News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th June 2007

Commencing

Wellcome Collection is a new £30m cultural venue from the Wellcome Trust that combines three galleries: Medicine Man - featuring historical artefacts, Medicine Now - examining contemporary heath and medicine, and a special exhibitions space, with the world famous Wellcome Library, a public events 'forum', a cafe, bookshop and a club, to provide visitors with insights into the human condition. At its heart is the collection of medical artefacts assembled by Henry Wellcome, the 19th century pharmaceutical entrepreneur, whose fortune founded the Wellcome Trust. A compulsive collector, by the time of his death he and his team had amassed over one and a half million objects. These encompassed Florence Nightingale's moccasins, shrunken heads from South America, Charles Darwin's walking stick, amputation saws used by Victorian doctors, a lock of George III's hair, and the 'Claxon earcap', a cloth harness to be worn by children at night to correct protruding ears. From this eclectic collection, some 1,500 exhibits have been selected for display, including works by Picasso, Mark Quinn, John Isaacs, Christine Borland and Martin Parr, and ancient artefacts such as 19th century sex aids, a blade from a French Revolution guillotine, a Chinese torture chair, a 14th century Peruvian mummy, Nelson's razor and a DNA sequencing robot. The special exhibition space is devoted to The Heart, with a video of an actual transplant operation, anatomical drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, Aztec sacrificial knives for cutting out victims' hearts, an Andy Warhol painting of the heart, an Egyptian book of the dead, and a five foot long sperm whale's heart. Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road London, continuing.

Anthony Caro And Sheila Girling celebrates the lifelong partnership of Caro and Girling, although this is the first time they have exhibited together for ten years. Twelve of Anthony Caro's 'Flats', a series of monumental bent, welded and bolted steel sculptures, many of which have never been seen in Britain before, are sited in various locations across the grounds. The shapes, with their curving edges, evoke in steel sensations analogous to the diaphanous 'veil' paintings of Morris Louis. They create narrowed, trapped spaces, contained between monolithic vertical and gently reclining upright elements, for the most part in brown textures of the rusted steel. Sheila Girling's work, on display in the gallery, is a series of large abstract paintings that use the qualities of pumice gel medium and acrylic paint to explore the rich colour and textures revealed by the weathering of architectural surfaces, such as walls and doors, in a variety of climates. She incorporates elements of collage, and her landscapes consist of thick layers of acrylic paint on the canvas. While the sensuality of colour is always paramount in Girling's work, the constructive process that occurs with collage is more akin to the three dimensional dynamic of sculpture than conventional painting. New Art Centre Sculpture Park & Gallery Salisbury until 16th September.

Panic Attack! Art In The Punk Years marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen album, with its infamous cover by Jamie Reid. The exhibition explores art produced from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s in Britain and the United States, at a time when both countries were a breeding ground for subcultures of punk and post-punk. Although the punk movement is largely known for its music, fashion and graphics, this show exposes the equally vibrant art that emerged during these years, most notably in London, New York and Los Angeles. It includes the work of some 30 artists, and examines art that shares many of the concerns and attitudes associated with punk. Some of the artists have direct links with the punk scene, including Nan Goldin, Derek Jarman and Raymond Pettibon, others have less well known, but significant connections with punk in their early careers, such as Tony Cragg, Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger. The inner city as a place of fantasy, protest and decay, the body as a political battleground and the dynamic crossover between the worlds of art and music are major themes of the exhibition. David Wojnarowicz in New York and Stephen Willats in London turned to urban dereliction as a symbol of personal and social crisis, as did New York artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, who were closely associated with the emergence of graffiti art. The exhibition also explores the inter-disciplinary nature of the punk movement and the many collaborations that formed between artists and musicians during this period. Barbican Art Gallery until 9th September.

Continuing

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is with us again, as it has been every year since 1769 - the usual collection of the good, the bad and the ugly - from amateurs to RA's, proving that popular taste and critical approval find no meeting point. Around 1,000 works covering paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculpture, architectural designs and models have been selected from over 9,000 submissions, for inclusion in the largest contemporary art exhibition in the world. Over £70,000 is given out to artists included in the exhibition through 10 prizes. This year, the show has been masterminded by Bill Woodrow, Ian Ritchie and Paul Huxley, who have chosen the theme of Light to inspire new work from artists responding across all the various media on display. There is also a gallery featuring the work of invited artists curated by the sculptor Tony Cragg. A highlight is David Hockney's massive 'First', a fifty part composition of trees in the Yorkshire lamndscape. Other artists featured in this year's show include Anthony Caro, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Michael Craig-Martin, Anthony Green, Jasper Johns, Anselm Kiefer, Harland Miller, Mimmo Paladino, Tom Phillips, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Michael Sandle, Antoni Tapies, Jane and Louise Wilson and Bill Viola. There are also two memorial galleries dedicated to showing the works of the landscape and portrait painter Kyffin Williams and the abstract painter and collage maker Sandra Blow, both of whom died last year. The Royal Academy of Arts until 19th August.

Royal Weddings: 1840 - 1947 tells the stories of five royal weddings through photographs, documents from the Royal Archives, rare memorabilia, diaries, letters and personal gifts exchanged by members of the Royal Family. The marriages are Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Edward Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck and Prince George of Wales in 1893, Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon in 1923, and Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. Over the period, royal weddings evolved from strictly private occasions to events of national celebration and public participation, with the medium of photography and the advent of film allowing increasing numbers to witness the festivities. Among the personal items on display are Queen Victoria's engagement brooch designed by Prince Albert, and two pieces of wedding cake (the whole cake measured three yards in circumference and weighed over 300lbs); an enamelled gold bracelet presented to Princess Alexandra by her train bearers, each section containing one of the girls' portraits beneath a hinged flap bearing their initials in diamonds; a feather trimmed satin sachet embroidered with trefoils and the bride's initials, and the velvet bound ceremonial handkerchief used by Princess Mary of Teck; the Duke of York's own personal record of his wedding and honeymoon - an album of photographs, annotated in his hand; and a poem by John Masefield inscribed on vellum to Princess Elizabeth, and one of the silver-coated cake decorations, in the form of a tiny shoe. Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle until 11th May.

How We Are: Photographing Britain is the first major exhibition to present a photographic portrait of Britain from the invention of the medium to the present day. It includes over 500 images by 100 photographers, with works by celebrated figures such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, Madame Yevonde, Cecil Beaton, Bill Brandt, David Bailey, Norman Parkinson, Jane Bown, Martin Parr, Elaine Constantine and Tom Hunter, alongside images by less familiar photographers, who have observed and documented the country's street life and landscape, as well as their own lives and obsessions. Portraiture and images of social documentary reveal both the public and private side of British life. Key themes include celebrity portraiture and national heroes, heritage and a longing for the past, Britain's relationship with the land and wildlife, customs and traditions, and the idea of the home. Highlights include portraits by Julia Margaret Cameron of illustrious Britons such as Alfred Lord Tennyson; photographs of Nelson's column under construction by Henry Fox Talbot; Homer Sykes's images of traditional English festivals and eccentric customs; Alfred George Buckham's aerial view of Edinburgh in 1920; the Sassoon family's private album; Percy Hennell's pioneering colour photographs 'British Women Go to War'; Stephen Dalton's dramatic images of suburban garden wildlife; Zed Nelson's portraits of contemporary beauty contests; studio portraits taken by Grace Lau; and Paul Graham's photographs of life on the A1, including service cafes, people, architecture and landscape. Tate Britain until 2nd September.

Dali & Film is the first exhibition to focus on the relationship between the paintings and films of Salvador Dali, who, through his collaborations with Luis Bunuel, Alfred Hitchcock, the Marx Brothers and Walt Disney, created some of the most memorable and influential scenes in avant-garde cinema. Arranged chronologically, it brings together more than 100 works, including over 60 paintings, seen alongside Dali's major film projects such as 'Un Chien andalou, L'Age d'or', 'Spellbound' and Destino, as well as associated photographs, designs, drawings and manuscripts. The first two films that he co-wrote with Luis Bunuel are marked by Dali's vivid imagination and his engagement with the Freudian theories that energised Surrealism, especially the study of dreams and the unconscious. These films include haunting images such as the slicing of an eyeball with a razor and a hand infected with ants, and as this exhibition reveals, Dali had already explored these images in major paintings, such as 'Apparatus and Hand' and 'Inaugural Goose Flesh'. It also shows how in subsequent paintings Dali employed a new cinematic atmosphere, such as in 'Morning Ossification of the Cypress'. Dali imagined films throughout his life, producing poetic texts and sketches, scenarios and paintings. The dream sequence for Hitchcock's thriller 'Spellbound' brought to a grand scale the imagery of contemporary paintings such as 'Melancholy, Atomic, Uranic Idyll'. Walt Disney's 'Destino' is being shown along with related drawings by Dali for the first time in the Britain. Tate Modern until 9th September.

Alice Through The Looking Glass explores contemporary science as seen through Lewis Carroll's children's stories Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. It demystifies the wonders of perception over reality, using the storylines and characters from Alice's magical world, revealing how we turn barely adequate information from our senses into a detailed perception of the world, demonstrating what the human brain is capable of. The exhibition features over 60 hands on exhibits, divided into themed areas based on the original storylines. "Is seeing really believing?" is the key question that it asks - the same conundrum that Alice faces. Among the exhibits are the engendered sensation of falling down the rabbit hole; a camera to showing where visitors would end up if they actually fell through the Earth; silly croquet with the Queen of Hearts, revealing forces, momentum and the 'magic' of the ellipse to sink a hole-in-one; a hall of doors, which seemingly go on forever, with something intriguing behind every door; the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, where a falling drop of liquid can be frozen in time; a magical dressing table that makes everyday noises much louder and shows what sounds would look like if they could be seen in the mirror; and the opportunity for visitors to discover how they - and the world around them - would look if they were shrink down in size, stretched or squashed. At-Bristol, Harbourside, Bristol until November.

Prunella Clough is one of the most interesting and significant modernist British painters of the post war period, who devoted her career to finding beauty in unconsidered aspects of the urban and industrial landscape. She scrutinised the surfaces and textures of the contemporary environment, transforming subjects such as lorries and factory yards, the detritus of street and gutter, and the bright colours of plastics into images of compelling mystery and beauty. The exhibition comprises over 30 works from across Clough's career, with a group of her early social realist paintings contrasted with a group of abstracted canvasses from her better known later work. The juxtaposition demonstrates that Clough's preoccupation with abstract formal qualities - composition, colour and texture - while in the foreground in the later works, also clearly underpinned her earlier, figurative work. Among the highlights are early paintings such as 'Fishermen in a Boat', 'Lowestoft Harbour', 'Lorry with Ladder' and 'Man Entering Boiler House' and the late abstracted works 'Samples', 'Spin Off' and 'Disused Land'. At the heart of the show is an archive display of Clough's photographs, which gives an insight into her complex and layered working process, and her very particular vision of the modern world. Tate Britain until 27th August.

Concluding

Artists' Self-Portraits From The Uffizi: Masterpieces From Velazquez To Chagall presents a selection of 49 artists' self-portraits from the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. These remarkable works are usually housed in the Vasari Corridor, a kilometre of corridor linking the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti, which is not generally open to the public, and historically, the collection has not been allowed to travel. This is therefore an opportunity to experience a slice - never before seen in this country - of one of the most remarkable sights in the art world. The entire collection comprises some 1,600 artists' self-portraits in all, covering six centuries of Western art. This exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to come face to face with Velazquez, Filippino Lippi, Andrea Pozzo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Guido Reni, Rembrandt, Angelika Kauffman, Giovanni Boldini, Frans van Mieris the Elder, Carlo Dolci, Tintoretto, Johan Zoffany Joshua Reynolds, Anders Zorn, Carlo Carra, Pietro Annigoni, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Giacomo Balla and Marc Chagall as they saw themselves - or possibly as they wished themselves to be seen. For while all portraits are investigations of people, looking at yourself is different from looking at someone else, and for artists, self-portraits were also a method of self publicity. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 15th July.

Mapping is an exhibition that is not (necessarily) about instructions for how to arrive at a physical destination. It investigates the whole process of 'mapping', and shows how contemporary artists have abstracted and expanded it into art. The show allows the visitor to explore not just maps of geographical territory, but also 'maps' that are essentially schematisations of thought processes, embracing many other disciplines, such as history and philosophy. The exhibition highlights how artists have used and interpreted maps, and explored the many different systems of mapping. It includes a great variety of forms, from conventional cartographic maps - both historic and contemporary created using GPS - to mind maps and other diagrammatic systems. As examples, Simon Patterson has reworked the London Underground map as a chart of cultural icons; Richard Long offers maps of his country rambles; Cornelia Parker contributes maps of meteorite landings, burned by the meteorites themselves; and Stomi Matoba provides a relief map of Utopia. Sarah Brown, Ian Hamilton Finlay, David Johnson, Emma Kay, Langlands & Bell, Nalasha Wakefield and Emma Williams are also among the 60 artists whose works are on show. Bury Art Gallery until 14th July.

Celebrating The Proms: From Henry Wood To Hyde Park is an exhibition marking the 80th anniversary of the BBC taking over the running of the Proms, the world's greatest music festival. The display draws on the British Library's collections of photographs, programmes, documents and historic recordings, together with archive material from the BBC, to chart the history of this enduring musical phenomenon. It explores the world of the Victorian promenader, the experience of concert going during the bombing raids of the Second World War, the music specially composed for the Proms, the much copied Last Night of the Proms, and newer developments such as Proms in the Park. Among the highlights are Edward Elgar's autographed score of Pomp and Circumstance March No 1; letters to Sir Henry Wood from Sergei Rachmaninoff and Jean Sibelius, together with a poster for his jubilee concert in 1938; Malcolm Sargent's silver pocket metronome, one of his batons, and examples of his correspondence, including a letter written to BBC Controller of Music, Sir William Glock; a letter written by composer Malcolm Arnold to Glock expressing his fears about making changes to the traditional Last Night, which offers a behind the scenes glimpse into the running of the Proms; unique recordings of concerts from the 1930s, and other historic video footage and audio clips. The display also features audio illustrations, posters and advertising materials for concerts. The Folio Society Gallery at the British Library, until 8th July.