News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th April 2006


All Spirit And Fire: Oil Sketches By Tiepolo features the work of the Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, who is principally known for his monumental frescoes and altarpieces. Yet much of his finest work can be appreciated in the small oil sketches that he made in association with these grand compositions. They exemplify the qualities of 'all spirit and fire', which contemporaries saw as characteristic of Tiepolo's work. The sketches were produced as quick studies from life, capturing a first artistic idea, and used as a small version of a large scale painting, for presentation to a patron, or reference by his workshop. The evolution of key commissions is reconstructed through the juxtaposition of some 35 drawings and paintings, including groups that have not been seen together since they left the artist's studio. These range from Tiepolo's first surviving oil study for a ceiling fresco in the Palazzo Sandi in Venice, to a group of sketches made late in his career in Spain. They offer an examination of how Tiepolo's preparatory works in the different media of paint, chalk and ink informed his creativity throughout his career. One of Tiepolo's most distinctive characteristics was his constant development and reinvigoration of motifs and narrative ideas in new forms. This is illustrated by six paintings and drawings of Anthony and Cleopatra, from the decoration in the Palazzo Labia in Venice, developed from earlier paintings, through two oil sketches 'The Banquet of Cleopatra' and the 'Meeting of Anthony and Cleopatra', to later ideas for his 'Cleopatra' cycles. Courtauld Institute Gallery until 29th May.

Sixty Years Of Sculpture In The Arts Council Collection presents 60 works by the leading figures and the rising stars of British art, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Arts Council Collection. Presented chronologically, the show starts with some of the earliest acquisitions, including pieces by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, continues with work by a 'Next Generation' of sculptors such as Anthony Caro and William Tucker, and concludes with some of the newest acquisitions by artists including Gareth Jones and Eva Rothschild. Among the highlights are Anya Gallaccio's 'can love remember the question and the answer', featuring 60 scarlet gerbera flowers set behind the glass panels of an antique door, which will decay during the course of the exhibition; film of a performance by the 'living sculptures', Gilbert & George; Tony Cragg's rainbow coloured installation made from discarded everyday objects; and Anish Kapoor's sculpture featuring heaps of coloured pigment.

James Turrell: Deer Shelter Skyspace is a new work by the 'sculptor of light', who for over 40 years has used light and space to create art installations that extend and enhance perception - from indoor pieces, which attempt to baffle the senses by creating an illusion of infinite diffused light, to 'Skyspaces'. Behind an 18th century Grade II Listed deer shelter, Turrell has created a permanent 'Skyspace', consisting of a large square chamber with an aperture cut into the roof, through which the visitor is offered a heightened vision of the sky, seemingly transformed into a trompe l'oeil painting. This has made a place of contemplation and revelation, harnessing the changing light of the sky.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, Sixty Years Of Sculpture until 25th June.

Steve Bell Does Art marks 25 years of the 'If...' strip cartoon published in the Guardian, by featuring over 350 of the best known strips, plus other political cartoons by Bell, including those published during the Falklands War, which helped to make his name. Prior to finding a home at the Guardian, Bell's freelance career embraced the New Statesman, Punch, NME, City Limits, Private Eye and Time Out, where one of his first strips was 'Maggie's Farm', which was condemned in the House of Lords as 'an almost obscene series of caricatures'. Since 1990 he has produced four large free standing cartoons a week on the leader pages of the Guardian. Bell has created many lasting images of politicians over the years, such as John Major as Superman with his underpants over his trousers, and John Prescott as a simple minded bulldog, and he was the first person to spot that the mad eyed stare of "call me Tony" Blair, is eerily reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher. In addition to the cartoons, the exhibition also includes over 30 of Bell's less well known respectful art pastiches, which either copy revered artworks, or draw on the style of historical artists. References include Michelango, Rembrandt, Goya, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Turner and Ford Madox Brown. University of Leeds Gallery until 16th June.


Bellini And The East explores the impact of the East on the work of the 15th century Venetian painter, Gentile Bellini. The exhibition focuses on this interaction between three cultures: Venetian, Byzantine and Turkish, and three religions: Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox and Islam. Bellini was Venice's most prestigious painter, and between 1479 and 1481, the Venetian Senate sent him to work for the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. This exhibition brings together for the first time all the works made while Bellini was in Turkey. His portrait 'The Sultan Mehmet II' is shown together with medals of the Sultan by Bellini and other European artists. First hand knowledge of the Islamic civilisations of the Mediterranean is demonstrated by the accurate depictions of particular objects in his paintings, including the Anatolian prayer mat in 'Virgin and Child Enthroned'. The intricately patterned and gilded 'Seated Scribe', while wholly Venetian in style, shows the influence of Islamic techniques in its colouring and gilding. The painting is displayed with a group of drawings depicting men and women whom Bellini saw in Istanbul. Many former Greek territories became Venetian colonies, reflected by Bellini's portrait 'Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus', and his work began to show further discernable influences. While 'Cardinal Bessarion and the Bessarion Reliquary', represents the Greek Reliquary Cross in a naturalistic Venetian style, other works, such as 'Madonna and Child', show traces of the iconic Greek style. National Gallery until 25th June.

Dynamics And Function: Realised Visions Of A Cosmopolitan Architect celebrates the life and work of Erich Mendelsohn, who, with Serge Chermayeff, designed the De La Warr Pavilion, the first public Modernist building in Britain. With his earliest buildings, the Einstein Tower in Potsdam, the hat factory in Luckenwalde and the Mosse Building in Berlin, Mendelsohn catapulted himself to the forefront of the avant-garde. He subsequently designed department stores, commercial buildings, factories and private houses in Germany, the Soviet Union, Norway, England, Palestine and the USA. This exhibition includes models, sketches, photographs and plans of Mendelsohn's buildings, revealing how his architectural style developed throughout his life.

Motion Path is a twelve screen video work by Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone, shot in four of Mendelsohn's major public buildings: the Schocken department store in Chemnitz, The Metal Workers' Union Building in Berlin, the B'nai Amoona Synagogue in St. Louis, and the De La Warr Pavilion. The camera glides through each building, revealing the spaces as a set of changing relationships between vistas, voids, solids, reflections and apertures.

Bridget Smith: Rebuild is Smith's photographic record, charting the 3 year £8m refurbishment programme that restored the De La Warr Pavilion to its former glory.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea until 2nd July.

Shared Experience: Art And War examines how Britain, Australia and Canada lived through and recorded the Second World War. The exhibition combines paintings and sculpture from the collections of the War Museums of the three nations to compare and contrast national and individual stories from the greatest world conflict in human history. Featuring works by British war artists Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious, Leonard Rosoman, and Australian and Canadian artists Sidney Nolan, Stella Bowen, Russell Drysdale, Miller Brittain, Alex Colville and Pegi Nicol MacLeod, many of which are being shown in the UK for the first time, it aims to capture the breadth and depth of the impact the war had on individual lives across the globe. The paintings and sculptures are grouped into themes: Battle reflects heroism and excitement alongside the inevitable destruction and loss; Military Service depicts the waiting and preparing as well as actual fighting; Civilian Work acknowledges the way society was re-ordered, through the effects of new technology and the need to replace workers and increase output; Captivity and Casualties attempts to reflect the constraints and the demands placed on people, and the price they had to pay, both at the time and afterwards; and Home and Leisure includes dreams of escape, fleeting pleasures, living with loss, the celebration of peace and the return home. Imperial War Museum until 25th June.

Modernism: Designing A New World 1914 - 1939 explores the key defining movement of 20th century design, and the dreams that swept Europe, Russia and America, in the wake of the First World War, as its pioneers planned for a new and better world. The exhibition features works by key Modernist figures, including artists Piet Mondrian and Fernand Leger, architects Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, furniture designers Marcel Breuer and Alvar Aalto, fashion designer Sonia Delaunay and photographer Man Ray, with over 300 objects and more than 50 film clips. Highlights include the earliest surviving fitted kitchen, discovered recently in Frankfurt after continual use for 80 years; Miroslav Zikmund and Jiri Hanzelka's legendary silver Czech Tatra 87 car; the design for Corbusier's largest and most luxurious building, the Villa Stein De Monzie; paintings such as Leger's 'Ball Bearings', and Mondrian's 'Tableau I, Red, Black, Yellow and Blue'; examples of 'Healthy Body Culture' including X-ray machines and sun lamps and a photograph by Alexander Rodchenko of 'Sun Lovers' engaging in outdoor exercise; iconic cantilever chairs by Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto; drawings by Wassily Kandinsky, based on photographs by Charlotte Rudolph of the dancer Gret Palucca; Harry Beck's first sketch for the London Underground map; and fashions including Sonia Delaunay's knitted wool swimsuit, a suit with a bright, geometric pattern designed by Giacomo Balla, and Alexander Rodchenko's productivist outfit, designed in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Victoria & Albert Museum until 23rd July.

The Nine Lives of I K Brunel is part of the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Britain's greatest and most versatile engineer. It charts the highs and lows of his career, and his various brushes with disaster. The centrepiece is a recreation of the broad gauge railway locomotive the Iron Duke, which pulled services on the Great Western Railway from London to Bristol. Other major exhibits include the funnel from the Great Eastern - Brunel's last and biggest ship, broken up for scrap after it failed to make a profit; a section of the South Devon Railway - an experimental system where the train was pulled along using a vacuum, which was abandoned when rats gnawed the seals; and the propeller from HMS Rattler - the naval vessel that inspired Brunel to abandon plans to make the make the SS Great Britain a paddle steamer. In addition there are Brunel's letters and journals, as well as sketches of his ideas for bridges over the Avon Gorge where the Clifton Suspension Bridge now stands, drawings for a new sea terminal at Portbury, and the drawing instruments Brunel used to lay out his designs. Alongside SS Great Britain, Great Western Dockyard, Bristol until 31st October.

The Forces That Made I K Brunel is a companion exhibition that looks at the science behind Brunel's designs. Through a series of interactive displays, visitors can investigate tunnelling, bridge building, railway construction and shipbuilding, employing both the pioneering techniques devised by Brunel, and the latest high tech methods and materials. At-Bristol, Harbourside, Bristol until 17th December.

The Man Who Hated Pooh! The Political Cartoons Of E H Shepard features the now almost forgotten work by the man who is best known as the illustrator of A A Milne's Winnie the Pooh and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows. Even though drawing Pooh and Toad was very much a sideline for Shepard, it is for their images that he is remembered today, although from the 1920s until the 1950s, he was primarily Punch magazine's leading political cartoonist, alongside Bernard Partridge. This exhibition is the first to completely ignore Pooh and Toad, and focus exclusively on Shepard's political cartoons. It comprises 50 of his original works that were published in Punch between 1933 and 1952. Shepard's political cartoons were often full of literary allusions, and his humour remained gentle and uplifting rather than savage. Among the highlights are 'The Goose-Step' with a heavily armed goose marching through an occupied Rhineland town from 1936, 'Shades of Success' from 1939, with Franco looking over a map of Spain while Hitler and Mussolini look over his shoulders and 'Full Circle', from 1944, in which the face of Stalin looks down from a cinema screen on the leaders of Finland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. The exhibition also includes some of Shepard's other book illustrations, including Three Egyptian Maidens, Chinese Dragons and Lady Fortescue's Perfume in Provence. The Political Cartoon Gallery, 32 Store Street, London, WC1, 020 7580 1114, until 21st May.


Tropicalia: A Revolution In Brazilian Culture 1967 - 72 endeavours to capture the revolutionary movement that influenced the art, politics, music and fashion that exploded onto the cultural scene of late 1960's Brazil - the South American equivalent of Swinging London. It revisits the energy and excitement of this seminal moment in Brazilian culture, and examines its relationship with the complicated urban and political landscape of Latin America in the late '60s and early '70s. The exhibition includes over 250 exhibits, showcasing the range and breadth of the movement, including album covers, fashion, posters, documentaries, advertising, books, pop influenced paintings, theatre sets, architectural drawings and models, television footage and music. At its centre is a recreation of Helio Oiticica's 1969 Whitechapel Art Gallery installation 'Tropicalia', comprising straw beds, tents pitched on an indoor sandy beach dotted tropical plants, gravel walkways between wicker screens, live parrots, the music of Caetano Veloso and ramshackle huts evoking the shanty town dwellings of a Brazilian favella. The exhibition also includes seminal works by visual artists of the era, including Lygia Clark, Amilcar De Castro, Antonia Dias and Lygia Pape. The movement continues to have an impact on a new generation of artists, writers and musicians working in Brazil today, who are represented by Arto Lindsay, Marepe, Ernesto Neto, Rivane Neuenschwander and Dominique Gonzalez-Forster. Let the sunshine in! Barbican Gallery until 21st May.

Pre-Raphaelite Drawings is a rare chance to see some of the gallery's Pre-Raphaelite drawings and watercolours, which are so delicate and rare that they are normally kept in storage to preserve them from fading. The star turn is a recent acquisition, John Everett Millais's early ink on paper drawing 'Cymon and Iphigenia', which is on public display for the first time. Millais later revisited the subject in oils, which can be seen alongside the drawing. The exhibition includes 35 pencil, charcoal, chalk, ink and watercolour drawings, and is a mixture of preparatory studies for well known paintings, including precise sketches of Holman Hunt's 'The Scapegoat', together with stand alone works, both portraits (often studies of fellow Pre-Raphaelites as well as family and friends) and landscapes that exemplify the 'truth to nature' aesthetic. It explores the development of the style of the movement, from their brightly coloured early works displaying precision and detail, based on realistic observation of specific things and places, to the later, looser and more generalised, works, depicting imaginary scenes and poetical concepts, which are more muted in colour. There are contributions by many of the Brotherhood, including Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Frederick Sandys, Edward Burne-Jones, George Price Boyce, Daniel Alexander Williamson and Marie Spartali Stillmann. Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight until 14th May.

Please Close The Gate is a collection of mostly new sculpture, largely shown outdoors, which is generally formed in metal or wood and then given a layer of paint. This acts as a kind of shell, and either helps to give it an image, or to dematerialise its form. Among the highlights are: Rose Finn-Kelcey's 'Pearly Gate', an oversized painted wooden five bar gate standing slightly ajar; Keith Wilson's 'Thames Walkway: Boat Race (sheeted)', made in painted galvanised steel, mapping the path of the Oxbridge boat race from Putney Bridge to Chiswick Bridge; Bob and Roberta Smith's 'Vegetable Sculptures', comprised of gaudily coloured vegetables balanced precariously on top of each other; Franz West's 'Sitzwust', a giant shocking pink aluminium sausage; and Helen Chadwick's best known work 'Piss Flowers', casts in white painted bronze exhibited outside on grass as was originally intended; together with classic works by Barbara Hepworth, 'Sphere with Inside and Outside Colour' and 'Makutu', which use colour in more subtle ways. Works by Phyllida Barlow, Franz West and William Turnbull feature one colour over a single medium; and wall mounted works by Ellen Hyllemose and Cedric Christie take 'ugly', building materials, such as scaffolding and mdf, and make them beautiful through the addition of paint. New Art Centre Sculpture Park & Gallery, Roche Court, Salisbury until 7th May.