News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 21st August 2013

Commencing

Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis Of Brilliance, 1908 - 1922 charts the evolution of the influential group who became some of the most well-known and distinctive British artists of the early 20th century. Students together at the Slade School of Art in London between 1908 and 1912, Paul Nash, C R W Nevinson, Stanley Spencer, Mark Gertler, Dora Carrington and David Bomberg formed part of what their drawing teacher Henry Tonks described as the school's last 'crisis of brilliance'. As their talents evolved they became Futurists, Vorticists and 'Bloomsberries', and befriended the leading writers and intellectuals of their day. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see over 70 of their works alongside each other, and explores their artistic development, culminating with a selection of their paintings made during and after the Great War of 1914 to 1918, generating some of the most provoking visual records of that event. Aside from their works of art, the members of the group were known for their rebellious, often controversial, behaviour, and through letters, drawings, photographs and ephemera, the exhibition also brings to life their complex dramas, including a fractious love triangle, a murder and multiple suicides. Among the highlights are Nash's 'Void' and 'The Sea Wall', Spencer's 'Unveiling Cookham War Memorial', Gertler's 'The Fruit Sorters', Carrington's portrait of Lytton Strachey and Bomberg's 'In The Hold'. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 22nd September.

Swan Upping celebrates the 900 year old tradition of the annual monitoring of the swan population on stretches of the Thames in the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The quintessentially English ceremony of Swan Upping was originally a way of marking ownership of swans, at a time when the birds were regarded as a dish at banquets and feasts. Today the primary purpose of the event is conservation. The Swan Uppers work with the Oxford University Zoology Department to monitor the welfare of the birds. Visually striking, with all involved dressed in traditional scarlet and white attire, the ceremony takes place every year during the 3rd week of July. The Queen's Swan Marker, the Royal Swan Uppers and the Swan Uppers of the Vintners Company and the Worshipful Company of Dyers use 6 traditional Thames rowing skiffs for their 5 day, 79 mile journey up-river. They cry "All up!" whenever a brood of cygnets is sighted and the birds are weighed, measured, checked and ringed. The exhibition provides an insight into this event through a comprehensive series of stories, revealed in Pathe news footage, historical photographs, and artefacts including oars, original uniforms, audio recordings and Swan Upping inspired art. River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, until 18th May.

William Scott is a retrospective marking the centenary of the birth of an artist who became one the leading British painters of his generation, with the first major showing of his work in over 20 years. Across a career spanning six decades, William Scott produced an extraordinary body of work. Exhibiting in America and Europe from the early 1950s, Scott is renowned for his powerful handling of paint in his exploration of still life, landscape and nude, and of the unstable boundaries between them. This exhibition comprises a series of thematic rooms, focusing on Scott's morphological shifts between genres and his preoccupation with 'significant forms'. Working across the genres of still life, landscape and the nude, Scott developed a unique language that pushed the boundaries of abstraction and figuration, leaving an influential legacy of work which mediates important developments in mid-20th century European and American painting. His work is often charged with a sensuality emanating from his dynamic compositions as well as the vitality of his paint surfaces. Highlights include 'Still Life with Garlic', 'Still Life with Orange Note', 'Still Life with Candlestick', 'Three Pears, Pan, Plate and Knife', 'Reclining Red Nude', 'Figure Expanded', 'White, Sand and Ochre' and 'The Harbour'. Hepworth Wakefield until 29th September.

Continuing

Sensational Butterflies charts the life cycle of some of the world's most beautiful creatures in an explorer's trail through a tropical butterfly house, and reveals how butterflies around the world have adapted to their habitats. The trail takes visitors on a journey from egg to caterpillar, and chrysalis to butterfly. In the butterfly house there is a hatchery, where butterflies constantly emerge from their pupa, and join the hundreds of butterflies and moths in the 4 habitat zones of North America, South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, fluttering freely among the exotic plants. Over 20 species with wildly different colourings and markings are on view, including the Blue Morpho, the underside of whose wings are dappled brown for camouflage, and the Asian Tree Nymph, which has the same 5 senses and human beings. Outside the butterfly house is a garden devoted to some of the 58 butterfly species that live in Britain, and offering useful tips for attracting these butterflies to visitors' own gardens. Meanwhile, inside the museum itself, there over 8 million preserved butterflies and moths, including representatives from about 90,000 species, with specimens dating back as far as 1680. Natural History Museum until 15th September.

The Lyons Teashops Lithographs: Art In A Time of Austerity 1946 - 1955 features lithographs commissioned by catering giant J Lyons & Co to combat a wartime decline in the interior decor of their famous teashops, and a post-war austerity lack of decorating material. War artists, Royal College of Art alumni, and well-known and emerging practitioners were chosen to produce tasteful works of art that would appeal to the typical Lyons Teashop customer. Through the company's imaginative approach to interior decoration, the cream of modern British art reached a wider public audience in the 200 Teashops nationwide. Three series of lithographs were commissioned, including works by artists such as Edward Bawden, John Piper, David Gentleman, John Minton, Ruskin Spear, William Scott, Duncan Grant, John Nash and L S Lowry. The exhibition comprises 40 lithographs, together with a selection of the original paintings and working drawings. Whilst some of the artists were able to produce their own lithographs, others created watercolour, oil, gouache, pen and ink, or collaged works that were then turned into the final lithograph. Presenting a very particular British idyll, the lithographs depict urban, industrial, rural and coastal landscapes, domestic interiors, street scenes and still-lifes. Pictures of leisure pursuits such as billiards, cricket, fishing, punting, boxing and piano-playing vie with scenes of a railway station, a hotel lobby and fishmonger's shop, while apple pickers in a Kent orchard contrast with yeoman warders at the Tower of London and afternoon tea in Henley. Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, until 22nd October.

Witches And Wicked Bodies explores the highly exaggerated ways in which witches have been represented in art, from hideous hags to beautiful seductresses who 'bewitch' unwary men. The exhibition delves into the dark and cruel origins of the classic image of the witch, and reveals a rich and very diverse visual tradition. It highlights the inventive approaches to the depiction of witches and witchcraft employed by a broad range of artists over the past 500 years, with striking examples by famous names such as Albrecht Durer, Lucas Cranach, Francisco de Goya, Henry Fuseli and William Blake, together with works by contemporary artists. There are six key themes: Witches' Sabbaths And Devilish Rituals, including one of the most famous images of witches of all time, Salvator Rosa's 'Witches at their Incantations'; Unnatural Acts Of Flying, looking at the origins of the image of the witch as an old woman riding a broomstick against a night sky and more sinister images of flying witches attending black masses; Magic Circles, Incantations And Raising The Dead, with glamorous witches cooking up spells in Frans Francken's 'Witches' Sabbath' and John William Waterhouse's 'The Magic Circle'; Hideous Hags And Beautiful Witches, featuring John Hamilton Mortimer's 'Envy and Distraction'; Unholy Trinities And The Weird Sisters From Macbeth, ranging from John Runciman's 'Three Witches' conspiring over Macbeth's fate to John Raphael Smith's 'The Weird Sisters from Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'; and The Persistence Of Witches, with contemporary works such as Kiki Smith's 'Out of the Woods' and Paula Rego's 'Straw Burning', relating to the Pendle Witch trials. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until 3rd November.

Cover Story: Radio Times At 90 celebrates the history of the august broadcasting journal, showcases some of its iconic covers, and reflects the history of radio and television in Britain. The exhibition ranges from the BBC's first radio transmission in London to today's multi-channel world, through landmark broadcasts, archive clips, broadcast artefacts and original Radio Times photography and artwork, including pieces by CRW Nevinson, John Gilroy, Eric Fraser, Edward Ardizzone, Peter Blake and influential graphic designer Abram Games. To flick through the covers of Radio Times over the past nine decades is to watch a popular history of Britain unfold: Royal weddings; Coronations; the outbreak of war and peace; moon landings; a victorious World Cup; household names created and stars born - all have graced the cover of Radio Times. The covers featured comprise a veritable who's who of British broadcasting, including Tony Hancock, The Goon Show, Only Fools and Horses, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Call The Midwife, and inevitably Doctor Who. Visitors will be able to become a cover star for themselves, alongside a genuine life-size Dalek against a backdrop of Westminster Bridge, recreating the famous 2005 "Vote Dalek" Radio Times cover, voted most iconic cover of all time in the Periodical Publishers Association's Great Cover Debate. A particular curiosity is an original 1941 Luftwaffe Stadtplan von London map, which plots Radio Times' Waterlows printing plant in Park Royal, London, a Nazi air-raid target as part of the war on propaganda, alongside transport hubs, factories and landmarks. Museum of London until 3rd November.

Eduardo Paolozzi: Collaging Culture is a retrospective of the work of one of the most inventive and prolific of the British artists to come to prominence after the Second World War. Eduardo Paolozzi's legacy ranges from Pop Art to monumental public works, and the exhibition features around 150 works in a variety of media, including drawings, collage, textiles, sculpture and prints, and rare early pieces. The display explores the relationship between Paolozzi's sculpture and his graphic work, and his key preoccupations, such as popular culture, science-fiction and the machine. Central to the exhibition is the importance of collage as a working process within Paolozzi's career, not only in the traditional sense of paper collage, but also in terms of sculptural assemblage, printmaking and film making. The show also explores the relationship between Paolozzi's work and the existential anxieties of the post-war age through exhibits such as his unrealised competition maquette for the 'Monument for the Unknown Political Prisoner', marking him out as an important commentator on British and American culture of the period. Paolozzi described the relationship between his sculptures and his graphic work as 'the constant tension', and the exhibition presents related works side-by-side, such as the collage 'Frog' and the bronze 'Large Frog' and his remarkable screenprints of robotic heads, alongside their sculptural equivalents. It also includes a screening of his experimental film A History Of Nothing, shown alongside the collaged stills such as 'James Joyce and Dancer'. Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 13th October.

Fashion Rules takes a nostalgic look back at recent decades of dress through the wardrobes of three royal women in their fashion heydays: Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950s, Princess Margaret in the 1960s and 70s and Diana, Princess of Wales in the 1980s. The display explores how these women reflected the style and trends of the day, negotiating the rules of dressing fashionably within the 'rules' of a royal wardrobe. It features 21 couture dresses, complemented by film and photography to set the scene and provide a feeling of the times in which the gowns were worn. When Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952 she required a fashionable wardrobe that reflected her youth and celebrated British fashion. Five evening dresses by her favourite 1950s designers Hardy Amies and Norman Hartnell show the important role The Queen played in showcasing British design. The young Princess Margaret followed fashion closely and her style was widely imitated. The majority of her wardrobe from the 1960s and 70s reflect the rule-breaking of a more liberal era and the greater freedoms of her role. She wore short Quant-inspired dresses and experimented with the vogue for ethnic clothing such as the full-length kaftan and matching turban of fine ivory sari silk. The style of Diana, Princess of Wales, showcases the adventurous look of the 1980s, including a ballerina-length blue dance dress by Jacques Azagury, with its dropped waist, oversize bow, padded shoulders and sparkling embroidery, and a midnight blue strapless evening gown, designed by London born Murray Arbeid, with its dramatic layers of tulle netting and theatrical fish-tail skirt. Kensington Palace continuing.

Concluding

Patrick Caulfield surveys the work of the British painter known for his iconic and vibrant paintings of modern life, which reinvigorated traditional genres as still life. The exhibition traces the development of Patrick Caulfield's distinctive style. Early on in his career Caulfield rejected gestural brushstrokes for the more anonymous techniques of sign-writers, characterised by flat areas of colour defined by outlines. In the 1970s he began combining different styles of representation, such as trompe-l'oeil, to create highly complex paintings that play with definitions of reality and artifice. This shift coincided with a change in subject matter to topics that directly engaged with the contemporary social landscape and the representation of modern life, and remained his focus for the rest of his career. Over 30 works have been brought together to represent the key moments of Caulfield's career, including popular paintings such as 'Pottery', 'Dining Recess', 'After Lunch' and 'Interior with a Picture'; shown alongside lesser known works such as 'Bend in the Road' and 'Tandoori Restaurant'; as well as later paintings such as 'Bishops', and his final work 'Braque Curtain'.

Gary Hume, running in parallel, offers the chance to see a complementary British painter from a different generation. The exhibition highlights Gary Hume's innovative use of colour, line and surface over the last 20 years. Hume first received critical acclaim in the early 1990s with his large-scale paintings based on hospital doors boldly rendered in high gloss paint. This early focus evolved over subsequent decades to encompass a range of subjects: figures such as mothers and babies, friends and celebrities, as well as images drawn from nature or childhood including flowers, birds and snowmen. The display brings together 24 works in which recognisable forms are sometimes fragmented to near abstraction. The original source image may be left far behind as shapes emerge in the paintings through vibrant areas of colour, whilst lines are articulated as thin ridges of paint that disrupt the surface and the eye. Highlights include iconic early works such as 'Tony Blackburn' and 'Blackbird', as well as major recent paintings such as 'Red Barn Door'.

Tate Britain until 1st September.

Blumenfeld Studio: New York 1941 - 1960 looks at the latter works of one of the most influential, yet one of the least least known, photographers of the 20th century. Having produced an extensive body of work throughout his 35 year career, it was in the USA that Erwin Blumenfeld's humorous, inventive and personal work flourished. This exhibition celebrates the output of his Central Park studio during the Second World War and post-war boom years, including fashion photography, advertising campaigns, personality portraits, 'war effort' propaganda posters and experimental work, which have since been recognised as significant technical achievements in the field. It features over 90 original modern prints, fully restored in colour, original publication clippings and rarely seen fashion films from the early 60s. After fleeing occupied France in 1941 to settle in New York, the German born photographer was immediately signed up by Harper's Bazaar, and after only 3 years of working in the USA, he had become one of the most famous and highly paid photographers in the business. Blumenfeld enjoyed a 15 year collaboration with Vogue, shooting over 50 covers, including portraits of famous models and high society women of the era. He also regularly worked with other fashion magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Life Magazine, as well as producing major advertising campaigns for fashion and beauty clients, including Dior, Elizabeth Arden, Max Factor, L'Oreal and Helena Rubenstein. Highly inventive and often opposing conventional codes, Blumenfeld developed his own idiosyncratic style, using photomontage, solarisation, colour slides and a host of hybrid techniques. From the start of his career, he was very much influenced by the idea of photography as art, wishing to be respected as an avant-garde artist rather than a fashion photographer. Somerset House, until 1st September.

The Art Of Influence: Asian Propaganda explores both state-sponsored, or 'top-down' propaganda, and bottom-up propaganda in a number of Asian countries, including China, India, Japan, Korea and Vietnam, in the 20th century. From the first breaths of revolution against imperial forces to Mao's death and the conclusion of the Vietnam War, the exhibition places political art in multiple contexts across the continent. It examines the different sides and the many complexities associated with propaganda, which is fundamentally a tool to create involvement and is an essential part of nation-building, political culture and participation, particularly in times of war and revolution. Propaganda is bold and direct, employing revolutionary motifs or traditional symbolism to communicate political messages everyday items. The propaganda in the exhibition is highly visual as in some Asian societies, literacy rates were low and imagery had far more impact than text. Posters, prints and drawings, money and medals, teapots, textiles and other objects show how propaganda art reflects - and is shaped by - the political, social and economic circumstances of its production. Through these objects, the exhibition sheds new light on propaganda's collaborative and coercive aspects. Its distinctive ability to build nations, defy enemies, construct identities, change minds and educate populations paints a complex picture made from more than just lies and manipulation. From a 1904 humorous Japanese print portraying the Russian navy as a limping fish to anti-American and anti-Churchill posters, the highly diverse and frequently arresting images reveal art as an agent of political culture. British Museum until 1st September.