News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th March 2004

Commencing

George III And Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting And Court Taste reflects the major contribution to the Royal Collection made by George III and his consort. The 500 objects in this exhibition, including sculpture, furniture, paintings, drawings, books, ceramics, silver, gold, jewellery and clocks, constitute one of the largest and finest groups of Georgian material ever assembled. When George III purchased Buckingham House in 1762, the decorative arts commissioned to furnish it included furniture by William Vile, silver by Thomas Heming, porcelain from the Chelsea, Derby, Wedgwood and Worcester factories, and ornamental metalwork by Matthew Boulton. George III also commissioned some of the most sophisticated clocks, barometers and watches ever created, and the case for Christopher Pinchbeck's four-dialled astronomical clock, and decoration for the mantel clock by Thomas Wright featured here, were partly designed by the King. An important purchase was the collection formed by the British consul in Venice, with works by Raphael, Zuccarelli and Annibale Carracci, and the finest group of Canalettos in existence, plus ancient and Renaissance gems, intaglios, medals and books. There are portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte by leading British artists, including Allan Ramsay and Thomas Gainsborough. Reflecting the Royal couple's domestic life, there are gifts they exchanged, with tableware, writing sets, gaming pieces and musical instruments, including case of a claviorgan, a harpsichord, and the King's flute. The Queen's Gallery, London until 9th June.

Louise Bourgeois: Stitches In Time features new works by the nonagenarian Franco-American artist whose installation of three towers featuring spiral staircases, dark enclosures and mirrored platforms, inaugurated the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern. This exhibition includes a group of extraordinary life size sewn fabric busts, several cell like vitrines housing scenes of torture and ecstasy, and totemic figures, which reinterpret in fabric, some of Bourgeois's very first sculptures from the 1940s and 50s. These are shown together with two major suites of etchings, the earliest of which is 'He Disappeared into Complete Silence', her first significant group of etchings and poems, in which tales of loss and loneliness unfold. Louise Bourgeois has employed many modes of practice in her career of more than 60 years, including carving, installation, castings in natural and man-made materials, performance art, text and illustration and needlecraft. Her diverse and experimental art has engaged with, yet remained at one remove from the major 20th century art movements, her artistic innovation setting its own path. Bourgeois's early family home in the Parisian suburbs, steeped in the tapestries of her seamstress mother, and the wares of her antique dealer father, continues to be referenced within the architecture, furnishings and artefacts of her sculpture. The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh until 9th May.

Bill Brand: A Centenary Retrospective celebrates the work of one of the pre-eminent photographers of the 20th century. With 155 mainly vintage, gelatin-silver prints from the Bill Brandt Archive, the exhibition displays the finest selection of his rare and famous prints to be seen in Britain for over thirty years. Brandt's career as a photographer began in Vienna, and included work as an assistant to Man Ray in Paris, before he settled in London in 1931. He became the great documentarian of British cultural and social life for the news magazines of the time, exposing the contrasts in 1930s society. During the Second World War Brandt photographed both the landscapes of 'Literary Britain', creating images of Hardy's Wessex and the Bronte sisters' Yorkshire Moors, and London, with the moonlit blacked-out streets, and crowds sheltering in Underground stations during the Blitz. After the War, returning to an interest in the surreal, Brandt acquired a wide-angle Kodak camera, and photographed nudes outdoors on the beaches of England and France. This 'Perspective of Nudes' series radically revised the genre by creating dramatic sculptural images of nudes merging with the landscape. From the 1940s onwards, he also produced striking portraits of great artists and writers, such as Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon and Graham Greene. Brandt's innovations expanded the medium of photography and gave his work a timeless quality. Victoria & Albert Museum until 25th July.Bill Brand: Portraits is a complementary exhibition, bringing together over 40 photographs, including a number of rare vintage prints from the 1940s, ranging from Cecil Day-Lewis and T.S. Eliot to John Piper and Augustus John. From the 1950s and 60s come Brandt's memorable studies of Peter Sellers, Rene Magritte and Harold Pinter. The 1970s and 80s are represented by his pictures of Martin Amis, Ted Hughes, David Hockney, Glenda Jackson and Bridget Riley. National Portrait Gallery until 30th August.

Continuing

Exclusive! Tales From The Tabloid Front Line - 100 Years Of The Daily Mirror examines how the work of those engaged in producing newspapers has changed, as the industry has embraced a century of sweeping technological advances. The exhibition is divided into six areas, analysing the jobs of workers at different stages in the process. Technicians shows how the new Bartlane machine was used to transmit images around the world in 1920, and how the first wireless tests from an aeroplane to a receiving station on the ground were pioneered. Photographers contrasts how snappers were once weighed down by vast amounts of kit, including the actual De Vere Long Tom camera used to get close up pictures of the coronation in 1953, and how today they can function with just a camera‚ mobile and laptop. Reporters includes the then state of the art laptops that were issued in the 1980's, and the other equipment used over the years to get the stories back to the office - from tickertape machines to mobiles. Newsroom shows how raw words and pictures are shaped into a front page, with examples of some of the major science and technology news stories of the last 100 years. Editors looks at how a succession of editors have styled the Mirror‚ originally launched as a paper for women, creating the now established tabloid feel. Printers charts the revolution from 'hot metal', with pages assembled letter by letter, to digital technology, with pages set on a screen in the newsroom sent direct to the printing machines. Science Museum until 25th April.

Haunted: Hanna ten Doornkaat is a series of photographs which transform the detritus of urban life into intricate artworks of great beauty. Hanna ten Doornkaat creates narrative scenes commenting on our increasingly fraught relationship with nature, using non-degradable rubbish and packaging. Thus she painstakingly forms a butterfly from a Wrigley's spearmint wrapper, and a tiny beach hut from a Macdonald's carton, which she then places in a natural setting and photographs in extreme close up. In our daily lives we are surrounded by marketing symbols through a profusion of objects and images that have direct and indirect effects on our landscapes. Ten Doornkaat's fictional scenarios highlight the visual degradation of the urban landscape to which we have become inured, and point up how we have embraced a disposable culture, becoming divorced from nature. In other images, ten Doornkaat has used a reverse technique, meticulously digitally erasing forms she believes to be detrimental to the environment, using a kind of reverse drawing to remove that which she finds offensive. A minor gem. Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea until 24th April.

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.

We Are The People: Postcards From The Collection Of Tom Phillips presents over 1,000 photographs of ordinary people in postcard form, selected from the extensive collection of the artist and postcard addict Tom Phillips. In the first half of the 20th century, the picture postcard transformed the art of portraiture from elite pastime to popular craze. With photographic equipment cheaper, and film faster, studios sprang up in every town, and also outdoors on every seaside promenade. In this new medium, poacher and gamekeeper, boss and labourer, manager and clerk were suddenly equal, as everyone became a postcard. Phillips has developed his own idiosyncratic filing system for his collection of over 50,000 postcards, and it is reflected in the themes of this exhibition, including Picnics, Make Believe, Aspidistra, Man And Child, Bathers, Fantasy Transport, Music and Women In Uniform. Studio portraits introduced new possibilities for fantasy and aspiration, as sitters could pose against classical pillars or velvet drapes, in their Sunday Best or fancy dress, and at the wheel of a dummy motorcar or in a cardboard aeroplane. These postcards originate from many different photographers and studios across Britain, and reflect the changing fashions and trends in commercial portrait photography of the period, as well as the changing tastes in dress and pastimes of the sitters. Entertaining, intriguing, humorous, and at times haunting, they provide not only a glimpse into history, but also an invaluable visual record of British society as a whole. National Portrait Gallery until 20th June.

The Humour Of Embarrassment: H.M. Bateman's 'The Man Who' Cartoons celebrates the acquisition of 61 prints of 'The Man Who' cartoons by Bateman, one of the foremost British cartoonists of the early 20th century. These drawings originally appeared as colour double page spreads in The Tatler in the 1920s and 1930s, during one of the most glamorous periods of its history. A Bateman drawing is frequently characterised by an immensely expressive and rhythmical line, with characters convulsed by the intensity of their emotions. In 'The Man Who' cartoons, individuals, through ignorance, impudence or folly, do 'The Thing That Isn't Done', and draw the wrath or derision of society down upon their heads, as with 'The Guardsman Who Dropped It' or 'The Shop Assistant Who Lost His Temper'. Bateman's originality is based on the way he drew people: not as they looked, but as they felt. If they are embarrassed, people say they feel very small, and Bateman took the phrase literally. As well as the original Bateman drawings, the exhibition also features a number of more recent pastiches by contemporary cartoonists, such as Ralph Steadman, John Jensen, Dave Brown and Steve Bell. There are accompanying illustrated talks about Bateman's work by his biographer Anthony Anderson, and cartoonist Les Coleman. The Cartoon Art Trust Museum, London until 22nd May.

A Most Desperate Undertaking: The British Army In The Crimea, 1854 - 1856 marks the 150th anniversary of the Crimean War, the first in which the British media played a key role, with William Howard Russell's reports from the front line appearing regularly in The Times. The Army was woefully ill prepared, and Russell's reports highlighted the suffering of the soldiers, blaming the Army Command for its inept and erratic supply system, disregard for adequate cooking provision, and neglect of basic sanitation in its hospitals. The storm of indignation he raised unseated the government and led to rapid reform. This exhibition tells the story of the war from the perspective of the soldiers, whose fortitude inspired the first democratic medal for gallantry, the Victoria Cross. It analyses the role of the Army Command, and the impact made on the course of the war by civilians such as Russell, Roger Fenton, one of the world's first war photographers, and Florence Nightingale, who implemented hospital reforms. Among the exhibits are the order directing the Charge of the Light Brigade; a lamp used by Florence Nightingale; a telescope belonging to Lord Raglan, Commander of the Army; the diary and VC won by Captain Walker at the Battle of Inkerman; Roger Fenton's photographs; the journal of Captain Nolan, the first cavalry officer to be killed during the Charge of the Light Brigade; and numerous drawings, letters and personal artefacts relating to the ordinary soldiers. National Army Museum continuing.

Concluding

Paintings And Drawings From The National Gallery Of Scotland:From Raphael To The Glasgow Boys is part of the celebration of the National Art Collections Fund's centenary, showcasing works it has helped Edinburgh's National Gallery of Scotland to acquire. The exhibition comprises forty paintings, prints and drawings by a wide range of artists, with Old Master paintings ranging from Renaissance Italy to Golden Age Denmark, and important prints and drawings that are not on permanent display for conservation reasons. At its core, are a group of English drawings and watercolours by Turner, Blake, Girtin, Constable, Cotman and Rowlandson. There are also Old Master drawings, among them Raphael's chalk drawing 'Kneeling Nude Woman with her Left Arm Raised', Poussin's preparatory drawing for 'The Dance to the Music of Time', which can be seen alongside the finished work for the first time, Rembrandt's etching 'Ecce Homo', and Ingres portrait of Mlle Hayard. Scottish paintings and drawings in the show include Joseph Crawhall's 'The White Drake', and works by Alexander Nasmyth, George Henry and David Gauld. The Wallace Collection until 18th April.

Bosch And Bruegel: Inventions, Enigmas And Variations brings together paintings, drawings and engravings that demonstrate the influence of Hieronymus Bosch on Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Although Bruegel was born several years after Bosch's death, he was known in his lifetime as a 'second Bosch', and he was familiar with and emulated his predecessor's work, sharing with him a supreme command of colour and pattern. This exhibition concentrates on the originality of the two artists, and their brilliance as designers and painters. Both were highly inventive artists, who made an important contribution to our visual heritage, profoundly influencing the fantasies and perceptions of succeeding generations. Two early versions of Bosch's 'Adoration of the Kings' were investigated during recent cleaning, and offer a new insight into the connections with the 'Crowning with Thorns' by Bosch, and Bruegel's 'Adoration of the Kings' which can be examined here. Also in the exhibition are Bruegel's 'Death of the Virgin', which is in a tradition of grisaille painting that owes much to Bosch's innovations, and Bruegel's drawing 'Avarice', which is inhabited by Bosch-like demons and scattered with fantastic buildings in the architectural style of Bosch. Bruegel, however, was more interested in humanity than Bosch, and his 'Everyman' represents a frantic searching for self-knowledge, advantage and possession. National Gallery until 4th April.

How To Live In A Flat: Modern Living In The 1930s looks at the new phenomenon of the 1920s and 30s - purpose built flats for the middle classes. They were the height of modernity, small yet convenient, with the most up to the minute facilities and appliances, and were promoted as offering luxury, style and sophistication. This exhibition looks at the planning, the equipment, the furnishing and the lifestyle associated with this alternative to the family home. Using the latest materials and technology of the time, flats were fitted out and furnished in a streamlined modern style that contrasted sharply with the traditional 'Tudorbethan' semis that sprang up everywhere between the Wars. Apartments were a chic urban alternative, which were responsible for launching the craze for 'built in everything'. William Heath Robinson satirised the ingenious use of space and the development of multifunctional furniture in his book How To Live In A Flat which gives this exhibition its title. This was the moment that interior design entered the domestic environment for the first time. Flats may have given their occupants much less space than they were used to, for instance separate rooms for eating and living were merged into one, but they also offered unheard of luxuries, such as refrigerators, central heating and constant hot water, which changed the way the residents lived their lives. The Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, Middlesex University, Barnet, Herts until 28th March.