Private View held by Richard Andrews
Degas And The Ballet: Picturing Movement explores the French Impressionist's preoccupation with movement as an artist of the dance. The exhibition traces the development of Edgar Degas's ballet imagery throughout his career, from the documentary mode of the early 1870s to the sensuous expressiveness of his final years. It is the first to present Degas's progressive engagement with the figure in movement in the context of parallel advances in photography and early film. Degas was keenly aware of these technological developments and often directly involved with them. The exhibition comprises around 85 paintings, sculptures, pastels, drawings, prints and photographs by Degas, as well as photographs by his contemporaries and examples of early film. Highlights include the sculpture 'Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen', together with a group of preparatory drawings that together show the artist tracking around his subject like a camera, 'Dancer Posing for a Photograph', 'Dancer on Pointe', 'The Dance Lesson' and 'Dancers in a Rehearsal Room with a Double Bass'. The show explores the links between Degas's highly original way of viewing and recording the dance and the inventive experiments being made at the same time in photography by Jules-Etienne Marey and Eadweard Muybridge, and in film-making by pioneers such as the Lumiere brothers. By presenting Degas in this context, the exhibition demonstrates that he was far more than merely the creator of beautiful images of the ballet, but instead, a modern, radical artist who thought profoundly about visual problems and was fully attuned to the technological developments of his time. Royal Academy of Arts until 11th December.
Splendour And Power Imperial Treasures From Vienna offers a rare glimpse into the opulent world of the Hapsburg emperors. The exhibition comprises a selection of beautifully crafted cameos, jewellery, vessels and other objects made from gems, precious metals and hardstones, from the Kunstkammer collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. These objects, almost all of which are unique creations, were designed to demonstrate the incredible wealth, power and glory of the Hapsburg dynasty, and initially only visitors of noble birth, such as princes of neighbouring countries or diplomatic delegations, were granted access. The focus of the exhibition is on artworks from the late Renaissance and Mannerist periods, the heyday of treasuries and 'cabinets of curiosities', as well as from the Baroque. These include exquisite jewellery, from necklaces, pendants and lockets to rings and enseignes, complemented by pre-eminent examples of medieval and Renaissance jewellery; intricate portrait cameos, many bearing the likenesses of the Hapsburg sovereigns, crafted in the style of ancient Roman imperial portraits; ornate goldwork, vessels and coffers, including a bowl featuring embedded Roman coins, and a serpentine tankard; stonework, carving and sculpture, with precious objects crafted from agate, jasper, rock-crystal and lapis lazuli, including a cup made from rhinoceros horn and a Chinese jade bowl; a 15th century enamel model of the Annunication; and 'Venus and Cupid Sleeping on a Shell', created around 1600 from precious agate and set in a silver mount. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, until 8th January.
The Poster King: Edward McKnight Kauffer features the work of the artist who produced some of the most iconic and influential commercial imagery of the early 20th century. Edward McKnight Kauffer was a remarkably versatile artist who drew inspiration from a wide variety of styles, ranging from Japanese art to Fauvism, Vorticism and Constructivism, and encompassed painting, applied art, interior design and scenography. However, it was his celebrated posters, created for clients such as London Underground and Shell during the inter-war years, for which he remains most famous. Kauffer's pioneering work in the field of graphic design ranks alongside the achievements of fellow avant-garde figures such as T S Eliot, Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis, all of whom, like Kauffer, had roots in the United States, yet established their careers in London. In 1915 Kauffer received a commission to design publicity posters for the Underground. The originality and vibrancy of these images led Kauffer to receive commissions from a variety of companies and publishing houses over the following two decades, including Fortnum & Mason, Lund Humphries and Chrysler Motors. With a finger on the pulse of the latest artistic trends, Kauffer's special genius lay in his ability to adapt the language of the avant-garde to the needs of advertising, creating works that were not simply visually striking, but also rich in artistic merit. In addition to the renowned graphic work, the exhibition includes a nucleus of lesser- known paintings and prints, as well as a selection of photographs, working drawings and original designs. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39A Canonbury Square, London N1, until 18th December.
Blackpool Illuminations have extended the holiday season and entertained visitors to the seaside town since 1879, when 8 plain electric arc lamps bathed the Promenade in what was described as 'artificial sunshine'. While the basic idea remains the same, the style and scale of Blackpool's end of season electrical extravaganza have little in common with that first experiment in lighting. Traditional lamps are still used, but now alongside the newest technology such as lasers, fibre-optics, low-voltage neon and even real fire and water. The show now costs £2.4m to stage, and stretches for 6 miles of spectacular colour, light and movement. New features this year include Bling, sparkling jewellery made up of 20,000 lamps and in excess of a million LEDs, all in cool, bright white; Famous Heads, featuring likenesses of Alan Carr, Tony Blackburn, Lee Evans, Joanna Lumley, Ken Dodd, Matt Lucas and Jo Brand; and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen's Theatre D'Amour, a mechanical theatre featuring dancing ballerinas, video projection, footlights, a rotating moon, two pairs of swans, a series of backdrops and nine dancing fountains, plus old favourites Pirates, Noddy and Hickory Dickory Dock renewed and improved. Visitors can become part of the display, as they travel along the Promenade aboard a tram dressed up by lights as a wild west train, ocean liner or space rocket, from dusk to 11.30pm most nights. Blackpool Promenade, until 6th November.
Power Of Making is a cabinet of curiosities, showing works by both amateurs and leading makers from around the world, to present a snapshot of making in our time. The exhibition celebrates the importance of traditional and time-honoured ways of making, but also highlights the extraordinary innovation taking place around the world. It aims to show how the act of making in its various forms, from human expression to practical problem solving, unites us globally. The display comprises an eclectic selection of over 100 exquisitely crafted objects, ranging from a life-size crochet bear to a ceramic eye patch, a fine metal flute to dry stone walling. It showcases works made using a diverse range of skills, and explores how materials can be used in imaginative and spectacular ways, whether for medical advances, entertainment, social networking or artistic endeavour. Works on show include moulded shoes by Marloes ten Bhomer, new Saville Row tailoring by Social Suicide, furniture such as a spun metal rotating chair by Thomas Heatherwick, a prosthetic suit for Stephen Hawking, individual handcrafted puppets from the 2009 film Fantastic Mr Fox, a six-necked guitar, bio-implant embroidering to aid surgical implants, a lion-shaped Ghanaian coffin, extreme cake decorations and new technologies such as 3D printing. In addition to the objects themselves, there is documentary footage filmed at individual maker's studios and factories, providing an insight into how the knowledge of making is preserved. These include Watson Bros. Gunmakers, CPP car makers in Coventry, John Lobb shoemakers and Moorfield Hospital's prosthetic eye maker. There is also a dedicated 'Tinker Space' for demonstrations and a wide programme of activities for visitors. Victoria & Albert Museum until 2nd January.
Memory Remains: 9/11 Artifacts At Hangar 17 - Francesc Torres marks the 10th anniversary of the world's worst terrorist attack. Following the devastation of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11th 2001, the recovery effort began, and the 16 acre site underwent the careful and lengthy process of being cleared. A small group of architects and curators began to fill the empty shell of the 80,000 sq ft Hangar 17 at John F Kennedy International Airport with debris and material cleared from the site, transforming it into a storehouse of memories. Spanish-American artist Francesc Torres, commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, was granted access to explore inside the hangar, and over a period of 5 weeks, produced an extensive series of photographs reflecting on the emotional power of what remained after 9/11. This exhibition features over 150 projected images, which explore inside the hangar and reflect on the emotional power of what remained, from personal belongings to steel girders distorted by the force of the attacks. In photographs of exceptional sensitivity and insight, Torres has captured both the monumental scale of loss in the wake of the terror attacks, and the excruciating intimacy of personal effects that remain as testaments to those unwittingly caught in the maelstrom of destruction. Alongside the photographs is a section of raw rusted steel over 2m in length from the ruins of the World Trade Center, thought to be the box section of one of the windows. Imperial War Museum, London, until 26th February.
Prince Philip: Celebrating Ninety Years marks the 90th birthday of His Royal Highness Prince Philip. The exhibition brings together photographs, memorabilia, paintings and gifts that illustrate key moments in Prince Phillip's life. It also reflects his many interests, from carriage driving to painting and design, as well as his extensive work as patron or president of 800 organisations, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. The photographs document both private occasions and public appearances, from his birth as the son of a Prince and Princess in pre republican Greece, through subsequent exile in Germany, France and Britain, his navy career, and marriage to the Queen, up to the present day. In addition, there is a wide selection of unusual gifts that Prince Philip has received during his travels all over the world, including a Native American headdress, a silver model of the Royal Yacht Britannia, a chess set representing the Zulu and Ndebele tribes of South Africa, a model of the X-ray Multi Mirror satellite, a French grass hopper wine bottle cooler, a pair of silver spurs from Chilie, a silver cigar box engraved with a map of the Galapagos Islands, a Royal Windsor Horse Show International Driving Grand Prix Trophy and a scale model of his driving carriage, a silver gilt cigarette lighter in the form a an oil refinery storage tank, a model of a Chinese armillary sphere, and many medals and awards. The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle, until 22nd January.
The Cost Of Living In Roman And Modern Britain looks at the similarities and differences between the cost of everyday living in Britain about 2,000 years ago and today. The changes are shown through comparing things like wages, property, food, clothing, gambling, entertainment and travel, revealing how much of the average wage was spent on these items both in the past and today. When Britannia was a Roman province around 2,000 years ago, forts and towns were connected by paved roads for the first time, and wider contact with the Roman world brought new produce, goods and ideas to the British household. The Romans may have found it easier than us to own property or see major sporting events and festivals, but food and clothing, which are relatively cheap today, consumed a much higher proportion of the daily wage. The display brings together some of the fascinating finds from Roman Britain, including bronze and bone figurines, gaming counters and dice, evidence of the use of salt and pepper, and coins, with their modern counterparts. Surprisingly, there are many similarities, including a copper-nickel penny of Elizabeth II that looks remarkably like a copper-alloy coin of Roman emperor Hadrian, showing Britannia on the reverse, minted in Rome. British Museum until 15th April.
Recording The New: The Architectural Photography Of Bedford Lemere & Co 1870 - 1930 showcases the photography of one of the pioneers of architectural photography in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Employed by a wide range of industrialists, retailers, hoteliers and government departments to capture new buildings in pristine condition, Bedford Lemere & Co's photographs show the work of leading contemporary architects, interior decorators, designers and artists. The display explores Bedford Lemere & Co's extraordinary client list, the evolving role of commercial photography and the lasting social significance of the images. The high quality photographs offer a rare glimpse at late Victorian interiors such as Heal & Son showrooms in 1897, the bar at the North Eastern Station Hotel in 1893 and a host of other 'new' interiors and exteriors. Bedford Lemere & Co photographed a wide variety of buildings including country houses, hospitals, shops, banks, railway stations, cruise liners and, during the First World War, armaments manufacture. The firm's work centred on London, but it received commissions throughout Great Britain and occasionally from abroad. The reputation of the company rested above all on the quality of its work. Its photographers were outstanding technicians with a highly developed visual sense, able to capture the monumentality of a building as well as the minute detail of its decorative scheme. Using large format negatives, they produced images of exceptional quality, depth and sharpness. The size and clarity of the photographs render them as fresh and legible today as when they were first composed. Victoria & Albert Museum until 30th October.
Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography In The 20th Century is dedicated to the birth of modern photography. Brassai, Robert Capa, Andre Kertesz, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Martin Munkacsi left their homeland Hungary to make their names in Europe and the USA, profoundly influencing the course of modern photography. Over 200 photographs from 1914 to 1989 show how they were at the forefront of stylistic developments, and reveal their achievements in the context of the rich photographic tradition of Hungary. These photographers brought about important changes in photojournalism, documentary, art and fashion photography. By following their paths through Germany, France and the USA, the exhibition explores their distinct approaches, signalling key aspects of modern photography. Brassai vividly brought to life the nocturnal characters and potent atmosphere of Paris at night; Robert Capa invented war photography, documenting the Spanish Civil War, the D-Day landings and other events of the Second World War; Andre Kertesz, using a hand-held camera, captured lyrical impressions of the ephemeral moments of everyday urban life in Paris; Lsszlo Moholy-Nagy was a pioneer of photograms, photomontage and visual theory, using unconventional perspectives; and Martin Munkacsi revolutionised fashion photography by taking photographs of models and celebrities outdoors, investing his photographs with dynamism and vitality. The exhibition also celebrates the diversity of the photographic milieu in Hungary, from the early 20th century professional and club photography of Rudolf Balogh, Karoly Escher and Jozsef Pecsi, to the more recent documentary and art photography of Peter Korniss and Gabor Kerekes. Royal Academy of Arts until 2nd October.
Devotion By Design: Italian Altarpieces Before 1500 investigates the development of altarpieces, looking at changes in form, style and type, and their relationship to the monumental architecture that surrounded them. Altarpieces are an image-bearing structure placed upon or behind an altar in a Christian church, usually forming the focus of devotion for worshippers, and normally decorated by painters and/or sculptors. They can vary considerably in size and in complexity of construction, ranging from simple dossals (a horizontal panel or cloth either fronting or set at the back of an altar) to huge polyptychs (a painting divided into multiple sections or panels). They are decorated with a range of imagery which often reflects the circumstances of their original commission and location. This exhibition of over 40 works looks at the original functions and locations, as well as formal, stylistic and typological developments of altarpieces, drawing on the wealth of scientific examination and scholarly study undertaken in this field over the past 30 years. Several altarpieces are free-standing, revealing their construction, while frames of certain works have been removed, offering clues as to their original function and appearance. Virtual reconstructions of disassembled altarpieces set dislocated fragments in context, and staging in one room evokes a Renaissance-era church, giving the sense of encountering altarpieces in a 15th century sacred space. While many works by artists such as Piero della Francesca, Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni dal Ponte, Francesco Botticini and Bennozzo Gozzoli are well known, the exhibition provides a rare opportunity to see a number of pieces not normally on public view. National Gallery until 2nd October.
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 Faberge, bringing together over 100 masterpieces by the Russian jeweller Carl Faberge, from Imperial Easter Eggs and dazzling jewel-encrusted boxes to miniature carvings of favourite royal pets, including cigarette cases, photograph frames and desk clocks, some never seen in public before. It reveals how the world's finest collection of work by the great Russian goldsmith and jeweller has been created by six successive generations of the British Royal Family. As a bonus, the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress, veil, shoes and Halo Tiara are featured in an additional display. 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 30th September.