Private View held by Richard Andrews
Giorgio Morandi: Lines Of Poetry features some 80 etchings and watercolours by the Italian artist who was a master of poetic understatement. Although Giorgio Morandi was entirely self-taught as a printmaker, he quickly mastered the technique, and restricted only in subject matter, his still lifes, landscapes and flower studies reveal a stylistic versatility and passion for experimentation. Morandi's stark black and white images are entirely composed of cross hatchings, so regular and sharp that they resemble machine made stitches running back and forth at complex anglers. Also in the exhibition are a number of Morandi's watercolours, works that are rarely seen in Britain. More than any others, these paintings exemplify Morandi's ability to distil the essence of a complex scene or composition into an arrangement of near-abstract forms. Notable for their restraint and extraordinary economy of means, these images are intensely evocative of time and place.
Nino Migliori: Imagined Landscapes comprises reworked Polaroid images by the renowned Italian photographer. Created by Nino Migliori during the mid 1980s, these works form a series entitled 'Imagined Landscapes: The Places of Morandi' and explore the Grizzana landscape beloved by Morandi and immortalised in many of his works. Best known for his black and white neo-realist images of life in 1950s Italy, these works reveal a different side to Nino Migliori's research in which the photograph is merely the starting point for an image that aspires not simply to document a moment in time or a specific location, but to express something of its emotional resonance.
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39A Canonbury Square, London N1, until 7th April.
Force Of Nature: Picturing Ruskin's Landscape examines the huge theme of landscape, as reflected in the thoughts and opinions of the Victorian critic and scholar. The depiction of the landscape in art proved a lifelong obsession for John Ruskin. While his belief that artists should reflect and record their environment was unwavering, Ruskin's view on how to best capture the 'truth' of a vista or scene was to go through a radical shift in later life. In particular, this exhibition addresses Ruskin's notions of the physical and emotional truths of landscape art. The display comprises three sections, each taking inspiration from the developments in Ruskin's thinking; The Mountain In Miniature looks at the genesis of Ruskin's ideas, observing parallels between patterns in small geological forms and those in the broader landscape; Seeing The Landscape takes its focus from Ruskin's initial belief in realistic, visually accurate representation; and Sensing The Landscape looks at how Turner prompted Ruskin to revise his opinions and explores the importance of conveying our emotional response to the landscape. The exhibition brings together a host of historical and contemporary work, including Turner's 'Landscape with Water', William Holman Hunt's 'The Sphinx, Giza, Looking Towards the Pyramids of Saqqara' and 'Llyn-y-Cau, Cader Idris' by Richard Wilson, as well as examples of Ruskin's own topographical studies, alongside contemporary responses to landscape, such as Julian Opie's 'Jet Stream', Carol Rhodes's 'Surface Mine' and Dan Holdsworth's 'Andoya'. Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, until 23rd June.
Murder In The Library: An A-Z Of Crime Fiction examines the genre that currently accounts for over a third of all fiction published in English, holding millions of people enthralled, with classic locked-room mysteries, tales of murder and mayhem in quaint villages or gritty adventures on mean city streets. The alphabetically presented exhibition takes visitors on a fascinating journey through the development of crime and detective fiction, from its origins in the early 19th century through to contemporary Nordic Noir, taking in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the first appearance of Miss Marple, the fiendish plots of Dr Fu Manchu and the inspiration for Midsomer Murders along the way. Highlights include Conan Doyle's original manuscript for a late Holmes story, The Adventure of the Retired Colourman; a 'Crime Dossier' by Dennis Wheatley and J G Links, with physical clues such as human hair and cigarette ends pocketed in cellophane pouches, as if it is an actual Scotland Yard case file - and the solution in a sealed envelope; and a 1933 'Puzzle Tale', with an actual jigsaw that has to be completed as it contains clues central to its narrative. The British Library until 12th May.
Valentino: Master Of Couture celebrates the life and work of the legendary Italian fashion designer. The exhibition offers a rare glimpse behind the closed doors of the world of Valentino Garavani, known simply as Valentino, who founded his eponymous fashion house in Rome in the late 1950s, and has since established an illustrious career designing for the world's most glamorous women, from royalty to Hollywood stars. It showcases over 130 hand crafted designs worn by icons such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren and Gwyneth Paltrow. Featuring dresses from the couture catwalk and red carpet, as well as designs commissioned by private clients, the show brings together a comprehensive collection of couture, much of which has never been seen outside the Valentino atelier. The atelier crafted design each so diligently by hand, taking hours, sometimes days to complete. The detailing is incredibly intricate, but as the dresses have rarely been seen outside the runway shows and events, this is the first opportunity for their fineness to be appreciated. Among the highlights are the vintage dress worn by Julia Roberts when she won an Academy Award in 2001, Jackie Onassis's wedding dress from the 1968 White Collection, and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece's pearl-encrusted ivory silk wedding gown, which she wore to marry Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece in 1995. In a reversal of the usual roles, visitors progress down a catwalk, and the 'audience' is dressed in Valentino's designs, with evening gowns, dresses, trouser suits, minis, capes and kaftans, providing a journey through fashion from the 1950s to today. Somerset House, London, until 3rd March.
Saturday Night And Sunday Morning: The Authentic Moment In British Photography is inspired by Alan Sillitoe's groundbreaking 1958 'kitchen sink' novel, and the subsequent film adaptation directed by Karel Reisz. The novel appeared at the time of a spate of accounts of urban working class life by academics, playwrights, novelists and documentary filmmakers. Taking seminal moments from the book and film, this exhibition explores the depiction of the social changes in contemporary photography, focusing in particular on working class culture in the late '50s and '60s. Through some 200 images it highlights the various approaches taken by a generation of photographers drawn to the regions in an attempt to capture the 'authenticity' of ordinary lives. The exhibition features photographs by so-called 'Young Meteors' John Bulmer and Graham Finlayson, who worked for newspapers such as The Manchester Guardian and the latest print media magazines; Roger Mayne and Shirley Baker, who initiated their own briefs generating new contexts for their photographic studies; and Maurice Broomfield, an industrial photographer, who diligently portrayed the nobility of factory workers for company reports; plus a selection of previously unseen stills from Reisz's iconic film. Their works are complemented by that of other national photographers who have been subsequently overlooked, as well as an array of accomplished local amateurs. Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham, until 10th February.
Trog, Flook And Humph Too! features cartoons, caricatures and cartoon strips by Wally Fawkes and Humphrey Lyttelton. Wally Fawkes - 'Trog' - is one of the most highly regarded British cartoonists of the post‐war era, who excelled in four different types of cartooning ‐ cartoon strips, caricatures, editorial and pocket cartoons. Fawkes's cartoon strip Flook evolved from a children's strip into Britain's satirical strip cartoon, and he produced powerfully condensed political cartoons for the Daily Mail, New Statesmen, Private Eye, Times, Punch, Observer and Sunday Telegraph, and his pithy pocket 'Mini‐Trog' combined wicked mockery with a lightness of touch and needlepoint precision. But Fawkes is admired above all for his peerless caricatures, with subjects including everyone from George Best and Francis Bacon to John Gielgud, George Melly, Michael Jackson, Brigitte Bardot and the Queen, as well as greats from the world of jazz such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitgerald. 'Trog' and 'Humph' were lifelong friends, as when trumpeter Lyttelton left George Webb's Dixielanders to form his own band in 1948, he invited clarinettist Fawkes to join him, and they played and recorded together over many decades. The exhibition includes over 120 cartoons, caricatures and cartoon strips from the 1945 to 2005 by Wally Fawkes with a small selection of cartoons by Humphrey Lyttelton. The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1, until 28th February.
Modern British Childhood explores the transformation of childhood in Britain during the tumultuous 64 years between the London Olympic Games of 1948 and 2012. This spans a period that starts with rationing cards and children playing on bombsites wearing homemade hand me downs, and ends with 'Happy Meals', computer games and mass-produced clothing. The exhibition traces this revolution through education, health, family, entertainment, fashion and play, as well as considering the impact of politics and the economy, with the aid of artworks, clothing, toys, books, childcare items, television programmes, film and photography. The exhibition has four major themes. First, that for most children horizons have broadened and material conditions have improved immeasurably since 1948, although both poverty and inequality persist; secondly, childhood and children's lives are now firmly centre stage in family and national life and in public policy; thirdly, technology has transformed children's lives, affecting education, entertainment and play, as well as fundamentally changing the way children experience the world and communicate with each other and with adults; and fourthly, society has become more risk-averse and children's lives more structured and controlled, so that the numbers of children playing or walking to school without adult supervision has fallen dramatically. Among the items on display are Muffin the Mule, the puppet from the 1940s BBC broadcast For The Children; an early prototype of the Maclaren Pushchair inspired by an umbrella's folding mechanism; and a Teddyfone - a mobile phone designed for the under 5s. Museum Of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, London E2, until 14th April.
The Swords Of Middle Earth features proof copies of 4 heroic swords used in the The Lord Of The Rings film trilogy, based on J R R Tolkien's epic tale of Middle-earth. The evocatively named swords were crafted in the past two years by swordsmith Peter Lyon, and award-winning production workshop Weta, the creators of the original swords for both The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit film productions. They are not simply props but real fighting weapons. The two-handed sword Anduril, originally called Narsil, was forged by the dwarf weaponsmith, Telchar of Nogrod was used by King Elendil against Sauron, during the battle of Dagorlad. The hand-and-a-half sword of Aragorn, when he went under the name Strider, a long, elegant and plain fighting sword bears a simple blade with neither flourish nor adornment, with a grip bound in leather. The two-handed sword of the wizard Gandalf, which was named Glamdring, and was forged by Elves in the First Age for Turgon, has a blade that is slightly leaf-shaped, and glows blue or white when evil Orcs or Balrogs are nearby, as do all Elven blades. Sting, the sword of Frodo Baggins, was given to him by his cousin Bilbo Baggins, who found it in a Troll-hoard in the caves beneath The Misty Mountains, Gondolin, and although only a dagger, it was of sword-length for a small Hobbit. Royal Armories, Leeds, until 28th February.
The Museum Of Curiosity has a mission to "fuel curiosity in those who have it, and to reignite it in those unfortunate to have forgotten they ever did". The museum is inspired by the 'Wunderkammern' of Renaissance Europe: collections put together by wealthy, well travelled patrons that sought to represent a microcosm of the world by drawing together diverse and wonderful objects from natural history, religious relics, historical and archaeological artifacts together with works of art. The idea is drawn from British curiosity collector Sir Hans Sloane whose celebrated collection of 71,000 objects, chiefly natural history specimens, coins, books and other curios became the founding basis of the British Museum and Natural History Museum, when the nation was bequeathed it after his death in 1753. The specimens include a tray of eyeballs, a human skeleton, a Walrus' penis bone carved with 13 human skulls, the tusk of a woolly mammoth, a selection of early medical instruments, and an ice age wolf skull. The difference is that whereas you can't buy the exhibits at the British Museum', here you can. Such objects are offered for sale, alongside specially commissioned works by artists that follow an unusual bent from taxidermists to creators of microscopic insect skeleton fairies. The Museum Of Curiosity, at Pertwee, Anderson & Gold Gallery, 15 Bateman Street, London W1, continuing.
Barbara Hepworth: The Hospital Drawings reveals the remarkable series of drawings and paintings made during the late 1940s, illustrating surgeons at work in operating theatres within Post-War Britain. Following the hospitalisation of her daughter, Barbara Hepworth struck up a friendship with Norman Capener, a surgeon at the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital in Exeter. Through this friendship, Hepworth was invited to witness a variety of surgical procedures at Exeter and the London Clinic. Over a 2 year period, from 1947 to 1949, Hepworth produced around 80 works in the series. As well as pencil, ink and chalk drawings, many were executed in both pencil and oil paint on board, and as such, can be seen as both paintings and drawings. With over 30 works on display, including Hepworth's sketchbook, this exhibition focuses on a less well known aspect of Hepworth's work, her skill as a draughtsperson. The display reveals how drawing was an important means of exploring forms that influenced her work as a sculptor. Hepworth was particularly fascinated by the rhythmic movement of hands during the medical procedures unfolding before her, recognising a close affinity between the work and approach both of physicians and surgeons, and painters and sculptors. Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield, until 3rd February.
Illuminated looks at 'light', both as an influence, as it is incorporated through artists work, and in a metaphorical sense. The exhibition features artists who incorporate sculptural, photographic, and metaphorical light in their work, often using scientific methodologies and influences, as well as artists who produce work that is in some way transformative, or suggests a change in either an object or within the human spirit or psyche. It includes a preparatory drawing for 'The Alchymist' by Joseph Wright of Derby; David Batchelor's sculptural installations, made from objects found in the streets of London and given new life as empty but brightly coloured light works; Katie Paterson's film 'Ancient Darkness TV', a collaboration with astronomers from the Mauna Kea Volcano telescope, featuring an image of 'ancient darkness' from the furthest point of the observed universe, 13.2 billion years ago, shortly after the Big Bang and before Earth existed, when stars, galaxies and the first light began to form; David Ward's 'RINK', with imagery from scientific sources, such as astronomy and line generated by particle collisions in the study of particle physics; and 'Brilliant Noise' by Semiconductor, a film based on satellite files and imagery of the Sun from NASA. QUAD, Derby, until 3rd February.
Seduced By Art: Photography Past And Present explores the relationship between historical painting, early photography of the mid 19th century, and work being done by photographers today. The exhibition looks at how photographers use fine art traditions, including Old Master painting, to explore the possibilities of their art. Rather than being a general survey, the show draws attention to one particular strand of photography's history, in major early works by the greatest British and French practitioners, alongside photographs by an international array of contemporary artists. The exhibition includes new photography and video specially commissioned for the show and on public display for the first time, plus works rarely seen in Britain. Paintings and early and contemporary photographs are presented together according to traditional genres such as portraiture, still life and landscape. These include provocative religious imagery by 19th century photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and late 20th century artist Helen Chadwick; spectacular battlefield tableaux by Emile-Jean-Horace Vernet from 1821 and Luc Delahaye's work of 2001; Martin Parr's satire of class aspiration 'Signs of the Times' displayed alongside Thomas Gainsborough's 'Mr and Mrs Andrews'; photographs by Craigie Horsfield and the Victorian artist David Wilkie Wynfield showing the Baroque influence of Anthony van Dyck; painted and photographed nudes with controversial works by early photographers such as Oscar Gustav Rejlander and contemporary practitioners like Richard Learoyd; and landscapes by the early French photographer Gustave Le Gray and contemporary artists such as Jem Southam and Richard Billingham, capped by a huge eight part photogravure by Tacita Dean. In addition, three 'interventions' of contemporary photographs by Richard Billingham, Craigie Horsfield and Richard Learoyd are displayed in the permanent collection, juxtaposed with 19th century paintings by Constable, Degas and Ingres. National Gallery until 30th January.