Private View held by Richard Andrews
Royal Treasures: A Golden Jubilee Celebration is the inaugural exhibition of the new Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Incorporating the former Royal kitchens, the £20m scheme by John Simpson (funded entirely by the Royal Collection Trust) provides three and a half times more space than the gallery it replaces, including multimedia, education and lecture rooms. Mixing the famous with the unexpected, the selection of 450 works for this exhibition has been made across the breadth of the Royal Collection, from eight royal residences and over five centuries of collecting and gifts. It includes the very finest paintings, drawings and watercolours, furniture, sculpture and ceramics, silver and gold, arms and armour, jewellery and miniatures, books and manuscripts. Among the highlights are Van Dyck's equestrian portrait of Charles I; major works by Holbein, Frans Hals and Canaletto; Lady At The Virginal by Vermeer; Landseer's study of Prince Albert's black greyhound; miniatures by Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver; studies by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo; the Mainz Psalter and the Sobeiski Book of Hours; the Darnley Jewel and The Queen's Diamond Diadem; wild flower ornaments and a Russian Imperial Egg by Faberge; and the recent portrait of The Queen by Lucien Freud. The Queen's Gallery until 12th January.
Tim Noble & Sue Webster: Ghastly Arrangements allow the Dynamic Duo of Young Brit Artists to pursue their continuing fascination with the thrills of illumination, love, language, shadows, cash and Hogarthian vulgarity. The main gallery space features a huge light piece that reads 'Forever' in a Las Vegas hotel-style font, with flashing bulbs and neon strips. Made Of Money is triggered like a slot machine - insert a token and a flurry of real £50, £10 and £5 notes attempts to obscure a projected vision of the artists self portrait in a kiss, but when the £10,000 worth settles, the image is magically rendered from an apparently formless mound of currency. The Original Sinners secretes a fine curtain of oil around an overgrown garden fountain comprised of a mass of fruit and vegetables - a shadow fills the wall and the two artists stand, seemingly naked, she lactating like a baroque fountain, and he peeing subversively into the deluge surrounding them. Milton Keynes Art Gallery until 23rd June.
Trading Places: The East India Company And Asia marks the 400th anniversary of the first English trading post in Asia. It relates the history of the East India Company, from its earliest roots in Indonesia and Malaysia, and its expansion to embrace Japan, Persia, China and India, through to the loss of its monopoly in 1834. The trading links created formed the basis for the development of British trade in Asia, playing a key role in the establishment of the United Kingdom as a major industrial nation in the 19th Century, and subsequently as one of the world's leading financial centres. By establishing a network of Asian partners, the East India Company became one of the world's most successful traders, and the first multinational corporation. It introduced into Europe many items, such as silk, tea, porcelain, chintz and curry powder, and words, such as shampoo, rice and bungalow into the English language. The exhibition also highlights the human cost of developing this trade, and covers the Company's role in exporting opium to China from the 1770s for commercial gain, without regard to the social or economic consequences for China. This abuse of its power was one of the reasons the Company lost its monopoly, and ultimately resulted in the Opium Wars of 1839-42 and 1856-60. British Library Gallery until 22nd September.
Game On: The History And Culture Of Video Games presents the forty year history, contemporary culture, and future of video games, in the biggest non-commercial show ever staged in Britain. This very interactive exhibition explains the game design process from the conceptual drawing through to the finished game, and identifies the key creative people who make them. It examines developments in hardware technology from Space War and the huge console computers in arcades of the early 1960s, to the recently launched X-Box, Game Cube and Playstation 2, illustrating how content and technologies are interrelated in advancing new ideas. The Games Family area has 35 playable games in the 3 genres of Thought (derived from existing board games), Action and Simulation. It assesses the influence games have had on culture in Europe, North America and Japan, particularly in relation to cinema, pop videos and other visual media. Eight new commissions from contemporary artists, architects and designers responding to current game technology look towards the future of games. Further information and an online game can be found on the Game On web site via the link opposite. Barbican Gallery until 15th September.
The Beatles Story, the award winning attraction, has been refurbished and extended, providing an even more Magical History Tour around the world's greatest group. There are now eighteen separate features that create a time warp to Liverpool in the 1960s. In addition to experiencing Beatlemania as it began in The Cavern, where the Beatles played no less than 292 times, visitors can now see exhibits from their formative years, including the instruments played by The Quarrymen; stroll through the cobbled streets of Hamburg past the Star Club; see the office of Mersey Beat; visit Abbey Road studios with the original microphones used at recording sessions; pass through a Yellow Submarine; tune in to a psychedelic experience; and enter The White Room with John Lennon's Steinway piano on which he composed Imagine. Also on display are rare photographs and film footage, artefacts, memorabilia, and a unique opportunity to not only hear, but feel the music. Further information and a virtual tour can be found on The Beatles Story web site via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. The Beatles Story, Liverpool continuing.
Shimmering Substance examines the texture and substance of art - its physical quality and surface - the title being taken from a 1946 Jackson Pollock painting. The shimmering is expressed not just in paintings (both representational and abstract), but also in a variety of media, employing water, foam, clay, glass and glitter. These are used in everything from a beaded curtain, to Sarah Dobai's video installation with water cascading in front of the image, to Kate Bright's paintings of gleaming lakes with silver and gold glitter applied like old fashioned Christmas cards. The other artists whose work is featured are Enid Baxter Blader, Mel Bochner, Tom Chamberlain, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Alexis Harding, Roger Hiorns, Rachel Howard, Marilyn Minter, David Musgrave, Ernesto Neto, Lawson Oyekan, Rudolf Stingel, Lawrence Weiner and Pae White. Arnolfini, Bristol until 23rd June.
Matisse Picasso brings together major works by the two giants of modern art, who between them originated many of the most significant developments of 20th century painting and sculpture. The exhibition provides an opportunity to compare and contrast Matisse's expressive use of colour and line, alongside Picasso's stylistic virtuosity through a series of over thirty groupings of paintings and sculpture. Juxtapositions of portrait, still life and landscape, demonstrate both their affinities and their differences. The show traces the artists intricate relationship from its beginnings in Paris in 1906, when they first met regularly in the studio of the collectors Gertrude and Leo Stein, to the period after Matisse's death in 1954, when Picasso paid tribute to him in his work, both directly and indirectly. In spite of their initial rivalry, each artist came to acknowledge the other as his only true equal, and in old age they became increasingly close personally, and increasingly important to each other artistically. The largest part of the exhibition is devoted to the early years, when there was open rivalry between them leading to intense creative innovation, which produced some of the greatest art of the century. Tate Modern until 18th August.
Brighton Museum has reopened after a £10m Lottery funded transformation, which is part of a larger regeneration scheme in and around the Royal Pavilion. The museum has been turned back to front, and there is now a new entrance from the Royal Pavilion Gardens. Layers of conglomerated dark 'mend and make do' hessian and hardboard have been removed, and windows unblocked, to let in the light and reveal the splendour of the architecture, with soaring Gothic ceilings, sumptuously carved door frames and white walls. The treasures it contains are similarly revitalised by the new methods employed in their presentation. The city is celebrated in a new Images of Brighton gallery, and a temporary Brighton on Film exhibition, which chart its history as a place of pleasure and scandal. These cover everything from Georgian caricatures to a 1999 phone box card. The Fashion & Style gallery naturally centres on George IV, with new items that have never been seen before, but also ranges from Lady Holmon's extensive trousseau, to newly collected street fashion of punks, hippies and Goths. Equally treasured items include the original Salvador Dali Lips sofa and one of local lad Fat Boy Slim's shirts. Brighton Museum continuing.
Liam Gillick: The Wood Way is the artist's first major solo show in Britain, bringing together work made since the mid 1990s. Using pine planks, brightly coloured Plexiglass panels and aluminium, these works are a unique mixture of sculpture, installation and architectural remodelling. This 'Changing Rooms with pretensions' technique has created something like a series of 3D walk through Mondrian paintings. A labyrinthine construction offers a journey through a series of thresholds, vistas and dead-ends. If you take 'the wood way' (from the German expression Holzweg), you have taken the wrong route and are lost in the woods, with its connotations of fairytale enchantment. Text pieces running across the gallery walls, photographs, piles of glitter and a new limited edition artwork reveal the range of Gillick's source material, recording prior experiences. Gillick has taken over the whole building with a makeover that includes the auditorium and café. Ensuring the spaces fully interactive, free yoga classes will take place throughout the show. Whitechapel Gallery until 23rd June.
Milan In A Van launches a new Contemporary Space, which will provide a showcase for contemporary design, craft, fashion, photography, architecture and the graphic arts, from around the world. This exhibition is truly upmarket Pickfords, in that it features the latest designs from the Milan Furniture Fair, with new products, materials and prototypes, including work by participants in the Fringe Fair, which features over 3000 up and coming designers. Strange shapes and very bright colours predominate - suffice to say that wood and traditional furnishing fabrics don't get much of a look in. Among the star designers whose work is included are Ron Arad, the Bourelec brothers and Pia Wallen. Don't miss Tom Dixon's Spaghetti Chaise Longue (extruded PVC rather than pasta); Konstantin Grcic's Public One Chair (aluminium and concrete); Tord Boontje's Blossom Chandelier (crystal and LED lights); and Humberto Campana's Sushi Chair (various fabrics in an elasticated tube). Victoria & Albert Museum until 9th June.
Cutting Edge: An Exhibition Of British Cutlery And Place Settings does exactly what it says on the tin, featuring five thousand years of the cutler's art. In a collection of knives, forks and spoons ranging from the New Stone Age to the 1950s, it provides a complete overview of the design and evolution of British cutlery. Over 500 pieces, including Neolithic flint, Celtic and Roman bronze and Georgian and Victorian silver, show the beauty and diversity of these everyday objects. The displays are arranged both in thematic and chronological order, with table settings including the appropriate replica food, which bring the exhibition to life.
Cutting Design complements the historical exhibition with the work of contemporary London designers. Some pieces function as cutlery, some as art pieces and others as jewellery. Materials used include silver, stainless steel and ceramics, and techniques incorporate casting, firing, piercing, waterjet cutting and hot forging. Designers featured include William Warren, Susana Shaw, Diana Greenwood, William Phipps, Lucian Taylor, Maike Dahl, Jonathan Levien and Nipa Doshi, Kay Ivanovic, Lisa Marklew and Rebecca de Quin. Geffrye Museum until 2nd June.
Behind The Mask is an examination of portraiture, considering three different themes: the face, the private personality, and the public front. It aims to find out to what extent portraiture can penetrate beneath surface appearance, and reveal to the viewer the real person being portrayed. The exhibition explores the techniques, symbols and messages that are used to convey information about both the outer appearance, and the inner personality of the subject, and how truthful these depictions are. It features the first showing outside London of the National Portrait Gallery's first ever 'conceptual portrait', Marc Quinn's Genomic Portrait of Sir John Sulston. This uses Sulston's DNA, so that whilst not depicting the geneticist's features, it is an exact representation of the sitter, in that it presents the viewer with a detail of his genome, and therefore carries the actual instructions that led to his creation, capturing all that is unique about him. Other artists represented include Francis Bacon, Louis-Leopold Boilly, Michael Clarke, Victoria Crowe, Gilbert and George, Goya, David Hockney, Alphonse Legros, Lewis Morley, Henry Raeburn, Ceri Richards, Kurt Schwitters, and Andy Warhol. Hatton Gallery, University of Newcastle upon Tyne until 25th May.