News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th October 2012

Commencing

Hollywood Costume brings together some of the most iconic costumes from over a century of filmmaking, charting a journey from early Charlie Chaplin silent pictures to the motion capture costume design for 'Avatar'. The exhibition comprises over 130 costumes, with classics from the Golden Age, including Dorothy's blue and white gingham pinafore dress designed by Adrian for 'The Wizard Of Oz' , Scarlett O'Hara's green 'curtain' dress designed by Walter Plunkett for 'Gone With The Wind' and the 'little black dress' designed by Hubert De Givenchy for Holly Golightly in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', with the latest Hollywood releases, including Consolata Boyle's costumes for Meryl Streep in 'The Iron Lady' and Jacqueline Durran's costumes for Kiera Knightley in 'Anna Karenina'. It explores the central role of costume design, from the glamorous to the very subtle, as an essential tool of cinema storytelling, illuminating the designer's creative process from script to screen, and revealing the collaborative dialogue that leads to the invention of authentic people within the story. The exhibition also examines the changing social and technological context in which costume designers have worked over the last century. From Joan Crawford's blue gingham waitress uniform in 'Mildred Pierce' by Milo Anderson, through Elizabeth Taylor's dress as 'Cleopatra' by Irene Sharaff, to the white 3 piece suit worn by John Travolta in 'Saturday Night Fever' by Patrizia Von Brandenstein, these costumes are united by their one purpose of serving the story. Using montages, film clips and projections, the clothes are placed in their original context, alongside interviews with key Hollywood costume designers, directors and actors talking about the role costume plays in creating a character. The steps of the costume designer's research process are explored using designs and sketches, photographs showing costume fittings, budget breakdowns and script pages to show dialogue that discloses character defining clues. Victoria & Albert Museum until 27th January.

Collective Observations: Folklore & Photography From Benjamin Stone To Flickr explores the complimentary relationship between photography and folklore practice. Since Benjamin Stone established the National Photographic Record Association in 1897, photographers have had a fascination with the rites and rituals of Britain. This exhibition, curated by the Museum of British Folklore, features contemporary photographers such as Faye Claridge and Doc Rowe, alongside archive images from the Benjamin Stone Collection, Flickr and more. There are 720 recorded events, rites and customs practiced in the UK each year, and folklore is reflected in every element of our community, life and values. The medium of photography captures the ephemeral moment that is the heart of folk activity. The exhibition considers the enduring appeal of vernacular traditions as subject matter for image makers, and explores how photographers have consistently turned their lenses toward the spectacle of these archaic customs, whether by documenting events, like Homer Sykes (cheese rolling) and Sara Hannant, making portraits, like Henry Bourne and David Ellison, or taking a more conceptual approach, like Matthew Cowan (morris dancers) and Tom Chick. Photographs from the image repository of our times, Flickr, reflect that folklore is adapting to new circumstances, and remains as relevant today as ever. At the same time there appears to be an upsurge of interest in folklore through music, art and dance, and a growing trend and desire for people to reconnect with their communities, heritage and environment. Towner Galler, Eastbourne, until 13th January.

Richard Hamilton: The Late Works is a final statement of intent by one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Up to his death in September 2011, Richard Hamilton was planning this major exhibition of recent works. It includes 30 paintings in a labyrinth-like space, also designed by Hamilton, encapsulating many of the influential directions his art had taken over recent decades. Just before his death, Hamilton was at work on a major painting based on Honore de Balzac's short story 'Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu'. When it became clear he would not live to finish the work, Hamilton decided that the exhibition would culminate in the initial presentation of three large-scale variations on this work. Each one shows three masters of painting, Poussin, Courbet and Titian, contemplating a reclining female nude, and together, they suggest how the final work might have evolved. The exhibition traces several themes of Hamilton's career from the 1980s. They include his exacting attention to single-point perspective and the pictorial creation of interior spaces; the theme of the beautiful woman and desire; and his later interest in space and perspective in works by Renaissance artists. The show also surveys Hamilton's engagement over more than 50 years with the art of Marcel Duchamp, whose master themes, including the nude descending a staircase and the bride stripped bare, he re-addressed. In addition, Hamilton's innovations as a pioneer in the artistic use of the computer, and his advocacy of the use of computer technology, collage and photography in his pictures are also examined. National Gallery until 13th January.

Continuing

Doctors, Dissection And Resurrection Men explores the extreme lengths to which 19th century medical pioneers were prepared to go to increase anatomical understanding. Victorian surgeons faced a torturous dilemma: learn their skills on stolen corpses or practice on a living patient - and so began a gruesome trade. Body-snatchers, or 'resurrection men', stalked the city's graveyards to supply fresh corpses for medical dissection. In 2006, archaeologists excavated a burial ground at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, revealing some 262 burials. Amid the confusing mix of bones was extensive evidence of dissection, autopsy, amputation, bones wired for teaching, and animals dissected for comparative anatomy. Dating from the period of the Anatomy Act of 1832, the discovery offered fresh insight into early 19th century dissection and the trade in dead bodies. Passed amid deep public fear following a notorious case of murder for dissection, this fiercely-debated Act gave the State the right to take 'unclaimed' bodies without consent, and remained almost entirely unchanged until the Human Tissue Act of 2004. Bringing together human and animal remains, exquisite anatomical models and drawings, documents and original artefacts, this exhibition reveals the shadowy practices prompted by a growing demand for corpses. Amongst others, it tells the story of grave robbers Bishop, Williams and May - London's Burke and Hare - and sheds new light on the case of an alleged 'resurrectionist', who died in prison while his wife protested his innocence. The exhibition also includes unrivalled evidence of surgery and amputation - before anaesthetic - and of dissection, anatomical teaching and students practising their craft. Museum of London until 14th April.

Love And Death: Victorian Paintings looks at the themes of love, beauty, tragedy and death, as explored by late 19th century artists. The opening section of the exhibition examines the Victorian fascination with life in the classical world, from lovers' flirtations to dramatic martyrdom, including Alma Tadema's 'Pheidias and the Frieze of the Parthenon', 'A Silent Greeting' and 'A Favourite Custom'; Frederic Leighton's 'The Bath of Psyche' and 'Lieder ohne Worte'; and Albert Moore's 'Dreamers' and 'Sapphires'. The highlight of the exhibition is John William Waterhouse's 'The Lady of Shalott', shown alongside earlier depictions of the subject by William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Arthur Gaskin; and Herbert Draper's 'The Lament for Icarus'. The final section looks at magic and the mysterious, including George Frederic Watts's 'The All-Pervading'; Anna Lea Merritt's 'Love Locked Out'; Waterhouse's 'The Magic Circle'; and Frederick Sandys's 'Medea' and 'Morgan-le-Fay'. The paintings are complemented by sculpture, sketches and works on paper exploring the same themes, including Frederic Leighton's preparatory oil for 'And The Sea Gave Up The Dead That Were In It', and his pencil study for the profile of Romeo in 'The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet'. Birmingham Museum until 13th January.

The Lost Prince: The Life And Death Of Henry Stuart is the first ever exhibition about the Jacobean Prince of Wales, marking the 400th anniversary of his death. The exhibition focuses on a remarkable period in British history, dominated by a prince whose death at a young age precipitated widespread national grief, and led to the accession to the throne of his younger brother, the doomed King Charles I. It comprises over 80 exhibits, including paintings, drawings, miniatures, manuscripts, books, armour and other artefacts. Henry Stuart was the first British royal to actively collect European renaissance paintings, and he acquired the first collection of Italian renaissance bronzes in England. He brought the first collection of antique coins and medals to England, and also assembled the largest and most important library in the land. Henry's patronage of court masques and festivals, architecture and garden design established his court as a rival to the great princely courts of Europe. The exhibition includes some of the most important works of art and culture produced and collected in the Jacobean period, illustrating the artistic and creative community that developed under his patronage, including portraits by Holbein, Nicholas Hilliard, Robert Peake and Isaac Oliver, masque designs by Inigo Jones, and poetry by Ben Jonson in his own hand. Henry's death inspired a stream of poetical and musical tributes, published in nearly 50 contemporary volumes. The exhibition displays, for the first time in two centuries, the remains of Prince Henry's funeral effigy with an engraving that shows it lying on his hearse, dressed in his clothes. National Portrait Gallery until 13th January.

Curious Anatomys: An Extraordinary Story Of Dissection And Discovery charts the history of public dissections across Europe, through human remains, graphic models and detailed illustrations. The exhibition revisits centuries of academia held within a set of 6 anatomy tables, as rare as their usage was gristly. These visually spectacular anatomical tables are on full public display for the first time in their history. They show actual human veins, nerves and arteries, dissected at Padua's famous anatomy theatre in the 17th century, skillfully cut from bodies, and arranged on large varnished wooden panels. Academics believe the tables were created as teaching aids for anatomy students, from the bodies of executed criminals or supplied by the hospitals of Padua. They are one of only two sets of these panels known to have existed, and are amongst the oldest surviving human anatomy preparations in Europe. The panels are accompanied by rare early anatomy books, with beautifully detailed illustrations of the body, including Andreas Vesalius's groundbreaking 'On the fabric of the human body', from 1543, with flayed figures and 'muscle man' illustrations; and William Harvey's 1628 publication 'On the motion of the heart', detailing his landmark discovery of the circulation of blood. In addition, the exhibition includes dissection tools, preparations made by surgeon Sir Astley Paston Cooper, and exquisite wax models created by anatomical modeller Joseph Towne. There is also a film with expert commentary on the history of anatomy and the tables, and an intriguing investigation of the tables by Francis Wells, consultant surgeon at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge. Royal College of Physicians, 11 St. Andrews Place, Regent's Park, London NW1, until 31st December.

Building On Things: Images Of Ruin And Renewal looks back through history at artists' perennial fascination with rot and wrecks. The exhibition historically kicks off with the most haunting images of ruins ever created: Giovanni Battista Piranesi's 18th century 'Imaginary Prisons', in which ostensibly visionary prints of dilapidated ancient Roman edifices, visually foresee Franz Kafka's literary post-industrial alienation and paranoia, set out in novels like The Trial, by some 300 years. British artists, such as Turner and Girtin, produced a wide variety of responses to the survival or destruction of ancient buildings, and the rapid urban change in progress from the mid 18th century. The devastating impact of war is displayed in works by Henry Tonks, Graham Sutherland and Michael Sandle, while Gordon Cheung imagines a future world of bloated international finance and greed, failed hopes and environmental disaster. Cultural change is pictured as a cyclical process of: construction - zenith - decline - fall - and - renewal in Anne Desmet's 'Babel Flowers'. The show also takes in recent works such as Tacita Dean's chilling photogravure prints of Berlin's Alexanderplatz Fernsehturm tower; Patrick Caulfield's brilliantly coloured screenprint 'Ruins'; and multimedia artist Cyprien Gaillard's rethinkings of the tradition of the picturesque ruin, with an example of time travel. Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, until 6th January.

England's Green And Pleasant Land offers an evocative journey through England's cultural, social and political landscape, covering a period of some 250 years. Fans were not simply decorative accessories, serving many purposes, as ceremonial tools, status symbols and commemorative presents. The scenes they capture and the techniques used to create them provide a picture of the society in which they were made. This exhibition of some 80 fans begins with a rare wood-block printed fan from 1661,'The Hapy (sic.) Restoration', which commemorates the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, with the return of Charles II. The display includes a number of fine 18th century fans, upon which formal city squares, stately houses, and idyllic scenes of rural life are imaginatively depicted. Also on show are an assortment of early printed commemorative fans, with themes as diverse as political trials, royal births and even fortune telling. The Fan Museum, 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London SE10, until 6th January.

Concluding

Blackpool Illuminations have extended the holiday season and entertained visitors to the seaside town since 1879, when 8 plain electric arc lamps bathed the Promenade in what was described as 'artificial sunshine'. While the basic idea remains the same, the style and scale of Blackpool's end of season electrical extravaganza have little in common with that first experiment in lighting. Traditional lamps are still used, but now alongside the newest technology such as lasers, fibre-optics, low-voltage neon and even real fire and water. The show now costs £2.4m to stage, and stretches for 6 miles of spectacular colour, light and movement. New features this year include Strobostorm, a kaleidoscope of stroboscopic lights created using over 1000 individual strobe lights; Nickelodeon, featuring 12 huge fibreglass characters from the television channel; Colourama Galaxy, with over 2000 multi-coloured lights in the sky, randomly twinkling in ever-changing patterns; and Snowflake In A Snowstorm, a series of 10 gigantic led snowflakes; plus old favourites Haunted House, Teddy Bears Picnic, Theatre D'Amour, Rangoli Peacock and Sanuk renewed and improved. Visitors can become part of the display, as they travel along the Promenade aboard a tram dressed up by lights as a wild west train, ocean liner or space rocket, from dusk to 11.30pm most nights. Blackpool Promenade, until 4th November.

Addressing The Need: The Graphic Design Of The Eames Office features the work of America's iconic 20th century design couple. Charles and Ray Eames were world famous for their pioneering furniture, still in production today, but less well known is their graphic design work. Ray was trained as a painter and Charles as an architect. Together, they were designers who embraced a way of living where a design process both rigorous and playful was at the core of all they did. During their 40 year partnership, the Eames's spent the best part of their life designing exhibitions, making films and designing toys, which they considered a very serious pursuit. This exhibition examines their graphic contribution in all its forms, from exhibitions, advertisements, brochures, pamphlets, posters and timelines, presented in conjunction with some of their best-known furniture, films and toys. It features graphic material never exhibited before, much of it very rare, serving to examine the rigorous thought processes of two designers working together to unite the structure and creativity of art and architecture and, ultimately, addressing the need in each of their projects. Experimenting with the possibilities of technology preoccupied Charles and Ray Eames. This is exemplified in their seminal film 'Powers of 10' which explores the relative size of everything in the universe. The Eames Office produced 125 films in 28 years, using filmmaking as a tool for problem-solving, and finding it an ideal medium to clearly express complex and abstract ideas. The exhibition is housed in the 1940s extension to the Grade I listed Pitzhanger Manor House, designed by the architect John Soane in 1800 as a weekend retreat and place of entertainment for his family. PM Gallery & House, Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, London W5, until 3rd November.

Expanding Horizons: Giovanni Battista Lusieri And The Panoramic Landscape features the work of one of the most gifted landscape watercolourists of all time. This is the first solo exhibition ever to be devoted to Giovanni Battista Lusieri, an artist who was widely acclaimed in his lifetime but whose work has been undeservedly overlooked in the last 200 years. Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars, much of Lusieri's life story reads like a film script. He was employed by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, was closely involved with the removal of the Elgin Marbles from Greece to Britain, and tragically, a large proportion of his later work was destroyed at sea on the journey back from Athens after his death, leaving his reputation to descend into obscurity. One of very few Italian artists of this period to adopt watercolour as his favoured medium, Lusieri often worked on an ambitious scale, combining a broad, panoramic vision, an uncanny ability to capture brilliant Mediterranean light and a meticulous, almost photographic attention to detail. This exhibition brings together about 85 watercolours and drawings, plus his only two known works in oil. Lusieri worked principally as a painter of topographical views and close-up views of ancient monuments. He was passionately dedicated to working directly from nature, and unlike most of his contemporaries who worked in watercolour, insisted wherever possible on colouring his drawings outside, on the spot. The exhibition includes Lusieri's single most ambitious watercolour, the 9ft wide 'Bay of Naples from Palazzo Sessa', and some of his numerous views of Vesuvius erupting by moonlight, which were amongst his most popular works. Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until 28th October.