News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 22nd February 2006

Commencing

Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake And The Romantic Imagination explores the birth of the Gothic movement, the taste for fantastic and supernatural themes that dominated British culture from around 1770 to 1830. Featuring over 140 works by Henry Fuseli, William Blake and their contemporaries, the exhibition presents an image of a period of cultural turmoil and daring artistic invention. The central exhibit is Fuseli's 'The Nightmare', which draws on folklore and popular culture, medicine, concepts of imagination, and classical art to create a new kind of highly charged horror image. The most extensive display of Fuseli's paintings and drawings seen in Britain for a generation includes 'The Weird Sisters', the two canvases showing Titania and Bottom from 'The Midsummer Night's Dream', and 'Macbeth and the Armed Head', as well as his rarely seen erotic designs - shown tastefully behind a gauze curtain. Works by Fuseli's contemporaries and followers, dealing with themes of fantasy, horror and perverse sexuality, include over 25 watercolours and paintings by Blake, among which are 'The Night of Enitharmon's Joy', 'The House of Death', 'Ghost of a Flea, The Whirlwind: Ezekial's Vision', 'The Witch of Endor Raising the Spirit of Samuel' and 'Death on a Pale Horse', together with works by Joseph Wright of Derby, George Romney, James Barry, Maria Cosway, John Flaxman, Theodore von Holst, and James Gillray. The exhibition also presents a recreation of a 'Phantasmagoria' - a kind of animated slide show with sound effects and shocking images - providing an opportunity to experience the same chills and thrills as in the 1800s. Tate Britain until 1st May.

Pre-Raphaelite Drawings is a rare chance to see some of the gallery's Pre-Raphaelite drawings and watercolours, which are so delicate and rare that they are normally kept in storage to preserve them from fading. The star turn is a recent acquisition, John Everett Millais's early ink on paper drawing 'Cymon and Iphigenia', which is on public display for the first time. Millais later revisited the subject in oils, which can be seen alongside the drawing. The exhibition includes 35 pencil, charcoal, chalk, ink and watercolour drawings, and is a mixture of preparatory studies for well known paintings, including precise sketches of Holman Hunt's 'The Scapegoat', together with stand alone works, both portraits (often studies of fellow Pre-Raphaelites as well as family and friends) and landscapes that exemplify the 'truth to nature' aesthetic. It explores the development of the style of the movement, from their brightly coloured early works displaying precision and detail, based on realistic observation of specific things and places, to the later, looser and more generalised, works, depicting imaginary scenes and poetical concepts, which are more muted in colour. There are contributions by many of the Brotherhood, including Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Frederick Sandys, Edward Burne-Jones, George Price Boyce, Daniel Alexander Williamson and Marie Spartali Stillmann. Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight until 14th May.

Life At Sea celebrates Britain's long and intimate relationship with the sea, which, as well as playing a vital role in our heritage and national identity, continues to influence 95% of everything we eat, wear, drive and sell in the UK. The exhibition touches on a diverse range of subjects and themes relating to the maritime sector, from the experiences of fishermen on the British coasts, the off shore workers on oil and gas rigs in the North Sea, and the men and women of the Royal Navy who defend peace and security around the world, through the hardships faced by British explorers travelling in hostile environments in the past, to the 21st century luxuries experienced by pleasure seekers on ' floating hotel' cruise ships, and the more active pursuits of sailing and racing, as well as demonstrating its importance to communities and economies across Britain. In addition to myriad evocative images of all kinds, highlights from more than 120 objects include: a gold pocket watch presented to First Mate George Morgan who took command of the Rifleman en route to Sydney after the grisly murder of her captain; a tin fiddle made by a fisherman frustrated by the effect of the sea on traditional wooden instruments; a piece of shrapnel recovered from the deck of HMS Colossus, the first vessel to be hit in the Battle of Jutland; and an empty soup tin taken on John Franklin's final expedition to find the North West Passage, which may have unwittingly contributed to the death of the crew. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich until 23rd April.

Continuing

The Time Galleries are the first stage of the Time And Space Project, aimed at better explaining the story of time at Greenwich, which will ultimately include a new planetarium. These new galleries are divided into four themes. Time And Longitude explores British solutions to the longitude problem, through detailed mapping measurements of the night sky at Greenwich, and the development of an accurate, portable clock that worked on board ships - the Harrison marine timekeepers - with exhibits including the H4, the most important timekeeper ever made, which solved the problem and finally won Harrison the Longitude Prize, together with earlier and later chronometers and sextants. Time And Greenwich looks at the need to develop increasingly accurate time keeping, with the machines that measured the time and the people who used them, with exhibits from the Shepherd master clock installed at the Royal Observatory, which was the heart of the world's first time distribution network, sending time signals around the UK, to the actual GPS receiver used by Robin Knox-Johnston on his round the world voyage of 1994. Time For The Navy considers the provision of accurate timekeepers for the Royal Navy, with marine chronometers, regulator clocks and deck watches, used for navigation from the 1820s until the 1950s. Time In Society examines the role of timekeeping in our everyday lives, with exhibits including sundials, compendiums, clocks, wristwatches and calendars of all periods. Royal Observatory, Greenwich continuing.

Witness commemorates the 90th anniversary of both the battle of the Somme, and the appointment of the first officially commissioned war artists, recognising that art could and should be used to record war and human experience. Oils, watercolours, prints and sculpture from the First World War are displayed alongside first hand accounts of experiences, from battle and its aftermath, to life on the home front. The exhibition features around 50 works from established artists such as William Orpen to young futuristic painters such as Christopher Nevinson, including both internationally renowned paintings such as 'We Are Making A New World' and 'Over The Top' by Paul Nash and 'A Battery Shelled' by Percy Wyndham Lewis, and lesser known but important works of the period, such as 'Women's Canteen at Phoenix Works Bradford' by Flora Lion, Gassed and Wounded' by Eric Kennington and 'The Underworld: Taking Cover In A Tube Station During A London Air Raid' by Walter Bayes. Many of the artists had seen active service: William Roberts and Wyndham Lewis as gunners, Kennington, Paul and John Nash as infantry, and Nevinson in the medical corps, which gives their work added authority. Accompanying first hand eyewitness accounts, taken from letters, diaries and memoirs, detail the experiences of those both living through and fighting during the war, from land girls and nurses, to Tommies, fighter pilots and the artists themselves. Imperial War Museum North, Manchester until 23rd April.

Ugo Rondinone - zero built a nest in my navel is the first major UK exhibition of the leading Swiss artist, who has been described as 'a visionary trapped by reality'. Working across a bewildering range of different media and styles, Rondinone references literature, music and theatre as well as the visual arts, to create sensory and theatrical installations. He came to prominence in Europe in the early 1990s with installations combining photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, light and sound. Rondinone's exhibitions can include India ink landscapes in the Romantic tradition and target paintings recalling the images of 1960s psychedelia. Pop art inspired works with an up beat feel are often contrasted with the longing of photographs of a man and woman who never meet, or films of clowns slumped in the corner of the gallery. For this exhibition, Rondinone has created a new installation that centres on a large structure in reflective Perspex, like an open ended maze, which frames a series of masks and sculptures that project an interior mental state onto a spectral, Gothic landscape. Pre-recorded dialogue of a man and woman arguing loops in a darkened sensory environment, and like a Beckett play, presents a never ending circle of disconnection. Then there's the giant 6ft light bulb hanging from the roof. The exhibition title is taken from a number of haikus Rondinone has been writing every day like a diary, and transferring onto canvas and other materials, which are scattered around the walls. Whitechapel Gallery until 26th March.

David Adjaye - Making Public Buildings features the work of this leading contemporary British architect, with many designs and models shown for the first time. Adjaye's buildings emphasise the experience as much as the functionality of architecture, exploring scale, measure, space, light and material. His aim is to intensify the experience of spaces, through an almost sculptural use of light, colour, tone and materials. This approach to creating spaces, fusing the architectural with the artistic, has led to collaborations with artists including Olafur Eliasson and Chris Ofili. The exhibition is in three sections, following Adjaye's method from design to production. The first, brings together his influences and source material, with images from travels to non-Western cities shown alongside polaroid photographs representing an overview of his previous designs. The second, focuses on 10 major public projects, either realised or currently in development, illustrated with models, sketches and other materials: Idea Store, Chrisp Street, London; Nobel Peace Center, Oslo; Idea Store, Whitechapel, London; Art Pavilions with TBA-21 including Olafur Eliasson at the Venice Biennale; Stephen Lawrence Centre, Deptford, London; Bernie Grant Centre, Tottenham, London; Rivington Place, Shoreditch, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Market Hall, Wakefield; and Fairfield Housing, Hackney, London. The third, screens films of completed civic projects, residential work and projects that combine art and architecture. Whitechapel Gallery, London until 26th March.

Carrying The Colours is an opportunity to examine banners created to express pride and protest, from iconic trade union colours and political activists, through those of sporting and religious organisations, to special issue groups. It features a selection from one of the most important collections of trade union banners in the country, providing a chance to see some of these beautiful and striking banners from the glory days of the union movement between the mid 19th and the mid 20th centuries. The exhibition tells the stories behind the banners and explains their background: the organisations who commissioned them, and why were they made; how they helped to forge an identity for the people and the groups who carried them; who made them - such as Victorian entrepreneur George Tutill's London factory - and how they did it; and looks at where they were used, at events such as strikes, Whit Walks, Galas, parades, protests and demonstrations of all kinds. As well as the banners themselves, there are photographs, archive film footage, oral history and the inevitable 'interactives' to put the colours into context. The exhibition also reveals the painstaking work of the Textile Conservation Studio in preserving banners from museums all over the country. History Museum Manchester until 29th October.

Martin Kippenberger is the first British show of the remarkably diverse body of work by the maverick German artist. It provides an opportunity to consider Kippenberger both as an artist and as an influence on subsequent generations of British and European artists. Like Andy Warhol, Kippenberger employed the process of art production, drawing on popular culture, art, architecture, music, politics, history, and his own life for inspiration. Often using everyday objects and materials, and creating numbers of multiples, books and ephemera, Kippenberger was working in the face of a perceived 'death of painting', the apparent end of the avant-garde, and the impossibility of producing anything that was authentic or original. A wide variety of works of different media are on show, including around forty paintings, four large installations, ten sculptures, and over fifty works on paper, in addition to one hundred posters. The centrepiece is Kippenberger's large-scale installation 'The Happy End of Franz Kafka's Amerika' comprising an arrangement of around fifty tables and chairs placed on a reconstruction of a green carpeted soccer pitch, which contains examples of classic 20th century furniture, in addition to remnants from previous exhibitions, other artist's work, and flea market acquisitions. Kippenberger's idea of delegating the act of painting to others is demonstrated with 'Lieber Maler, male mir (Dear Painter, Paint for Me)' and 'The Installation der Weißen Bilder (The Installation of The White Paintings)'. Tate Modern until 14th May.

Concluding

Prefabulous London explores how a new wave of modern house types may make living in a box desirable, by showcasing the modules, pods and panels that are transforming perceptions of factory-built living. From pre-assembled, fully-fitted, transport-ready house modules, to flat-pack kit homes from well-known retailers such as the German Hufhaus, modern methods of construction are increasingly being applied by developers to create contemporary, affordable and sustainable homes. The display shows how existing London housing projects from the pioneering Murray Grove to futuristic new concepts of compact-living can remove the stigma surrounding traditional prefabs, and help towards meeting the demand for an additional 32,000 new homes in the capital per year. Starting with 'A for Affordability' through 'M for Modular' to 'Z for Zero defects', the exhibition examines the implications of these innovative methods of housing construction and component manufacture. Through partnerships between manufacturers, architects and housing associations, new methods of construction are maximising design, finishes and performance to reflect higher consumer expectations and greater demands for energy efficiency. The display shows that, from demountable homes providing temporary low cost housing, to liftable, individual roof-top extension modules solving problematic access, the applications of off-site construction are broad, and have the ability to tackle many issues of modern city living. New London Architecture at the Building Centre, London until 18th March.

Diann Bauer - bludgeonerator is a new monumental piece by the American born but London resident artist, whose works bring together violent images from a number of diverse cultures to create large scale paintings and installations. The integration of varied visual styles in Bauer's work generates a sense of confusion and dissolution between space, object and subject, suggesting a narrative that seems graspable, but is just out of reach. Combining source material from nineteenth century Japanese woodcuts, European Baroque painting and experimental contemporary architecture, Bauer creates a swirling visually complex representation of space, time and movement. She presents spectacle, and her images - not for the faint hearted - feature Samurai warriors and fire breathing dragons fighting battles against apocalyptic backgrounds of atomic clouds and nuclear explosions, represented in her characteristic colours of tangerine, petrol blue, black and white. This new work comprises a large, elaborately detailed wall drawing, executed on aluminium panels forming a wall that cuts into the gallery space. By blurring the boundaries of where the work ends and the gallery space begins, it plays with expectations of the distinction between the work and the built environment. This is Bauer's first solo show in a publicly funded London gallery. The Showroom, 44 Bonner Road, London E2, 020 8983 4115, until 12th March.

Fashion And Fancy Dress: The Messel Family Dress Collection 1865-2005 chronicles and interprets the clothes worn by six generations of women from one remarkable family. The exhibition features 55 outfits, drawn from a unique collection of garments, never before exhibited, exploring how treasured items of clothing, collected and preserved over time, represent family memory and heritage. A singular artistic and creative eye runs through the six generations, encompassing English, Irish, French and Chinese style, a love of fancy dress, and a specific choice of fashion designers. From the 1870s onwards the women of this extended family - Mary Anne, Marion, Maud, Anne, Susan, Alison and today Anna - fulfilled their social obligations to dress correctly, while demonstrating a strong individual style and a gentle aesthetic eccentricity. As well as garments worn on Society occasions - wedding, christening, evening, sporting, Coronation and mourning - the exhibition also features the Messel embroidery workshops, the development of the Nymans embroidery workshop. It also reflects the family's love of jewellery and fancy dress, used in re-enactments of their 18th century ancestors, and at other fancy dress balls from the 1910s to the 1930s. Throughout the exhibition, items of dress and accessories are set in their social context through period photographs, film footage and rarely seen portraits. Brighton Museum and Art Gallery until 5th March.