ranging interests as literature, painting, book design, politics, philosophy, mythology, music and film making. Alongside works by Blake himself, the exhibition spans two centuries of his influence, featuring around 60 watercolours, engravings, prints and paintings, in addition to numerous illustrated books and a range of audio visual material. His contemporaries in the late 18th and early 19th century are represented with works from John Flaxman, Edward Calvert, Samuel Palmer, J H Fuseli and Thomas Stothard. Blake's influence on artists in the Victorian period is explored through works by Ford Madox Brown, Walter Crane, Frederic Shields, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Simeon Soloman and G F Watts. British artists working in the 20th and 21st centuries who have been inspired by Blake include Cecil Collins, Douglas Gordon, Paul Nash, Anish Kapoor, David Jones, Ceri Richards, Patrick Proctor, Austin Osman Spare and Keith Vaughan. Blake's more recent influence is evidenced in work by the filmmakers Jim Jarmusch and Gus Van Sant, and various musicians, notably Patti Smith and Jah Wobble. Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, until 20th April.

Peter Doig is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of the work of Doig, spanning two decades, and comprising over 50 paintings and a group of works on paper. It includes a substantial body of work developed in the 5 years since his move to Trinidad in 2002, many of them not previously shown in Britain. Using everyday photographic images from newspapers or snapshots as a compositional starting point, Peter Doig's haunting paintings have a strong sense of atmosphere - his figures often seem out of time, and his landscapes possessed of a strange, unnamable presence. The narrative lure of the image is always countered by the visceral impact of the painted surface. This exhibition not only provides the widest overview of Doig's work to date, but also allows his themes and approach to be considered together, and reveals the shifts in his approach to making paintings over this period. Not only does Doig often return to the same subject, he sometimes returns to his previous paintings, making alterations and additions years later. Among the highlights are 'Hitch Hiker', 'Swamped', 'Concrete Cabin', 'Ski Jacket', 'Grand Riviere', '100 Years Ago (Carrera)' and 'Lapeyrouse Wall'. At the heart of the show is a room of Doig's works on paper, which relate to and extend the themes of the paintings. They also illuminate Doig's conceptual approach to his subject, as he repeats and reframes motifs in different paintings over an extended period of time. Tate Britain until 27th April.

Juan Munoz: A Retrospective is an assessment of the work of the Spanish artist who came to international prominence in the mid 1980s with dramatic sculptural installations that placed the human figure in specific architectural environments, and who is now widely regarded as of one of the foremost contemporary sculpture and installation artists. The exhibition comprises over 90 works, including several previously unseen pieces, alongside Munoz's signature sculptures and installations, series of drawings, and collaborative sound and performance pieces. Munoz's reputation was built on his ability to create tension between the illusory and real, the contrasting acts of looking and receiving, and the poignant isolation of the individual among a group or crowd. His installations are both dramatic and theatrical, using scale and perspective to inflect the viewer's encounter with the work. Among the highlights are 'If Only She Knew', an iron house-like structure raised on skinny supports and containing a carved stone female figure surrounded by several wooden male figures seemingly trapped under a peaked roof; 'The Persian carpet of Minaret for Otto Kurz', a welded iron structure placed on a carpet looking like a map of a city; 'Many Times' comprising 100 figures, identically dressed and with similar Asian features, forming a dense crowd; 'Seated Figures with Five Drums', a group wholly engaged with each other and with their drums; 'Shadow and Mouth' two figures creating a sinister atmosphere, reminiscent of a film noir scenario; some of the 'Raincoat Drawings' series, made with chalk and ink on blackened gabardine-raincoat fabric, portraying sparsely furnished rooms, often including glimpses of doorways leading to similarly desolate spaces; and a number of sound-based works made in collaboration with composer Gavin Bryars, novelist and art historian John Berger and musician Alberto Iglesias. Tate Modern until 27th April.

Small Worlds - The Art Of The Invisible combines the worlds of art and science, displaying a selection from the contents of a cabinet of over 10,000 late 19th and early 20th century microscopic specimens slides. However, seeing the slides does not involve peering down a microscope, as the exhibition is a representation of the collection in art and poetry. Artist Heather Barnett, who specialises in exploring the intersection between contemporary art, science and technology, has worked in collaboration with performance poet Will Holloway, to create a site specific body of work in image, film, animation and poetry, in a strikingly designed immersive exhibition environment, including microbe-patterned wallpaper and curtains, drawings and photographs, and dynamic audio poems and animations. The slides were collected between 1860 and 1930, at a time when microscopy was a fashionable hobby. The specimens include not only classic material such as fungi, plant parts, human and animal tissue samples, minerals, and insects, but also less usual samples, such as a miniaturised photo of a hunting expedition. Many are displayed in gilt and wooden frames, evoking the spirit of microscopy in Victorian and Edwardian times. Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, until 6th April.

Robert Dighton: Georgian Caricaturist, Actor And Thief offers an insight into life and times of this colourful Georgian character, and is a reminder of the work of one of the most talented social caricaturists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Dighton was quite a character himself, for a time conducting a career as an actor at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Sadler's Wells, whilst at the same time training and exhibiting at the Royal Academy. He eventually settled to being an artist, drawing master and printseller, producing caricatures of the 'types' of the day, and humorous prints or 'drolls', which he sold in his shop in Charing Cross. In 1806 he achieved notoriety when it was discovered he had been quietly stealing prints from the British Museum and selling them over a period of several years. The exhibition features 80 original caricatures of both celebrities and nonentities, the rich and the poor, capturing the spirit of Georgian London. Among Dighton's subjects are Bill Richmond, the black American boxer, innkeeper and promoter; James Christie, founder of the famous auction house; James Bellingham, who assassinated the Prime Minister Spencer Percival; and Martha Gunn, who supplied bathing machines and prostitutes to the upper classes on their visits to fashionable Brighton. Dighton also drew tailors, actors, academics and the down-at-heel types who thronged the street corners of Georgian London. The exhibition includes some examples of work by his sons and grandsons who carried on the tradition of caricature. Cartoon Museum, London, until 20th April.

Concluding

Sleeping And Dreaming examines the mysterious state that we all experience, but still understand so little about, through the eyes of artists, scientists, film makers and historians. The exhibition brings together over 300 diverse objects, from Renaissance paintings to contemporary installations, to explore the biomedical and neurological processes that take place in the sleeping body, and the social and cultural areas of our lives to which sleep and dreams are linked. It is in five themes. Dead Tired, includes the experiences of DJ Peter Tripp, who broadcast continually for 8 days, and a victim of Stasi sleep deprivation interrogation. World Without Sleep looks at how artificial light, changing seasons and travel across time zones affects sleep patterns, with advice on combating jet lag, Paul Ramierez Jonas's 'Another Day' counting down the time to sunrise in 90 international cities, and a collection of ingenious Heath Robinson alarm clocks. Elusive Sleep features Krzystof Wodiczko's 'Homeless Vehicle', a sleeping unit for homeless people, and 1930s public health posters warning of the dangers of fleas and bed bugs, insomnia and the use of sleeping pills. Dream Worlds looks at how dreaming and waking states intermingle, with Paul McCartney describing how the tune of Yesterday came to him in a dream, and an examination of Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams. Traces Of Sleep examines the association of sleep with unconsciousness and death, via Aristotle's treatise on Sleep and Sleeplessness, a machine from the 1930s designed to 'tune' the nerves to prevent sleepwalking, and Ron Mueck's 'Swaddled Baby'. Wellcome Collection, London until 10th March.

Medieval Ivories From The Thomson Collection is a selection of over 45 of the finest medieval carved ivories from the art collection of the late Kenneth Thomson. The display features most types of medieval ivory carving, with subjects ranging from the religious to the secular, including large statuettes of the Virgin and Child intended to stand on altars in chapels, together with small versions for private use in the home, and folding tablets or diptychs with scenes from the life of Christ carved in relief. Alongside these are carved writing tables, boxes and caskets, combs, hair parters, mirror cases with scenes of romantic encounters between young men and women, and a rare set of carved serving knives with fabulous beasts decorating the ivory handles. The centerpiece is an astonishingly carved Nativity and the Last Judgement, which until recently had been dismissed as a 19th century forgery, as its degree of accomplishment so far exceeds any other surviving medieval work. Other highlights include the Dormeuil Diptych of the Passion of Christ, the largest Passion diptych recorded, measuring 24.7cm by 31.4cm when opened, last on public display in 1913; a narrative comb showing two couples being transported to the fountain of youth in a carriage drawn by a horse and a mule, where they frolick naked in the waters; and a series of grisly memento mori beads designed to remind the owner of their own mortality, with heads on one side and worm eaten skulls on the other. Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, London, until 9th March.

Sleeping Beauties: Walter Crane And The Illustrated Book presents highlights from the recently acquired Walter Crane Archive, spanning the career of the artist and designer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The broad selection includes Crane's early commissions, as well as original drawings for his famous Toy Book illustrations, flower books and political cartoons. Exploring the rich and varied subject matter within Crane's book designs, the exhibition brings to life the fantastic imagery in his work, as well as revealing the stories behind their inspiration and production. Crane's work is referenced by personal correspondence, photographs and hand written journals, as his own story is placed alongside fairy tale imagery, traditional stories and the private picture books created for his own children. The exhibition highlights various themes evident within Crane's practice, including his aspirations for political and social reform, as reflected in his vision of a picture book utopia. Crane's position as a leading figure of the aesthetic movement is explored through his imagery, as is his belief in the redemptive power of good design. Themes such as industrialisation, vegetarianism and man's relationship to the environment are explored in Crane's picture books, giving an insight into how these contemporary issues were regarded a century ago. The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, until 1st March.