News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th May 2004


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.

Paolozzi At 80 displays the richness and diversity of the career of Eduardo Paolozzi, one of the most prolific, inventive and influential figures in post war British art. Paolozzi spent a formative period in Paris in the late 1940s, where his interest in Surrealism stimulated a series of collages, combining elements from cartoons, magazine advertisements and machine illustrations. This fascination with popular culture made him the central figure in the emergence of Pop Art in Britain in the 1960s. Paolozzi worked in a wide range of media, from printmaking to monumental sculpture, and found inspiration in almost every aspect of modern life: man's relationship to machinery, science, technology, robotics, warfare, science fiction, children's toys, music, cinema, philosophy and art. Dean Gallery, Edinburgh until 31st October.

2D>3D: Contemporary Design For Performance, is a showcase for the work of British theatre designers, featuring productions staged between 1999 and 2002. The exhibition aims to demonstrate the process by which the initial two dimensional sketch comes to life in three dimensional reality, with costumes, scale models, photographs, design drawings, story boards, puppets, masks and props. It also features interactive digital displays of lighting designs, so that visitors can run their own scenic and lighting changes. The exhibition includes work created by 25 set, costume and lighting designers for 30 productions, across the full range of drama, dance, musicals and opera. These range in scale from the bigger budgets of national companies, through mid scale regional theatres, to the more modest achievements in community and educational theatre. The exhibition, organised by the Society of British Theatre Designers, won the international award at the 2003 Prague Quadrennial. In addition, Gold Medals were awarded to Richard Hudson's set design for Handel's opera Tamerlano at Teatro alla Pergola in Florence, and Nicky Gillibrand's costume designs for A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon. The Theatre Museum continuing.


Fabulous Beasts reveals a world where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the microscopic becomes gigantic, and the mundane becomes amazing - but if you don't like creepy crawlies look away now. This exhibition features paintings by Mark Fairnington and photographs by Giles Revell of insects on a huge scale, alongside the actual specimens that inspired them. Both artists employ high-definition electron microscopes, of the kind used by scientists, to capture minute details of entomological specimens photographically. From these Fairnington creates photo-real paintings of bizarre and exotic detail, interpreting and reinventing the subjects in paint on huge canvasses. The results are a series of large scale images, acutely observed, yet subtly manipulated and rather unsettling. Revell explores the natural engineering of insects and their sculptural form. He takes creatures that are familiar and apparently mundane, such as the ladybird and the grasshopper, and scans them up to 500 times to produce image sections that capture the wing, head or armour-plated shell of the insect. These sections are then merged to form immensely detailed, high-definition monochrome photographs, anything up to eight feet in height. Despite the synergy between their work, this is the first time Fairnington and Revell have been exhibited together, and the first time their work has been shown alongside their subjects. This exhibition shows the processes that scientists and artists share when examining a natural object. Be afraid - be very afraid. Natural History Museum until 12th September.

Portrait Miniatures brings together the National Galleries of Scotland collection of portrait miniatures with a series of fifty new works by Moyna Flannigan, one of Scotland's leading figurative painters. The collection of portrait miniatures date from the early sixteenth century to the present day, and include famous portraits of Robert Burns, James VI and I painted by artists such as John Bogle, David Paton, Henry Raeburn and Archibald Skirving. Painted in oil or enamel on copper, watercolour on ivory, or gouache on vellum parchment, the miniatures were presented to keep alive the memory of dead or absent friends, family or lovers. Moyna Flannigan has adopted the methods and materials of the portrait miniature, an art form that was largely superseded by the invention of photography, but used it in a new way. Painted in the traditional style of watercolour on vellum, Flannigan's works are like minute twenty first century Hogarths, depicting farcical and stereotypical fictional characters, who are based on her wry and penetrating observations of the follies of contemporary society. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh until 5th September.

Highgate Cemetery has been transformed over the years from being a typical neatly laid out burial ground, into a natural woodland park. It has the finest collection of Victorian funerary architecture in the country, with over 60 buildings listed Grade II and above. Of particular interest are the Lebanon Circle Vaults, the Egyptian Avenue, the Terrace Catacombs, the Julius Beer Mausoleum, and the much visited bust of Karl Marx. At least 850 notable people are buried there, amongst whom are 18 Royal Academicians, 6 Lord Mayors of London, 48 Fellows of the Royal Society, the founders of London businesses including Maples, Foyles, Negretti-Zambra, John Lobb, P&O, and Quaritch, and familiar names such as Michael Faraday, George Eliot, Radclyffe Hall, Carl Rosa and Ralph Richardson. Over the years there has been copious planting, including over 100 different species of wildflowers, and countless trees, including hornbeam, limes, oak, hazel, sweet chestnut, tulip and field maple. Among the live residents, some 50 species of birds and 18 species of butterflies have been sighted, plus a colony of foxes, and among the many spiders, there are 3 species rarely seen in the UK. Conducted tours take place each weekday afternoon at 2pm from March to November, and every hour on the hour from 11am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Further information can be found on the Highgate Cemetery web site via the link from the Heritage section of ExhibitionsNet. Highgate Cemetery, London N6 continuing.

The Silk Road: Trade, Travel, War And Faith celebrates the network of trade routes from the shores of the Mediterranean to the heartland of China, that passed through the territories of some of the great empires in world history. It brings together over 200 seldom seen Central Asian manuscripts, paintings, coins, statues, artefacts and textiles, offering a glimpse into the everyday life of people on the Silk Road. Central Asia was the centre of the world, the progenitor of many of civilisation's most important inventions, and the crux of a world economy. The evidence left by these multi-cultural civilisations lay buried for up to 2,000 years in tombs, tips and temples beneath the desert sands. The exhibition includes treasures excavated by the archaeologist Aurel Stein, whose journeys covered some 25,000 miles in the early 20th century. Among his finds was the earliest dated printed book in the world, the Diamond Sutra of 868AD, on public display in its original form for the first time in a century, following conservation work. Other treasures include 9th and 10th century silk paintings from Dunhuang; a Chinese manuscript bearing the earliest star chart in the world; 3rd and 4th century letters in ingenious wooden envelopes in Indian languages, with Chinese and Greek seals, from the ancient kingdom of Kroraina; and a selection of the idiosyncratic tomb models and monsters from the 7th and 8th century cemetery at Astana near Turfan. The British Library until 12th September.

Samauri has transferred from Chessington, strengthening Thorpe Park's position as the top white knuckle venue in the south of England. Samauri is a ride in pods, situated at the end of a mechanical arm that lifts and rotates them, creating G forces of plus 5 and minus 3, as well as a centrifugal force that sets them spinning 360°. It joins the existing Colossus, a 10 loop roller coaster with speeds of up to 70mph, and a force of 4Gs; Nemesis Inferno, one of the world's most disorientating, leg dangling suspended experiences; Tidal Wave, Europe's tallest water drop ride; stomach-churning Vortex, which makes 15 high speed rotations per minute while swinging back and forth 65 feet in the air; gravity-defying 100 foot drop Detonator; and X: No Way Out, the world's first dark backwards coaster, to provide the most unpleasant experience you can have outside an Islamic fundamentalist regime. Worse is promised for next year. Further information and a virtual ride can be found on the Thorpe Park web site via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. Thorpe Park, Chertsey until 6th November.

Tamara de Lempicka: Art Deco Icon is the first major exhibition in this country of the artist who captured the essence of modernism and the spirit of Art Deco in her work. It focuses on her most prolific period, from 1922 to the early 1940s. Bringing together some 55 paintings, many never before seen in public, the exhibition confirms de Lempicka's reputation as one of the most iconic painters of her generation. Although brought up in Moscow, she moved to Paris in 1917, as it was about to become the capital of the art world. De Lempicka's images combine the forms of traditional portraiture with geometric architectural features that capture the sense of modernity and the machine age. Her subjects are often dramatically lit, with closely cropped compositions, so that they fill the canvas with their monumental and powerful presence. It is for the development of this contemporary and unique style that de Lempicka is recognised. These paintings reflect the combination of wealth and decadence that was synonymous with the French capital in the 1920s and 1930s. As well as focusing on her many commissioned portraits, the exhibition also includes some of de Lempicka's sensual nudes and beautiful still-lifes. The Royal Academy until 30th August.


George III And Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting And Court Taste reflects the major contribution to the Royal Collection made by George III and his consort. The 500 objects in this exhibition, including sculpture, furniture, paintings, drawings, books, ceramics, silver, gold, jewellery and clocks, constitute one of the largest and finest groups of Georgian material ever assembled. When George III purchased Buckingham House in 1762, the decorative arts commissioned to furnish it included furniture by William Vile, silver by Thomas Heming, porcelain from the Chelsea, Derby, Wedgwood and Worcester factories, and ornamental metalwork by Matthew Boulton. George III also commissioned some of the most sophisticated clocks, barometers and watches ever created, and the case for Christopher Pinchbeck's four-dialled astronomical clock, and decoration for the mantel clock by Thomas Wright featured here, were partly designed by the King. An important purchase was the collection formed by the British consul in Venice, with works by Raphael, Zuccarelli and Annibale Carracci, and the finest group of Canalettos in existence, plus ancient and Renaissance gems, intaglios, medals and books. There are portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte by leading British artists, including Allan Ramsay and Thomas Gainsborough. Reflecting the Royal couple's domestic life, there are gifts they exchanged, with tableware, writing sets, gaming pieces and musical instruments, including case of a claviorgan, a harpsichord, and the King's flute. The Queen's Gallery, London until 9th June.

Town House Treasures: Sir William Holburne Of Bath is a selection from the remarkable collection of fine and decorative art of Sir William Holburne. Born into a distinguished naval family, he saw action at the Battle of Trafalgar when he was only twelve years old, and later became a notable traveller. Over three decades, both at home and abroad, he collected works of art on a huge scale, acquiring over 5,000 objects, including Italian maiolica, Renaissance bronzes, 17th century Dutch paintings, European porcelain, English silver and Wedgwood ware. The entire collection can now be found at the Holburne Museum of Art, situated in a town house in Bath. This exhibition displays some of the best pieces, with fine paintings (including Jagger's portrait of the man himself), spectacular silver, porcelain, miniatures and other objet d'art, giving visitors a chance to compare and contrast Holburne's treasures with the Sir Richard Wallace's resident collection. The Wallace Collection until 6th June.

Disguise is a collection of work by artists who have made it their business to play at being someone else, to the point in some cases, that the assumed persona has taken them over: their art is self creation rather than self expression.The show examines style, fashion and identity, to explore how we create and change our image, through photography, video and sculpture. All the artists adopt extreme forms of disguise to reflect on how we use it in our daily lives in our dress, make-up or behaviour. Highlights include: Fergus Greer's images of 80s performance artist Leigh Bowery in a series of extraordinary costumes which manipulate his silhouette; Cindy Sherman's photographs of herself as a series of women you might spot in an American supermarket; Nikki S Lee's radical transformations of her image and lifestyle to be accepted into a community of senior citizens or lesbians; Marcus Coates's videos that explore the boundaries between humans and animals; Yasumasa Morimura's images of himself digitally infiltrated into Pre-Raphelite paintings; and Laura Ford's childlike characters in ineffectual disguises. Manchester Art Gallery until 6th June.