News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th May 2006


Front Page: Celebrating 100 Years Of The British Newspaper (1906-2006) reflects the changes in news gathering, reporting and newspaper production over the past century, through a selection of front pages. These are arranged into themes ranging from royalty, society, scandal, sport and celebrations to war, disasters and assassinations. Each theme has been 'curated' by a newspaper group in order to highlight their individual editorial values and styles, revealing what the papers say about themselves and their evolving industry. Commentaries from editors and journalists provide an insight into the decision making process behind the formation of the front pages. The display features some of the headlines that have become legendary in their own right. These include the 1912 Daily Mirror headline "Titanic Sunk - No Lives Lost"; The Sun's 1982 headline "Gotcha" about the sinking of the Belgrano in the Falklands War; and the Independent on Sunday's 2003 headline on Saddam Hussain's weapons of mass destruction, "So where are they Mr Blair?". The centrepiece of the exhibition is an interactive 'newsroom' where visitors can use computers to become Editor of their own newspaper, taking on the job of making up a front page on screen, using individual newspaper house styles and choosing from a 'jigsaw' databank of prepared stories and photographs, while working to a tight deadline. There is also a competition Make The Front Page, which challenges entrants to design a newspaper front page of the future, write a compelling article on one of today's burning social, business or political issues, or take the photograph that captures the essence of the story behind the headlines. The British Library until 8th October.

Rex Whistler: The Triumph Of Fancy is the first major retrospective to bring together work in all media by one of the roaring 20s bright young things, who came to define an era of hedonistic decadence. It reveals the full extent of Whistler's achievement in the context of his 'live fast - die young' life and times. The exhibition traces Whistler's career as a painter, illustrator, muralist and stage designer for theatre, ballet and opera. It also shows how he moved in literary, social and artistic circles, numbering among his friends the Sitwells, Evelyn Waugh, Cecil Beaton, Edward James, Lord Berners and Stephen Tennant. The exhibition is divided into three chronological sections, which represent all Whistler's principal projects, with paintings, drawings and set designs, relating them to his life through portraits, photographs and mementos of his wide social circle. Whistler first achieved fame with his mural decorations for the Tate Gallery restaurant, 'The Expeditions in Pursuit of Rare Meats', an architectural fantasy, shot through with humorous touches, which immediately established him as the leading painter of his generation in this genre. Aside from his paintings, Whistler achieved widest recognition for the idiosyncratic, decorative and often amusing illustrations and jackets that he made for Gulliver's Travels, Hans Andersen's Tales and many popular books of his day. Brighton Museum until 3rd September.

Watercolours And Drawings From The Collection Of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is the first public exhibition devoted to the collection formed by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and includes many works that have never been shown in public before. It reflects the range of Queen Elizabeth's interests, and her enthusiastic patronage and support of contemporary artists from the 1930s onwards. From interiors and landscapes, to still lifes, figure studies and portraits, the selection of 73 drawings and watercolours, from over 500 that were hung on the walls of Clarence House and Royal Lodges, embraces artists ranging from Thomas Gainsborough to John Bratby. Portraits of Queen Elizabeth herself include works by Mabel Hankey and John Singer Sargent. Other subjects with Royal associations include John Piper, Hugh Casson and Paul Sandby's views of Windsor Castle and Great Park, R Beatrice Lawrence Smith and Albert Richardson's Glamis Castle, the Queen Mother's childhood home, Ricciardo Meacci's wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York, Muirhead Bone's Buckinham Palace after the 1937 Coronation, Feliks Topolski's funeral procession of King George VI and Charlotte Halliday's Queen Mother's birthday parade. The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace until 29th October.


What's For Dinner? Half A Century Of British Eating Habits examines how the dramatic changes that have overtaken our eating habits over the last fifty years reveal the changes that have taken place in society. How we eat, where we eat, what we eat, and with whom, reflects both our place in the social and ethical diversity of Britain today, and also embodies our personal relationships with family, friends and neighbours. Fifty years ago the average woman spent 1 hour 40 minutes a day cooking for her family, and dinner was eaten as a group at the table in a dining room, whereas today, a cooking time of 8 minutes for a meal eaten in front of the television by a single person household is common. These changes are not just reflected in the food itself, but in the paraphernalia used to prepare, cook and eat it, as well as the spaces in which it is consumed. 'Contemporary' designs and new ideas in the late 1950s included the hostess trolley and oven-to-table cookware, whereas now it's woks and thumb plates. Gone are embroidered tablecloths, napkin rings, cruets and canteens of cutlery with special fish knives and forks - instead it's salt and pepper grinders and all in one fork-knife-spoon splades. The exhibition brings together video interviews, anecdotes, statistics, advertisements, photographs, recipes, magazines, packaging, tableware, utensils - and even the smell of boiled cabbage - to present a picture of a 'brave new world' that seems far more distant than just fifty years ago. Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, Middlesex University Cat Hill Campus, Barnet until 29th October.

A Modern Bestiary (While Darwin Sleeps…) is a contemporary version of a medieval bestiary: an illuminated manuscript describing both real and imaginary animals, in order to draw moral lessons from their different characteristics and types of behaviour. Each of the featured artists either creates their own fantastical species, or else reorders the animal kingdom into unexpected categories, where imagination triumphs over reason. Yuri A's film 'Unk', catalogues man made beasts, ordering hundreds of toy and souvenir animals into a sequence both alarming and comic. Tom G. Adriani's video 'The Boy Who Chose Sleep' mixes fantastical pencil drawings with still photographs to tell the stories of creatures which come to life through a boy's imagination. Ebony Andrews's taxidermied animals are transformed into extraordinary tableaux and quasi-functional objects. Paul Bush's film 'While Darwin Sleeps...' catalogues the infinite variety of the insect kingdom, revealing 3000 still images of insect species. Dawn Hannah's vinyl wall text proclaims that 'Monsters do exist'. Kate McLeod's neoclassical plaster sculptures are based upon human-canine cross breeds, akin to the mythical creatures described in Ovid's 'Metamorphoses'. Bryndis Erla Hjalmarsdottir's animals create a tragicomic 'theatre of the absurd' recalling a W B Yeats poem. Robert Morgan's film 'The Cat With Hands' combines gothic horror with breathtaking imagery in a dark tale of metamorphosis. Northern Gallery For Contemporary Art, Sunderland until 1st July.

Felicitas Volger: The World Of Light provides a rare opportunity to see the unusual work of the German photographer who became the third wife of sculptor Ben Nicholson. They shared a passion for the abstract, and had a profound effect on each other's work. Put simply, Volger photographed landscapes in such a way that the resulting images look like abstract paintings. Volger's use of strong colour to construct abstract geometrical forms moved colour photography into an entirely new area. This exhibition, the first in Britain for over 30 years, comprises around 50 large scale photographs, spanning a career that lasted for almost 50 years. Having met in the St Ives artist colony, Volger and Nicholson moved to Switzerland, where they were both inspired by the natural grandeur of the dramatic mountain scenery. They would often work together - she would take photographs while he would sketch. In Switzerland the couple were part of another artist colony, which included Jean Art, Mark Rothko, Hans Hartung and Mark Tobey. Volger later travelled widely, photographing the dramatic natural landscapes of Tibet, South Africa, China, Australia, Japan and New Zealand. This collection of Volger's images is complemented by a small display of Nicholson's sculptures. Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art, Edinburgh until 9th July.

Satirical London: Three Centuries Of Satire, Sex And Scandal reveals the absurdity and stupidity of the London scene over the last three centuries, with over 350 social and political satires in all media. The display spares no one, with images often shocking and always spiced with popular prejudices, from caricatures of the great and not so good, whether in etchings of George III or Prince Charles teacups, to the 'types' recognised by all Londoners: a line up of bankers, businessmen, aldermen, pickpockets, prostitutes and urchins. The exhibition includes William Hogarth's prints dissecting the social mores and manners of 18th century London; James Gillray's engravings attacking the art establishment; Thomas Rowlandson's Georgian images; illustrations by George Cruickshank, William M'Connell and John Leech from the serialised Victorian novels of Charles Dickens, William Thackeray and Anthony Trollope; cartoons from Punch (The London Charivari), launched in 1841, which made satire available to a wider public; the more contemporary and savage cartoons of Private Eye launched a century and a quarter later; the Spitting Image latex heads of Margaret Thatcher and the Queen Mother; plus Toby jugs, 'sculptoons', snuff boxes, chamber pots with reviled characters inside, and the English phenomenon of the novelty teapot. In addition, the original front of Mrs Humphrey's print shop at 27 St James's, immortalised by Gillray in his 1808 print 'Very Slippy Weather', is reconstructed to show how window displays brought irreverent prints to the masses. The London Muesum until 3rd September.

Rembrandt: The Printmaker celebrates the father of modern etching, who produced more than 300 prints over a period of 40 years. Rembrandt profoundly affected subsequent graphic art, encompassing some of the most radical and contemporary forms of expression. The exhibition of 60 works shows the range of his work, including, biblical scenes, landscapes, character studies and self portraits. Among the highlights are his masterpiece as a printmaker, 'Christ Healing the Sick', (which was known as the 'hundred guilder print', because it changed hands several times for what was then an enormous sum); the nocturnal scene of 'The Three Crosses' exemplifying his command of light and darkness - two different versions are shown, giving an insight into his working methods; the landscape 'The Three Trees', which creates, in layer upon layer of tone, graduations of distance and atmosphere; contrasted with the rapid sketch from nature 'Six's Bridge' (allegedly produced after wager that he could complete an etching in the time it took a servant to fetch a pot of mustard from a nearby village); together with a series of self portraits: at the age of 24, open mouthed with wild, curly hair, wearing an expression that he then transposed to the face of a beggar in a study of the same year, in his 30s, wearing Renaissance costume, leaning on a sill in a pose inspired by Titian, and a decade later, humbly working at a window with etching needle in hand. Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, until 18th June.

Undercover Surrealism: Picasso, Miro, Masson And The Vision Of Georges Bataille presents a fresh view of Surrealism, set against the cultural cross currents of Paris in the late 1920s. Painting, film, sculpture, music, photography, masks, manuscripts and ritual objects are all subject to the forensic eye of writer and critic Georges Bataille. His magazine Documents, which ran from 1929 to 1930, confronted the movement, juxtaposing art, ethnography, archaeology and popular culture in such a way that conventional notions of 'primitive' and 'ideal' were overturned. Bataille described himself as Surrealism's 'enemy from within', and his dark, materialist vision of human desires and radical pessimism challenged the idealism of the surrealists with a radical questioning of Western values, of notions of the primitive, ritual, popular culture and of the whole edifice of high art. The exhibition features works by both well known and lesser known artists, including Miro, Dali, Klee, Giacometti, Brancusi, Boiffard, De Chirico, Arp, Nadar, Belmer, Meguerditchian, Bunuel and Ernst, and an entire room of Picassos. The principle of juxtaposition, and of the unexpected visual links that animated Documents, are played out throughout the exhibition, with counter positions such as that of Hollywood film and Picasso's 'Three Dancers', and Faujour's photographs of Parisian slaughterhouses and Masson's paintings, together with the rhythm of Duke Ellington. Hayward Gallery until 30th July.


Pixar: 20 Years Of Animation provides an artistic and technological insight into the studio that revolutionised animated films, from Toy Story to the forthcoming Cars. The exhibition brings together 250 concept drawings, rough sketches (including early pencil drawings of Woody and Buzz Lightyear) and paintings; 50 3-D maquettes - resin figures created to ensure that the details of the characters are accurate; and computer generated multimedia artworks, to demonstrate the creativity behind the technology. It reveals how the studio has driven advances in technology to allow it to bring imagined worlds to life. Technological developments with CGI (computer-generated images) are charted through refinements over the years, which have achieved ever-greater degrees of realism through subtle changes in skin, fur‚ and other surfaces. The material reveals the levels of detail needed to realise and develop characters‚ storylines and worlds - three key elements utilised by Pixar in film production. At the heart of the exhibition are two specially created audio visual marvels. The first is a spectacular 8ft diameter zoetrope, a cinema device that creates the optical illusion of static images in motion, which features characters from both Toy Story films and uses a series of strobe lights to animate Buzz‚ Woody‚ Wheezy and others. The second is Artscape, an 11 minute audio visual installation that utilises digital technology to immerse viewers in various works on view. The exhibition also looks at the history of animation in film‚ using objects from the museum's permanent collection‚ including original Victorian magic lanterns‚ zoetropes‚ cameras and early pieces of animated film. The Science Museum until 10th June.

Jacob Van Ruisdael: Master Of Landscape is a retrospective of the work of the pre-eminent landscape painter of the 17th century, renowned for the unmatched number of subjects he depicted and the wealth of clearly observed naturalistic detail. It comprises some 50 of Ruisdael's paintings, alongside 36 of his drawings and rarely seen etchings, illustrating the diversity and scope of the landscapes he depicted. The grandeur of Ruisdael's compositions, with ruined castles on rocky crags and torrents cascading down hillsides, coupled with his skill in portraying natural phenomena and carefully observed detail, made him one of the greatest masters of the Golden Age of Dutch painting. Such was Ruisdael's ability to render nature's subtleties in a faithful manner, that botanists have been able to identify species of plants and trees in his paintings, and oceanographers have marvelled at his accurate depiction of breaking waves, as in 'A Rough Sea at a Jetty'. But that was not all. Reality and imagination coexist in Ruisdael's work - his landscapes tell a story. The inimitable and versatile style he pioneered broke with painting traditions set by previous generations, and his innovative approach to depicting nature had a profound effect not only on landscape painting in Holland, but it also in England, France and America. The drawings on display include sketches, initial studies for paintings and finished stand-alone works, while the etchings represent the range of his output as a printmaker. Royal Academy until 4th June.

lbers And Moholy-Nagy: From The Bauhaus To The New World is an opportunity to rediscover two pioneers of Modernism, Josef Albers and Laszla Moholy-Nagy. Though their careers overlapped only briefly, teaching at the Bauhaus, they shared the same creative visions: an emphasis on experimentation, the subversion of traditional boundaries between high and applied art, and a Utopian belief in art as a force for positive social change. The exhibition starts with their early independent abstract work, centres on the creative explosion of the Bauhaus years, when they both moved freely between medias and disciplines, and then charts their separate paths following emigration to America, where both men continued to push the conventions of artistic practise. It comprises over 200 works in a variety of media, ranging from painting and moving sculptures, to photography, film, furniture and graphic design. They include Albers's glass constructions from the 1920s, his largely unknown photographic work, machine engravings, and a group of early 'Homage to the Square' paintings, together with Moholy-Nagy's innovative photography, such as his 'camera-less' photograms and photomontages, colour photography and film, and experiments with aluminium, and novel synthetic materials such as Perspex and Rhodoid. The highlight is a reconstruction of Moholy-Nagy's 1930 'Prop for an Electric Stage', a dramatically lit kinetic work, comprising several rotating elements on a plinth, which cast light and shadow on the surrounding walls - arguably one of the earliest examples of installation art. Tate Modern until 4th June.