News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd June 2004


The Art Of The Garden is the first major exhibition to examine the relationship of the garden and British art. It takes a broad view, encompassing the domestic garden, allotments, garden suburbs, artist's own backyards and imaginary gardens. From the last two centuries, it brings together over one hundred works by artists ranging from Constable and Turner to Lucian Freud, Marc Quinn and Gary Hume. These includes iconic paintings such as John Singer Sargent's 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose', John Constable's two depictions of his father's flower and kitchen gardens in Suffolk, 'The Badminton Game' by David Inshaw, Waterhouse's 'Psyche Opening the Door into Cupid's Garden' and Samuel Palmer's idyllic visions of the English countryside. Among the artist's gardens, revealed through painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture there are Little Sparta, Ian Hamilton Finlay's classically inspired garden, in which sculptural works carrying poetic inscriptions lurk among trees and shrubs; a drawing by Beatrix Potter of her potted geraniums; and Howard Schooley's painting of Derek Jarman's beach garden at Dungeness. The influence of colour theory on the garden designer Gertrude Jekyll is reflected through her own watercolours and early colour photographs of planting schemes she created for her garden at Munstead Wood. Among new works made specifically for the exhibition is a spectacular installation by Anya Gallaccio employing ten thousand roses. Tate Britain until 30th August.

Mariele Neudecker: Over And Over, Again And Again features recent works by the German born, British resident artist, who uses sculpture, film and photography to create representations of landscapes. She is perhaps best know for her atmospheric creations of landforms within glass vitrines - a sort of vegetarian alternative to Damien Hirst. There are two new vitrine works in this exhibition: 'There Go I' and 'Over and Over, Again and Again', commissioned by the Metrological Office. Both display jagged mountain ranges, composed of peaks and grottos covered with trees, and cloaked in the perpetual fog and snow of Neudecker's chemical compositions, very much in the tradition of the German Romantics. Another tank piece, 'I Don't Know How I Resisted The Urge To Run' is an eerie petrified forest just waiting for some Brothers Grimm fairytale to begin. 'Another Day' is a record of the simultaneous rising and setting of the sun on opposite ends of the globe - South East Australia and the Western Azores - displayed on a double sided lightbox. 'Winterreise' (A Winter's Journey) is a filmic response to Schubert's song cycle, the iconic work from the German Romantic 'Lieder' tradition. Neudecker has created a short film for each of the 24 movements, using locations based on the sixtieth degree of latitude that experience snowscaped winters: the Shetland Islands, Helsinki, Oslo and St. Petersburg. Tate St Ives until 26th September.

Time To Care is an exhibition that charts the history of the St John Ambulance service. Founded in 1877 by the British Order of St John, and inspired by the medical traditions of the Hospitallers, volunteers were trained in first aid to deal with the frequent injuries sustained by workers in factories in the industrial revolution, who could not afford medical treatment. The exhibition includes equipment, memorabilia, rare early film footage and the recollections of the experiences of members. In addition, two further galleries display treasures from the 900 year military, medical and religious history of Order of St John and the Hospitallers. These include a bronze cannon given to the Order by Henry VIII; armour worn by the Knights when defending Rhodes and Malta; a decorative collection of 16th to18th century majolica from the pharmacy in Malta; the illuminated charter, depicting Philip II and Mary Tudor, restoring the Order in 1557; and a 15th century Flemish altarpiece from the medieval priory on this site, plus surviving fragments of stone work, wood carving, tiles and stained glass. The buildings housing the collection include the remains the priory, a Norman crypt, a 16th century chapel, and a Tudor gatehouse, all of which are open to the public. Further information can be found on the Museum Of The Order Of St John web site via the link from the Museums section of ExhibitionsNet. Museum Of The Order Of St John, London, continuing.


The Foundling Museum has opened on the original site of the Foundling Hospital, Britain's first orphanage, which was founded in 1739, thanks to the work of the retired shipbuilder and sailor Thomas Coram. In an effort to satisfy the abandoned children's spiritual, as well as physical needs, Coram enlisted the help of William Hogarth, and other artists of the time, thus creating Britain's first art gallery. He also co-opted the services of composer George Frederick Handel. The museum reflects this unique heritage in its displays. Firstly, it has an exhibition that tells the story of the hospital and its charges, who amounted to some 27,000 children by the time of its closure in 1954. This includes items such as the often pathetic tokens, left with children as a form of identification by destitute mothers, who hoped one day to return and reclaim them, but rarely if ever did - real life 'little orphan Annies'; documentation of how the organisation was run; and details of the lottery system operated by the oversubscribed institution, to decide if applicants were given acceptance, waiting list place, or rejection. Secondly, the Hospital's collection of paintings is on display, including Hogarth's portrait of Thomas Coram, and works by Rysbrack, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Roubiliac, Hudson, Ramsay and Wilson. Thirdly, there is a collection of memorabilia relating to the life and work of Handel, who presented an organ to the Hospital chapel, which he personally inaugurated by playing a special version of the Messiah, a manuscript of which he later bequeathed to the Hospital. The Foundling Museum, 20 Brunswick Square, London WC1, continuing.

William Roberts: Retrospective 1895 - 1980 is the first major exhibition for over 40 years to examine the life and art of one of the most remarkable British artists of the 20th century. William Roberts studied at the Slade School and was a member of the Vorticist movement, before serving as an Official War Artist in both the First and Second World Wars. He was drawn to everyday incidents and dramas, which he captured in bold colours with his own unique style. Roberts portrayed the working lives of the men and women in the street in Britain between the wars, together with how they spent their leisure time (such as there was). The exhibition of over sixty paintings includes works from his entire career, some of which are being exhibited in public for the first time. In some cases, such as 'At The Hippodrome', an original preparatory drawing or watercolour can be viewed alongside the finished work, giving an insight into Roberts's creative process. Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield until 4th September.

Matisse To Freud: A Critic's Choice - The Alexander Walker Bequest reveals to the public for the first time the distinguished film critic's collection of modern prints and drawings. Over a period from the early 1960s to his death last July, Walker the assembled a collection of more than 200 works, which he left to the British Museum - the largest and most significant bequest of modern works that it has received in the past fifty years. The focus of the collection is post 1960 American and British art, with works by artists including Jasper Johns, Jim Dine, Josef Albers, Philip Guston, Chuck Close, Richard Diebenkorn and Brice Marden from the United States, and Lucian Freud, Bridget Riley, Paula Rego, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Keith Vaughan and Rachel Whiteread from Britain. Picasso, Matisse and Miro, as well as Jean Dubuffet, Eduardo Chillida and Nicholas de Stael are among the School of Paris artists collected by Walker, as well as the principal exponents of British Vorticism: Nevinson, Bomberg and Wadsworth. This exhibition, comprising nearly 150 works, shows that Walker was a highly discerning collector of modern art, with an eye for works that showed a new direction or turning point for the artist. British Museum until 9th January.

Unlocking The Archives: 500 Years Of Seeing The World is the inaugural show of a £7.1m Lottery funded scheme which has opened one of the world's largest collections of geographical knowledge to the public for the first time in 174 years. A new study centre at the Royal Geographical Society, designed by Craig Downie, provides space for displays from the collection, comprising over two million items, including maps, photographs, books, journals, artefacts and documents, which tell the story of 500 years of geographical research and exploration. It also includes a library, reading room and archive storage up to the best contemporary standards. Among the relics from the golden age of exploration in the 19th and early 20th centuries in this exhibition are The South Polar Times, edited by Ernest Shackleton during Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition to Antarctica; Dr David Livingstone's watercolour sketches made the first time he saw the Victoria Falls in Africa, together with notes about the flora and fauna; a prayer wheel used by geographical 'spies' to surreptitiously record data on the first trigonometric survey of India; Charles Darwin's journals from his voyage on HMS Beagle; and the first photographs ever taken depicting Asia, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East; plus more recent items, such as maps used for the D-Day Landings, and the diaries and photographs of Lord Hunt from the first successful ascent of Mount Everest. A new treasure trove joins the existing institutions in Exhibition Road. Royal Geographical Society until 17th September.

Enchanting The Eye: Dutch Paintings Of The Golden Age is a selection of works from the Royal Collection, one of the world's finest groups of Dutch 17th century paintings. The 51 pictures in this exhibition embrace genre scenes, portraits, still-lifes, history paintings, landscapes and seascapes. They include works by the great masters of the period, among them Rembrandt's 'Christ and St. Mary', 'Magdalen at the Tomb' and his 'Self-Portrait' of 1642, landscapes by Aelbert Cuyp, and Johannes Vermeer's 'A Lady at the Virginals'. Among the genre paintings - the depiction of everyday life - artists such as Frans van Mieris the Elder, Gabriel Metsu and Gerard ter Borch show the preparation of food, eating and drinking, and the enjoyment of music inside the home. The confidence of the Dutch, one of the richest and most powerful nations in 17th century Europe, is reflected in portraits by Frans Hals, Jan Molenaer and Hendrick ter Bruggen. A number of paintings in the exhibition came to the Collection as contemporary works, 'The Artist's Mother' by Rembrandt, presented to Charles I, was among the first examples by the painter to enter a British collection. The Queen's Gallery, Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh until 7th November.

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is with us again, as it has been every year since 1769 - the usual collection of the good, the bad and the ugly - from amateurs to RA's, proving that popular taste and critical approval find no meeting point. Around 1,200 works covering paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, architectural designs and models have been selected from over 12,000 submissions, for inclusion in the largest contemporary art exhibition in the world. This year, the show has been masterminded by Allen Jones and David Hockney, and there is a special focus on drawing, reflecting their joint passion, and underlining the importance of draughtsmanship in all the various media on display. There are works included by people from outside the spectrum of Fine Art, who nevertheless use drawing as an essential part of their creative process. The featured artist is Richard Long, who explores elemental materials, like mud, dust, water and stones, and has made a new sculpture on the floor of the Central Hall 'White Light Crescent'. Anish Kapoor has selected and hung the gallery dedicated to the display of sculpture, and has co-ordinated the placing of work in the Courtyard. There are memorial displays to Terry Frost, Patrick Procter, Lynn Chadwick, Colin Hayes and Philip Powell. An accompanying programme of lectures, events and workshops covers all aspects of the exhibition. Royal Academy of Arts until 16th August.


Home And Garden: Domestic Spaces In Paintings 1830 - 1914 explores the representation of urban domestic interiors and gardens in art, focusing on the middle classes rather than the more familiar Royalty or aristocracy. It offers an opportunity to examine the material culture, tastes, values and social milieu of this increasingly influential and confident sector of society at the peak of Britain's wealth and power. The exhibition comprises 40 paintings and drawings, including works by William Powell Frith, James Jacques Tissot, Walter Sickert, George Elgar Hicks, Rebecca Soloman, Mary Ellen Best, John Atkinson Grimshaw and Spencer Gore. It is divided into three main sections: portraits, the room or garden as subject, and genre. The genre paintings, which reflect morals, manners, roles and relationships within the domestic context, often contain revealing details or carry implicit messages reflecting middle class values. The exhibition explores the stories contained within each image in an attempt to assess to what extent these paintings show actual homes and gardens, and how much the artist may have altered or intervened in the interests of composition. These pictures are rich in meaning and symbolism, and provide vivid glimpses into private worlds. For example, 'Evenings at Home', a rare portrait of the great Victorian design reformer Henry Cole (responsible for the development of Victoria and Albert Museum) conveys both an enormous amount about his character and home life, and some of the design principals on which he based his career. Geffrye Museum until 18th July.

Archigram celebrates the exuberant, pop-inspired visions of the group that dominated avant garde architecture throughout the 1960s. Founded in 1961 by six young London architects - Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Webb - Archigram has remained an enduring inspiration to architects and designers to the present day. Despite the fact that none of its major projects were ever built, its experiments have influenced many famous buildings, from Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano's Pompidou Centre in Paris, through Rogers's Lloyds building in London, to Future Systems's new Selfridges in Birmingham. Nevertheless, the group's 1960s visions of a technology driven future now have the same naive charm as the 'shape of things to come' science fiction projections of the 1930s. A recreation of the Archigram office - itself as idiosyncratic as any of the group's creations - contains the designs for Ron Herron's Walking City, with eight-legged buildings the size of skyscrapers rolling through Central Park; David Greene's Living Pod, like a gigantic Lunar Module; Blow-out Village, an entire town that inflates from a hovercraft; Plug-In City, a range of updateable domestic and commercial modules that could be attached to service points supplying water, electricity and communications; The Suitaloon, a garment that becomes a home; and Instant City, a portable entertainment centre that could bring urban life to remote areas. Architecture for the Sgt Pepper generation. Design Museum until 4th July.

Fantasy Architecture 1500 - 2036 brings together imaginative, fantastic and visionary schemes for a better world - some practical, some wholly fanciful. These visions of the future remained on paper due to lack of funds, political change, or because technically they were ahead of their time. The exhibition features over 120 projects by world famous architects, displayed with plans, drawings, paintings, maquettes, collage, film and computer animation. Among the buildings that might have been are Asymptote's New York Virtual Stock Exchange, with streams of financial data as a dynamic virtual environment; Joseph Paxton's monumental ten mile Great Victorian Way, combining shops, hotels and restaurants with an elevated railway; MVDR's tower block for pigs; and Martin Riuz de Azua's Basic House, an inflatable portable dwelling that packs away in its owner's pocket. There are also projects by such legends as Robert Adam, Archigram, Charles Barry, Etienne Louis Boullee, Santiago Calatrava, Hugh Maxwell Casson, William Chambers, Serge Chermayeff, Charles Cockerell, Peter Cook, Foreign Office Architects, Galli Bibiena Family, Foster and Partners, Buckminster Fuller, Future Systems, Erno Goldfinger, Zaha Hadid, Inigo Jones, Edwin Lutyens, Erich Mendelsohn, John Nash, Claes Oldenburg, Alison and Peter Smithson, John Soane, Softroom, Vladimir Tatlin, Tecton and Clough Williams Ellis. Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland until 3rd July.