News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th August 2014


The State Rooms Of Buckingham Palace, the 19 rooms that 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 is Royal Childhood, offering an unprecedented glimpse into life as a young member of the royal family growing up at Buckingham Palace over the last 250 years. It brings together objects from well-loved toys and treasured family gifts to tiny childhood outfits, as well as previously unseen photographs and film footage. 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, including 30 different species of birds, and more than 350 different wild flowers, and offers views of the Garden Front of the Palace. Buckingham Palace until 28th September.

Ming: The Golden Empire examines the era that was the starting point of modern China. The exhibition comprises a collection of around 150 original artefacts that introduce key aspects of the Ming dynasty, the world's largest, wealthiest, most cultured, and most populous empire, focussing on the remarkable cultural, technological and economic achievements of the period. Exquisite luxury items and rare objects reveal the wealth and opulence of the Ming imperial court, which lasted 276 years, from 1368 to 1644. These include the iconic blue and white porcelain with which the Ming period is synonymous, as well as sumptuous silk textiles, gold and jades, and rare examples of elaborately enamelled cloisonne. A richly coloured painting from the early Ming illustrates the symbolic grandeur and geometrical order of Beijing's newly-built Forbidden City, the imperial seat for emperors and their households for the following five centuries, and the world's largest palace complex. Artworks by leading painters reveal the preoccupations of Ming society's cultural elite, from courtesans to dreams of escape from official life. The Ming was also a period of social transformation, resulting in a thriving consumer culture in which many forms of visual art and handicraft flourished. Beautiful furniture, musical instruments, Buddhist artefacts and items of personal adornment bring to life the elegant tastes and concerns of this gilded age. Investigating the prosperous Ming economy and its effects on social order and cultural systems during the 16th and 17th centuries, the exhibition also reflects on the legacy the Ming has left Chinese culture. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, until 19th October.

Louis Kahn: The Power Of Architecture is an assessment of the visionary architect, expert manipulator of form and light, and creator of uniquely dramatic buildings. The exhibition explores Louis Kahn's work and legacy through architectural models, original drawings, notebooks, travel sketches, photographs and films, bringing to life his singular career and diverse output. Although regarded as one of America's foremost architects, Kahn nonetheless realised few buildings in his lifetime and died practically bankrupt, but his search for an architecture that grows out of a sense of place seems more important than ever. Kahn drew on a wide range of sources, from ancient ruins to the work of Le Corbusier, using innovations in construction techniques to design modern buildings that also project an elemental, primitive power. He was a perfectionist and an artist, who also believed that architects have an important social responsibility. All of Kahn's important projects are extensively documented, from his early urban planning concepts and single-family houses to late works such as the Roosevelt Memorial, not completed until after his death. Kahn's greatest masterpieces all take the form of inspiring institutions: The Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, designed to be 'a facility worthy of a visit by Picasso'; the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, a showcase for his ability to work with light; and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, testament to the impact of his monumental style. Design Museum, Shad Thames, London, until 12th October.


The Art And Science Of Exploration 1768-80 features paintings, prints and drawings by specially commissioned artists on Captain Cook's 18th century voyages of discovery. When James Cook's first expedition to the South Pacific returned to Britain in 1771, he brought back accounts and images of extraordinary lands, people, flora and fauna. Returning twice more over the following decade, Cook established a pattern for voyages of discovery that combined scientific investigation with artistic responses to the unfamiliar lands that they encountered, forever influencing how the British public saw the Pacific. The exhibition includes portraits, landscapes and scenes of encounters with Pacific islanders, such as George Stubbs's 'Portrait of a Large Dog (Dingo)' and 'The Kongouro from New Holland (Kangaroo)'; William Hodges's 'Tahiti Revisited', 'A View of the Cape of Good Hope, Taken on the Spot, From On Board the Resolution', and 'View of Resolution Bay in the Marquesas', showing how artists adapted the techniques and styles learnt in Europe to depict the exotic scenes for a British audience; John Webber's 'Poedua, the Daughter of Orio', one of the earliest portraits of a Polynesian woman by a European painter; and some of the 30,000 dried plants and 955 botanical watercolours, prints and drawings by Sydney Parkinson. The exhibition shows the important role that artists had on the Cook voyages, producing images that worked both as scientific records of carefully planned exploration, as well as sensitive representations of an unfolding new world. The Queen's House, Romney Road, Greenwich, London SE10, continuing.

Barbara Hepworth: Within The Landscape focuses on one of the greatest British artists of the 20th century, for whom landscape provided unending inspiration. From the rough and rugged West Riding landscape experienced in her childhood to the idyllic views of St Ives in Cornwall, for Barbara Hepworth landscape was formative, multifaceted and constantly stimulating. Her commentary on the subject is extensive, and the exhibition draws on her words and her photographs alongside her sculptures, to give a unique insight into what she was both inspired by, and how she contributed to a perception of landscape. The exhibition contains some of Hepworth's most iconic sculptures including 'Stringed Figure (Curlew)', 'Torso III (Galatea)', 'Oval Form (Trezion)', 'Configuration Phira', 'Summer Dance', 'Sea Form (Porthmeor)', 'Curved Form - Trevalgan', 'Moon Form' and maquette for 'Winged Figure', alongside prints, photographs and ephemera detailing her life long relationship with the landscape. Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, until 28th September.

Seduced! Fans & The Art Of Advertising offers a fascinating overview of the history of advertising fans. In the days before glossy magazine campaigns and slick TV commercials, brands relied on more humble ways of advertising their wares. From restaurants and perfumeries to haute couture fashion houses, the fan became the promotional tool of choice in the early 20th century. By 1930, even luxury champagne producer Moet & Chandon was producing designs. The exhibition reveals how commercial art - a dynamic, seductive art form - emerged to play a pivotal role in generating and sustaining a culture of consumption among the growing middle classes. Focusing on the interwar period and the aesthetics of Art Deco, the exhibition includes a colourful array of fans made to promote leisure activities such as travel, dining and shopping. Luxury brands are equally well represented with fans advertising champagne, perfume and haute-couture. Many of the fans exhibited feature designs by masters of commercial art including Georges Barbier, Leonetto Cappiello and René Gruau, whose striking pochoir and chromolithographic prints evoke a remarkable age of decadence, glamour and exoticism, revealing how these seemingly innocuous items actually sparked the beginnings of modern consumerist culture. The Fan Museum, 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London SE10, until 28th September.

Primrose: Early Colour Photography In Russia examines colour experiments and developments in photography spanning the 1860s through to the 1980s. In tracing these technical and artistic advancements, the exhibition also moves through the social history of Russia itself. The display features over 140 works looking at different periods and their prevailing photographic aesthetics. The earliest photographs are from when tinting of prints with watercolour and oil paints was undertaken by hand. Initially used for portraits, this technique was extended to architectural, landscape and industrial subject matter. In the early 20th century, under the patronage of Tsar Nicholas II, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky travelled the country to capture its vastness and diversity, while nobleman Pyotr Vedenisov provided valuable insights into the lifestyle of the Russian elite. After the Revolution, photomontage, such as those by Varvara Stepanova, became central to the state agenda allowing for the communication of new Soviet myths to a largely illiterate population. The later works of Alexander Rodchenko, featuring pictures of sporting and art events taken in a pictorial style, provided a way to express his disillusionment with the notion of a Soviet utopia. In the mid-1950s photography moved closer to everyday reality as seen in Dmitri Baltermants' pictures. At the same time hand-tinted portraits began appearing, taken anonymously, as private photo studios were still forbidden. Referencing these anonymous studio portraits Boris Mikhailov looked to expose Soviet ideology through humour and stereotypical imagery. Photographers Gallery, 16 - 18 Ramillies Street, London W1,until 19th October.

Peggy Angus: Designer, Teacher, Painter is a retrospective that captures the wide range of work by an influential and inspirational artist and designer, who seems to have 'fallen out' of the history of 20th century British design. Born in 1904 in Chile, Peggy Angus moved to London with her family when she was a young child, and at just 17 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, based on her accomplished illustrations. In 1933 Angus moved into Furlongs, on the Sussex Downs near Lewes, and her home became a meeting place and creative hub for Eric Ravilious, John Piper and many other artists, who, as well as creating their own work, were invited to contribute to the interior decoration of the house itself. Throughout her life, Angus was an important mentor, teacher and collaborator for a great number of artists. The exhibition includes her early illustrations, portraits, such as Eric Ravilious, Helen Binyon, and her husband J M Richards, landscape paintings, sketch books, furniture, and her Modernist design work with wallpapers and tiles, together with films and photographs of her abstract wall tile murals created in a number of public buildings in the 1950s. Towner, Eastbourne, until 21st September.

Bridge celebrates the 120th anniversary of the iconic Tower Bridge with an examination of the significance of bridges within London's landscape. The exhibition documents a journey along the river and into the heart of London to explore how bridges influence our visual sense of the city, and provide a source of inspiration for artists and photographers. It comprises contemporary and historical paintings, prints, drawings and etchings, alongside photography, film and maquettes. From Hungerford to Blackfriars, Westminster and Millennium, the display both celebrates these great feats of engineering and architectural works of beauty, and looks at how they allow people to move around and experience the city. In addition, Thomas Heatherwick's ambitious 'Garden Bridge' proposal, playing with the ideas of destination and crossing is featured, along with other debates and issues confronting London and its bridges today. Highlights include Ewan Gibbs's linocut 'London', Christopher Nevinson's pen and ink drawing 'Waterloo Bridge from Blackfriars', Charles Ginner's painting 'London Bridge', Christina Broom's glass negative 'Tower Bridge', James Abbott McNeill Whistler's etching 'Old Westminster Bridge', Giovanni Battista Piranesi's etching 'A view of the intended bridge at Blackfriars, London', Crispin Hughes's colour coupler print 'Hungerford Bridge', and Suki Chan's lightbox 'Film Still'. Museum of London Docklands until 2nd November.


Germany Divided explores how 6 key artists redefined art in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, and negotiated with the recent past, on both sides of the Iron Curtain. All the artists in the exhibition came originally from eastern Germany and migrated to the West, the majority before the borders were sealed in 1961. As a generation, they came out of the experience of growing up in the aftermath of a Germany defeated in the Second World War, and its subsequent partition in 1949. Much of their work is informed by the sense of collective guilt experienced by the German people over its recent past, the country's physical and psychological destruction, and the division of the country by two opposing ideologies - the democracies of the free West and the Communist system of the Soviet bloc. The exhibition features over 90 works, around half by Georg Baselitz, with the remainder by Markus Lupertz, Blinky Palermo, A R Penck, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. The works by Baselitz cover the principal phases of his career from the 'Pandemonium' drawings of the early 1960s, the development of his ironic 'Heroes' in the mid 1960s, the subsequent fracturing of his motifs to the eventual inversion of the motif from the late 1960s. There are also an important examples by Richter, including his 'Pin-up' and 'Installation' drawings, the characteristic Ice Age meets cybernetics stick-figures of Penck, as well as sculptural drawings by Lupertz and Palermo, and a drawing and sketchbook by Polke satirising the 'economic miracle' of post-war reconstruction in West Germany. British Museum until 31st August.

British Folk Art reveals the rich diversity of art across a variety of media and contexts. Folk art is an established subject in many countries, however in Britain the genre remains elusive. Rarely considered in the context of art history, 'folk art' has been viewed as part of social history or folklore studies. This show unites an extraordinary selection of objects, exploring the threshold between art and artefact, and challenging perceptions of 'high art'. Encompassing works dating from the 17th to mid 20th century, this visually engaging exhibition examines the contradictory notions of folk art, reflecting the ways in which art historians, artists, curators and collectors have defined folk art in Britain. Nearly 200 paintings, sculptures, textiles and objects exemplify the energy, variety and idiosyncrasy of British Folk Art, from rustic leather Toby jugs to brightly coloured ships' figureheads. Among the highlights are the imposing larger than life-size thatched figure of King Alfred created by master thatcher, Jesse Maycock, in 1960; an intricately designed pin cushion made by wounded soldiers during the Crimean war; maritime embroidery by fisherman John Craske; a sculpture of a cockerel, made out of mutton bones by French POWs during the Napoleonic wars; and shop signs in the shape of over-sized pocket watches and giant shoes. While much folk art is anonymous, this exhibition also presents works by a number of prominent individuals. Amongst these key figures are George Smart the tailor of Frant, eminent embroiderer Mary Linwood, and Cornish painter Alfred Wallis. Often neglected in the story of art in Britain, the inclusion of these artists aims to reassess their position in art history. Tate Britain until 31st August.

Gems Of Chinese Painting: A Voyage Along The Yangzi River reveals the beauty and culture of south-east China in a selection of paintings dating from the 6th to the 19th centuries. The display includes the famous 'Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies' scroll and examples of rare ceramics from the region. The Yangzi River runs through an area of south-east China known as Jiangnan, which has been one of the country's most prosperous and culturally productive regions. The paintings and ceramics in the exhibition reflect the diverse life of its inhabitants, depicting elegant ladies and scholars in gardens, children herding cattle and wealthy merchants, as well as fishermen and farmers. Landscape paintings from along the Yangzi River show lush, fertile fields and rolling hills and highlight the region's famous gardens. Paintings and ceramics from Jiangnan have shaped in great part the Western image of traditional China. Jiangnan is also a region where some of the finest examples of the Chinese concept of the three arts - poetry, calligraphy and painting - were produced. The Admonitions scroll, traditionally attributed to Gu Kaizhi, one of China's patriarchs of calligraphy and painting, is an early example of the combination of the three arts, and is one of the most important Chinese paintings to survive anywhere in the world. The display also includes silk paintings from Dunhuang in the Northwest of China. British Museum until 31st August.