News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 25th November 2009

Commencing

Points Of View: Capturing The 19th Century In Photographs examines the development and influence of photography, from its invention in 1839 up to the growth of a popular amateur market in the early 20th century. The exhibition shows how photography has played a critical role as a primary means of visual expression in the modern age. It explores the dramatic transformations in world order during the 19th century that shaped much of the world we live in today. From the first tentative 'drawings of shadows' produced in the mid 1830s, to its universal acceptance as a leisure pursuit, photography was swept along by a tide of entrepreneurial activity throughout the 19th century. As an influential new artistic and documentary medium, photography rapidly developed into a lucrative profession. Science, government, industry and a growing media quickly recognised its power to reflect and to shape society, while both artists and amateurs embraced its potential for personal expression. Beginning with the work of William Henry Fox Talbot and other influential pioneers, the exhibition includes many of the most celebrated names in 19th century photograph such as Francis Frith, Felix Teynard and Samuel Bourne. Some 250 images range from portraits of the famous, through the industrial, technological and scientific triumphs of the age, and first glimpses of exotic locations around the world, to the everyday working (and playing) lives of ordinary people. British Library until 7th March.

The Dark Monarch explores the influence of folklore, mysticism, mythology and the occult on the development of art in Britain. Focusing on works from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, the exhibition considers, in particular, the relationship they have to the landscape and legends of the British Isles. It examines the development of early Modernism, Surrealism and Neo-Romanticism in Britain, as well as the reappearance of esoteric and arcane references in a significant strand of contemporary art practice. The exhibition features works by important modernists and surrealists including Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Ithell Colquhoun; Neo-Romantics such as Cecil Collins, John Piper, Leslie Hurry and John Craxton; as well as emerging and established contemporary artists including Cerith Wyn Evans, Mark Titchner, Eva Rothschild, Simon Periton, Clare Woods, Steven Claydon, John Stezeker, Derek Jarman and Damien Hirst. Exploring the tension between progressive modernity and romantic knowledge, the show focuses on the way the British landscape is encoded with various histories - geological, mythical and magical. It examines magic as a counterpoint to modernity's transparency and rational progress, and also draws out the links modernity has with notions such as fetishism, mana, totem, and the taboo. Formally thought of as opposing Modernism, the careful juxtaposition and selection of works on display suggests that these products of illusion and delusion in fact belong to modernity. Tate St Ives until 10th January.

Winter Wonderland, set between Hyde Park Corner and the Serpentine, is the ultimate winter theme park experience. The 20 acre site features London's largest outdoor ice rink - created with 130,000 litres of frozen water, weighing 130 tonnes - able to accommodate up to 400 skaters at a time, with ice guides to help beginners; a toboggan slide; a haunted mansion; an ice palace mirror maze; a traditional German Christmas Market, with over 50 separate wooden chalets, offering arts, crafts, presents and foods; numerous cafes and bars serving traditional food and mulled wine; a 50m observation wheel providing a panoramic view of London above the park; a big top presenting Zippo's Circus with a special 45 minute Christmas themed show and a Palace Of Grand Illusion; thrill rides including Power Tower, Rollercoaster, Black Hole and Ice Monster; a Victorian carousel; a helter-skelter; a bungy dome; a selection of gentler amusement rides for younger children; and a bandstand with regular carol concerts and other festive entertainment; plus Father Christmas in his own Santa Land. To add to the atmosphere, the trees along Serpentine Road sparkle with thousands of Christmas lights highlighting the natural beauty of Hyde Park. Entrance to the Winter Wonderland site is free, with fees for individual attractions. Hyde Park, 10am-10pm daily (except Christmas Day) until 3rd January.

Continuing

The Staffordshire Hoard is an unparalleled treasure find, dating from Anglo-Saxon times, discovered in July this year by a metal detector in south Staffordshire, and subsequently excavated by Birmingham University Archaeology Unit. The Hoard comprises in excess 1,500 individual items, and both the quality and quantity of this unique treasure are remarkable. The quality of the craftsmanship displayed on many items is supreme, indicating possible royal ownership. Stylistically most items appear to date from the 7th century. The find included sword fittings, part of a helmet and three gold Christian crosses. Most of the complete objects are made of gold, others are of silver. Some are decorated with pieces of garnet, a deep red semi-precious stone, others with fine filigree work or patterns made up of animals with interlaced bodies. The entire find contained 5kg of gold and 1.3kg of silver. It is remarkable for the extraordinary quantity of 87 pommel caps and 71 hilt plates, the highly decorated items that adorned a sword or a seax (a short sword/knife). To find so many together is absolutely unprecedented. This Hoard is perhaps the most important collection of Anglo-Saxon objects ever found in England. It compares and possibly exceeds those objects found at Sutton Hoo in 1939. 18 objects from the Hoard are now on display in this exhibition, while research and interpretation on the other pieces continues. British Museum, continuing.

Nottingham Contemporary is a new £19.4m gallery, designed by the architects Caruso St John, inspired by the surrounding Lace Market, the warehouses that serviced the city's world famous trade in the 19th century. The exterior is fluted concrete in pale green and gold, imprinted with a pattern of lace. It comprises four galleries, lit by 132 skylights, a performance and film space, a learning room, a study, a shop and a cafe/bar.

David Hockney 1960 - 1968: A Marriage Of Styles, the opening exhibition made up of over 60 pieces, offers an opportunity to re-examine David Hockney's work produced in his early years in London and Los Angeles. It is the first that time these paintings, employing a multitude of styles, finishing with the iconic Californian painting 'A Bigger Splash' - possibly his best known work - have been brought together for almost 40 years.

Frances Stark: But what of Frances Stark, standing by itself, a naked name, bare as a ghost to whom one would like to lend a sheet?, the accompanying exhibition, features new and recent work by Frances Stark, one of the artists to have emerged from Los Angeles's art scene in the past 15 years. Stark works in collage, often using text, lifted from a wide range of literary sources, with the American poet Emily Dickinson a particular favourite.

Nottingham Contemporary until 24th January.

Drawing Attention: Tiepolo, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso And More is a selection from the collection of some 5,000 master drawing put together over the last couple of decades by the Art Gallery of Ontario. This group of 100 of the best works ranges from Renaissance Italy to 18th century France, from English watercolours to masterpieces by Picasso and Matisse, from German Expressionism to Canada's own Group of Seven and David Milne. The show is a feast of drawings, featuring some of the greatest draftsmen who ever lived, including Carracci, Boucher, Gainsborough, Ingres, Gaugin, Fuseli, Romney, Rowlandson, Samuel Palmer, Burne Jones, Mondrian, Kandinski, Dufy, Turner, Leger, De Kooning, Vanessa Bell, Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore, Jackson Pollock and Canadian Emily Carr. Highlights include Fragonard's 'Charlemagne Leads Angelica Away From Roland', Guercino's 'A Witch, Two Bats, and a Demon in Fligh', Degas's 'Danseuse Vue de Dos, Grande Battement a la Seconde', Delacroix's 'La Fiancee de Lammermoor', Van Gogh's 'The Vicarage at Neunen' and Schiele's 'Portrait of a Girl'. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 27th January.

Ed Ruscha: 50 Years Of Painting is the first major British retrospective to focus on the paintings of one of the most influential and pioneering American artists of the past half century. Spanning Ed Ruscha's entire career, the exhibition features 78 paintings, many on public display for the first time, and reveals Ruscha as a painter whose interests in printed matter, graphic design, cinema, photography, driving, roadside signs, the flat and featureless landscapes of the American West, the city filled with constant visual noise and the phenomenon of human communication, make his elegant and provocative work both playful and subversive. From the start of his career Ruscha began to make paintings in which text and imagery from everyday life converged. By the early 1960s, he was perceived to have to have created a new form of visual landscape, combining typography with commonplace objects. Ruscha is the essential Los Angeles artist, reflecting its sprawling sign filled streets and constant hubbub, with his huge paintings matching its larger than life reputation. He did for gas stations what Warhol did for soup cans. The exhibition reveals the depth and breadth of Ruscha's achievement as a painter, and highlights the conceptual underpinnings of his approach to painting. It also focuses on the incisive portrait of American culture that is presented through his imagery. Over the past half century, Ruscha's art has evolved in unpredictable ways, but the things that first fired his imagination remain the basis for his art. Hayward Gallery until 10th January.

Can Art Save Us? takes as its starting point, the ideas and insights of critic, author, artist and scholar John Ruskin, about art as a force for social change, and asks whether these beliefs hold any relevance in the 21st century. The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, installations and mixed media work from Ruskin and his 19th century artist contemporaries, such as JMW Turner, through to a series of new commissions inspired by his philosophy, especially his interest in sustainability and his social conscience. The exhibition is at its best in juxtapositions of Ruskin's words, his collection and the contemporary artworks, such as Dutch artist Roos van Soest's brooches made of sunken sky scrapers, Ruskin's extensive collection of sketches of the sinking city of Venice, and Beat Klein and Hendrijke Kuhne's model village, constructed of Dublin newspaper property supplements, representing a market now also on a downward trajectory. Similarly, hybrids of art and science can be seen in the intricate lace patterns modeled on haemoglobin cells and presented as part of the Festival of Britain of 1951, and the jellyfish that glints next to a white marble Barbara Hepworth sculpture, as if they were of the same species. Millennium Galleries, Sheffield, until 31st January.

David Chipperfield: Form Matters examines the work of one of Britain's leading contemporary architects, spanning his entire career to date, through new and archive models, sketches, drawings, photographs and film. With a style that is restrained, quiet and thoughtful, David Chipperfield has built a huge international reputation, and completed buildings in China, Japan, Italy, Mexico, USA, Spain and Germany. Chipperfield produces subtle and sophisticated buildings, from museums to homes, with an acute sensitivity for materials, and a powerful awareness of their environment. This comprehensive overview looks at key moments in his development, through 15 major projects, including the River and Rowing Museum at Henley on Thames; the award winning Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach, Germany; the America's Cup Building in Valencia, Spain; the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery; and the recently completed 10 year reconstruction of the Neues Museum in Berlin, bombed during the Second World War and subject to decades of neglect. Design Museum, Shad Thames, London, until 10th January.

Concluding

The Artist's Studio offers an opportunity to go behind the scenes and explore the studios of some of the most prominent British artists of the last 200 years. Through paintings, photographs, drawings, film, etchings, books, manuscripts and studio furniture, the exhibition explores the changing function and depiction of the artist's studio from the 1700s to the present day, spanning not just Britain, but Renaissance Italy, 17th century Holland, and 19th century France. The exhibition reflects the studio variously as display space, a sociable bohemian living space or garret, and as a private space for reflection and creation. Works by artists including Pieter Tillmans, R P Bonnington, JMW Turner, Thomas Rowlandson, George Morland, Edward Burne-Jones, Lord Leighton, W P Frith, and Ricketts and Shannon, offer personal and theoretical notions of how the studio has been perceived. From the 20th century there are works by Mark Gertler, Jack B Yeates, William Orpen, Gwen John, William Coldstream and Rodrigo Moynihan. Contemporary artists represented include Paula Rego, David Hockney, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst and Lucian Freud. There are photographs, both historical and modern by Bruce Bernard, David Dawson, Antony Snowdon, George Lewinski and Gautier Deblonde, plus a specially commissioned film documenting artists in their studios. Compton Verney, Warwickshire, until 13th December.

In A Bloomsbury Square: T S Eliot The Publisher explores the ways in which the poet and playwright nurtured and developed some of the most significant writers of the 20th century while, working for the publisher Faber and Faber. In the 1930s and beyond, Eliot used his roles as editor and publisher to promote modernist writing, successfully lending it authority, asserting its significance, and making it both respectable and accessible to a wider public. During this time he worked with, amongst others, James Joyce, W H Auden, Marianne Moore, David Jones, and Ted Hughes. As well as shedding light on the various inter-relationships between Eliot's roles as publisher, editor and author, the exhibition also explores his belief in the wider social and cultural mission of publishing. The display comprises original manuscripts, correspondence, art works and sound recordings, as well as previously unseen material from the Faber archive and the Eliot estate. Exhibits include: a letter from Eliot to Geoffrey Faber from 1936 urging publication of Djuna Barnes's novel Nightwood, (Eliot was the only publisher who did not reject it); Ted Hughes journal entry from 1960, giving his impressions on meeting the luminaries of the first generation Faber poets, including W H Auden, Stephen Spender and Louis MacNeice; and letter from Eliot to his 3 year old godson Tom Faber, including the verse "Invitation to all Pollicle Dogs and Jellicle Cats to come to the Birthday of Thomas Faber", testing out his ideas for what was to become one of his best known works. The British Library until 6th December.

High Art: Reynolds And History Painting 1780 - 1815 examines the period when History painting was regarded as the pinnacle of High Art, and was strongly promoted by Sir Joshua Reynolds above other genres, such as portraiture, landscape and still life. This exhibition includes historical and biblical subjects by Benjamin West, John Singleton Copley, John Francis Rigaud, and Henry Fuseli. Seminal self portraits by Reynolds and West allude to the knowledge and learning required to pursue history painting, with casts of antique statues, a bust of Michelangelo and books on history included as props to enhance the image of the artist. Similarly, Henry Singleton's 'The Royal Academicians in General Assembly' depicts the Academicians in their grand rooms at Somerset House, surrounded by antique casts and some of the paintings included in this display.

High Life: Celebrating The Loan Of W P Frith's 'Private View at the Royal Academy 1881', which was Frith's last major panoramic painting, shows the Victorian elite seeing and being seen at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1881. Frith includes a host of notable figures from Oscar Wilde and Lily Langtry to the Prime Minister, William Gladstone, and from the actress Ellen Terry to the illustrator John Tenniel. Hung alongside this picture are subject paintings by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Briton Riviere, a portrait of Lord Leighton by G F Watts, and H H Armstead's marble relief of 'The Ever Reigning Queen', which was first seen by the public in the exhibition that Frith depicts.

Royal Academy of Arts until 29th November.