News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 25th September 2013


Australia is the most significant survey of Australian art ever mounted in Britain. Focusing on the influence of the landscape, the exhibition spans from 1800 to the present day, and features 146 artists with over 200 works, including paintings, drawings, photography, watercolours and multimedia. The story of Australian art is inextricably linked to its landscape: an ancient land of dramatic beauty, a source of production, enjoyment, relaxation and inspiration, yet seemingly loaded with mystery and danger. For Australian artists, this deep connection with the landscape has provided a rich seam of inspiration for centuries. The exhibition maps the period of rapid and intense change, from the impact of the first settlers and colonisation on the indigenous people to the pioneering nation-building of the 19th century, through to the enterprising urbanisation of the last century. Reflecting the vastness of the land and the diversity of its people, early, as well as contemporary Aboriginal art sits alongside the work of the first colonial settlers, immigrant artists of the 20th century and the work of some of today's most established Australian artists. Highlights include Frederick McCubbin's 'The Pioneer'; four paintings from Sidney Nolan's 'Ned Kelly' series; Eugene von Guerard's 'Bush Fire'; Rover Thomas's 'Cyclone Tracy'; Emily Kame Kngwarreye's 'Big Yam Dreaming'; Grace Cossington Smith's 'The Bridge in Building'; Charles Meere's 'Australian Beach Pattern'; and Shaun Gladwell's video 'Approach to Mundi Mundi'; plus 'Fire and Water', a newly commissioned work by Judy Watson that aims to evoke a sense of the distinctiveness of the Australian landscape whilst considering the art historical developments and contributions of Australian art across the last two centuries. Royal Academy of Arts until 8th December.

Leonardo da Vinci: Mechanics Of Man features the little known anatomical studies of the human body by 'the' Renaissance man, which were never published in his lifetime. The exhibition comprises 87 anatomical drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, including a detailed portrayal in red chalk of a child in the breech position; pencil drawings of the human skull; a series of cross sections of the human shoulder in motion; a set of views of the inner workings of the human hand; and a detailed drawing of the cardiovascular system, compiled in several stages, sketched first in red and then black chalk, with his fingerprints still visible on the paper. This body of work, driven by Leonardo's desire to be 'true to nature' saw him dissect some 30 corpses, from which he compiled hundreds of sheets of drawings of the human body, inventing biological drawing as he did so. However, his research stayed among his private papers until 1900, when the drawings were finally published and understood by the scientific world. Leonardo's work as an anatomist was deeply serious, incredibly detailed and hugely important, showing that as well as being a consummate painter and inventor, he was also a great scientist. Had they been published in his time, he would have been the most important figure ever to publish on human anatomy, and would be regarded now on par with Galileo or Newton. These drawings have been in the possession of the English monarch's Royal Collection since 1690, and are the largest surviving group of these works. The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, until 10th November.

Only In England: Photographs By Tony Ray-Jones And Martin Parr is the inaugural exhibition in the Media Space, which will explore relationships between, and lesser-known histories of, photography, science, art and technology. The display features over 100 works by the British photographer Tony Ray-Jones alongside 50 rarely seen early black and white photographs, The Non-Conformists, by Martin Parr. Fascinated by the eccentricities of English social customs, Tony Ray-Jones spent the latter half of the 1960s travelling across the country, photographing what he saw as a disappearing way of life, in seaside towns, on the streets, at tea dances, and at Glyndebourne, Eton, Wimbledon and Crufts, creating a body of photographic work documenting English identity - eccentric and still divided by class and tradition. Humorous yet melancholy, these photographs were a departure from anything else being produced at the time, and have had a lasting influence on the development of British photography. In 1970, inspired by Ray-Jones, Martin Parr produced The Non-Conformists, shot in black and white in Hebden Bridge and the surrounding Calder Valley, documenting the variety of non-conformist chapels and the communities he encountered. This project started within two years of Ray-Jones's early death and demonstrates his legacy and influence. Around 50 of Ray-Jones vintage prints are on display, alongside an equal number of photographs that have never previously been printed. Martin Parr was invited to select these new works from the 2,700 contact sheets and negatives in Ray-Jones's archive. Science Museum until 16th March.


Jonathan Yeo Portraits features works by one of the most highly regarded portrait painters active in Britain today. The exhibition includes innovative portraits - all produced from life - of some of today's leading cultural, media and political figures, many of whom sat for portraits for the first time with Jonathan Yeo. It presents an overview of the Yeo's work to date, beginning with the drawings he made of the party leaders on the 2001 general election campaign trail, private studies of his family, and portraits of well known figures such as Rupert Murdoch, Erin O'Connor, Grayson Perry, David Walliams, Dennis Hopper, Nicole Kidman, Michael Parkinson and Sienna Miller. It also features several new and previously unseen artworks, including a 6ft high oil on canvas portrait of Damien Hirst, showing the artist sitting in a chair, dressed in a chemical dry suit and holding a mask: an outfit chosen to reflect the tools of his trade; Kevin Spacey as Richard III, which he played in the recent Old Vic production; and Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban in Pakistan following her campaign for girls to have the right to attend school. Yeo employs a range of media to create a diverse portfolio of portraiture, capturing his sitters through photographs, etchings and hand finished inkjet prints, as well as traditional oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery until 5th January.

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 the World's Biggest 3D Holographic Experience, with 40 3D holographic characters ranging from tigers and elephants to pirates, zombies and mermaids; Art For Walls, the biggest gallery of original illuminated urban art in the world, comprising 48 panels by 12 artists; It's Sooty!, a tableaux depicting Sooty, Sweep and pals in action; and Sky Galaxy, with over 2000 multi-coloured lights in the sky, randomly twinkling in ever-changing patterns; plus old favourites Haunted House, Teddy Bears Picnic, Theatre D'Amour, Rangoli Peacock, Sanuk, Venus Reborn, Bling and Brilliance 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 10th November.

Francis Bacon Henry Moore: Flesh And Bone places the works of the two greatest British artists of the 20th century in close relation, 50 years after their first joint showing. The exhibition brings together 20 paintings by Francis Bacon alongside 20 sculptures and 20 drawings by Henry Moore to explore themes such as the treatment of the human figure and the artists' responses to the violence of the 20th century. It shows surprising parallels in the work of two artists whose careers have rarely been linked until now. In their different mediums, Moore and Bacon created unforgettable images of the human figure. The distinctive visual languages that each artist developed over more than half a century were marked by a growing simplicity and monumentality of form. Their perspectives differed: Moore clung to a belief in humanism, while Bacon espoused a post-humanist, nihilistic view of the world. In expressing their visions of humanity, the two artists had very different approaches: Bacon working from the outside in, disintegrating and dissolving form; Moore from the inside out, pushing anatomical structure to the surface. Among the highlights are Bacon's 'Study from Portrait of Pope Innocent X', 'Second Version of Triptych', 'Lying Figure in a Mirror', 'Head II' and 'Portrait of Man with Glasses III'; and Moore's 'King and Queen', 'Three Upright Motives: No.1: Glenkiln Cross', 'Four Figures in a Setting', 'Animal Head' and 'Reclining Figure: Festival'. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 19th January.

Victoriana: The Art Of Revival offers a major examination of Victorian revivalism in all its forms. Featuring graphic design, film, photography, ceramics, taxidermy, furniture, textiles and fine art, this multi-media show explores work inspired by the 19th century and created over the last 20 years, highlighting the ongoing influence of the Victorian age. From the macabre to the quaint, the sensational to the surreal, the exhibition brings together 28 major contemporary artists who encapsulate the many forms and motivations of modern takes on Victorian style. Highlights of the weird and wonderful inventions and interventions include Rob Ryan's take on a pair of ceramic Staffordshire dogs 'I Remember, Nobody Remembers'; Jane Hoodless's part eaten wedding cake 'Shorn Out of Wedlock'; Miss Pokeno's combination of armchair and taxidermy 'Trophy Chair'; Carole Windham's ceramic couple 'Dearly Beloved'; Timorous Beasties's 'Devil Damask Flock Wallpaper'; Patrick StPaul's collection of strange things in glass jars 'Whisper in the Midst of Silence'; and Yumiko Utsu's altered painting 'Octopus Portrait': plus works by Yinka Shonibare, Grayson Perry, Paula Rego, Dan Hillier, Paul St George, Kitty Valentine and Jake and Dinos Chapman. Guildhall Art Gallery, London, until 8th December.

Zoe Beloff: Dreamland - The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society And Its Circle 1926-1972 is an installation inspired by Sigmund Freud's visit to Coney Island Amusement Park in New York. Zoe Beloff takes Freud's interest in this site of fantasy as a starting point to display the history of the Coney Island Psychoanalytic Society, a small group of Freud followers, now considered an urban legend. Through recounting the activities of the society and in particular its founder Albert Grass, Beloff's work explores the unconscious of one of the world's great amusement parks, seeing it as an overlooked repository of society's dreams and desires. Among the elements are: drawings and an architectural model of the proposed Dreamland Amusement Park, designed to illustrate Freud's theory of dream formation, including Dream Work, Unconscious, Consciousness and Psychic Censor Pavilions; slides of the original The World In Wax exhibit, together with wax hands and glasses similar to those worn by Freud; weathered paintings on plywood of a bumper car ride called 'Engines of the ID', where patrons would choose cars with names like Infantile Impulse or Raw Regression and collide into each other on the floor marked out according to Freud's map of the psyche; a history of the Coney Island Amusement Park from the 1880's to the present day, as well as background on Sigmund Freud's visit; Archives of the Society, containing magazines, letters, snapshots, books and information panels; and Dream Films made by members of the Society. Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, until 2nd November.

Frank Holl: Emerging From The Shadows is the first major retrospective in more than 100 years of the eminent Victorian artist widely regarded in his own lifetime as a leading figure in social realist and portrait painting. Frank Holl's early death at 43 meant that he never fully received the acclaim his work merited. This exhibition brings together around 30 of Holl's major works to examine how, during his short career, he became a distinct and insightful voice in British painting. Holl was a leading exponent of subject painting, capturing scenes of everyday lives, a phenomenon that ran in tandem with the popularity of the novels of Charles Dickens. His early powerful portrayals of the impact of loss, departure and death, such as 'The Lord Gave and the Lord Hath Taken Away', resulted in a commission by Queen Victoria to go to the poor fishing village of Cullercoats to capture a community's hard life at first-hand in 'No Tidings from the Sea'. Holl joined the group of eminent artists, including Luke Fildes, Hubert von Herkomer and Millais, who illustrated the newly launched The Graphic, whose aim was to present a realistic picture of the poor and destitute of London, producing 'Gone' and one of his most celebrated works, 'Newgate, Committed for Trial'. There was then a change in direction for Holl, rejecting subject painting in favour of portraiture, a change that was a response to both a shift in artistic taste and his financial need. Holl soon became an acclaimed portraitist, with subjects including William Gilbert, Samuel Cousins, William Gladstone and Prince Edward. Watts Gallery, Compton, Surrey, until 3rd November.


Eduardo Paolozzi: Collaging Culture is a retrospective of the work of one of the most inventive and prolific of the British artists to come to prominence after the Second World War. Eduardo Paolozzi's legacy ranges from Pop Art to monumental public works, and the exhibition features around 150 works in a variety of media, including drawings, collage, textiles, sculpture and prints, and rare early pieces. The display explores the relationship between Paolozzi's sculpture and his graphic work, and his key preoccupations, such as popular culture, science-fiction and the machine. Central to the exhibition is the importance of collage as a working process within Paolozzi's career, not only in the traditional sense of paper collage, but also in terms of sculptural assemblage, printmaking and film making. The show also explores the relationship between Paolozzi's work and the existential anxieties of the post-war age through exhibits such as his unrealised competition maquette for the 'Monument for the Unknown Political Prisoner', marking him out as an important commentator on British and American culture of the period. Paolozzi described the relationship between his sculptures and his graphic work as 'the constant tension', and the exhibition presents related works side-by-side, such as the collage 'Frog' and the bronze 'Large Frog' and his remarkable screenprints of robotic heads, alongside their sculptural equivalents. It also includes a screening of his experimental film A History Of Nothing, shown alongside the collaged stills such as 'James Joyce and Dancer'. Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 13th October.

Chagall: Modern Master reveals a radically different picture of the Russian painter from the one often presented in art history. The exhibition showcases Marc Chagall as a passionate visionary and pioneer of the avant-garde, who combined his own response to the art movements of the day with an open display of affection for his native Russia and Hasidic Jewish heritage. It provides a rare opportunity to see a substantial body of work that demonstrates the depth and diversity of Chagall's art as it matured during the pivotal years from 1911 to 1922. Over 70 paintings and drawings are presented in a broadly chronological order, with thematic groupings charting Chagall's encounters with avant-garde artistic movements, highlighting how he combined these new pictorial languages with his own imaginative and fantastical motifs to create his innovative and expressive works. The exhibition examines the 3 crucial years spent in Paris, where he explored his personal relationship to the emerging movements of Cubism and Orphism in paintings such as 'Half Past Three (The Poet)' and 'Paris Through the Window'. It brings to light how Chagall responded to the traumas of war and religious persecution following a return to Russia at the outbreak of the First World War, including 'Departure for War' and 'Jew in Red'. The 8 years Chagall was forced to spend in Russia were marked by the consolidation of his signature painterly style, as demonstrated by 'Anywhere out of the World' and 'Promenade'. The exhibition also explores Chagall's lifelong interest in the theatre, with a rare presentation of the 7 large scale murals designed for the State Yiddish Chamber Theatre in Moscow in 1920, including the epic 8m long 'The Wedding Feast' frieze. Tate Liverpool until 6th October.

In Fine Style: The Art Of Tudor And Stuart Fashion explores the sumptuous costume of British monarchs and their court during the 16th and 17th centuries. For the Tudor and Stuart elite, luxurious clothing was an essential component of court life. Garments and accessories, and the way in which they were worn, conveyed important messages about wealth, gender, age, social position, marital status and religion. Royalty and the elite were the tastemakers of the day, often directly influencing the styles of fashionable clothing. High-maintenance and impractical clothing conveyed a clear message to the viewer that the subject of a portrait enjoyed a privileged lifestyle, and had plenty of spare time to devote to the pursuit of fashion and the lengthy process of dressing. Through the evidence of portraiture, the exhibition traces changing tastes in fashionable attire and the spread of fashion through the royal courts of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Costume and paintings were frequently commissioned to mark important events, such as elevation to a knightly order, marriage or a little boy's transition from skirts to breeches at the onset of adulthood. Most elite clothing was custom-made and far more expensive than the equivalent today. The exhibition brings together over 60 paintings, by artists such as Hans Holbein the Younger, Nicholas Hilliard, Van Dyck, Rembrandt and Peter Lely, as well as drawings, sculpture, garments, jewellery, accessories and armour. The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, until 6th October.