News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 27th February 2008


Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia charts the artistic and personal relationships of Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Francis Picabia, and explores the affinities and parallels in their work, showing how they responded to each others' ideas and innovations. The godfathers of conceptual art, they created the Dada movement in New York during the First World War, and unusually in modern art, remained friends throughout their lives. At the heart of this friendships lay a shared outlook on life, manifested in their works through jokes and a sense of irony, iconoclastic gestures, and an interest in eroticism. Picabia was a painter, Man Ray worked in all media but became celebrated as a photographer, and Duchamp abandoned the life of a professional artist, yet became a revered figure for later artists. The exhibition features seminal early works such as Duchamp's iconic 'Fountain' and 'Nude Descending a Staircase (No.2)'; Picabia's 'I See Again in My Memory My Dear Udnie' and 'Femmes Au Bull Dog'; and Man Ray's 'The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows'. Covering the period to the end of their careers, the show features Duchamp's 'ready mades' and optical experiments, Man Ray's 'rayographs' (cameraless photographs), iconic photographs of the interwar years, and examples of his many objects, and a selection of Picabia's 'monster' and 'dot' paintings. Films by all three artists are also being shown, including 'Entr'acte', which was scripted by Picabia and in which all have cameo appearances. A display devoted to the artists' friendships, includes photographs, letters, books and magazines. Tate Modern until 26th May.

Ruination: Photographs Of Rome is an exhibition that brings together a series of arresting images of the architecture of ancient Rome, in its varying stages of decay and restoration, produced by pioneering photographers from the mid 19th century, and their successors in the late 20th century. Rome has been a compelling subject for photographers since the medium's earliest days, which made the recording of exotic architectural topography more accessible, as instanced by Robert McPherson's photograph of the Marcellus Theatre in its ruined glory in 1860. Images of Rome originally served as forms of truthful witness to the artistic splendours of the past. Once valued as replications of antique architecture and sculpture in situ, it is now their extraordinary power as images - their technical and artistic subtlety - that allow them to transcend their function as homages to the city. Contemporary photographers whose works are featured alongside those of the pioneers of the medium include Olivio Barbieri, Richard Billingham, Fiona Crisp and John Riddy. Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham, until 6th April.

Masterpieces From The Louvre: The Collection Of Louis La Caze is an opportunity for London to view 16 of the great 17th and 18th century paintings left to the Louvre in Paris by the philanthropist Louis La Caze. The exhibition also provides an insight into the history of taste and collecting, since La Caz was an almost exact contemporary of the 4th Marquess of Hertford, who acquired the great majority of the paintings in the Wallace Collection. It reveals that the choices they made when building their collections could not have been more different. This show juxtaposes their selections, offering a unique chance to compare and contrast, and also to view paintings by Chardin, who is not represented in the resident collection at all. Highlights include one of the masterpieces of 17th century Spanish painting, Ribera's 'Le Pied-Bot (The Boy with the Club Foot)', and Velazquez's 'Infanta Maria Teresa', both making their first visit to Britain, which can be seen alongside other works by Velazquez, Murillo and Alonso Cano; and 18th century French paintings such as Watteau's 'Jupiter and Antiope', Chardin's 'Le Benedicitie, and two of Fragonard's figures de fantasie, 'L'inspiration' and 'l'Etude', together with works by Pater, Lancret, Rigaud, Nattier and Boucher. Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London, until 18th May.


Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913 - 2008 brings together rare vintage prints with contemporary classics from Vanity Fair and the Conde Nast Archive. It provides a photographic history of celebrity portraiture, with works of master photographers from Edward Steichen and Cecil Beaton, to Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino. Some of the greatest portrait photographs of the 20th century were taken for, or published in, Vanity Fair. This selection of 150 images features works from the magazine's first period, 1913 to 1936, displayed for the first time with works from its contemporary incarnation, 1983 to 2008. In the first period, celebrated subjects such as Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow, Louis Armstrong, Noel Coward, Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, Anna May Wong and Paul Robeson are shown in portraits by Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Baron De Meyer, Man Ray and George Hurrell. Since the magazine's re-launch, the works of Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, Nan Goldin, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber and Mario Testino are featured, depicting a wide range of subjects from Arthur Miller to Madonna. From the beginning, British, Irish and American authors were profiled and their writings published, and among the vintage portraits in the exhibition are iconic images of H G Wells, James Joyce, D H Lawrence, Rebecca West, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and George Bernard Shaw. Since its reincarnation, iconic cover images featured here include the Reagans dancing, a very pregnant Demi Moore, a formal portrait of President Bush's Afghan War Cabinet, and actresses Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley photographed naked. National Portrait Gallery until 26th May.

Niki de Saint Phalle is a comprehensive survey of the Franco-American painter and sculptor's entire career, with key examples of all phases of her work, and an exploration of her themes and concerns. It encompasses de Saint Phalle's early 'Assemblages' and paintings in the 1950s, based on found everyday objects that she embedded in plaster as a relief, often littered with violent objects such as knives, scissors, nails and blades; her acclaimed 'Shooting Paintings (Tirs)' in the early 1960s, such as 'Portrait of My Lover', where the head has been substituted by a target studded with darts, which developed into works where she embedded pockets filled with paint and foodstuffs within a thick layer of plaster on canvas, and other artists were invited to shoot the paintings in order to make the pictures 'bleed'; her religious altars such as 'Autel O.A.S', and works on the theme of the Bride - white papier mache sculptures of women - in the mid 1960s, which led on to the 'Nanas', very large brightly coloured sculptures of women that, due to their generous size and form, have become iconic and enduring archetypal images of maternity and femininity, and other large sculptural works; a wide selection of graphic work; and late works including the 'Skull Meditation Room', and 'Il Giardino dei Tarocchi', sculptures based on Tarot cards. Tate Liverpool until 5th May.

The Movieum Of London is a new museum that celebrates the British film industry, going behind the scenes to showcase the talent that has produced some of the world's most famous movies, and revealing the creative process that went into their making. Featuring real sets, props and movie equipment, it shows how the contributions of the individual departments come together to create a film, including special effects, animatronics, make up and wardrobe. The displays comprise: The History Of The Studios - Elstree, Pinewood and Shepperton, from the Golden Age to the Golden Compass, an insight into the studios where movie history was made; Real Life Sets, where visitors can step into the action of the sound stage and be part of the movie making experience; From Film Lover To Film Maker, a step by step guide to film making from an initial script to the final edit; Prop Art, some of the most famous props in film making history created and introduced by the most prolific artists of today; From Script To The Screen, the process of animation through the years, from Beatrix Potter, Dangermouse, Bagpuss and Mr Benn to Peppa Pig, original art used in the making of the episodes and films; Chapman Entertainment, exploring the magic of stop motion animation and how Fifi and the Flowertots are brought to the screen; and Comic Artists In Residence, where the characters and page come to life with the artists behind the magic of 2000AD and Garth. The Movieum Of London, County Hall, South Bank from 22nd February.

Designs Of The Year is an exhibition that launches a new annual award to celebrate the most innovative, interesting and forward looking new work in design of all kinds. It gives an overview of the most significant achievements in design and architecture in the last year, whether they are projects by a practice, a team or an individual. Selected from around the world, the finalists featured in the show comprise 100 projects nominated by a group of internationally respected design experts, curators, critics, practitioners and enthusiasts, including Nick Knight, Philipp Rode and Wayne Hemmingway. These projects fall within seven categories to cover all design disciplines: architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, interactive, product and transport. Designs range from Thomas Heatherwick's East Beach Cafe in Littlehampton to Micael Rojkind's Chocolate Museum in Mexico City; Peter Marigiold's Movisi Make/Shift Shelving to Barber Osgerby's Saturn Coat Stand; United Visual Artists' Volume; One Point Six 3D light installation at the V&A to Paul Cocksedge's Private View, which uses material that allows only infrared light to pass through; Yohei Kuwano's Muji Wind Up Radio to Jasper Morrison's Refrigerator; and the Fiat 500 to JCDecaux's Velib Communal Bicycles in Paris. A winner in each category will go forward for consideration as the overall prize winner, to be announced on 18th March. Design Museum, London, until 27th April.

Blake's Shadow: William Blake And His Artistic Legacy explores the continuing influence on the world of creativity and ideas of a unique figure in British visual culture. William Blake has inspired people with such wide ranging interests as literature, painting, book design, politics, philosophy, mythology, music and film making. Alongside works by Blake himself, the exhibition spans two centuries of his influence, featuring around 60 watercolours, engravings, prints and paintings, in addition to numerous illustrated books and a range of audio visual material. His contemporaries in the late 18th and early 19th century are represented with works from John Flaxman, Edward Calvert, Samuel Palmer, J H Fuseli and Thomas Stothard. Blake's influence on artists in the Victorian period is explored through works by Ford Madox Brown, Walter Crane, Frederic Shields, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Simeon Soloman and G F Watts. British artists working in the 20th and 21st centuries who have been inspired by Blake include Cecil Collins, Douglas Gordon, Paul Nash, Anish Kapoor, David Jones, Ceri Richards, Patrick Proctor, Austin Osman Spare and Keith Vaughan. Blake's more recent influence is evidenced in work by the filmmakers Jim Jarmusch and Gus Van Sant, and various musicians, notably Patti Smith and Jah Wobble. Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, until 20th April.

Peter Doig is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of the work of Doig, spanning two decades, and comprising over 50 paintings and a group of works on paper. It includes a substantial body of work developed in the 5 years since his move to Trinidad in 2002, many of them not previously shown in Britain. Using everyday photographic images from newspapers or snapshots as a compositional starting point, Peter Doig's haunting paintings have a strong sense of atmosphere - his figures often seem out of time, and his landscapes possessed of a strange, unnamable presence. The narrative lure of the image is always countered by the visceral impact of the painted surface. This exhibition not only provides the widest overview of Doig's work to date, but also allows his themes and approach to be considered together, and reveals the shifts in his approach to making paintings over this period. Not only does Doig often return to the same subject, he sometimes returns to his previous paintings, making alterations and additions years later. Among the highlights are 'Hitch Hiker', 'Swamped', 'Concrete Cabin', 'Ski Jacket', 'Grand Riviere', '100 Years Ago (Carrera)' and 'Lapeyrouse Wall'. At the heart of the show is a room of Doig's works on paper, which relate to and extend the themes of the paintings. They also illuminate Doig's conceptual approach to his subject, as he repeats and reframes motifs in different paintings over an extended period of time. Tate Britain until 27th April.


Victorian Visions: 19th Century Photography offers an insight into the Victorian view of the world through around 40 original photographs, grouped into early works, landscape, documentary, women photographers and portraits. They include images made by major pioneers of photography, such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Lady Hawarden, Roger Fenton, Francis Frith, Robert Howlett and B.B. Turner. Among the highlights are: Julia Margaret Cameron's works echoing Pre-Raphaelite paintings in their romantic subject matter; Lady Hawarden's intense photographs of female sitters, often her own daughters, making use of natural light, reflections and a careful choice of viewpoint and props; B B Turner and Roger Fenton's landscapes, which follow in the tradition of British landscape painting; Paul Martin's photographs of day trippers enjoying the beach at Yarmouth Sands, a new leisure activity made possible by the building of the railways; a selection of carte de visite (small portrait photographs exchanged between friends and stuck into albums) of various eminent Victorians such as Charles Dickens and William Gladstone; and documentary images that record the desolation of the Crimea War, and the groundbreaking nature of Victorian engineering. Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, Liverpool, until 16th March.

Sleeping And Dreaming examines the mysterious state that we all experience, but still understand so little about, through the eyes of artists, scientists, film makers and historians. The exhibition brings together over 300 diverse objects, from Renaissance paintings to contemporary installations, to explore the biomedical and neurological processes that take place in the sleeping body, and the social and cultural areas of our lives to which sleep and dreams are linked. It is in five themes. Dead Tired, includes the experiences of DJ Peter Tripp, who broadcast continually for 8 days, and a victim of Stasi sleep deprivation interrogation. World Without Sleep looks at how artificial light, changing seasons and travel across time zones affects sleep patterns, with advice on combating jet lag, Paul Ramierez Jonas's 'Another Day' counting down the time to sunrise in 90 international cities, and a collection of ingenious Heath Robinson alarm clocks. Elusive Sleep features Krzystof Wodiczko's 'Homeless Vehicle', a sleeping unit for homeless people, and 1930s public health posters warning of the dangers of fleas and bed bugs, insomnia and the use of sleeping pills. Dream Worlds looks at how dreaming and waking states intermingle, with Paul McCartney describing how the tune of Yesterday came to him in a dream, and an examination of Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams. Traces Of Sleep examines the association of sleep with unconsciousness and death, via Aristotle's treatise on Sleep and Sleeplessness, a machine from the 1930s designed to 'tune' the nerves to prevent sleepwalking, and Ron Mueck's 'Swaddled Baby'. Wellcome Collection, London until 10th March.

Medieval Ivories From The Thomson Collection is a selection of over 45 of the finest medieval carved ivories from the art collection of the late Kenneth Thomson. The display features most types of medieval ivory carving, with subjects ranging from the religious to the secular, including large statuettes of the Virgin and Child intended to stand on altars in chapels, together with small versions for private use in the home, and folding tablets or diptychs with scenes from the life of Christ carved in relief. Alongside these are carved writing tables, boxes and caskets, combs, hair parters, mirror cases with scenes of romantic encounters between young men and women, and a rare set of carved serving knives with fabulous beasts decorating the ivory handles. The centerpiece is an astonishingly carved Nativity and the Last Judgement, which until recently had been dismissed as a 19th century forgery, as its degree of accomplishment so far exceeds any other surviving medieval work. Other highlights include the Dormeuil Diptych of the Passion of Christ, the largest Passion diptych recorded, measuring 24.7cm by 31.4cm when opened, last on public display in 1913; a narrative comb showing two couples being transported to the fountain of youth in a carriage drawn by a horse and a mule, where they frolick naked in the waters; and a series of grisly memento mori beads designed to remind the owner of their own mortality, with heads on one side and worm eaten skulls on the other. Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, London, until 9th March.