Private View held by Richard Andrews
Blood On Paper: The Art Of The Book reveals the inventiveness with which the book has been treated by some of the most influential and respected artists of our time. Many notable artists of the 20th and 21st centuries have produced books, or works that refer to books. The exhibition displays 60 works by 38 artists, from Braque, Matisse, Miro and Picasso to Louise Bourgeois, David Hockney, Richard Long and Robert Rauschenberg. Some are iconic works that established the genre of the livre d'artiste after the Second World War, while others are surprises from artists who are best known for their work with other sorts of material. The pieces range from beautifully bound volumes, to sculptural works and installations, and include a major new work by Anselm Kiefer, 'The Secret Life of Plants', created in lead and cardboard, standing almost 2m tall; Anish Kapoor's 'Wound', which includes a book with a wound laser cut through hundreds of sheets of paper; and 2 cabinets from Damien Hirst's 'New Religion', holding sculptures and bound volumes of prints. In addition there are commercially produced publications, including Edward Ruscha's 'Twenty six gasoline stations', originally sold for $1 in supermarkets; Jeff Koons's 'The Jeff Koons Handbook', billed as "an indispensible paper-back guide to his art and ideas"; and Anthony Caro's 'Open Secret', which used advanced technology in metal fabrication to create books in stainless steel and bronze. Victoria & Albert Museum until 29th June.
Ansel Adams: Photographs is the first public display in Britain of the 'museum set' of quintessential images by one of the most celebrated and influential landscape photographers of 20th century. Spanning a period of 50 years, from the 1920s to the 1970s, it comprises 75 photographs, hand printed and selected by the American photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams, as those that best represented his achievement as a photographer. Each image is a masterclass in scale and light, and they reveal the place of Adams's work in a tradition of American photographers of the sublime natural landscape They include the images for which he is most celebrated, such as the soaring monoliths of Yosemite National Park; Snake river meandering through Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming; a grove of thin aspens glowing ghostly pale in the Colorado dawn; the moon rising silently over Hernandez, an eerie hamlet in New Mexico; and the lakes and mountains of Alaska. Exquisite in their formal and tonal beauty, Adams's awe-inspiring images express the grandeur of untouched nature, as few others have been able to capture. Modern Art Gallery, Oxford, until 1st June.
Beguiling Time is an exhibition of innovative handmade lace, inspired by music and poetry, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the 98 Lace Group. This is a fellowship of lacemakers with varied textile backgrounds, united by a common goal of giving modern lace a livelier public profile. The exhibition contains over 40 pieces of lace, showing the amazing versatility that can be produced using the medium. Far from being plain white cloth, the pieces embrace bright colours, and a variety different forms, ranging from wall hangings to bags and vessels, using plastic, paper and raffia, metal, linen thread and wire. They marry the traditional skills of handmade lace with new ideas and materials to give a contemporary twist to the form, so the design and ideas demonstrate that this 15th century craft has a relevance to the art and design of the 21st century. Items range widely, from funky sculptural pieces such as 'Apple Blossom' by Lily Wills, inspired by the hymn 'All things bright and beautiful', and 'Limbo Rainbow' by Ann Bramnmer, to refined and beautiful works such as 'Images Unwound' by Ann Allison, 'Haiku Streamer' by Sue Mclaggan and 'Polka' by Jane Atkinson. However, each piece has in common the quality of craftmanship and skill that each lace weaver provides. The De Morgan Centre, 38 West Hill, London SW18, until 31st May.
The American Scene: Prints From Hopper To Pollock features spectacular images of American society and culture made during a period of great social and political change from the early 1900s to 1960. Featuring 147 works by 74 artists, the exhibition includes the work of John Sloan, George Bellows, Benton Spruance, Josef Albers, Louise Bourgeois, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. The exhibition encompasses the arrival of modernism following the landmark Armory Show of 1913, the rise of the skyscrapers as the symbol of modern progress and prosperity, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and the effect of the rise of Fascism in Europe on artists' political consciousness and engagement and America's entry into the Second World War. There were many striking images produced during this period, some of them have become iconic within America, but are still relatively unknown outside. Highlights include evocative scenes of New York at night by Edward Hopper, Martin Lewis and other etchers working between the wars; a contrasting romanticised vision of the American Midwest in the work of Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Grant Wood and Doris Lee; and socially conscious prints by Robert Gwathmey, Blanche Grambs and Dox Thrash made during the Depression, through the Federal Art Project, which provided relief to unemployed artists. British Museum until 7th September.
Colin St John Wilson: Collector And Architect celebrates the legacy of Wilson through both his architectural achievements, and as the owner of one of the most important private collections of 20th century British art. The collection, amassed over a lifetime, was given to the gallery for which he designed the recently opened new wing, which houses it. The exhibition brings together for the first time many of Wilson's drawings, models and writings from some of his greatest architectural projects, from the British Library, possibly the last great public building of such scale that we shall ever see (and the building of which he used to refer to as his "30 years' war") to the simple Pallant House Gallery itself. It coincides with a major rehang of the Wilson Gift, with works by Wilson's contemporaries Michael Andrews, Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield, R B Kitaj, Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton, as well as major figures including David Bomberg, William Coldstream and Walter Sickert. Photographs and ephemera documenting the studios designed by Wilson's wife and partner M J Long for several of the artists represented are also on display. The exhibition focuses on three key aspects of Wilson's career: The Early Years, and his participation in the 1956 exhibition This Is Tomorrow at the ICA, widely recognised as a watershed moment in post war British art; The Cambridge Years, when he lectured at Cambridge and became increasing influenced by Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto; and The London Years, resulting in his own personal legacy, the British Library. Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 8th June.
Amazing Butterflies explores the life cycle of some of the world's most beautiful creatures in a giant maze, tropical butterfly house, and butterfly garden. The interactive maze takes visitors on a journey from egg to caterpillar, and chrysalis to butterfly, shrinking them to the size of a caterpillar, so that they can experience what it is like to have to navigate past the perils of predatory spiders and sticky plant traps. Those that survive emerge from a chrysalis, and take flight on a zip slide aerial runway. In the butterfly house there is a hatchery, where butterflies constantly emerge from their pupa, and join the hundreds of butterflies and moths from North and South America, Africa and Southeast Asia fluttering freely among the exotic plants. Around 40 species with wildly different colourings and markings are on view, including the Glasswing butterfly, which has transparent wings, and the Madagascan moon moth, which has the longest tail of any moth. Finally, outside, there is a garden planted with the flowers that are best for attracting butterflies that are native to Britain, together with seasonal butterfly visitors. 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 17th August.
Thomas Hope: Regency Designer showcases the work of one of the most influential designers and patron of the arts in Britain in the early 19th century. Thomas Hope played an important part in establishing the Regency style, reinterpreting ancient classical forms, and incorporating them into contemporary interiors. He opened his townhouse in Duchess Street, described as "the finest specimen of true taste in England", in order to educate British taste. This exhibition recreates the atmosphere of three of the rooms: the Vase Room, which displayed Hope's collection of ancient Greek and Roman vases in specially designed and decorated shelves and cabinets; the Egyptian Room, which combined ancient Egyptian antiquities with modern pieces of Egyptian inspired furniture, in a setting that used the pale yellow and blue/green of Egyptian pigments, relieved by black and gold; and the Aurora Room, designed as the setting of Hope's 'Aurora and Cephalus' statue, which evoked the sensation of dawn, through walls covered in mirrors, edged with black velvet, over which were draped curtains of black and orange satin. Also on display are watercolours and drawings of his country house Deepdene, alongside the original sculptures and furniture exhibited there, including an Egyptian revival chair, designed by Denon, and a neo-antique tripod table by Hope. In addition, the exhibition looks at Hope's role as a collector and patron, through the sculpture, paintings and furniture he commissioned, including Antonio Canova's statue 'Venus', and busts of Hope and his family by Bertel Thorvaldsen and John Flaxman. There is also a display of Hope's watercolours of classical sites and scenes of contemporary life in Greece, Turkey and Egypt, visited during his Grand Tour, together with his numerous publications on architecture, design and costume. Victoria & Albert Museum until 22nd June.
Henri Cartier-Bresson's Scrapbook: Photographs 1931 - 1946 is a unique insight into the work of one of the world's greatest photographers, which has been enormously influential on succeeding generations. Cartier-Bresson is particularly renowned for the purity of his methods, capturing his subjects at the point during which all the elements of a scene come together in a meaningful way. At the end of the Second World War - during which he was taken prisoner - Cartier-Bresson carefully printed and mounted a scrapbook of over 300 photographs, representing the first half of his career as a photographer. They were conceived as an initial selection for a major exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a show that would catapult Cartier-Bresson onto the world stage and bring him international recognition. These photographs documented both his extensive travels, and his encounters with Surrealism and modern art. Some of the last photographs that he printed himself, they represent the most richly creative period in his career, and contain some of his most familiar and enduring images. All the original photographs have now been brought together and are on display for the first time in Britain. In the 1990s Cartier-Bresson began to remove most of the prints from the album, but a few original pages remained, and are shown in the exhibition, alongside reproductions of their reverse side, and the original scrapbook cover. National Media Museum, Bradford, until 1st June.
Brilliant Women: 18th Century Bluestockings explores the impact of the original 'Bluestocking Circle', a group of celebrated women writers, artists and thinkers who forged new links between gender, learning and virtue in Britain in the 1700s. These women were not just intellectually brilliant, they were exceptional, both for their individual accomplishments and for breaking the boundaries of what women could be expected to undertake or achieve. The exhibition combines some 50 works, including famous paintings by Romney, Kauffmann, Ramsay, Vigee-LeBrun and Robert Adam, rediscovered portraits, satirical prints and silhouettes, together with personal artefacts of members of the circle, such as letters, poems and diaries. Most spectacularly, there is an enamel and gold 'friendship box', commissioned to commemorate the intense emotional bonds between four youthful bluestocking friends, whose portraits it features. The display also considers the way a wider range of women, inspired by the model of the bluestockings, created a public profile for themselves. Portraits of the artist Angelica Kauffman, historian Catharine Macaulay and early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, reveal how women used portraiture to advance their work and reputations, in a period that began with the Enlightenment and ended with the onset of the French Revolution. Although the bluestockings made a substantial contribution to the creation and definition of a national culture, their intellectual participation and artistic interventions have largely been forgotten. This exhibition reveals the history and significance of the bluestockings and their culture. National Portrait Gallery until 15th June.
Niki de Saint Phalle is a comprehensive survey of the Franco-American painter and sculptor's entire career, with key examples of all phases of her work, and an exploration of her themes and concerns. It encompasses de Saint Phalle's early 'Assemblages' and paintings in the 1950s, based on found everyday objects that she embedded in plaster as a relief, often littered with violent objects such as knives, scissors, nails and blades; her acclaimed 'Shooting Paintings (Tirs)' in the early 1960s, such as 'Portrait of My Lover', where the head has been substituted by a target studded with darts, which developed into works where she embedded pockets filled with paint and foodstuffs within a thick layer of plaster on canvas, and other artists were invited to shoot the paintings in order to make the pictures 'bleed'; her religious altars such as 'Autel O.A.S', and works on the theme of the Bride - white papier mache sculptures of women - in the mid 1960s, which led on to the 'Nanas', very large brightly coloured sculptures of women that, due to their generous size and form, have become iconic and enduring archetypal images of maternity and femininity, and other large sculptural works; a wide selection of graphic work; and late works including the 'Skull Meditation Room', and 'Il Giardino dei Tarocchi', sculptures based on Tarot cards. Tate Liverpool until 5th May.
Laura Ford: New Work features the latest pieces by the artist who creates installations that are both magical and macabre, working with a variety of materials, from fabric and other found objects, to more traditional materials such as plaster and bronze. This time, like figures from The Lord Of The Rings, three fairy tale espaliered trees stand in the interior space overlooking the ancient trees of the park and landscape beyond. Cast in bronze, each has human feet and legs, as do two black birds perched nearby. These surreal elements are typical of Ford's work, which always depicts a figure or animal, represented in an unusual and twisted way.
Georgie Hopton: The Three Cornered Hat is a series of works that have drawn inspiration from flowers, which Hopton has grown herself. She photographs, paints and sculpts each image forming groups within the exhibition. Her photographs of flowers are presented in retro style vases, and employ soft lines that detach the objects from reality. Hopton's oval canvases present flowers in a more lavish manner, using decorative, candy coloured shades. Her sculpture, made in clay and then cast in jesmonite, has a cubist feel to it, and is decoratively painted, giving them a feeling of hyper-reality. Each flower is represented through the medium of photography, painting and sculpture. NewArtCentre, Roche Court, Salisbury Sculpture Park until 5th May.
Body Space explores the use and representation of clothing in contemporary art, and investigates the relationship between dress and personal identity, including ideas around gender, sexuality, normalcy, culture, status, and revelation versus concealment, as well as dress used as an extension of the body or psyche. Whereas the use of clothing in art became popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with the rise of feminism and the Women's Movement, today, its representation explores broader notions around personal identity. Susie MacMurray and Rhian Solomon explore the weight of guilt and external pressure put upon women to conform to an ideal body shape and weight; Susan Stockwell looks at British identity through dresses made from stained paper dress making patterns, coffee filters, maps and tissue; Stephen Craighill examines clothing as a means of conformity; and Suzanne Langston-Jones shows how clothing, on and off the body, can be used to create illusions and narratives, with her garments conjuring up childhood fairy stories and fantasies. A highlight of the exhibition is Yinka Shonibare's video of Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball) telling of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden in 1792 through dance, in which costume is used to highlight the ambiguity of identity and gender. Tullie House Museum And Art Gallery, Carlisle, until 4th May.