News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th December 2014


Drawn By Light features treasures from the world's oldest surviving photographic society with images by some of photography's most distinguished figures. Revealing the stories behind some of the most famous photographers and their photographs, the exhibition includes landscapes, still lives, nudes, portraits, photo-reportage and composites from some of the art's most important practitioners, from William Henry Fox Talbot to Ansel Adams and Madame Yevonde to Edward Weston. Founded in 1853, the Royal Photographic Society began making acquisitions following Prince Albert's suggestion that the society collect photographs to record the rapid technical progress of photography. The society and its membership have developed over time into one of the most important and comprehensive photographic collections in the world, with over 250,000 images, 8,000 items of photographic equipment and 31,000 books, periodicals and documents across all genres and eras. Pioneers of photography whose work was exhibited at the society's first show in 1858 from Roger Fenton to Lewis Carroll and Hugh Welch Diamond are now on display alongside images from some of modern photography's most influential figures such as Don McCullin, Terry O'Neill and Martin Parr. In addition, the exhibition showcases key artefacts from the history of the medium - Niepce heliographs, Talbot's camera lucida sketchbook, The Pencil of Nature (the first commercially published book to be illustrated by photographs) and seminal images such as Oscar Rejlander's The Two Ways of Life. Science Museum until 1st March.

Conscience And Conflict: British Artists And The Spanish Civil War is the first major exhibition to examine the response of British visual artists to the Spanish Civil War. Whilst British literary reactions to the Spanish Civil War have been widely celebrated, the story of the nation's artistic responses remains largely untold. The exhibition reveals how a generation of British visual artists were drawn to engage in the conflict, either by fighting in the war themselves, providing artistic manpower for relief campaigns or creating independent works of art that made fierce political statements. The British artistic response to the Spanish Civil War crossed boundaries between abstract and realist artists, uniting diverse elements of the avant--garde in the fight against Fascism. The exhibition comprises over 80 artworks in a range of media, including painting, printmaking, design, textiles, sculpture, photography and film, by artists including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Edward Burra, Wyndham Lewis, F E McWilliam, Merlyn Evans, Roland Penrose, S W Hayter, James Boswell and John Armstrong, together with long forgotten works by artists such as Frank Brangwyn, Clive Branson and Ursula McCannell. A highlight is Picasso's 'Weeping Woman' on display alongside material detailing the impact in Britain of the exhibition of the iconic 'Guernica', which travelled to Britain in 1938. Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 15th February.

Small Stories: At Home In A Dolls' House reveals the stories behind some of Britain's best-loved dolls' houses. The display offers a journey through the history of the home, everyday lives and changing family relationships through the stories of 12 dolls' houses from the past 300 years. Day-to-day life is illuminated through tales of marriages and parties, politics and crime. Each house is displayed at a particular time of day and visitors can activate the narration and light up each character as they talk. The exhibition encompasses country mansions, the Georgian town house, suburban villas, newly-built council estates and high-rise apartments. Displayed chronologically, the houses also show developments in architecture and design. The Tate Baby House, dating from 1760, with original wallpapers and painted panelling in the style of Robert Adam and a lying-in room for a pregnant doll, tells a story that centres on the rising status of three generations of Georgian women. The Killer House, from the 1830s, a Chinese-style cabinet lavishly appointed with gilded wallpapers, four-poster bed and liveried servants, focuses on the servants' ongoing struggle for cleanliness and hygiene in the industrial city. Whiteladies House, built in the 1930s, corresponding to the handful of Modernist country villas in Hampstead, features chrome furniture, a cocktail bar and artworks by British Futurist Claude Flight as well as a swimming pool and loggia, tells of a house party. The Hopkinson House, based on the houses of London County Council's 1930s suburb, the St Helier Estate, shows a Second World War-era family poised for an air-raid, with miniature gasmasks, ration books and torches for the blackouts. A further 20 dolls' houses dating from 1673 onwards are on display in the permanent galleries Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, London E2, until 6th September.


Forest To The Sea: Emily Carr In British Columbia is the first major solo exhibition in Europe dedicated to the Canadian artist. Gathering together Emily Carr's paintings of the aboriginal settlements she encountered during her travels up the West Coast of Canada and her formidable landscapes and seascapes, the show exemplifies her lifelong artistic evolution, and the eventual discovery of a freedom in style that secured her position as one of Canada's best loved artists. A pioneer of modernism, fully aware of international movements in art such as Fauvism, Post-Impressionism and Cubism, Carr was fascinated by the indigenous culture of British Columbia. She immersed herself in the people and landscape, and drew upon both for inspiration and subject matter. The exhibition is a selection of more than 140 works, together with the recently discovered illustrated journal, 'Sister and I in Alaska', in which Carr documented her pivotal 1907 trip up and down the Northwest Coast. It follows a dramatic journey from darkness to light, beginning with Carr's dark and rhythmic forest scenes including 'Totem' and 'Forest', and culminating with the euphoric skyscapes and seascapes Carr painted towards the end of her career, including 'Untitled (Seascape)'. Also on display are her sketches, the 'momentary records' Carr left behind in her trunk. These include landscape studies as well as notations made on her visits to native communities and also museums, where she furthered her study of indigenous art. Carr's paintings are accompanied by more than 30 indigenous artefacts, including masks, baskets, feast bowls and ceremonial object, arranged to follow a parallel trajectory from winter feasting to summer activity. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 8th March.

Love Is Enough: William Morris & Andy Warhol draws together iconic and rarely seen works by two giants of the 19th and 20th centuries. This unconventional combination of artists' work is curated by artist Jeremy Deller, who cites William Morris and Andy Warhol as his two greatest artistic influences. Deller draws many surprising connections between these two artists, who left an indelible mark on their generations and arguably those that followed. They both used repetitive printed imagery, one pioneering wallpaper, the other, screen prints, one looking back to a medieval workshop, the other mocking a modern factory. Morris and Warhol both established printmaking businesses and distributed their work through new forms of mass production. Both were natural collaborators who worked with the prominent artists of their time to develop working methods that did much to redefine the artist's relationship to the studio and factory. Morris achieved this through his mastering of craft techniques and his rejection of industrial processes, and Warhol through the activities of the Factory, which often parodied the industrial culture of the mid-late 20th century. The works on view include a panel from the epic and rarely seen 'Holy Grail' tapestry series completed by William Morris in 1896; a Morris stained glass window panel 'King Arthur and Lancelot'; a selection of Warhol's silkscreens such as the Elizabeth Taylor print; a Warhol tapestry of Marilyn Monroe on public display for the first time since it was created in 1968; and a signed photograph of Shirley Temple posted to a 13 year old Andy from the actress in 1941. Modern Art Oxford until 8th March.

War, Art And Surgery explores the relationship between war and surgery, past and present, examining the birth of modern facial reconstruction, and the evolution of military medicine. With unprecedented access to military facilities, the artist Julia Midgley has created over 150 pieces of reportage artwork representing military surgeons in training and recently wounded soldiers on their road to recovery. Alongside these are 72 striking pastels of wounded servicemen by Henry Tonks from 1916 to 1918, including soldiers undergoing the pioneering facial plastic surgery of Harold Gillies and their steady recovery. Tonks was a well established artist before the First World War, but he was also a trained surgeon, and served as a lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corp, before becoming an official war artist touring and documenting events on the Western Front. Midgley's work records much more sophisticated medical interventions in Afghanistan, as well as the contemporary training of military surgeons, bringing focus to the similarities that remain and the improvements that have been made over the last century. Her work is not as graphic as that of Tonks, not least because facial injury is much rarer in 21st century warfare. Improvised explosive devices are modern war's most destructive weapon, so much of Midgley's work focuses on limb amputation and its after-effects. The material on display is often shocking, depicting debilitating wartime injuries, as well as the work of surgeons and medical professionals in these fields. Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, 35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2, until 14th February.

William Blake: Apprentice & Master explores life and work of the printmaker, painter and revolutionary poet. The exhibition examines William Blake's formation as an artist, apprenticeship as an engraver, and his maturity during the 1790s when he was at the height of his powers. It also looks at his influence on the young artist-printmakers who gathered around him in the last years of his life, including Samuel Palmer, George Richmond and Edward Calvert. Blake's radical politics were reflected in the technical innovations in the creation of his illuminated books, which brought a new sophistication to colour printing. Among the 90 works on display are several of the most extraordinary illuminated books, including 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell', and a complete set of the plates from 'Europe: A Prophecy', together with some of the finest separate plates, among them 'Nebuchadnezzar' and 'Newton'. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a recreation of Blake's studio, based on plans discovered dating to the 19th century, showing the footprint and exact dimensions of the building in which Blake created the majority of his illuminated books and developed his method of colour printing. Late in his career Blake became interested in the great artist-printmakers of the Renaissance, such as Albrecht Durer and Lucas van Leyden, and made a series of watercolour illustrations to the Book of Job and to Dante. It was these works, and the woodcut illustrations to Virgil's Pastorals that inspired the young artists who became known as the Ancients. Among most notable of their works shown alongside Blake's are Samuel Palmer's greatest creations, the six sepia drawings of 1825, and Edward Calvert's woodcuts of the late 1820s. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 1st March.

William Hogarth celebrates the 250th anniversary of the death of the artist who is often regarded as the founding father of British art. Satirist, printmaker, portraitist, history painter and art theorist, William Hogarth's ribald vision of 18th century England saw it as a land of gin-soaked alleys, drawing room greasy poles and good old roast beef. Hogarth first gained recognition painting scenes from the theatre, moving on to make his name with darkly humorous 'modern moral' series depicting the declining fortunes of foolish or ignoble characters, and bring a similar vivacity to the polite interiors of his 'conversation piece' portraits. Taking in the full breadth of Georgian society, paintings in the exhibition include his depiction of the highwayman stage hit, The Beggar's Opera, as well as his sober portraits of his patrons including Thomas Herring, the archbishop of Canterbury. Other highlights include the self portrait 'The Painter and his Pug', 'O the Roast Beef of Old England' (The Gate of Calais), 'Satan, Sin and Death' (A Scene from Milton's 'Paradise Lost') , 'The Dance' (The Happy Marriage? VI: The Country Dance), 'A Rake's Progress', 'The Enraged Musician', 'Beer Street' and 'Gin Lane', and 'Marriage a la Mode'. All human life indeed. Tate Britain until 26th April.

Peder Balke is the first exhibition in Britain to feature works by one of the most original yet least known painters of 19th century Scandinavia, now recognised as one of the forerunners of Modernism. Peder Balke was one of the very first artists to venture to the far north of his native Norway, when in 1832 he visited the distinctive, dramatic and rugged lands of the North Cape, an experience of primal nature so profound that it allowed him to define his highly individual painting style. Balke explored these bleak and original Arctic Circle land and seascape motifs in increasingly austere images throughout his life. A lack of commercial success forced Balke to abandon his career as a painter, yet this wilderness was so alluring to him, that he continued to paint small scenes purely for pleasure. In these later works the subjects are the same - lone lighthouses, mountain peaks, roiling seas - but the manner of their execution is profoundly different, and they are now recognised as highly original improvisations. They are much more experimental, with Balke using brushwork or even his hands to suggest seascapes, and are extraordinarily prescient of later Expressionism. The exhibition comprises around 50 unique, innovative and virtuosic works that represent every facet of Balke's painting. Highlights include 'The Tempest', 'Seascape', 'The Mountain Range, Trolltindene', 'From North Cape', 'Landscape from Finnmark' and 'Sami with Reindeer Under the Midnight Sun'. National Gallery until 12th April.


Late Turner - Painting Set Free reassess the extraordinary body of work during the final period of Britain's greatest painter, when some of his most celebrated paintings were created. The exhibition begins in 1835, the year that Joseph Mallord William Turner reached 60, and closes with his last exhibits at the Royal Academy in 1850. It demonstrates how his closing years were a time of exceptional energy and vigour, initiated by one of his most extensive tours of Europe. The show includes iconic works such as 'Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus', 'The Wreck Buoy', 'Heidelberg: Sunset' and 'Peace - Burial at Sea'. Rather than focusing on any assumptions about the pessimism of old age, Turner maintained his commitment to the observation of nature. He brought renewed energy to the exploration of the social, technological and scientific developments of modern life, in works such as 'Rain, Steam, and Speed - The Great Western Railway'. He also continued to engage with the religious and historical themes that linked him to the cultural traditions of his era, such as 'The Angel Standing in the Sun'. Turner consciously developed his style and technique with each subsequent painting he produced. These works were often poised equivocally between finished and unfinished, for example in a series of reworkings in oil of subjects originally published as prints in his 'Liber Studiorum'. From pictures of the whaling industry in the 1840s to 'sample studies' and finished watercolours such as 'The Blue Rigi, Sunrise', Turner constantly sought to demonstrate his appeal to new admirers. Featuring many large-scale oil paintings alongside drawings, prints and watercolour, the exhibition addresses the sheer range of materials and techniques Turner embraced, and demonstrates his radicalism. Tate Britain until 11th January.

Ming: 50 Years That Changed China explores a pivotal period that transformed China during the rule of the Ming dynasty. In the years between 1400 and 1450 in China bureaucrats replaced military leaders in the hierarchy of power, the emperor's role changed from autocrat to icon, and the decision was taken to centralise, rather than devolve, power. China's internal transformation and connections with the rest of the world led to a flourishing of creativity from what was, at the time, the only global superpower, evidenced here through gold, silver, paintings, porcelains, sculpture, ceramics, silk hanging scrolls, weapons, costumes, furniture and textiles. This is the first exhibition to explore the great social and cultural changes in China that established Beijing as a capital city and the building of the Forbidden City - still the national emblem on coins and military uniforms today. As well as the imperial court, the exhibition focuses on archaeological finds from three regional princely tombs: in Sichuan, Shandong and Hubei covering southwest, northeast and central China. Four emperors ruled China in this period, and the exhibition includes the sword of the Yongle Emperor, "the warrior"; the handwriting of the Hongxi emperor, "the bureaucrat";the paintings of the Xuande emperor, "the aesthete"; and portraits of the officials who ruled while the Zhengtong emperor was a boy. In addition to the costumes of the princes, their gold and jewellery, and furniture, the exhibition also covers court life, the military, culture, beliefs, trade and diplomacy. British Museum until 5th January.

Horst: Photographer Of Style is a retrospective of the work of one of the leading photographers of the 20th century. In an illustrious 60 year career, German-born Horst P Horst worked predominantly in Paris and New York, creatively traversing the worlds of photography, art, fashion, design, theatre and high society. The exhibition comprises 250 photographs, alongside haute couture garments, magazines, film footage and ephemera, including previously unpublished vintage black and white prints and 94 Vogue covers. The display explores Horst's collaborations and friendships with leading couturiers such as Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in Paris; stars including Marlene Dietrich and Noel Coward; and artists and designers such as Salvador Dalí and Jean-Michel Frank. It also reveals lesser-known aspects of Horst's work: nude studies, travel photographs from the Middle East and patterns created from natural forms. Detailed studies of natural forms such as flowers, minerals, shells and butterfly wings from the project 'Patterns From Nature', are shown alongside kaleidoscopic collages made by arranging photographs in simple repeat, used as designs for textiles, wallpaper, carpets, plastics and glass. A selection of 25 large colour photographs, newly printed from the original transparencies demonstrating Horst's exceptional skill as a colourist are shown together with preparatory sketches that have never previously been exhibited. The creative process behind some of his most famous photographs, such as the 'Mainbocher Corset', are revealed through the inclusion of original contact sheets, sketches and cameras, and the many sources that influenced Horst - from ancient Classical art to Bauhaus ideals of modern design and Surrealism in 1930s Paris - are explored. Victoria & Albert Museum until 4th January.