Private View held by Richard Andrews
Murillo & Justino de Neve: The Art Of Friendship celebrates the relationship of the canon of Seville Cathedral and the Spanish Baroque painter. Don Justino de Neve was a friend and patron of painter Bartolome Esteban Murillo, and his commissions made a significant contribution to Murillo's body of work. This exhibition brings together over 30 paintings documenting their relationship. To provide a suitable setting, a section of the gallery's enfilade has been transformed into an evocation of a 17th century Sevillian church. Three large lunettes are hung at height, with 'The Immaculate Conception of the Venerables Sacerdotes' forming the high altarpiece, the first time that it has been reunited with its striking altar-frame in Britain. The display includes 'The Baptism of Christ', 'The Infant Saint John the Baptist with the Lamb', 'The Penetent Saint Peter', 'Three Boys', 'Invitation to a Game of Argolla', a self portrait, and a portrait of Justino de Neve. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 19th May.
Murillo: Painting Of The Spanish Golden Age is an accompanying exhibition comprising works by Bartolome Esteban Murillo and his workshop and associates, Francisco Meneses Osorio and Juan Simon Gutierrez. Highlights include Murillo's 'The Marriage of the Virgin', 'The Adoration of the Shepherds', 'Joseph and his Bretheren' and 'Rest on the Flight into Egypt'. The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1, until 12th May.
R B Kitaj: Obsessions - Analyst For Our Time is a retrospective of the American born, London resident, artist who created work with strong autobiographical elements exploring some of the central questions of the 20th century. During the 1960s R B Kitaj, together with his friends Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach and Lucian Freud, were instrumental in pioneering a new, figurative art that defied the trend in abstraction and conceptualism. From the mid 1970s, Kitaj began to position himself explicitly as a Jewish artist coupled with his study of role models such as Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud, and Walter Benjamin. Confronting the history of the Holocaust, and reflecting on his identity as an outsider, he created a Jewish modern art, which he termed 'diasporic', with a rich palate of colour and enigmatic, recurring motifs. The exhibition comprises over 50 major paintings, sketches and prints presenting an overview of all periods of Kitaj's work from the 1960s to his death in 2007. It considers Kitaj's early presentations of a fragmented world, reflecting his interest in art history and intellectuals, and his paintings and collages addressing issues of European politics, philosophy and literature such as 'The Murder of Rosa Luxembourg' and 'The Rise of Fascism'. Also included are portraits of personal friends and figures he admired, such as his portrait of David Hockney, 'The Neo-Cubist', and fictional characters from literature such as 'The Arabist'. His fascination with the relationship between the body, sexuality and history is reflected in a series of powerful paintings of bathers including 'Self-Portrait as a Woman' and 'The Sensualist'. Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 16th June.
The Micrarium: A Place For Tiny Things provides a unique opportunity to explore microscopic specimens. It's often said that 95% of known animal species are smaller than a human thumb, yet most museums fill their displays with big animals. The aim of Micrarium is to right this wrong, and it does so in a spectacular way. An old storeroom has been converted into a walk in light box - a back-lit cave, lined wall-to-wall with over 2,000 microscope slides. These show miniscule specimens, such as beetles sliced along their entire length - through head, legs, body, even antennae; the legs of fleas showing the muscles, strangely arranged on the slide to be reminiscent of the coat of arms of the Isle of Man; and a whole squid, just a couple of millimetres long. In addition, there are tiny pieces of giant animals, including whales, mammoths and giraffes. The specimens are infused with the vivid colours of biological stains and annotated with handwritten labels, exemplifying their creator's meticulous documentation of exploration and discovery. Museums very rarely put objects like this on display to the public, and this is an experiment in finding an aesthetic way of doing so. Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, 21 University Street, London WC1, continuing.
Treasures Of The Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts And The Russian Tsars examines the development of cultural diplomacy and trade between Britain and Russia from its origins in 1555. The exhibition reveals the majesty and pageantry of the royal courts from Henry VIII to Charles II, and Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) to the early Romanovs, as they sought to strengthen their power against a backdrop of religious and social upheaval. Comprising more than 150 objects, the display chronicles the ritual and chivalry of the royal courts, with heraldry, processional armour and sumptuous textiles, including furnishings and fine clothing. The leading figures of the time including monarchs, diplomats, wealthy merchants and courtiers are introduced through portraiture, including paintings and miniatures by court artists, while magnificent examples of jewellery and luxury goods illustrate the valuable gifts presented by ambassadors. Highlights include the rarely shown Hampden portrait of Elizabeth I; the Barbor jewel, a pendant of enamelled gold set with an onyx cameo of Elizabeth I; a hand-coloured map of Muscovy from 1570; the Drake Star, a cameo cut with a black male and white female head in profile, in an elaborate enamelled gold setting, with further diamonds, rubies and pearls; contemporary literature, including a Shakespeare First Folio; a silver Dolphin Basin made in by Christiaen van Vianen; a heraldic sculpture over 2m high, comprising a bull, a gryphon, a ram and a salmon, carved from a single oak; and a suit of armour made for Henry VIII by the Royal Almain Armoury in Greenwich, alongside The Almain Album, a unique record containing 29 bespoke armour designs by Jacob Halder for high ranking Elizabethan courtiers. Victoria & Albert Museum until 14th July.
From Death To Death And Other Small Tales highlights the significance of the body as a theme in 20th and 21st century art. The exhibition of over 120 works offers a unique opportunity to explore the many and varied approaches that artists have taken across several decades when dealing with this most fundamental of subjects. Through innovative and often surprising configurations, the exhibition stages confrontations between the past and present, sculpture and painting, expressive and minimal forms, to illuminate the diverse ways in which artists have approached the subject of the body. Many of the most significant names in post-war and contemporary art are represented, figures whose output and ideas have shaped the way in which subsequent generations of artists have developed and others continue to emerge. Artists featured in the exhibition include Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, Helen Chadwick, Marcel Duchamp, Tracy Emin, Robert Gober, Mike Kelley, Sarah Lucas, Paul McCarthy, Ana Mendieta, Pablo Picasso and Rachel Whiteread. The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until 8th September.
Poster Art 150 - London Underground's Greatest Designs showcases 150 of outstanding posters, as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of world's first underground railway. The exhibition features Underground posters by many famous artists including Edward McKnight Kauffer and Paul Nash, and designs from each decade over the last 100 years, selected from an archive of over 3,300. Well known posters, including the surrealist photographer Man Ray's 'Keeps London Going' pair, feature alongside lesser known gems, with a rare opportunity to view letter-press posters from the late 19th century. The exhibition focuses on six themes: Finding Your Way, including maps and etiquette posters, plus messages to reassure passengers by showing them what the Underground is like; Brightest London, celebrating nights out and sporting events, showing the brightest side of London; Capital Culture, about cultural encounters, be these at the zoo or galleries and museums; Away From It All, looking at the way posters encouraged people to escape, to the country, the suburbs and enjoy other leisure pursuits; Keeps London Going, featuring posters about how the Underground has kept London on the move through its reliability, speed and improvements in technology; and Love Your City, showing the best of London's landmarks as featured in posters over the years. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, until 27th October.
Lichtenstein: A Retrospective claims to be the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the foremost Pop artist of the 1960s. Roy Lichtenstein is one of the central figures of American Pop Art, who pioneered a new style of painting, executed by hand but inspired by industrial printing processes. He became renowned for works based on comic strips and advertising imagery, coloured with his signature hand-painted Benday dots, as an ongoing examination of representation and originality in mass media culture. This exhibition of over 125 works showcases such key paintings as 'Look Mickey', 'Oh, Jeff', 'Masterpiece!', 'Hopeless', 'Drowning Girl', 'Whaam!' and 'Bratatat!'. Lichtenstein's rich and expansive output is represented by a wide range of materials, including paintings using Rowlux and steel, as well as sculptures in ceramic and brass, and a selection of previously unseen drawings, collages and works on paper. Alongside the classic paintings of romantic heroines and scenes of war for which Lichtenstein is best known, this exhibition shows other early Pop works, such as images of everyday objects in black and white. Also on display are Lichtenstein's artistic explorations depicting landscapes, mirrors and so-called 'perfect' and 'imperfect' paintings, as well as works that highlight his engagement with art history, revealing his lesser-known responses to Futurism, Surrealism and German Expressionism. In the final years of his life, Lichtenstein went on to create a series of huge female nudes and Chinese landscapes, neither of which have previously been shown within the wider context of his work. Tate Modern until 27th May.
John Flaxman: Line To Contour surveys the work of the leading exponent of British Neoclassicism, renowned for minimally drawn illustrations of stories from ancient Greece. Having learnt the techniques of sculpting in his father's plaster-cast workshop, John Flaxman began his career as a designer for Josiah Wedgwood's world famous pottery. Flaxman's impact on British manufacture continued for some decades, with many of his designs from the 1770s continuing to be used throughout the Victorian period. In 1787 Flaxman travelled to Rome, where he stayed for seven years, producing his most famous works, including engravings for publications of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Dante's Divine Comedy and The Tragedies of Aeschylus. Instantly successful, they were universally acknowledged to have captured the very essence of Homeric Greece and medieval Italy. The exhibition includes preliminary drawings for these works, alongside later illustrations modelled on Roman street scenes. Outline studies of male figures in cloaks and a famous sketch of a woman shaking a cloth out of a window are distinctive in their stylistic purity, reduced to a few essential lines. On returning to London, Flaxman worked on numerous sculptural commissions for major public monuments, as well as smaller funerary monuments produced for churches including St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. These often commemorated the dead with affecting simplicity, placing emphasis on feelings of loss rather than a celebration of lifetimes' achievements. Plaster models, representing stages in the process of production, sometimes preceded by sketches, also feature in the exhibition. Like most of the drawings they have rarely been seen and give an insight into the thinking that led to Flaxman's more formal output. Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, until 21st April.
Alien Revolution looks at the history of our relationship with extra-terrestrial life through science and culture. From the writings of 16th century astronomer Copernicus to modern day scientists still searching for life amongst the stars, the exhibition takes a whistle-stop tour of our on-going fascination with alien life, including children's favourite outer-space creature, E.T.; the intrepid Mars Curiosity rover on its solitary mission; and American couple Betty and Barney Hill, who claimed to be among some of the first people abducted by aliens in 1961. Copernicus made us rethink our place in the cosmos, recognising the Earth as a planet and the Sun as a star. The idea that the other planets in our Solar System were other Earths, with their own plants, animals and intelligent inhabitants took hold and led people to wonder if each star could be a Sun with its own family of inhabited earth-like planets. Within less than a century many people, from scientists to clergymen, believed in an infinite universe awash with intelligent alien life, reflected in religion, literature, philosophy, art and film. With scientific and fantastical images that capture the imagination, the exhibition explores our obsession with other worlds, from luminous paintings of whimsical bat-men and ethereal Moon maidens in the 19th century, to the violent depiction of invading Martians in stories of hostile aliens by H G Wells, and the first appearances of mysterious and complex crop-circles in 1970s England. Royal Observatory, Greenwich, until 8th September.
Roger Mayne: Aspects Of A Great Photographer features the work of the photographer who made his name when he sought to record a way of life in a rundown area of North Kensington in the late 1950s, before it was redeveloped as part of a slum clearance scheme. Working with a lightweight Zeiss Super Ikonta camera and bolstered by gaining the trust of his subjects, Roger Mayne was able to capture the vigour and poverty around him. His pictures have added poignancy as they chronicle the end of an era when it was still safe for children to play in the streets. From the 1960s onwards, Mayne turned his eye to similar outdoor scenes in Leeds, Sheffield, Glasgow, the Mediterranean, Japan and China, latterly focusing on the development of his own children and grandchildren. Mayne's many friendships with leading artists of the day influenced his approach and resulted in telling portraits of Henry Moore, Terry Frost, Roger Hilton, Gillian Ayres and others. Also included in the exhibition are some of Mayne's lyrical and expressive drawings of landscapes and nudes. By surveying all aspects of Mayne's career, this exhibition highlights less well known aspects of his work and proves that photography can be as creative an art form as painting and sculpture. Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, until 7th April.
Mughal India: Art, Culture And Empire explores one of the most powerful and splendid of all the world's great dynasties. The 'Great Mogul' seated on a jewel-encrusted throne is one of the most enduring images of India. The Mughal dynasty produced a great number of rulers of outstanding ability in statecraft and culture, whether in empire-building or as patrons of art and architecture. This exhibition is the first to document the entire historical period, from the foundation of the Mughal dynasty by Babur in the 16th century, through the heights of the empire and the 'Great' Mughal emperors of the 17th century, into the decline and eventual collapse in the 19th century, through more than 200 manuscripts, paintings and jeweled objects. Highlights include the paintings 'Akbar ordering the slaughter to cease in 1578' a folio from an imperial manuscript on the history of Emperor Akbar, one of the greatest rulers of the Indian subcontinent; 'Squirrels in a plane tree', an iconic masterpiece painted by Abu'l Hasan, a pre-eminent artist of the imperial court; 'Prince Aurangzeb reports to Emperor Shah Jahan in durbar', a historically important illustration featuring the Emperor famed for commissioning the Taj Mahal, enthroned inside his palace fortress at Lahore; and 'Portrait of Prince Dara Shikoh', featured in the only surviving album compiled by Dara Shikoh, a passionate connoisseur of the arts and scholar of religion; plus a gold crown, inset with diamonds, emeralds, turquoises, rubies, and pearls, lined with velvet, bought by Queen Victoria 1861; a jade flywhisk handle or morchhal, set with rubies and emeralds in gold collets to form flowers and leaves; and 17th century Mughal cavalryman and horse armour. British Library until 2nd April.
Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair celebrates the transformation of the world's most popular pin-up to acclaimed actress, highlighting the British photographers and personalities who admired her and worked with her. Photographs and magazine covers featuring Marilyn Monroe from 1947 to 1962 include Antony Beauchamp's poses taken in 1951 wearing a yellow bikini, and Baron's portraits of Monroe bathed in Californian sunlight taken in 1954. Cecil Beaton's 1956 photographs taken in his Ambassador Hotel suite in New York include Monroe's favourite image of herself, clutching a rose. Life photographer Larry Burrows was one of many photographers who covered Monroe's four month visit to Britain to work on the film 'The Prince And The Showgirl', including the press conference for the film at the Savoy Hotel. Cinematographer and cameraman Jack Cardiff photographed Monroe during a private sitting at that time. Other photographs show Monroe at a Royal Command film performance meeting the Queen, and at the Comedy Theatre with Arthur Miller, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, who was her director and co-star. Monroe is also shown with other British subjects including the director Roy Ward Baker and the poet Edith Sitwell. In addition, the display includes a comprehensive selection of rare British magazine covers featuring photographs taken by Andre de Dienes and Milton Greene, and a 1960 Sight and Sound showing Monroe as she appeared in 'Let's Make Love', in which she appeared with British singer Frankie Vaughan. National Portrait Gallery until 24th March.