News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th August 2013

Commencing

Green Fuse: The Work Of Dan Pearson examines the career of one of the most significant landscape and garden designers working today. The exhibition traces the roots of Dan Pearson's work as a plantsman and designer, looking at his education and influences and focusing on a number of key projects and their inspiration. Pearson is equally at ease designing a garden for private clients as designing a woodland landscape for a space-age house in the forest outside Moscow with Zaha Hadid, restoring a Lutyens/Jekyll estate as creating an ambitious new estate in Devon, or creating a city park in the heart of King's Cross as a mountainside ecological park at the northernmost tip of Japan. The exhibition is an immersive, multimedia experience where space, materials and craftmanship are as carefully considered as rhythm, colour, texture and seasonality in planting to create spaces which are emotionally uplifting and have a distinctive sense of place. It examines the fundamental importance of the idea of sense of place in Pearson's work, the intuitive quality of his informally trained design eye and the horticulturally rigorous, yet painterly quality of his plantings. Starting with the most formative early influences nurtured at his childhood home, the display builds a picture of how the accumulation of education, inspiration and experience led Pearson to create the iconic garden at Home Farm for Frances Mossman at the age of 22, restore the landscape at Althorp House, following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and work on the landscape for the Millennium Dome with Richard Rogers. In addition, Pearson has created a new planting design for the border in front of the museum, using elements of his work at the Tokachi Millennium Forest, employing a mix of woodland floor species, with dramatic accents and a sculptural element. Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1, until 20th October.

Brains: The Mind As Matter looks at what humans have done to brains in the name of medical intervention, scientific enquiry, cultural meaning and technological change. Featuring more than 150 objects, including real brains, artworks, manuscripts, artefacts, videos and photography, the exhibition follows the long quest to manipulate and decipher the most unique and mysterious of human organs, whose secrets continue to confound and inspire. Famous and infamous brain specimens are on display, including those of Albert Einstein, Charles Babbage and William Burke, as are the thoughts on brains from famous thinkers, together with donors, surgeons, patients and collectors. The exhibition has four sections: Measuring/Classifying introduces efforts to define the relationship between the brain's function and form, from Bernard Hollander's cranial measuring system to the tools of phrenology, the skewed morality of these pseudo-sciences illustrates the measuring of brains as a measure of culture; Mapping/Modelling follows the attempts to represent the anatomy of the brain, from early visualisations by Reisch, Vesalius and Descartes in the 16th and 17th centuries to the kaleidoscopic Brainbow images of nerve cells, and the artistic drive to apprehend the complexities of the brain with the increasing philosophical and medical understanding of its centrality to our being; Cutting/Treating explores the history of surgical intervention on a form of human tissue that is uniquely swift to decay and difficult to dissect, from crude trephination kits to complex 3D imaging systems revealing the human stories behind the anatomy of brains; and Giving/Taking traces the stories of brain harvesting and the variety of its purpose, from Nazi experimentation to the hope offered by research into neurodegenerative disorders by brain banks. Museum Of Science & Industry, Manchester, until 4th January.

Mary, Queen of Scots explores the myth and reality that surround one of the most enigmatic and romanticised figures in Scottish history. The exhibition traces Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots's story through the dynastic alliances at the heart of Renaissance Europe, following her life from birth in Scotland, childhood in France, to ruling both France and Scotland as Queen, her imprisonment in England and eventual execution. Her life of is revealed through around 200 objects, including paintings, jewellery, textiles, furniture, documents, drawings and maps. Documentary evidence ranges from the earliest surviving letter written by Mary to the warrant for her execution signed by Elizabeth I, including examples of the 'Casket letters', which were used to incriminate her in the Darnley murder, and a letter with secret cipher, presented as proof of her association with the Babington plot to assassinate Elizabeth I, which led eventually to her execution. Among some of the finest pieces of jewellery associated with Mary on show are a gold necklace and pendant locket, known collectively as the Penicuik jewels, said to have been given to one of her supporters during her captivity, in an effort to bind them to the Crown. Renaissance maps and scientific instruments such as a 15th century French astrolabe and 16th century table clock show the context of Europe moving towards an era of rapid scientific advancement, exploration and discovery. However, the 1563 Witchcraft Act shows that this was not yet an age of reason, and John Knox's 'First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women', attacked the rise of female, Catholic rulers in Europe. Finally, the exhibition includes the Book of Hours which was said to be in Mary's possession at the time of her execution and one of the most iconic images of Mary, the 'Memorial Portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots', which represents her in preparation for the executioner's block. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, until 17th November.

Continuing

Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis Of Brilliance, 1908 - 1922 charts the evolution of the influential group who became some of the most well-known and distinctive British artists of the early 20th century. Students together at the Slade School of Art in London between 1908 and 1912, Paul Nash, C R W Nevinson, Stanley Spencer, Mark Gertler, Dora Carrington and David Bomberg formed part of what their drawing teacher Henry Tonks described as the school's last 'crisis of brilliance'. As their talents evolved they became Futurists, Vorticists and 'Bloomsberries', and befriended the leading writers and intellectuals of their day. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see over 70 of their works alongside each other, and explores their artistic development, culminating with a selection of their paintings made during and after the Great War of 1914 to 1918, generating some of the most provoking visual records of that event. Aside from their works of art, the members of the group were known for their rebellious, often controversial, behaviour, and through letters, drawings, photographs and ephemera, the exhibition also brings to life their complex dramas, including a fractious love triangle, a murder and multiple suicides. Among the highlights are Nash's 'Void' and 'The Sea Wall', Spencer's 'Unveiling Cookham War Memorial', Gertler's 'The Fruit Sorters', Carrington's portrait of Lytton Strachey and Bomberg's 'In The Hold'. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 22nd September.

Swan Upping celebrates the 900 year old tradition of the annual monitoring of the swan population on stretches of the Thames in the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The quintessentially English ceremony of Swan Upping was originally a way of marking ownership of swans, at a time when the birds were regarded as a dish at banquets and feasts. Today the primary purpose of the event is conservation. The Swan Uppers work with the Oxford University Zoology Department to monitor the welfare of the birds. Visually striking, with all involved dressed in traditional scarlet and white attire, the ceremony takes place every year during the 3rd week of July. The Queen's Swan Marker, the Royal Swan Uppers and the Swan Uppers of the Vintners Company and the Worshipful Company of Dyers use 6 traditional Thames rowing skiffs for their 5 day, 79 mile journey up-river. They cry "All up!" whenever a brood of cygnets is sighted and the birds are weighed, measured, checked and ringed. The exhibition provides an insight into this event through a comprehensive series of stories, revealed in Pathe news footage, historical photographs, and artefacts including oars, original uniforms, audio recordings and Swan Upping inspired art. River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, until 18th May.

William Scott is a retrospective marking the centenary of the birth of an artist who became one the leading British painters of his generation, with the first major showing of his work in over 20 years. Across a career spanning six decades, William Scott produced an extraordinary body of work. Exhibiting in America and Europe from the early 1950s, Scott is renowned for his powerful handling of paint in his exploration of still life, landscape and nude, and of the unstable boundaries between them. This exhibition comprises a series of thematic rooms, focusing on Scott's morphological shifts between genres and his preoccupation with 'significant forms'. Working across the genres of still life, landscape and the nude, Scott developed a unique language that pushed the boundaries of abstraction and figuration, leaving an influential legacy of work which mediates important developments in mid-20th century European and American painting. His work is often charged with a sensuality emanating from his dynamic compositions as well as the vitality of his paint surfaces. Highlights include 'Still Life with Garlic', 'Still Life with Orange Note', 'Still Life with Candlestick', 'Three Pears, Pan, Plate and Knife', 'Reclining Red Nude', 'Figure Expanded', 'White, Sand and Ochre' and 'The Harbour'. Hepworth Wakefield until 29th September.

Sensational Butterflies charts the life cycle of some of the world's most beautiful creatures in an explorer's trail through a tropical butterfly house, and reveals how butterflies around the world have adapted to their habitats. The trail takes visitors on a journey from egg to caterpillar, and chrysalis to butterfly. In the butterfly house there is a hatchery, where butterflies constantly emerge from their pupa, and join the hundreds of butterflies and moths in the 4 habitat zones of North America, South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, fluttering freely among the exotic plants. Over 20 species with wildly different colourings and markings are on view, including the Blue Morpho, the underside of whose wings are dappled brown for camouflage, and the Asian Tree Nymph, which has the same 5 senses and human beings. Outside the butterfly house is a garden devoted to some of the 58 butterfly species that live in Britain, and offering useful tips for attracting these butterflies to visitors' own gardens. Meanwhile, inside the museum itself, there over 8 million preserved butterflies and moths, including representatives from about 90,000 species, with specimens dating back as far as 1680. Natural History Museum until 15th September.

The Lyons Teashops Lithographs: Art In A Time of Austerity 1946 - 1955 features lithographs commissioned by catering giant J Lyons & Co to combat a wartime decline in the interior decor of their famous teashops, and a post-war austerity lack of decorating material. War artists, Royal College of Art alumni, and well-known and emerging practitioners were chosen to produce tasteful works of art that would appeal to the typical Lyons Teashop customer. Through the company's imaginative approach to interior decoration, the cream of modern British art reached a wider public audience in the 200 Teashops nationwide. Three series of lithographs were commissioned, including works by artists such as Edward Bawden, John Piper, David Gentleman, John Minton, Ruskin Spear, William Scott, Duncan Grant, John Nash and L S Lowry. The exhibition comprises 40 lithographs, together with a selection of the original paintings and working drawings. Whilst some of the artists were able to produce their own lithographs, others created watercolour, oil, gouache, pen and ink, or collaged works that were then turned into the final lithograph. Presenting a very particular British idyll, the lithographs depict urban, industrial, rural and coastal landscapes, domestic interiors, street scenes and still-lifes. Pictures of leisure pursuits such as billiards, cricket, fishing, punting, boxing and piano-playing vie with scenes of a railway station, a hotel lobby and fishmonger's shop, while apple pickers in a Kent orchard contrast with yeoman warders at the Tower of London and afternoon tea in Henley. Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, until 22nd October.

Witches And Wicked Bodies explores the highly exaggerated ways in which witches have been represented in art, from hideous hags to beautiful seductresses who 'bewitch' unwary men. The exhibition delves into the dark and cruel origins of the classic image of the witch, and reveals a rich and very diverse visual tradition. It highlights the inventive approaches to the depiction of witches and witchcraft employed by a broad range of artists over the past 500 years, with striking examples by famous names such as Albrecht Durer, Lucas Cranach, Francisco de Goya, Henry Fuseli and William Blake, together with works by contemporary artists. There are six key themes: Witches' Sabbaths And Devilish Rituals, including one of the most famous images of witches of all time, Salvator Rosa's 'Witches at their Incantations'; Unnatural Acts Of Flying, looking at the origins of the image of the witch as an old woman riding a broomstick against a night sky and more sinister images of flying witches attending black masses; Magic Circles, Incantations And Raising The Dead, with glamorous witches cooking up spells in Frans Francken's 'Witches' Sabbath' and John William Waterhouse's 'The Magic Circle'; Hideous Hags And Beautiful Witches, featuring John Hamilton Mortimer's 'Envy and Distraction'; Unholy Trinities And The Weird Sisters From Macbeth, ranging from John Runciman's 'Three Witches' conspiring over Macbeth's fate to John Raphael Smith's 'The Weird Sisters from Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'; and The Persistence Of Witches, with contemporary works such as Kiki Smith's 'Out of the Woods' and Paula Rego's 'Straw Burning', relating to the Pendle Witch trials. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until 3rd November.

Concluding

Extinction: Not The End Of The World? tells stories that encompass lost species, survivors of mass extinctions, and those currently endangered. Although over 99% of all species that roamed the earth are now extinct, a rich mix of animals and plants survive. In this exhibition astonishing images and interactive installations bring to life some of those amazing lost species, from the dinosaur to the Irish elk, bizarre insects and super-sized birds, including a new more historically accurate model of the icon of extinction, the dodo, raphus cucullatus. The display celebrates those that have survived past mass extinctions, such as the leatherback turtle, and those that have even returned from the dead. Alongside dramatic photos and film footage, there are 80 real specimens, including the 6ft skull of a 65 million year old chasmosaurus belli - one of the last dinosaurs, the 12ft head and antlers of an extinct Irish elk, the skull of a sabre-tooth tiger, an enormous elephant bird egg, and tiny live Mexican pupfish, cyprinodon longidorsalis, which only exist today because they were saved by the London Zoo when their habitat was drained. The display also highlights those species that are endangered today, with an 8ft model of a bluefin tuna, thunnus thynnus, a Californian condor, a 4ft giant clam, and an adult tiger, panthera tigris, of which only 3,000 remain in the wild. Natural History Museum until 8th September.

Sebastiao Salgado: Genesis is the 3rd long-term photographic exploration of contemporary global issues by the Brazilian photojournalist. This epic exhibition is the culmination of 8 years work, exploring 32 countries, and features 216 of Sebastiao Salgado's black and white documentary photographs. They capture some of the furthest and wildest corners of the world, drawing together images of landscapes and wildlife, alongside indigenous communities that continue to live in accordance with their ancestral traditions and cultures, showing rare insights into their lands. The images chart a journey to rediscover the mountains, deserts and oceans, the animals and peoples that have so far escaped the imprint of modern society. They present a pictorial depiction of the lands and lives of a still pristine planet, portraying the breathtaking beauty of a lost world that somehow survives, revealing what is in peril, and what must be saved. The display embraces the dark heat of the Brazilian rainforest, the icy light of Siberia, an Ecuadorian dawn, and dusk in the Galapagos, and range from the cold of a Patagonian winter to the heat of the Sahara. During the years in which Salgado travelled around the world to produce this collection of images, he often stayed with the people he photographed, and many of the places represented are important research areas particularly for studying the variety of species biodiversity. The exhibition follows the 5 themes: Sanctuaries, Planet South, Africa, Northern Spaces, and Amazonia and Pantanal. Natural History Museum until 8th September.

Alien Revolution looks at the history of our relationship with extra-terrestrial life through science and culture. From the writings of 16th century astronomer Copernicus to modern day scientists still searching for life amongst the stars, the exhibition takes a whistle-stop tour of our on-going fascination with alien life, including children's favourite outer-space creature, E.T.; the intrepid Mars Curiosity rover on its solitary mission; and American couple Betty and Barney Hill, who claimed to be among some of the first people abducted by aliens in 1961. Copernicus made us rethink our place in the cosmos, recognising the Earth as a planet and the Sun as a star. The idea that the other planets in our Solar System were other Earths, with their own plants, animals and intelligent inhabitants took hold and led people to wonder if each star could be a Sun with its own family of inhabited earth-like planets. Within less than a century many people, from scientists to clergymen, believed in an infinite universe awash with intelligent alien life, reflected in religion, literature, philosophy, art and film. With scientific and fantastical images that capture the imagination, the exhibition explores our obsession with other worlds, from luminous paintings of whimsical bat-men and ethereal Moon maidens in the 19th century, to the violent depiction of invading Martians in stories of hostile aliens by H G Wells, and the first appearances of mysterious and complex crop-circles in 1970s England. Royal Observatory, Greenwich, until 8th September.