Private View held by Richard Andrews
Kenneth Clark - Looking For Civilisation explores the impact of the art historian, public servant and broadcaster, widely seen as one of the most influential figures in British art of the 20th century. The exhibition examines Kenneth Clark's role as a patron and collector, art historian, director of the National Gallery and broadcaster, and celebrates his contribution to bringing art to a more popular audience. It focuses predominantly on Clark's activities in the 1930s and 1940s, when he was a leading supporter and promoter of contemporary British art and artists. Using his own wealth to help artists, Clark would not only buy works from those he admired, but also provide financial support to allow them to work freely, offered commissions, and worked to ensure artists' works entered prestigious collections. The artists he favoured included the Bloomsbury Group, the painters of the Euston Road School, and leading figures Henry Moore, Victor Pasmore, John Piper and Graham Sutherland. With the outbreak of war in 1939, Clark's private patronage became a state project when he instigated the War Artists Advisory Committee to employ artists to record the war. Through the commissioning of such iconic works as Moore's 'Shelter Drawings' and Sutherland's and Piper's images of the Blitz he ensured that the neo-Romantic spirit that those artists' work embodied became the dominant art of the period. From work by the British artists he championed to highlights from his own eclectic collection, the exhibition of around 230 objects includes works by Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland, drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, drawings by Aubrey Beardsley, prints by Hokusai, and paintings by Constable, Degas, Renoir, Turner, Seurat and Cezanne, plus textiles, china and medieval illuminations. Tate Britain until 10th August.
Otto Dix provides a rare opportunity to see a selection from the series of prints 'Der Krieg' (The War) by one of the artists who revealed the vision of the apocalypse that was the First World War. The 19 prints on show were made by Otto Dix 10 years after the beginning of the War, presumably because it was only then that he could return to the experiences that he went through in the trenches. The prints were ground-breaking, through the impact of the images that Dix conjured, and also in the unique combination of multiple print-making techniques that he employed. Dix dramatises the atmosphere of physical and moral decay: decomposing bodies, shelled soldiers, and surreally empty landscapes. When the Nazis came to power in Germany, they regarded Dix as a degenerate artist and had him sacked from his post as an art teacher at the Dresden Academy. Dix's paintings 'The Trench' and 'War Cripples' were exhibited in the state-sponsored Munich 1937 exhibition of degenerate art, Entartete Kunst, and were later burned. Prints in the exhibition include 'Stormtroops advancing under a gas attack', 'Mealtime in the Trenches ','Corpse of a horse', 'Collapsed trenches', 'Front-line Soldier in Brussels', 'Dead sentry in the trenches' and perhaps best known of all, 'Skull'. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, until 27th July.
The Years Of La Dolce Vita features a collection of images made by the original paparazzo, whose shots changed the face of photojournalism forever. The 1950s and 1960s represent a golden era in Italian film, when directors Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Federico Fellini produced some of their most famous movies. The term paparazzo was taken from Fellini's La Dolce Vita, the name of a character inspired by a number of real-life photojournalists then active in Rome, including Marcello Geppetti, from whose astonishing archive of over one million images most of the works on display are drawn. Many Hollywood stars and directors were lured to Rome in the 1960s, where epic productions such as Ben-Hur and Cleopatra were shot. In the evenings, the focus of Rome's movie culture, as well as the lenses of its paparazzi, shifted to the bars and restaurants lining the city's exclusive Via Veneto. The presence of celebrities like John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Charlton Heston, Elizabeth Taylor, Anita Ekberg, Kirk Douglas, Brigitte Bardot, Raquel Welch, Marcello Mastroianni and Audrey Hepburn transformed Rome's streets into 'an open-air film set'. Geppetti has been described as 'the most undervalued photographer in history', and comparisons drawn between his work and that of Cartier-Bresson and Weegee. Juxtaposed with Geppetti's images of Rome's real-life dolce vita are a number of behind-the-scenes shots taken during the filming of La Dolce Vita by its cameraman, Arturo Zavattini, candid photographs that capture an atmosphere of relaxed creativity on the set of Fellini's landmark film. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39A Canonbury Square, London N1, until 29th June.
Shakespeare: Greatest Living Playwright is a celebration of the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth. The exhibition explores Shakespeare's works as inspiration for a multitude of theatrical interpretations through the centuries and across the globe, taking Shakespeare's First Folio as its centrepiece. This collected edition of 36 of Shakespeare's plays (excluding Pericles) was published in 1623 and contains the first known versions of many of the plays. Without it, 18 of the works would be unknown today, including Macbeth, The Tempest and Twelfth Night. Surrounding the Folio are new interviews, archive footage, photographs, props, costumes, set models, design sketches and printed ephemera, exploring how the plays have been interpreted and re-imagined by successive generations. Contemporary theatre practitioners discussing their relationships with Shakespeare's plays include Simon Russell Beale, Lucy Osborne, Edward Hall, Julie Taymor, Cush Jumbo and Sinead Cusack. Objects on display include a skull used by Sarah Bernhardt during her role as Hamlet; the embroidered handkerchief used by actress Ellen Terry whilst playing Desdemona; a headdress worn by the Vivien Leigh in A Midsummer Night's Dream; and a pair of red boots worn by actor-manager Henry Irving as Richard III. Designs include Roger Furse's costume for the character of Falstaff, showing a realistic 'fat-suit' for Ralph Richardson; and Sally Jacobs's set model for director Peter Brook's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which the stage is transformed into a circus space. Victoria & Albert Museum until 21st September.
Cecil Beaton At Wilton pays tribute to the life and work of the photographer, writer and designer. The exhibition is staged at Wilton House in Wiltshire, where Cecil Beaton was entertained by his friends the Pembroke family at grand parties and pageants for over 50 years. Capturing the spirit of country house parties and costume balls, the exhibition showcases previously unseen images from the archive of one of Britain's most celebrated photographers, giving a fascinating glimpse into his life, and a vivid portrait of a charmed age. Beaton was at the forefront of the fashion for costume and pageantry that swept through British society in the 1920s. As fancy dress became a popular feature of country house parties, and costume balls a highlight of the social calendar, Beaton seamlessly integrated his high society personal life with his professional artistic quest to experiment with photography and fashion. Using the settings of Britain's grandest country houses as the perfect backdrop, Beaton persuaded his friends to sit for him in their exotic costumes, often designed by him, for these most unconventional of photographs. Over time Beaton photographed and chronicled the lives of three generations of the Pembroke family in the surroundings of the house, and on 14th January 1980, just three days before his death, Beaton celebrated his 76th birthday with a lunch party there. The images in the exhibition are fascinating both as social history and also for their technical brilliance, as Beaton excelled at capturing spontaneous shots of pure joy. Wilton House, Wilton, Salisbury, until 14th September.
Body & Void: Echoes Of Moore In Contemporary Art features works by some of the most recognised contemporary artists together with those of one of Britain's greatest 20th century artists. This is the first exhibition to look at how Henry Moore's sculptural vocabulary has been explored and reinterpreted by contemporary artists, placing their works alongside some of Moore's key works. Outdoor works include large-scale sculptures by Rachel Whiteread, Tony Cragg and Thomas Schutte, alongside Moore's 'Reclining Figure: External Form', together with new works by Richard Deacon and Richard Long produced specifically for the exhibition. In the galleries, pieces by Joseph Beuys, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, Sarah Lucas and Rachel Whiteread, are shown alongside Moore's 'Stringed Mother and Child', 'Reclining Figure', 'Working Model for Upright Internal/External Form' and 'Helmet Head No 4: Interior-Exterior'. Also on display are drawings, paintings and installations by artists including Paul Noble, Simon Starling and Paul McDevitt, and photographs of some of Richard Long's most famous pieces of Land Art, which echo Moore's preoccupation with found objects, as is most evident in his maquettes made of small pieces of bone, stone, and shells. The Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, Hertfordshire, until 26th October.
Comics Unmasked: Art And Anarchy In The UK is the largest exhibition of mainstream and underground comics, ever staged in Britain, showcasing works that uncompromisingly address politics, gender, violence, sexuality and altered states. From the 1825 Glasgow Looking Glass, thought to be the first ever comic, to Judge Dredd's helmet from the recent film adaptation of the 2000AD Judge Dredd series, it traces a long and tumultuous history of the British comic book. With over 200 exhibits, the display explores the full anarchic range of the medium with works that challenge categorisation, preconceptions and the status quo, alongside original scripts preparatory sketches and final artwork that demystify the creative process, from such names as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Dave Gibbons, China Mieville and Mark Millar. The exhibition looks at intriguing historical figures, from 19th century occultist, magician and writer Aleister Crowley and his original tarot card painting of 'The Universe', to H P Lovecraft to Punch and Judy. Highlights also include an example of a medieval 'comic' from 1470, 'Apocalypse'; a ventriloquist dummy of Ally Sloper, one of the earliest comic strip characters; 1970's underground comics tried at court for obscenity, such as 'Oz', which is accompanied by a previously unheard recording of the Oz trial itself; 21st century original artwork and manuscripts of 'Kick-Ass', 'Sandman' and 'Batman and Robin'; and Keaton Henson's 2012 doll's house installation, 'Gloaming'. At a time when digital comics have never been more popular, the exhibition has worked with webcomic pioneer Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and digital graphic novel company Sequential to display digital comics and graphic novels, reflecting the culture shift in the industry. British Library until 19th August.
Bellini To Boudin - Five Centuries Of Painting comprises some 50 works across a wide range of periods, styles and techniques by some of the most remarkable artists from the 15th to 20th centuries. Well known works include Bellini's 'Virgin and Child'; a selection of works by Degas, including the unfinished 'Woman at her Toilette'; Manet's 'A Cafe on the Place de Theatre-Francais'; the 1632 Rembrandt Self-portrait, Lucas Cranach the Elder's 'Judith with the Head of Holofernes'; 'The Beach at Trouville, the Empress Eugenie' by Boudin; Pissaro's 'The Market Stall'; Gaughan's 'Breton Girl'; Renoir's 'Lady with Auburn Hair; and Cezanne's 'Chateau du Medan'. Less familiar works include Whistler's 'Nocturne: Grey and Gold Westminster Bridge'; 'Portrait of a Gentleman' from the studio of Frans Hals; Manet's 'The Ham'; 'The Dog' by Jean Baptiste Oudry; and Sir John Lavery's portrait of Mary Burrell on her 21st birthday. The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, until 26th March.
The Glorious Georges celebrates the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian accession to the British throne. The Georges presided over a remarkable era of British history which saw the emergence of many institutions and habits that we regard as quintessentially British today. The Hanoverians surrounded themselves with courtiers - elegant, but decadent and riven with intrigue and scandal - who captured society's imagination and turned the Georgian monarchs and their courtiers into celebrities. A re-presentation of the Queen's State Apartments explores who the Hanoverians were, how they came to rule Britain and how their extraordinary bitter family rows played out in public. Among the exceptional royal ephemera on display are a 1727 book of drawings titled 'The Exact Head Dress of ye British Court Ladyes and Quality', by George I's miniaturist, Bernard Lens III, revealing what the court looked like; and George II's broadsword, with its appropriately hybrid mixture of manufacturers: the hilt was made in Glasgow, the blade in Germany, a reminder that George II was the last British monarch to fight in battle, at Dettingen, near Frankfurt, in 1743. Other highlights include ghostly white paper gowns in the rooms leading up to the State Bedchamber, with a special light effect that projects the shimmering fabrics of actual 18th century gowns on to them; and the richly painted walls and ceiling in the Drawing Room. Hampton Court Palace until 30th November.
Renaissance Impressions: Chiaroscuro Woodcuts examines the artistic development of the revolutionary, yet short lived, printing technique in the 16th century. Often based on designs by celebrated Renaissance masters such as Parmigianino, Raphael and Titian, depicting well-known biblical scenes and legends, chiaroscuro woodcuts were the first colour prints that made dramatic use of light and shadow - chiaroscuro - to suggest form, volume and depth. The exhibition presents over 100 rare prints by artists from Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. In the early 1500s, several printmakers in Germany competed to claim authorship of the chiaroscuro woodcut, which involved supplementing the black line block with one or several tone blocks to create gradations of colour from light to dark for aesthetic effect. The result produced greater depth, plasticity of form, atmosphere and pictorial quality than the earlier, plainer woodcuts. Later innovations in Italy, such as unevenly cut colour fields led to works that have a more painterly character, as if they had been modelled in colour and light. Highlights of the exhibition include Hans Burgkmair the Elder's depiction of 'Emperor Maximilian on Horseback' (widely thought to be the first known example of a chiaroscuro woodcut) and 'St George and the Dragon'; Ugo da Carpi's 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes', and 'Archimedes'; Andrea Andreani's 'Rape of a Sabine Woman' printed in several versions; Giovanni Gallo's 'Perseus with the Head of Medusa'; and Hendrick Goltzius's series of landscapes and deities, including 'Landscape with Trees and a Shepherd Couple' and 'Bacchus'. Royal Academy until 8th June.
Philip-Lorca diCorcia Photographs 1975 - 2012 is the first exhibition in Britain of work by the New York based photographer, one of the most important working in the medium today. This survey contains over 100 photographs from 6 major series, which demonstrate the way in which Philip-Lorca diCorcia negotiates the line between fiction and documentation. Although actual locations are often used, and the people in the photographs are themselves, rather than models or actors, the overall composition, lighting and positioning of subjects have been carefully planned in advance. 'Hustlers' (1990 - 1992) depicts male prostitutes, each in a different carefully staged setting. The evocative titles of each photograph give the name, age, hometown and the amount diCorcia paid each man for posing for the picture. 'Streetwork' (1993 - 1999) shows unsuspecting passers-by photographed on the street, a theme also developed in the series 'Heads' (2000 - 2001), where single, isolated figures walking through New York's Times Square are captured as if frozen in time. In 'Lucky 13' (2004) - an American phrase that describes the warding off of a losing streak - dramatically lit pole-dancers are presented in near life size photographs, suspended in time and space and caught in the act of falling. diCorcia's current series 'East of Eden' (2008 onwards) draws loosely on narrative incidents from the Old Testament in images that are stylistically varied and include landscapes and staged scenes. The exhibition also encompasses the entirety of the series 'A Storybook Life' (1975 - 1999) 76 photographs that are sequenced to suggest a network of interconnected lives and stories. The Hepworth Wakefield until 1st June.
Richard Hamilton is the first retrospective to encompass the full scope of one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Richard Hamilton is widely regarded as a founding figure of pop art, and he continued to experiment and innovate over a career of 60 years. This exhibition explores his relationship to design, painting, photography and television, as well his engagement and collaborations with other artists. It features the groundbreaking installation 'Fun House'; a print of the era-defining 'Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?'; and the depiction of Mick Jagger in 'Swingeing London 67'; as well as images looking at wider contemporary issues and political subjects, such as the Kent State shootings and the IRA 'dirty protests'; as well as figures like Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair in works such as 'Treatment Room' and 'Shock and Awe'. Hamilton's interest in interiors, architecture and design is also represented by his depictions of everything from the Guggenheim Museum in New York to a classic Braun toaster. This show reflects the importance of his exhibition designs and installations, with key examples such as a recreation of his first installation 'Growth and Form', and 'Lobby', in which a painting of a hotel lobby is echoed by a column and staircase in the gallery room itself. Hamilton was also notable for his many collaborations with other artists, which include a life-long series of Polaroid portraits that he invited other artists to take of him, such as Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. This interest in the work of others can also be seen in his final computer-aided paintings, which were inspired by the Italian Renaissance masters. Tate Modern until 26th May.