News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 30th May 2001

Commencing

100 Views of Mount Fugi examines the mythological status of Japan's highest mountain, which has inspired Japanese poets and painters throughout the centuries. Since ancient times it has been revered as a deity, from the medieval period it has been a goal of pilgrimage, and it still remains a unique symbol of Japanese cultural identity. The works on view, dating from the 17th century to the present day, include paintings, watercolours on hanging silk scrolls, ink drawings and woodblock prints. They reveal how artists have projected their own personal interpretation onto this eternal symbol. The exhibition features far more than 100 renditions of Fugi, ranging in size from a thumbnail to an entire wall. Hokusaki's cycle Thirty-Six Views Of Mount Fugi alone contains almost 50; Minamoto Sadayoshi painted 31 on a horizontal scroll showing the rise and fall of vapours issuing from it; and Hiroshige's woodblock series Fifty-Three Stations Of The Tokaido Highway are like freeze frames from a film zooming in towards it. British Museum until 29th July.

Action Stations is a new attraction which has just opened in a Victorian boathouse at Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard, alongside the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. Features include The Navy Today, a multimedia exhibit showing the current deployment of Royal Naval Task Forces around the world; Horizons, revealing modern Navy life at sea; Command Approved, a large format film showing the Navy in action; The Team Works, interactive games testing Recognition, Co-ordination, Manoeuvres, Targets and Observations; Be The Navy, five interactive islands: Royal Marines, Helicopter Flight Deck, the Bridge, the Operations Room and Weapons which provide physical or electronic challenges; and courtesy of a simulator, the experience of a ride in a rigid raider boat, a Sea Harrier or a Lynx helicopter. Flagship Portsmouth continuing.

The Silk Purse Procedure explores works in which the original meaning or form of an object is lost through a process of transformation. Making reference to the proverb "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear", international artists endeavour to show that such metaphorical changes are possible. Cornelia Parker has converted a coin into a strand of wire; Janine Antoni has examined the process of turning a cow into a hide into a leather bag; Dario Roberto has taken a baseball bat and whittled it down to a couple of toothpicks; Peter Harris has reworked paintings by Gavin Turk; and William Speakman has made food out of live fish. Arnolfini and Spike Island, Bristol until 8th July.

Continuing

Firepower is a new museum which tells the story of the scientific and technological developments in artillery over 700 years, the history of Royal Regiment of Artillery, and the secrets of ordnance manufacturing, which was carried out at the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich over the last 300 years. The displays include over 800 guns, 7000 medals (including 62 Victoria Crosses), several thousand personal artefacts and photographs, and over a million books and archive documents of those who manned the guns. Field Of Fire brings to life the sights, sounds and smells of 20th century gunnery in a multi-media presentation; the Real Weapon Gallery explains the science of ammunition and how it hits the target, and the Cold War galleries display larger equipment, vehicles and modern missiles. Firepower, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich continuing.

Open City: Street Photographs Since 1950 charts the development of the street photograph over the last half century, and reflects how it has held a continuing fascination for photographers. The exhibition starts with the raw monochromes of Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, William Klein and Lee Friedlander, which were instrumental in the development of a new approach to documentary photography, aided by the availability of increasingly portable cameras. It then moves on to the work of William Eggleston, who was one of the principal artists responsible for the acceptance of colour photography as an art form. The show contains a diversity of work ranging from Terence Donovan's advertising and fashion photography, through Nobuyoshi Araki's Tokyo visions of neon and naked flesh, to Susan Meiselas's images of war-torn Nicaragua, as well as new installations by Beat Streuli and Turner Prize winner Wolfgang Tillmans. Over 100 photographs by 19 international artists include the work of a younger generation, and also examine the way that contemporary practice continues to develop the tradition. Oxford Museum of Modern Art until 15th July.

The Architecture Of Fumihiko Maki: Modernity And The Construction Of Scenery is an introduction to one of Japan's leading architects whose work is little known in the west. Although a modernist enthusiast of concrete and glass, his buildings are nevertheless inviting, and are renowned for their fusion of eastern and western design traditions. Thus Maki's work has been described as "destined to survive mere fashion". This exhibition focuses on the Hillside Terrace project in Tokyo and other recent buildings. The development of Maki's modernist vocabulary, and his interpretation of internal and external space, is presented in a variety of media, including original sketches, drawings, scale models, and video. Victoria & Albert Museum until 22nd July.

Helmut Newton: Work, though specifically described as not a retrospective, provides the opportunity to view both classic images and work never seen before. Through his photographs Newton offers an idiosyncratic glimpse into a world of beauty, fame and glamour, ranging across Vogue fashion shoots, celebrity portraits and personal images. All his pictures are narrative, creating the sense that something has - or is about to - happen. Displayed here life size, the immediacy of the pictures (mostly of women and mostly wearing very little) is reinforced. Over forty years Newton has created a distinctive, iconic and fetishistic style, aped by many, but never equalled for their drama and erotic charge. Though others have called him a misogynist he claims to be a feminist - here is a chance to make up your own mind. Barbican Gallery until 8th July.

Manga is an examination of the culture of Japanese comics, which in Britain has acquired the stereotype of ultra violence and explicit sexual content, although this belies the breadth of scope of this long running and influential phenomenon. Japanese manga expert Fusanosuke Natsume offers a comprehensive survey, incorporating English translations of original and reproduction individual frames, books and videos, which confound these conventional preconceptions. Manga combine narrative traditions dating back to 12th century emakimon picture scrolls with the fragmentation of contemporary urban design culture. Graphic styles range from the naive to the ultra sophisticated, exploring everything from surreal fantasy to gritty, even sordid, metropolitan reality. The works exhibit an inventiveness that is unmatched by the supposedly more sophisticated western visual tradition. Cornerhouse Manchester until 24th June.

Treasury Of The World: Jewelled Arts Of India In The Age Of The Mughals celebrates the jewelled arts, with over 300 pieces of Indian jewellery dating from the reigns of the Great Mughals, who ruled India from the middle of the 16th to the early 18th century. The exhibition displays earrings, pendants, finger rings, and bracelets, daggers with jewel-incrusted scabbards and hilts, such as the famous Ruby Dagger, and jewelled boxes, cups, and gaming pieces. Storybook riches are laid out in profusion. British Museum until 2nd September.

Concluding

Precious, the opening visiting exhibition at the £15m Millennium Galleries for the visual arts, craft and design, comprises over 250 items from the Victoria and Albert museum collection, ranging from historic pieces from the ancient Chinese Hang Dynasty to recent acquisitions of contemporary design. It explores what people have regarded as precious in different ways and at different times throughout history. The Galleries combines four individual galleries under one roof. Its brief is to house a display of local domestic and decorative metalwork, a collection of paintings, drawings and prints by John Ruskin, visiting exhibitions from national collections, and new work by contemporary artists and crafts workers. Designed by Pringle, Richards and Sharratt it is predominantly constructed of white concrete and glass, rising in a succession of beams, vaults and columns. Built on two levels, the Galleries has an internal Avenue (not unlike the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern) whose vaulted roof is made of translucent glass blocks, which flood the space with natural light. In contrast the exhibition spaces have been designed to control the level of daylight with an automated system of blinds which can redirect natural light reflected from the roof. The Millennium Galleries, Sheffield until 24th June.

Tell Me A Picture is an alphabetical anthology of twenty-six pictures with a sense of story, assembled by the Children's Laureate Quentin Blake, best known as the illustrator of Roald Dahl books. His aim is to encourage young viewers to engage with a wide range of striking and imaginative images. There are no titles for the pictures on the walls of the gallery as viewers are invited to imagine for themselves the different stories or situations. Entrance to the exhibition is free, and there is an interactive talk for children aged 5 to 11 and their families each Saturday at 2.30pm. In a unique move the exhibition can also be seen online. Visitors are encouraged to submit their own stories based on the situations represented in the pictures, and can also read other visitors ideas. They can then find out what Blake has to say, together with information on the pictures and their artists. National Gallery until 17th June.

Dan Dare Got There First celebrates Britain's first and best known spaceman, whose exploits were regaled on the front page of the Eagle comic in the 1950s. It examines how remarkably accurate some of its predictions for the future were (and glosses over the absence of large green creatures with domed foreheads from contemporary life). Creator Frank Hampson's visions of satellite television, space shuttles, the channel tunnel and swing-wing aircraft are just some of the stuff of science fiction which have become science fact. The Ministry of Defence reputedly subscribed to the Eagle to see what he would come up with next. Displayed here are examples of original artwork, models of space ships used by Hampson as reference, and a recreation of the studio in which he worked. There is also collection of merchandise, with ray guns, walkie talkies, jigsaws, games and pop up books. Croydon Clocktower until 3rd June.