News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 25th August 2004

Commencing

The Queen's Working Wardrobe Memories Of Royal Occasions 1945-1972 is an exhibition of dresses on loan from The Queen, recalling some historic events and state visits from the first half of her reign. They display diverse styles and fashions, reflecting the different aspects of her life and work. The earliest is Princess Elizabeth's Auxiliary Territorial Service uniform, from when she joined the ATS during the Second World War. As Head of State, The Queen wears evening dress under her robes when she opens Parliament, and these are represented by a Norman Hartnell gown in ivory satin, with gold beading and embroidery, worn when she opened the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington in 1963. Certain occasions dictate style, and observing Papal protocol when meeting Pope John XXIII at the Vatican during a state visit to Italy in 1961, she wore a full length black lace dress, with matching veil. The Queen is equally careful in choosing outfits for lighter occasions such as a nautical blue and white suit from when she knighted yachtsman Francis Chichester at Greenwich in 1967 after his solo voyage around the world. Representing the many entertainment functions she attends, is a dramatic off-the-shoulder black velvet evening dress worn when she met Marilyn Monroe and Bridget Bardot at the Royal Film Performance of The Battle Of The River Plate in 1956. Colourful dresses are often chosen for state visits, such as an organdie evening dress with pink silk bows and embroidered with Mayflowers, the floral emblem of Nova Scotia, worn to a banquet in Halifax during her 1959 tour of Canada. Kensington Palace until July.

Treasures From Tuscany - The Etruscan Legacy offers an insight into an ancient, highly sophisticated Pre-Roman civilisation, whose lands occupied the area between present day Rome and Florence. The exhibition comprises nearly 500 treasures from the finest collections in Tuscany, never seen in Britain before. The artefacts include gold jewellery, ceramics, sculptural figurines, armour, decorated sarcophagi and cinerary urns, terracotta and carved architectural reliefs, and rich tomb finds of bronze, amber, silver and ivory, from temples and sanctuaries. The quality of the workmanship and sensitivity of composition of these exhibits reveal a highly civilised and literate society. The Etruscans were talented builders, craftsman and engineers, who developed much of the art and technology associated with the Romans. In particular, they excelled as goldsmiths, using the decorative techniques of filigree and granulation, producing work of such quality that it has seldom been rivalled. Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh until 31st October.

Mediterranean: Between Reality And Utopia reveals how international photographers, both contemporary and historical, have used many different styles as they endeavoured to capture the essences of this diverse region. Stretching from Alexandria to Athens, Barcelona to Beirut, and Tangier to Tel Aviv, the Mediterranean unites the three continents of Europe, Africa and Asia. The sea acts as both a bridge and a divider between nations, across which culture, ideas, trade, religions, people, power and economics have moved throughout history. Since the beginning of photography the Mediterranean has been a location travelled to, and depicted by, countless photographers. Those whose work is on display include: Edouard-Denis Baldus, Gabriele Basilico, Bleda and Rosa, Christophe Bourguedieu, Martin Cole, Dimitris Constatin, Louis De Clerq, Ad van Denderen, Eric Fischl, Gunther Forg, Julie Ganzin, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Rosell Meseguer, Vesna Pavlovic, Mark Rader, Guy Raz, Xavier Ribas, Youssef Safieddine, August Sander, Sebah and Joallier, Efrat Shvily, Joel Sternfeld, Enrico Verzaschi, and Secil Yersel. The Photographer's Gallery, London until 3rd October.

Continuing

Off The Beaten Track: Three Centuries Of Women Travellers features women who journeyed to distant parts of the world between the 1660s and the 1960s, and their experiences and encounters. The exhibition comprises 60 portraits, in all media, alongside photographs and paintings made on their travels, together with some of the souvenirs they brought back. Travellers to the Americas include Maria Callcott, who journeyed in Brazil in the 1820s, and the album of botanical illustrations that she painted there; and the actress Fanny Kemble, who discovered that her American husband's fortune came from slave plantations in Georgia, and her journal describing their plight, which was used to further the cause of Abolition. From the Far East and the Pacific come photographs of China taken in the 1890s by Isabella Bird on a journey up the Yangtze, where she converted the cabin of her boat into a darkroom, and washed the chemicals off her glass plate negatives in the river. Travellers to Africa include Amelia Edwards, whose book earned her enough to pay for archaeological excavations in Egypt, and a portrait sculpture discovered there; and Mary Kingsley, a Victorian traveller who defended herself with a canoe paddle when a crocodile attempted to board her boat, and the brown fur hat that she wore when travelling. Women who made Britain their destination include Pocohontas, the American Indian woman who visited the court of King James I; and Sarah Davies, an African slave who became Queen Victoria's goddaughter. National Portrait Gallery until 31st October.

The Age Of Titain: Venetian Renaissance Art From Scottish Collections brings together works from various Scottish collections and galleries from the greatest period of Venetian art, between about 1460 and 1620. Some 80 paintings by Titian and his contemporaries, including Jacopo Bassano, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Lorenzo Lotto, Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese, together with 45 drawings, and 30 prints, plus 11 books and manuscripts, sculpture in marble, terracotta and bronze, furniture, textiles in cut velvet and silk damask, maiolica, glass and enamels, present a comprehensive picture of one of the most important periods in artistic history, when almost everything was imbued with a spiritual aura. Among the highlights are a huge 'Christ and the Centurion' by Paris Bourdon, Andrea Schiavone's largest known mythology 'Infancy of Jupiter', 'Portrait of Doge Marcantonio Memmo' by Palma il Giovane, and 'Christ and the Adulteress', now accepted as an early work by Titian, seen for the first time together with his 'Three Ages of Man', 'Diana and Acteon', Diana and Callisto', 'Venus Rising from the Sea' and 'Salome with the Head of John the Baptist'. The exhibition inaugurates the Playfair Project, a partially underground gallery, designed by John Miller and Partners, linking the restored Royal Scottish Academy building with the National Gallery of Scotland. Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh until 5th December.

The E-Type: Story Of A British Sports Car celebrates the E-type Jaguar, one of the most innovative and influential cars ever designed in Britain, which became a cultural icon in the Swinging Sixties. From the moment it was unveiled at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, it was a sensation. Speedy and stylish, with long low lines and a racing bonnet, it captured the glamour and dynamism of Britain in the early 1960s. The E-Type rapidly became the most fashionable car to own, and was taken up by the celebrities of the day. This exhibition, featuring rare cars and memorabilia from the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, traces the evolution of the E-type design from the elegant XK120 launched in 1948, and the XK120 C-type and D-type racing cars that won the 24 hour races at Le Mans five times in the 1950s. Jaguar's designer Malcolm Sayer, an aerodynamicist who had trained in the aircraft industry, and chief engineer William Heynes, working under the personal supervision of the company's founder William Lyons, produced a car in accordance with strict mathematical principles. Their design refined the silhouette of the 1950s Jaguar racing cars into a sleek sculptural form, capable of a top speed of 150 miles per hour. At £2,097 it offered sporting luxury for half the price of a Ferrari or Aston Martin. Such was the level of innovation in their work, that it still influences Jaguar design today. Design Museum until 28th November.

Making Faces explores the way painters have represented faces from the profile portraits of 15th century Italy, such the 'Portrait of a Lady in Red', to the abstracted images of Frank Auerbach's 'Julia'. The 22 works featured encompass artists as diverse as Botticelli, Cranach, Goya, Moroni, Renoir, Sargent, Wyndham Lewis, Warhol and Julian Opie. Opening with a section on how artists have addressed the problem of catching a likeness, the exhibition centres on the way painters have used expression, idealisation, distortion and caricature to convey character, social standing and emotion. This is embodied in Phillipe de Champaigne's 'Triple Portrait of Cardinal de Richelieu', comprised of two profiles and a full frontal, which was painted as a visual aid for a sculptor who had to work without ever having actually seen the cardinal. The exhibition includes both single heads of great individuality such as Bruggen's 'Man Playing a Lute', Hogarth's 'The Shrimp Girl' and Goya's 'Dona Isabel de Porcel', and crowded scenes of carefully distinguished facial types, such as the cross-section of London life shown in George Elgar Hick's 'The General Post Office: One minute to Six'. The show culminates in a selection of paintings that use faces to intensely expressive ends, including Rembrandt's 'Belshazzar's Feast' and Francis Bacon's 'Figure Study II'. National Gallery until 26th September.

Bodies Revealed: The Exhibition features a display of dissected full human specimens, plus hundreds of individual organs, allowing visitors the chance to see close up how the body works, and how organs are affected by disease. The specimens have been preserved using a process called 'polymer preservation', so that they can be examined long term, without deterioration due to natural decay. The same technique was used by Professor Gunther von Hagens, the gentleman that looked as though he had just stepped out of a Hammer Horror film, who dissected a body live on television, (no, not a live body) for the Body Worlds exhibition in 2002. This time the specimens are the work of the less alarming Dr Roy Glover, and the University of Michigan. His laboratory has supplied preserved human specimens for medical instruction in more than 125 undergraduate and postgraduate medical programmes, biotechnology companies, health education agencies and museums. All of the bodies and organ specimens in the exhibition came from individuals who chose to donate their bodies to medical science for the purpose of study and education. Possibly the most impressive exhibit is a figure showing the delicate knitting of the entire blood vessel system. Nevertheless, with the cirrhotic livers, shrunken lungs and ectopic pregnancies on display, plus the location on Blackpool's Golden Mile, it does evoke the memory of a Victorian freak show. Winter Gardens, Blackpool, until 14th November.

British Art Displays 1500-2004: The Symbolic Paintings Of GF Watts marks the centenary of the death of the man who was once one Britain's most lauded artists, even dubbed 'England's Michelangelo', but is now almost forgotten. It brings together many of his best known paintings with other rarely shown works. Despite being regarded primarily as a portraitist, for Watts, his allegorical paintings were his most important work, exploring the themes of love, death and conscience. These include the monumental 'Court of Death', measuring over four metres by two metres, which was originally destined for the chapel in a paupers' cemetery. It is joined here by 'Love and Death', from the ambitious but incomplete series called 'The House of Life'. These paintings were regarded as both consolatory spiritual statements, and trenchant condemnations of pervasive modern vices, such as gambling, gross materialism and sexual exploitation. The display reunites the three works that comprise the trilogy of subjects related to Eve, made for 'The House of Life', which show Eve's creation, temptation and repentance. Appalled by the squalor and urban poverty of his time, Watts painted a series of grim socialist-realist paintings, including 'Found Drowned', 'Under A Dry Arch' and 'The Song of a Shirt', that had a similar effect on the public conscience as Dickens's novels. Among other works on show that have not been seen for many years are the quasi Papal portrait 'Mammon', 'Hope' and 'Jonah'. Tate Britain, continuing.

Concluding

Edward Hopper is considered by many to be the pre-eminent painter of modern America, and his works have become iconic images of the twentieth century. By staging scenes from everyday life, illuminated by strong sunlight or artificial light, Hopper captured and defined the American experience, in a similar fashion to the Hollywood film noir. Indeed his works often have a sense of frozen action like a frame from a film, and a generations of film makers, writers and artists including Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola, William Boyd, Norman Mailer and John Updike have acknowledged his inspiration. This exhibition comprises over seventy works covering Hopper's entire career, from watercolours, drawings and etchings of Parisian subjects from the first decade of the twentieth century, to the stark portraits of American life created more than sixty years later. The early works indicate some of the key elements of Hopper's style, including dramatic use of light and shade, and solitary pensive figures in interiors. By the late 1920s, paintings such as 'From Williamsburg Bridge' and 'Automat' demonstrate his predominant themes: the use of American vernacular architecture as foreground or cropped backdrop to evoke psychological tension and alienation, enhanced by the formal geometries of light and darkness within. Major paintings from the 1940s onwards including 'Nighthawks' and 'Office At Night' show the different ways in which these themes were developed, while paintings from the last two decades of Hopper's life such as 'Intermission', reveal how his compositions became increasingly minimal. Tate Britain until 5th September.

Prisoners Of The Tower, explores the incarceration of many of the most interesting and intriguing prisoners of the Royal fortress on the Thames, including Anne Boleyn, Guy Fawkes, Thomas More, Princess Elizabeth, Lady Jane Grey, Walter Raleigh and Rudolf Hess. The exhibition also tells the stories of lesser known prisoners, from the very first in 1100 (who also became the first prisoner to escape), to the 20th century Germans accused of espionage. It reveals the conditions in which they were kept - many prisoners of state in relative luxury, exploding the Victorian myth of dripping dungeons, the punishments that some endured, the variety of reasons for being 'sent to the Tower', and the numerous attempts to escape, as well as the ultimate fate that awaited many prisoners. The exhibition includes unique personal possessions, rare documents and artefacts, furniture, clothing, models, film footage, works of art, and manuscripts written by prisoners themselves, including: the personal Prayer Books of Lady Jane Grey and Anne Boleyn; papers containing the signature of Rudolf Hess; the Episcopal Staff and Ring of Bishop Flambard, the first Tower prisoner; and the actual chair in which Josef Jakobs, the last prisoner to be executed at the Tower, was shot. The Tower of London until 5th September.

About Face reveals how contemporary artists and photographers challenge the conventions of the photographic portrait, in a digital era when images are increasingly open to manipulation. Around 100 works by over 70 international artists and photographers employ a wide range of approaches, from straightforward photography, through photomontage, appropriation of found imagery, and multiple exposures, to complex computer manipulation. Alison Jackson uses look-a-likes to construct fictional narratives around celebrity figures such as the Royal Family; Taliban fighters in Thomas Dworzak's hand tinted prints have an effeminate quality; the glamorous subjects of Elisabeth Heyert's full colour images reveal themselves to be corpses, death's pallor having been corrected with cosmetics; Valerie Belin attempts to blur the perception of what is real and what is artificial by presenting models' faces side by side with those of mannequins; the symmetrically perfect features of Greek gods and goddesses are superimposed onto human models in the work of Lawick Muller; Tibor Kalman presents a vision of what the Queen or Arnold Schwarzenegger would look like if they were black; Chris Dorley-Brown has fused/montaged the faces of two thousand inhabitants from Haverill to make The Face of 2000; and Orlan engages in surgical procedures to alter her own facial features, and then employs computer manipulation to blend them with pre-Columbian pottery. All human life - and a few things on which the jury is still out. Hayward Gallery until 5th September.