Private View held by Richard Andrews
Thames Tales is an interactive family event which explores the changing life of the River Thames, from royal pageantry and palaces, to bridges, buoys and boats. The exhibition looks at the history of London's main artery, as a working environment, leisure attraction and royal waterway. Children can learn about the history of the river from a cast of characters such as Toot the tugboat, Bob the river policeman, and Richard the seventeenth century waterman. Hands-on activities include building a bridge, steering a river bus, loading a barge and rebuilding the Tower of London. A programme of talks, guided river tours, drop-in workshops, foreshore walks and gallery trails accompanies the exhibition. Golden Jubilee related displays include a selection of posters illustrating the connection between royalty and transport. London Transport Museum until 1st September.
Free Trade - Inhale/Exhale mark the re-opening of Manchester Art Gallery after a £35m makeover, which has seen it double in size, by incorporating the Athenaeum Club building to its rear. Michael Hopkins has linked the two with an atrium, creating a suitably spectacular space, with lifts, walkways and a grandiose double staircase, all in sandblasted glass. The existing buildings have also been refurbished, and now incorporate the requisite tally of education suite, screening room, cafe, shop and interactive arcade. Free Trade explores the relationship between commerce and art, and tells the story of Manchester as a trading centre, employing some of the 30,000 objects bequeathed to the gallery by Manchester merchant and art collector George Beatson Blair. Over 300 of these objects, including paintings, ceramics, glass, metalware and furniture are featured, plus original films about trading in Manchester. Inhale/Exhale is a new installation by Michael Craig Martin that shows off the volume of the largest exhibition space. Brightly coloured walls form the background for a range of hugely magnified painted objects, which are seemingly 'inhaled' into a painting on one of the walls and 'exhaled' onto another. Manchester Art Gallery - Free Trade until 30th December - Inhale/Exhale until 30th June.
Inspired By Italy: Dutch Landscape Painting 1600-1700 features the work of Dutch Italianate Masters, 17th century Netherlands artists who travelled to Italy for inspiration. They brought back with them to a flat and cloudy Holland, visions of lakes, mountains, ancient forests and tumbled Roman ruins, with peasants in brightly coloured clothes, under clear blue skies, or in golden evening sunlight. These proved extremely popular, and even inspired others towards their own interpretation of a landscape they may never have seen. The exhibition of 80 paintings traces the development of the movement, starting with its origins in Italy during the last decade of the 16th century in the work of Paul Bril; moving on to the 'first generation' of Dutch Italianates, including Cornelis Poelenburch and Bartholomeus Breenburgh, who worked alongside Claude and Poussin; the 'second generation' of Jan Both and Nicolaes Berchem, Aelbert Cuyp, Karel Dujardin, Philips Wouwermans and Adam Pynacker; and finally, the less well known 'third generation' of Isaac de Moucheron and Jacob de Heusch. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 26th August.
Royal Treasures: A Golden Jubilee Celebration is the inaugural exhibition of the new Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Incorporating the former Royal kitchens, the £20m scheme by John Simpson (funded entirely by the Royal Collection Trust) provides three and a half times more space than the gallery it replaces, including multimedia, education and lecture rooms. Mixing the famous with the unexpected, the selection of 450 works for this exhibition has been made across the breadth of the Royal Collection, from eight royal residences and over five centuries of collecting and gifts. It includes the very finest paintings, drawings and watercolours, furniture, sculpture and ceramics, silver and gold, arms and armour, jewellery and miniatures, books and manuscripts. Among the highlights are Van Dyck's equestrian portrait of Charles I; major works by Holbein, Frans Hals and Canaletto; Lady At The Virginal by Vermeer; Landseer's study of Prince Albert's black greyhound; miniatures by Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver; studies by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo; the Mainz Psalter and the Sobeiski Book of Hours; the Darnley Jewel and The Queen's Diamond Diadem; wild flower ornaments and a Russian Imperial Egg by Faberge; and the recent portrait of The Queen by Lucien Freud. The Queen's Gallery until 12th January.
Tim Noble & Sue Webster: Ghastly Arrangements allow the Dynamic Duo of Young Brit Artists to pursue their continuing fascination with the thrills of illumination, love, language, shadows, cash and Hogarthian vulgarity. The main gallery space features a huge light piece that reads 'Forever' in a Las Vegas hotel-style font, with flashing bulbs and neon strips. Made Of Money is triggered like a slot machine - insert a token and a flurry of real £50, £10 and £5 notes attempts to obscure a projected vision of the artists self portrait in a kiss, but when the £10,000 worth settles, the image is magically rendered from an apparently formless mound of currency. The Original Sinners secretes a fine curtain of oil around an overgrown garden fountain comprised of a mass of fruit and vegetables - a shadow fills the wall and the two artists stand, seemingly naked, she lactating like a baroque fountain, and he peeing subversively into the deluge surrounding them. Milton Keynes Art Gallery until 23rd June.
Trading Places: The East India Company And Asia marks the 400th anniversary of the first English trading post in Asia. It relates the history of the East India Company, from its earliest roots in Indonesia and Malaysia, and its expansion to embrace Japan, Persia, China and India, through to the loss of its monopoly in 1834. The trading links created formed the basis for the development of British trade in Asia, playing a key role in the establishment of the United Kingdom as a major industrial nation in the 19th Century, and subsequently as one of the world's leading financial centres. By establishing a network of Asian partners, the East India Company became one of the world's most successful traders, and the first multinational corporation. It introduced into Europe many items, such as silk, tea, porcelain, chintz and curry powder, and words, such as shampoo, rice and bungalow into the English language. The exhibition also highlights the human cost of developing this trade, and covers the Company's role in exporting opium to China from the 1770s for commercial gain, without regard to the social or economic consequences for China. This abuse of its power was one of the reasons the Company lost its monopoly, and ultimately resulted in the Opium Wars of 1839-42 and 1856-60. British Library Gallery until 22nd September.
Game On: The History And Culture Of Video Games presents the forty year history, contemporary culture, and future of video games, in the biggest non-commercial show ever staged in Britain. This very interactive exhibition explains the game design process from the conceptual drawing through to the finished game, and identifies the key creative people who make them. It examines developments in hardware technology from Space War and the huge console computers in arcades of the early 1960s, to the recently launched X-Box, Game Cube and Playstation 2, illustrating how content and technologies are interrelated in advancing new ideas. The Games Family area has 35 playable games in the 3 genres of Thought (derived from existing board games), Action and Simulation. It assesses the influence games have had on culture in Europe, North America and Japan, particularly in relation to cinema, pop videos and other visual media. Eight new commissions from contemporary artists, architects and designers responding to current game technology look towards the future of games. Further information and an online game can be found on the Game On web site via the link opposite. Barbican Gallery until 15th September.
The Beatles Story, the award winning attraction, has been refurbished and extended, providing an even more Magical History Tour around the world's greatest group. There are now eighteen separate features that create a time warp to Liverpool in the 1960s. In addition to experiencing Beatlemania as it began in The Cavern, where the Beatles played no less than 292 times, visitors can now see exhibits from their formative years, including the instruments played by The Quarrymen; stroll through the cobbled streets of Hamburg past the Star Club; see the office of Mersey Beat; visit Abbey Road studios with the original microphones used at recording sessions; pass through a Yellow Submarine; tune in to a psychedelic experience; and enter The White Room with John Lennon's Steinway piano on which he composed Imagine. Also on display are rare photographs and film footage, artefacts, memorabilia, and a unique opportunity to not only hear, but feel the music. Further information and a virtual tour can be found on The Beatles Story web site via the link from the Attractions section of ExhibitionsNet. The Beatles Story, Liverpool continuing.
Shimmering Substance examines the texture and substance of art - its physical quality and surface - the title being taken from a 1946 Jackson Pollock painting. The shimmering is expressed not just in paintings (both representational and abstract), but also in a variety of media, employing water, foam, clay, glass and glitter. These are used in everything from a beaded curtain, to Sarah Dobai's video installation with water cascading in front of the image, to Kate Bright's paintings of gleaming lakes with silver and gold glitter applied like old fashioned Christmas cards. The other artists whose work is featured are Enid Baxter Blader, Mel Bochner, Tom Chamberlain, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Alexis Harding, Roger Hiorns, Rachel Howard, Marilyn Minter, David Musgrave, Ernesto Neto, Lawson Oyekan, Rudolf Stingel, Lawrence Weiner and Pae White. Arnolfini, Bristol until 23rd June.
Baroque Painting In Genoa celebrates the 17th century flowering of the city as one of the great centres of art. As it became a major trading and banking location, enormous wealth was invested in the creation of palazzos with spectacularly decorated interiors, and the adornment of city churches, with frescos, paintings and sculpture. Artists were attracted from all over Europe, joining skilled local painters and craftsmen, and together they produced some extraordinarily fine works in the flamboyant and grandiose Baroque style. This exhibition comprises paintings from public and private collections that have never been seen in Britain before. Highlights include Rubens life size 'Equestrian Portrait Of Giovan Carlo Doria', one of the city's most significant artistic patrons; Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione's 'Adoration Of The Shepherds', the altarpiece from the church of San Luca; Valerio Castello's 'Rape of Proserpine'; and other works by Van Dyck and Bernardo Strozzi; together with a carved picture frame by the sculptor Filippo Parodi. National Gallery until 16th June.
Milan In A Van launches a new Contemporary Space, which will provide a showcase for contemporary design, craft, fashion, photography, architecture and the graphic arts, from around the world. This exhibition is truly upmarket Pickfords, in that it features the latest designs from the Milan Furniture Fair, with new products, materials and prototypes, including work by participants in the Fringe Fair, which features over 3000 up and coming designers. Strange shapes and very bright colours predominate - suffice to say that wood and traditional furnishing fabrics don't get much of a look in. Among the star designers whose work is included are Ron Arad, the Bourelec brothers and Pia Wallen. Don't miss Tom Dixon's Spaghetti Chaise Longue (extruded PVC rather than pasta); Konstantin Grcic's Public One Chair (aluminium and concrete); Tord Boontje's Blossom Chandelier (crystal and LED lights); and Humberto Campana's Sushi Chair (various fabrics in an elasticated tube). Victoria & Albert Museum until 9th June.
Cutting Edge: An Exhibition Of British Cutlery And Place Settings does exactly what it says on the tin, featuring five thousand years of the cutler's art. In a collection of knives, forks and spoons ranging from the New Stone Age to the 1950s, it provides a complete overview of the design and evolution of British cutlery. Over 500 pieces, including Neolithic flint, Celtic and Roman bronze and Georgian and Victorian silver, show the beauty and diversity of these everyday objects. The displays are arranged both in thematic and chronological order, with table settings including the appropriate replica food, which bring the exhibition to life.
Cutting Design complements the historical exhibition with the work of contemporary London designers. Some pieces function as cutlery, some as art pieces and others as jewellery. Materials used include silver, stainless steel and ceramics, and techniques incorporate casting, firing, piercing, waterjet cutting and hot forging. Designers featured include William Warren, Susana Shaw, Diana Greenwood, William Phipps, Lucian Taylor, Maike Dahl, Jonathan Levien and Nipa Doshi, Kay Ivanovic, Lisa Marklew and Rebecca de Quin. Geffrye Museum until 2nd June.