Private View held by Richard Andrews
Building The Picture: Architecture In Italian Renaissance Painting explores the role of architecture within Italian Renaissance painting of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The exhibition aims to increase appreciation and understanding of some of the most beautiful and architectonic paintings by Italian masters such as Duccio, Botticelli, Crivelli and their contemporaries. It looks in new ways at buildings depicted in paintings, and investigates how artists invented spaces in mind and paint that transcended the reality of bricks, mortar and marble. Architecture within paintings has often been treated as a passive background or as subordinate to the figures. This exhibition shows how, on the contrary, architecture underpinned many paintings, and was used to design the whole picture from the very start. This was the case in Sandro Botticelli's 'Adoration of the Kings', where the ruins in the picture were planned first and still dominate the composition. Renaissance paintings are full of arches, doorways and thresholds, like those in Carlo Crivelli's 'The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius' that invite the viewer into the picture. Architecture could also be designed to tell a story, articulating the plot, deepening understanding of the narrative and helping to engage with the events. In Domenico Veneziano's 'Saint Zenobius Bishop of Florence restores to life a widow's son killed by an ox cart in Borgo degli Albizzi, Florence', the compressed perspective of the street heightens the emotion of the desperate mother whose son had just died. Other highlights of the show include the Venetian master Sebastiano del Piombo's 'The Judgement of Solomon', Sassetta's Saint Francis renounces his Earthly Father', Domenica Beccafumi's 'The Story of Papirus', and 'The Ruskin Madonna' by Andrea del Verrocchio. National Gallery until 21st September.
In Fine Style: The Art Of Tudor And Stuart Fashion traces changing tastes in fashionable attire in the 16th and 17th centuries. For the Tudor and Stuart elite, luxurious clothing was an essential element of court life. Garments and accessories - and the way in which they were worn - conveyed important messages about wealth, gender, age, social position, marital status and religion. Using paintings, drawings, jewellery and rare surviving examples of clothing and accessories, the exhibition explores the style of the rich and famous of the period. Both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I enforced laws dictating the fabrics, colours and types of garment that could be worn at each level of society. 'Cloth of gold', which incorporated gold-wrapped thread, crimson-dyed fabrics and certain types of fur were reserved for those of the highest status. On the preparatory drawing for his portrait of William Parr, Hans Holbein the Younger notes that the sitter wore a gown of purple velvet. a fabric usually reserved for royalty, thus reflecting Parr's standing in the royal household as captain of the Gentleman Pensioners. In many cases, the clothing worn by the sitter was more costly than the painting itself. In 1632 Charles I paid Anthony van Dyck £100 for a portrait of the royal family, while spending £5,000 a year on clothing. Renaissance jewellery was often full of symbolism, including classical or mythological figures, and set with stones thought to hold magical properties. The Darnley or Lennox Jewel, an exquisite gold heart-shaped locket set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds, incorporates a serpent entwined around the Tree of Life and skull cameos, serving as a memento mori. The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, until 20th July.
Unlocking Lovelock: Scientist, Inventor, Maverick celebrates the life and 70 year career of one of Britain's most important living scientists and inventors, offering a unique insight into his creative mind and achievements. Professor James Lovelock's career has spanned scientific fields as diverse as medicine, environmental science, atmospheric chemistry and space exploration. He is most famous for formulating the Gaia hypothesis - the idea that Earth is a self-regulating system - which has profoundly shaped the way many scientists think about the planet. The exhibition includes images of Lovelock's home laboratory where he conducted numerous scientific experiments, together with scientific notebooks, charts and data, manuscripts of books, articles and lectures, patent material, photographs, audio-visual material, offprints and examples of Lovelock's own rough scribblings. Prominent in the display is the electron capture detector, one of Lovelock's most important inventions, a device capable of detecting tiny concentrations of environmentally harmful compounds in the Earth's atmosphere. In 1967 he used it to measure the supposedly clean air blowing off the Atlantic onto the west coast of Ireland and found that it contained CFCs, now known to cause ozone depletion. In addition, there is the watchmaker's lathe that Lovelock used to build many of his inventions and the home-made gas chromatography equipment that journeyed to the Antarctic and back, which proved crucial to scientists' current understanding of global atmospheric pollution. Science Museum until 9th April.
The Glamour Of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014 celebrates Italy's rich and influential contribution to fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present. The exhibition draws out the defining factors unique to the Italian fashion industry: the use of luxurious materials; expert textile production; specialist, regional manufacturing; and its strength as a source of both dynamic menswear and glamorous womenswear. The story of Italian fashion is explored through the pivotal individuals and organisations that have contributed to its reputation for quality and style, within the prevailing social and political context. On display are around 100 ensembles and accessories by leading Italian fashion houses including Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Gianfranco Ferre, Gucci, Missoni, Prada, Pucci and Versace, through to the next generation of talent, including couture by Giambattista Valli, ready-to-wear from Fausto Puglisi and work from Valentino's new designers duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. The show also notes the creativity of influential but less remembered figures such as post-war couturiers Sorelle Fontana and Mila Schon and design innovators such as Walter Albini. The display highlights the exceptional quality of techniques, materials and expertise for which Italy has become renowned. Its status as manufacturer and exporter of some of the world's most stylish and well-made fashion and textiles is linked to the strength of its traditional industries including spinning, dyeing, weaving, cutting and stitching; some of these traditions have been practised in regions around Italy for hundreds of years. Victoria & Albert Museum until 27th July.
Sense And Sensuality: Art Nouveau 1890 - 1914 explores the drama and spectacle of contemporary life at the turn of the 20th century. The exhibition looks at those Art Nouveau designers who were interested in the darker, more complex side of life. The period was one of sexual awakening, and this is reflected in the style. Its organic, curling, rounded forms are clearly derived from the body - male and female - intermingling in a powerful but often disturbing way with the shapes of flora and fauna. The show embraces the sensuality of Art Nouveau, and features a wide range of works from sculpture, graphics, and books to ceramics, glass and furniture. Highlights include Felix Vallotton's original poster 'L'Art Nouveau', the first public presentation of the name; Aubrey Vincent Beardsley's 'Salome' prints, which many believe to be the first true works in the style; Maurice Bouval's 'Femme au pivot' and 'Sleep or Woman with Poppies'; Jean-Joseph Carries's 'Fawn'; and Theophile Alexandre Steinlen's 'The Black Cat'. Other artists whose work is represented include Alphonse Mucha, Francois-Raoul Larche, Paul Francois Berthoud, Emile Galle, Eugene Grasset, Alphonse Mucha, Jean Carries, René Lalique, Rupert Carabin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Berthon, Georges de Feure. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, until 14th December.
Guiding Lights: 500 Years Of Trinity House And Safety At Sea showcases centuries of work by the Corporation of Trinity House to help sailors navigate safely at sea. In 1514, Henry VIII granted a charter to a fraternity of London mariners who became the Corporation of Trinity House, charged with improving the safety of navigation on the River Thames. Later in the 16th century their remit expanded to setting up beacons and seamarks to help ships avoid dangers. Since then, Trinity House has looked after pilotage, buoys, beacons and light vessels around some of the British coastline and has become the General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales and the Channel Islands. While Trinity House's aims have remained constant its methods of achieving them have changed dramatically as new technology is adopted and developed. The history of Britain's lighthouses is told through intricate models, dramatic film and the personal effects of lighthouse keepers. Lightvessels, buoys and yachts are illustrated through a selection of rarely-seen watercolour sketches by marine artist William Lionel Wyllie. Tales of personal bravery include that of lighthouse keeper's daughter and heroine Grace Darling, who became famous in the 1830s for her role in a daring rescue mission of a group of survivors after she spotted the shipwrecked Forfarshire on nearby rocks. The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until 4th January.
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the artist's paper cut-outs, made between 1943 and 1954. When ill health prevented Matisse from painting, he began to cut into painted paper with scissors to make maquettes for commissions, from books and stained glass window designs to tapestries and ceramics. In the cut-outs, outlines take on sculptural form and painted sheets of paper are infused with the luminosity of stained glass. The exhibition brings together around 120 works, many seen together for the first time, in a reassessment of Matisse's colourful and innovative final pieces. A draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor and painter, Matisse's unparalleled cut-outs are among the most significant of any artist's late works. Matisse's first cut-outs were collected together in Jazz, a book of 20 plates, and copies, featuring a text hand-written by Matisse, are shown alongside the original cut-outs. Other major pieces in the exhibition include 'The Snail', its sister work 'Memory of Oceania' and 'Large Composition with Masks', which a photograph of Matisse's studio reveals were initially conceived as a unified whole, are shown together for the first time since they were made. The show includes the largest number of 'Blue Nudes' ever exhibited together, including the most significant of the group 'Blue Nude I'. The exhibition re-examines the cut-outs in terms of the methods and materials that Matisse used, and their double lives, first as contingent and mutable in the studio and ultimately as permanent works through mounting and framing. The exhibition highlights the tensions in the works between finish and process; fine art and decoration; contemplation and utility; and drawing and colour. Tate Modern until 7th September.
26 Characters is a photographic installation with a twist that transforms writers into their childhood story heroes. Photographer Cambridge Jones has captured a gallery of 26 rogues and rascals, wizards, witches and wild things, portrayed by some of Britain's best-loved writers and storytellers, which unfolds through museum's atmospheric and unfinished buildings. Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman metamorphoses into the Wicked Witch of the West; Terry Pratchett achieves outlaw status as Just William; Neil Gaiman gets stripey as a well-known woodland creature; and Anthony Horowitz is both Jekyll and Hyde. Other celebrity authors taking part are Steven Butler, Cressida Cowell, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Ted Dewan, Julia Donaldson, Jamila Gavin, Frances Hardinge, Charlie Higson, Katrice Horsley, Shirley Hughes, Terry Jones, Geraldine McCaughrean, Michael Morpurgo, Philip Pullman, Michael Rosen, Katherine Rundell, Francesca Simon, Holly Smale, Clara Vulliamy and Benjamin Zephaniah. The exhibition also features authors talking about their heroes and the magic of stories, plus new works of imagination specially created for the exhibition by Jamila Gavin, Geraldine McCaughrean and others, read by actors Olivia Colman and Christopher Eccleston. The Story Museum, Rochester House, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford, until 2nd November.
The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy 1714 - 1760 marks the 300th anniversary of the beginning of the Georgian era, exploring the reigns of George 1 and his son George II, shedding fresh light on the role of this new dynasty in the transformation of political, intellectual and cultural life. From paintings, furniture and clocks to garden design, china and silver table settings and jewellery, the exhibition of over 300 works presents an all-embracing picture of early Georgian taste at a time when Britain emerged as the world's most liberal, commercial and cosmopolitan society. During this period, the focus of British cultural life began to shift away from court, as artists achieved success and fame through their own efforts, without the traditional support of a royal patron. The emergence of a new leisure class with an insatiable appetite for luxury goods drove Britain's commercial enterprise. Antonio Canaletto's elegant views of London, then the most important trading city in the world, contrast with William Hogarth's satires on the fashionable tastes of the newly prosperous. The continuous threat to the Hanoverians' rule, both at home and overseas, is reflected in a display of military maps and drawings. A battle plan by George II's son, the Duke of Cumberland, who led the King's Troops at the Battle of Culloden, is shown alongside a letter from Bonnie Prince Charlie's father consoling his son following his defeat. The items that the early Georgian royal family collected, coveted and displayed in their residences reveal not only their artistic taste, but also the very human concerns that drove them. The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, until 12th October.
Strange Beauty: Masters Of The German Renaissance takes a fresh look at paintings, drawings and prints by major artists of the period, examining the striking changes in the ways these works were perceived in their time, in the recent past, and how they are viewed today. The exhibition has a particular focus on works by Hans Holbein the Younger, Albrecht Durer and Lucas Cranach the Elder. The German Renaissance was part of the cultural and artistic awakening that spread across Northern Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, and German artists developed an international reputation, their fame reaching all parts of Europe. Paintings such as Holbein's 'The Ambassadors', Albrecht Altdorfer's 'Christ taking Leave of his Mother', Lucas Cranach the Elder's 'Cupid complaining to Venus', Hans Baldung Grien's 'Portrait of a Man' and Durer's 'Saint Jerome' were highly valued in the 16th century for qualities such as expression and inventiveness. However, by the 19th and early 20th centuries German Renaissance art was receiving a very mixed reception. Some viewers admired the artists' technical mastery and their embodiment of a perceived German national identity, while others perceived these works of art as excessive or even ugly, particularly when compared to works of the Italian Renaissance. Other highlights in the show include Matthias Grunewald's drawing 'An Elderly Woman with Clasped Hands', the Holbein miniature of 'Anne of Cleves', Hans Baldung Grien's 'Portrait of Young Man with a Rosary', and for the first time ever, a reconstruction of the altarpiece Benedictine Abbey of Liesborn, created around 1465, but dismembered, sold and scattered across the globe in 1803. National Gallery until 11th May.
Hockney, Printmaker celebrates one of Britain's most prolific and versatile artist's long and fruitful career as a printmaker. The first major exhibition to concentrate on the complete trajectory of David Hockney's printwork focuses on his two main techniques - etching and lithography - in two distinct sections, exposing new insights beyond the purely formal aspects of his work, delving into his mastery of technique. Over 100 works, from his first self portrait print from 60 years ago, reveal the thought and technical expertise that underlies his extensive print oeuvre. The show includes well known works such as 'A Rake's Progress', and 'Illustrations for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm', while complete sets include 'The Weather Series' and 'A Hollywood Collection', which are shown alongside portraits of some of his famous sitters and friends, such as Celia Birtwell, Henry Geldzahler, Peter Langan, Gregory Evans and John Kasmin. Later works include a selection of 'homemade prints', which Hockney devised in the early 1990s using photocopiers, plus examples of inkjet-printed 'computer drawings' such as 'Rain on the Studio Window', a prelude to his renowned iPad works. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 11th May.
Making Painting: JMW Turner And Helen Frankenthaler explores the act of painting through the work of two artists separated by one hundred years and nearly four thousand miles. JMW Turner, celebrated as a great 19th century painter of landscape, transformed the way we see and interpret our natural surroundings. In her canvases of the late 1950s onwards, American artist Helen Frankenthaler translated landscape into abstract compositions characterised by flooding colour and increasingly large scale. The exhibition explores the fellowship that the two artists, a Romantic 19th century Briton and an Abstract Expressionist 20th century American, share in paint across their temporal divide. It includes a significant group of paintings by Frankenthaler from the 1950s to the 1990s, which revolutionised painting, creating bouquets of washy, pastel forms and dark lines, alongside oil paintings and watercolours by Turner from throughout his career, which progress from early bucolic scenes to skies of riotous swirling pigment. There is an exhilarating sense of freedom in Frankenthaler's work, just as there is in the late paintings of Turner. Turner Contemporary, The Rendezvous, Margate until 11th May.