News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th January 2011

Commencing

Food Glorious Food is a family friendly exhibition that tells the stories that lie behind what we choose to eat. With childhood foodie memories from field to fork, the exhibition examines food's place in British culture: how it is grown, how it is prepared and how it is eaten. What we eat, when, and who we share it with reflects who we are and forms a large part of our daily lives. Drawing on the British Library's oral history archive, and interviews with people from across the regions, the show looks at what's gone from our farms into our shopping trolleys and onto our plates over the last 50 years - and how it has changed in that time. From the influence of rationing, through the post-war expansion of world flavours, to the present crusade against fast food and focus on nutrition, this interactive exhibition shows how the nation's changing relationship with food reflects the concerns of the age. Budding cooks of all ages can enjoy the eclectic displays of labour saving gadgets, historic culinary devices and unusual recipes, before delving into the larder, stocked with interesting food stories and nostalgic packaging of brands gone by. Star objects on display include the Nuremberg Kitchen from 1800, and a toy milk float made by Tri-ang in the 1960s. Little green fingers can work in the vegetable patch play area, while the Food Forum showcases footage from the British Pathe archive, and allows visitors to share their own food likes, dislikes, recipes and memories. Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London, until 25th April.

Mischief: Sculptures And Drawings By Lucia Nogueira is the first British exhibition to survey the 10 year career of the Brazilian born, London based artist. Lucia Nogueira was one of the most individual voices in sculpture in this country, combining and adapting pieces of discarded furniture and other detritus, into works that engage with the space in which they are set. This exhibition includes little known pieces as well as some more familiar works, and reveals some recurring themes and motifs. Many of her pieces explore sensations of tension - weight and vulnerability, arrested motion, visibility and obscurity - through combinations of materials such as fur and metal or the juxtaposition of objects like the empty industrial-size cable wheel held still by a steel post in 'Full Stop'. In 'Mischief', the work that gives the exhibition its title, a wooden chair has lost its seat and one leg traps a white bridal train that turns out to be an unrolled strip of plastic carrier bags, while 'No Time for Commas' has a tied-up bag scurrying endlessly around inside an upturned table top, not revealing what's in the bag, nor in cupboards turned to the wall, nor why a cable disappears into a plan-chest. Bullets, petrol, gas pipes and broken glass feature in many of her pieces, which share a knack of revealing the link between surface calm and unexpected turbulence beneath. Wit, mischief and enigma also pervade her drawings, striking a similar balance between the delicate, the funny and the menacing, as row upon row of buttons become a crowd of spectators, and watercolour blotches take on the character of objects that cannot quite be identified - except when one becomes an elephant on wheels. Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, until 13th March.

Extinct comprises specimens and images of extinct and endangered animals. This wide ranging exhibition displays the remains of prehistoric giants, such as the woolly mammoth, the megalodon shark, a megatherium sloth and a mastodon, together with a leg from an Irish elk and the obligatory dodo skeleton, alongside creatures lost only a few decades ago, including the Tasmanian tiger and the quagga, a subspecies of zebra, which is only partly striped. A forewarning of extinctions yet to come is given by a display on today's critically endangered species, including the polar bear, panda and gorilla, raising questions about human interaction with the natural world. While mankind is not extinct, the 7ft 7in tall 'Irish Giant' Charles Byrne certainly is, and his 230 year old remains can also be viewed. Ivory: Treasures From The Odontological Collection comprises a selection of ivory specimens from terrestrial and marine mammals that have teeth or tusks large enough to be classed as 'ivory', ranging from the prehistoric to the elusive narwhal. Also included are a selection of historical medical instruments and dentures fashioned from ivory. These items are normally used only as a teaching resource. Hunterian Museum, 35 - 43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, until 23rd July.

Continuing

This Is Tomorrow is part reconstruction, part celebration, of the iconic show that launched Pop Art in Britain in 1956, and also part examination of the process by which it came about. Famously advertised with Richard Hamilton's poster 'Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?', the exhibition highlighted the new technology and popular culture that had started to influence all aspects of everyday life in the 1950s. The idea was to invite contributors to form 12 groups, each including artists, architects, musicians and graphic designers, with each group producing work on the theme of modern life. The groups worked independently, but saw the final display as one environment, suggesting a radical model of collaboration across art forms. This presentation of unique and rarely seen archive material includes the full set of 12 promotional posters the groups designed, photographs of the opening and individual displays, and original press cuttings, together with letters, plans and other background materials charting the creative process, as well as documentary film clips. There is also a limited edition of the original This is Tomorrow catalogue designed by Edward Wright, an important example of innovative graphic design, which has been out of print for over 50 years. This is Tomorrow was a groundbreaking exhibition because of the issues it addressed that became crucial in contemporary art in the 1960s and 1970s, such as the process of collaborative action, thinking and discussion, and how art can physically interact with the viewer by creating an environment inside the art gallery. Whitechapel Gallery, London, until 6th March.

Pre-Raphaelite Galleries, which comprise the ground floor galleries of the grade 1* listed building have been refurbished, and now incorporate new interpretation facilities. The galleries feature 37 works by Pre-Raphaelite artists, and 23 works by their Heirs, plus related Arts and Crafts Movement textiles, ceramics, metalwork, furniture and costumes. Highlights include founder member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Dante Gabriel Rossetti's 'Risen at Dawn; Gretchen Discovering Faust's Jewels', Edward Burne-Jones's 'Goldfish Pool' and stained glass window designs for St Martin's Church, Brampton, Ford Madox Brown's 'Windermere, A Storm', textiles by William Morris and ceramics by William De Morgan, plus works by later artists influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, including Arthur Hughes, Charles Ricketts, Paul Nash and John Duncan. There are also portraits of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones by George Howard (9th Earl of Carlisle), who, together with William Rothenstein and Gordon Bottomley, was responsible for establishing the collection. The Jacobean house of panelled rooms, impressive staircase and period furnishings that holds the gallery is worthy of a visit in its own right, with an outstanding collection of objects and paintings, including a large study of the Dixons in its Drawing Room in 1842, and George Romney's portrait of the Bishop of Carlisle. Old Tullie House, Carlisle, continuing.

Images Of Nature is a new permanent gallery showcasing natural history artworks, encompassing some of the most beautiful, historic paintings and modern images of nature. It provides an opportunity to see how artists and scientists have viewed the world in over 110 images that span the last 350 years. There are prints, watercolours and paintings from eminent natural history artists such as Henrik Gronvold, Robert Havell, John Gerrard Keulemans the prolific bird illustrator, Dutch artist Roelandt Savery (including his famous painting of a dodo) and botanical artist Georg Ehret. Alongside this historic body of work are modern images created by scientists, imaging specialists, photographers and micro-CT scanners, including tiny, intriguing scientific images of stained-glass-like meteorite slices and a 3D scan of a shark head. The gallery also has an area for temporary annual displays, which begin with botanical and zoological Chinese watercolours from the collection of 19th century amateur naturalist, John Reeves. These watercolours are too delicate for permanent display, so will change every 3 months, featuring about 100 paintings over the year. Interactive kiosks provide an opportunity to examine individual artworks in more detail, offer information about the Reeves collection, chart the story of scientific illustration, and examine the dodo's changing image. Natural History Museum, continuing.

Waterline is a photographic exhibition revealing the joys and trials of the heyday of cruising, from the 1920s to the 1970s. Cruising grew in popularity after the First World War, with passengers wanting to travel by sea for pleasure, rather than simply to get from one place to another. Liners were microcosms of society, where class boundaries were preserved, with first class passengers and officers travelling in greater style and luxury than third class passengers and crews. Following the Second World War and hardships of the 1950s, the 1960s brought rising incomes, increased leisure time and other social changes, and liners of two and three classes were converted into one class ships, where attention was increasingly paid to better facilities for all. The images in this exhibition reflect the experiences of passengers and crew, and show the range of destinations visited, near and far. Conga lines, lifeboat drills, sumptuous displays of cruise food and visits ashore all feature in historical film footage. Photography was a profitable business in the early days of cruising, when few passengers owned cameras, and onboard photographers worked long hours, developing negatives in makeshift dark rooms to prepare prints sold to holidaymakers. The photographers captured all aspects of shipboard life, exotic destinations, local communities, flora and fauna, famous landmarks and the ships themselves. These photographs were also used by companies for publicity and made into calendars and postcards for sale. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until April.

Lucien Pissarro In England: The Eragny Press 1895 - 1914 celebrates the work of the French painter, engraver and printmaker, with the first comprehensive display of his books. The exhibition features the 32 books printed by Lucien Pissarro and his wife Esther at their home in London, along with his preparatory drawings, and paintings by his father, Camille Pissarro, the Impressionist painter, who assisted him during the 1890s. The exquisite handmade Eragny books are beautifully printed, using wood blocks designed by Lucien and cut by him and his wife, with a degree of artistry which owed much to the influence of the English Arts and Crafts movement. These illustrations, often printed in colour and sometimes with added gold, accompanied the texts of French and English authors, ranging from classic to modern literature. The first book, published in 1895, was the fairytale 'The Queen of Fishes' by Gerard de Nerval, translated into English by Margaret Rust. Other highlights include 'Un Coeur Simple' by Gustave Flaubert and 'Of Gardens' by Sir Francis Bacon, first published in 1625. To point up the influence of the English art scene on Lucien's work and his concurrent artistic contribution in England, there are a number of books from several famous contemporary private presses, including William Morris's Kelmscott Press and Charles Ricketts's Vale Press. It is this curious blend of two quite different traditions - a French artistic upbringing and the English craft revival in full swing - which gives the Eragny books their unique character. The books are accompanied by material from the Pissarro Family Archive, including paintings by Camille, such as 'The Cricket Match', photographs, letters and other memorabilia. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 13th March.

Paper Memories features childhood fashion memories preserved in paper. The exhibition comprises a collection of more than 100 authentically recreated life-sized children's clothes made from paper by one dedicated woman, which is on public display for the first time. All the clothes are modeled on items of clothes made between the 1940s and the 1970s, and have been painstakingly created over the last few years by fashion expert Felicity Austen. The unique collection, ranging from school uniforms to party outfits, fancy dress to holiday clothes, includes 10 pairs of paper shoes, as well as paper dresses, shirts and even socks. Austin re-created the clothes after studying original garments, looking at family photographs and advertisements, and hearing the reminiscences of a number of people who provided memories of their childhood clothes. Some of the clothes represent 'home made' garments, very popular at the beginning of the period represented, and others, those produced commercially in factories, but all predate the concept of 'children's fashion'. Each garment took hours to put together, using everything from tissue paper to wrapping paper. The clothes are supported by photographs and objects of the period. Also included in the exhibition are other nostalgic paper artefacts, from Coronation memorabilia and old photos, to school books and brown paper packages tied up with string. Snibston Discovery Park, Ashby Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, until 15th May.

Concluding

Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography features works by contemporary artists who use the principles of photography but work without a camera. The essence of photography lies in its seemingly magical ability to fix shadows on light-sensitive surfaces, but these artists create images on photographic paper by casting shadows and manipulating light, or by chemically treating the surface of the paper. They are always 'an original' because they are not made from a negative. Floris Neususs has dedicated his career to extending the practice of the photogram process, and his works deal in opposites: black and white, shadow and light, movement and stillness, presence and absence, and in the translation of three dimensions into two. Pierre Cordier uses the chemigram process, applying photographic developer to the paper to create dark areas and fixer for lighter tones, further changing the patterns and effects by adding products such as varnish, wax, glue, oil, egg and syrup. Garry Fabian Miller makes abstract images in the darkroom, using only glass vessels filled with liquids, or cut-paper forms to cast shadows and filter light, with many of his works exploring the cycle of time over a day, month or year, through experiments with varying durations of light exposure. Susan Derges makes photograms of water, using the landscape at night as her darkroom, submerging large sheets of photographic paper in rivers and using the moon and flashlight to create the exposure. Adam Fuss's work concerns the discovery of the unseen, dealing with time and energy rather than material form, and as well as mastering numerous historic and modern photographic techniques, he has developed an array of symbolic or emblematic motifs. Victoria & Albert Museum until 20th February.

The Tiger In Asian Art examines the most enduring and powerful symbol of cultural identity for the people of Asia. For over 3,000 years the tiger has inspired countless legends, beliefs, poems and works of art across Asia, and it is the national animal of India, Malaysia, China and North and South Korea. The tiger is also one of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, textiles, photographs and other works of art, from historical to contemporary, many of which have never been seen in the West before, from a wide range of Asian countries and regions, including Tibet, Vietnam and Mongolia. It examines the cultural and spiritual significance of the tiger to these places, and the role that the creature plays to the human psyche, looking at it as a protector, spiritual power, material, hunted animal and declining figure. Among the highlights are contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Huang's 'Free Tiger Returns to the Mountain' series, employing a technique using ash gathered from incense burned at Shanghai temples; 17th century Japanese artist Hokusai's 'Tiger in a Snowstorm'; a 16th century Chinese Ming military banner depicting a tiger surrounded by flame and cloud motifs; a Jaipur hunting scene; and a 17th century Japanese tiger netsuke belt toggle sculpture. Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1, until 12th February.

Future Beauty: 30 Years Of Japanese Fashion is the first exhibition in Europe to comprehensively survey avant-garde Japanese fashion, from the early 1980s to now. Japanese designers made an enormous impact on world couture in the late 20th century. Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto redefined the very basis of fashion, challenged established Western notions of beauty, and turned fashion into art. The tight silhouettes of Western couture were jettisoned for new fluid shapes. Out went the magnificent ornament and extravagant techniques of the post-war tradition and in came a stark, monochrome palette and an entirely new decorative language - holes, rips, frays and tears - emerging from the stuff of fabric itself. This exhibition examines the work of these designers in relation to Japanese art, culture and costume history, and explores the distinctive sensibility of Japanese design and its sense of beauty embodied in clothing. It brings together over 100 garments, some never seen before in Britain, with specially commissioned photographs by Japanese artist and photographer Naoya Hatakeyama. There are focused presentations on each of the principle designers in the show, featuring a range of archive and recent works: Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, Jun Takahashi and Tao Kurihara, as well as Mintdesigns and a number of emerging designers such as Akira Naka, Anrealage, N e -Net, Sacai , Somarta, Mikio Sakabe, Matohu and Taro Horiuchi. Also included are catwalk collection films, and a wealth of rare books, catalogues and magazines, which highlight Yamamoto, Miyake and Kawakubo's collaborations with artists, photographers and designers. Barbican Art Gallery, London, until 6th February.