News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 30th July 2003

Commencing

T.rex: The Killer Question asks whether everyone's favourite dinosaur was really the bloodthirsty predator he has been made out to be, or whether might he have been just a 12,000lb, 12ft tall, softie scavenger, clearing up other dinosaur's leftovers. This is a new theory put forward by Dr Jack Horner, the second most famous palaeontologist in the world (after Ross from Friends). Horner is actually Curator of Palaeontology at the Museum of the Rockies in Montana. An Indiana Jones figure, he was the inspiration for the character played by Sam Neil in the film Jurassic Park, for which he was the technical advisor. The exhibition features four gigantic T.rex, including a life size skeleton and model, plus two huge moving, breathing, T.rex animatronics, which have been brought together for the first time to illustrate this controversial proposition. It also includes film of Horner's expeditions to Hell's Creek in Montana, the most fertile area for T.rex fossils on earth. Horner is the world's leading dinosaur authority, having found the first dinosaur eggs in the West, the first evidence of dinosaurs nesting, and the first evidence of dinosaurs caring for their young - but his new theory is not proving popular with dinosaur fans. Visitors are invited to consider the evidence, and register whether they think T.rex was a predator or a scavenger. Natural History Museum until 3rd May.

The Peter Saville Show is a retrospective of the work of a central figure in design and style culture over the last twenty five years. Peter Saville is best known for designing iconic graphics for bands such as Joy Division, New Order, Roxy Music, Ultravox - and even Wham! He made his reputation (and theirs) with the innovation of packaging music as fashion, by bringing sophisticated upmarket ideas of postmodernist and classicist graphic and photographic treatments from the world of frocks, to the traditionally lowbrow medium of pop music. Saville then went on to create equally influential images in fashion industry itself, for Yohji Yamamoto, John Galliano at Christian Dior and Stella McCartney. More recently he has worked on commissions for Suede and Pulp. With a spectacular installation by the architect Lindy Roy and a soundtrack by New Order, this exhibition draws on Saville's exhaustive private archive to trace the path of his career, from the first poster he designed while creative director of the fledgling Factory record label in Manchester in 1977, to recent multimedia experiments. Design Museum until 14th September.

Hats And Handbags: Accessories From The Royal Wardrobe is a display that celebrates possibly the most memorable part of any Royal outfit worn for public duties - the hats - with over 70 eye catching examples. Beginning with headdresses worn by the young Princess Elizabeth, it features items associated with significant moments in the Queen's life and 50 year reign. Alongside, are the famously capacious handbags, and of course gloves. The display also includes sketches and photographs showing how the items were created and made by the Queen's chief designers. In addition, there are other accessories chosen as particularly fine examples of British craftsmanship. This display joins the existing special displays of dresses from the early years of the Queen's reign, and of 14 evening dresses worn by Diana Princess of Wales, within the permanent exhibition of items from The Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection. This is a unique presentation of Royal, court and ceremonial dress dating from the 18th century to the present day, including a dressmaker's workroom, a tailor's shop, dressing rooms, and a recreation of a court occasion. Kensington Palace until 18th April.

Continuing

Ossie Clark celebrates the work of the fashion designer whose most productive period coincided with London's magical, optimistic, rule-breaking decade, in which fashion, photography, music and the cult of personality converged. From 1965 to the mid 1970s Ossie Clark dressed the famous and fashionable in unabashed show-stoppers. Mick and Bianca Jagger, Julie Christie, Marsha Hunt and Marianne Faithful commissioned clothes from him, Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and Penelope Tree modelled his designs for photographers David Bailey, Norman Parkinson and Helmut Newton. Clarke graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 1965, and three months later his graduation collection appeared in British Vogue. Simultaneously, he began designing for Alice Pollock's shop Quorum. Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell met as students, began colaborating in 1965, and married in 1969. Clark's flattering silhouettes combined with Birtwell's romantic textiles, featuring a vibrant range of patterns inspired by the natural world, produced some of the most memorable garments of the period. Above all, Clark was an expert cutter, executing an accomplished range of superbly fitted classical coats, suits and jackets in wool, Harris tweed, suede and crepe. The cut and construction of these clothes demonstrate Clark's extraordinary precision and his understanding of how textiles behave on a three-dimensional form. Fab gear from one of the most important figures of Swinging London. Victoria & Albert Museum until 2nd May.

Red House is of great significance in the history of domestic architecture and garden design. Commissioned by William Morris in 1859, and designed by Philip Webb, it laid the foundation for the Arts And Crafts Movement. The experience of furnishing the house led Morris to set up his company producing wallpaper and fabrics, whose designs have defined taste ever since. The unique building is constructed of red brick, under a steep red tiled roof, with an emphasis on natural materials and a strong Gothic influence. The garden was designed to 'clothe' the house with a series of sub-divided areas, which still clearly exist today. Inside, the house retains many of the original features and fixed items of furniture designed by Morris and Webb, as well as wall paintings and stained glass by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. During the five years Morris lived there it was at the centre of the social life of the Pre-Raphaelites. Originally surrounded by orchards and countryside, Red House is now an oasis in the midst of suburbia. The property has been lived in as a family home for nearly 150 years during which time many changes have taken place. Red House was acquired by the National Trust six months ago, and is now open so that visitors can see it in its current condition, and follow its progress as research reveals the house and garden that Morris and Webb originally created, and restoration returns it to that vision. Red House, Red House Lane, Bexleyheath, Kent, 01494 755588 continuing (pre booked tours only).

Shakespeare In Art considers how the world's greatest and most performed dramatist provided inspiration for many of Europe's greatest artists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With some seventy works, by artists such as Hogarth, Delacroix, Romney, Blake, Huskisson, Millais, Turner and Holman Hunt, there are many different views of Shakespeare's plays, some visionary, some horrific, many romantic, others contemporary and realistic. This exhibition includes a wide range of styles, from Rococo to Sublime, from Classic to Romantic, and looks also at theatrical production and scenography. This Shakespeare is familiar, but different from ours, reflecting both the changes in presentational styles of productions, and the individual preoccupations of the artists involved in them. The painters recorded both the 'acted' and the 'imagined' Shakespeare. Zoffany and Fuseli painted scenes from Macbeth, but while Zoffany records a famous production, starring David Garrick and Mrs Cibber - emoting beneath a towering horsehair wig, literally dressed to kill in the height of contemporary fashion - Henry Fuseli's The Weird Sisters is a nightmarish vision of the Witches, from the darkest recesses of his unconscious. Other great actors whose portraits are featured include John Philip Kemble, Sarah Siddons, Charles Kemble, George Frederick Cooke and Charles Macklin. Dulwich Picture Gallery until 19th October.

Medicine Man: The Forgotten Museum Of Henry Wellcome is a celebration of the British passion for collecting things. Henry Wellcome, the pharmacist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, saw human culture and history through medical eyes. A compulsive collector and traveller, he built up the world's largest, but least known, collection of medical exhibits. By his death in 1936, he had amassed over one million objects related to medical history - many (a la Citizen Kane) remaining still packaged and uncatalogued. This treasure trove of the bizarre, practical and exotic ranges from Chinese diagnostic dolls and Japanese sex aids to African masks and amputation saws, from amulets and ancient manuscripts to Napoleon's toothbrush and George III's hair. Among the more unlikely are: an English tobacco resuscitator kit used to revive the 'apparently dead' by blowing smoke through the nose, mouth or elsewhere; shrunken heads from the Shuar people of the Upper Amazon, created to control the avenging soul of the deceased (to be worn by the person who had removed the head); and a notebook alleged to be covered with the skin of the man whose execution is thought to have sparked the American War of Independence. British Museum until 16th November.

The Art Of Chess reflects how the game has been a source of artistic inspiration, featuring nineteen chess sets made by 20th and 21st century artists. Each set illustrates a move in a fictional last game played by Napoleon with General Bertrand on St Helena. In the starting position is the world's only known set designed by jeweller Carl Faberge. The game follows through on sets from the Lomonosov State Porcelain Factory in Leningrad, featuring Capitalists versus Communists; Marcel Duchamp, with a travelling foldaway table and a board with two stopwatches for timed games; Josef Hartwig, a geometric Bauhaus design based on the functions of the pieces; Max Esser, futuristic Art Deco terracotta and dark chocolate Meissen porcelain; Max Ernst, boxwood in an abstract design suggesting both the characters of the pieces and the way they move; Man Ray, in red and silver anodised alloy; Yoko Ono, classical in form - but all the pieces are white; and Takako Saito, identical white boxes with the pieces defined by their different weights. On public view for the first time are recently commissioned designs by Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Paul McCarthy, Yayoi Kusama and Maurizio Cattelan. The game ends with Napoleon winning in a set which features Rasputin, Donatella Versace, Mother Teresa and Superman as pawns. The Gilbert Collection at Somerset House until 28th September.

A Private Passion: Harvard's Winthrop Collection is the first opportunity to view a unique collection outside its home. In the early decades of the 20th century, Grenville L Winthrop, a New Yorker and Harvard graduate, assembled a remarkable collection of paintings and drawings by French, British and American artists of the 19th century. They include the finest group of works by Ingres outside France, including 'The Bather', and major canvasses and sheets by David, Gericault, Delacroix, Moreau, Renoir, Seurat and Degas. British works, beginning with Blake and Flaxman, include important Pre-Raphaelite paintings by Edward Burne-Jones, Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and a suite of drawings by Aubrey Beardsley. The Americans include Whistler, John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer. The collection, finally amounting to some 1,000 paintings and 3,000 objet d'art, was semi secret and no works were seen outside Winthrop's Upper East Side mansion during his lifetime. On his death in 1943 the collection passed to the Harvard University Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it remained until now. The National Gallery until 14th September.

Concluding

Lichfield: The Early Years 1962 - 1982 celebrates the 40th anniversary of the start of Patrick Lichfield's career as a photographer, which has developed along the twin themes of his personal involvement in fashionable society and his aristocratic connections. Bringing together over 40 works, it focuses on his early career as a leading participant and chronicler of the Swinging Sixties, including his period with Vogue. It features his signature group shots, with the iconic 'Swinging London', which includes Ray Davies, Roman Polanski, David Hockney, Antonia Fraser and Susannah York, and the Queen magazine 'In' and 'Out' crowd pictures; individual portraits such as a nude of Marsha Hunt for the musical Hair, Joanna Lumley leaping through the air beneath a canopy of leaves, and a striking colour image of Yves St Laurent in Marrakesh; and the St Tropez wedding of Mick and Bianca Jagger in 1971 (when he gave away the bride). The display concludes with his definitive and intimate photographs of the Queen and the Royal Family taken in the 1970s, including the large group portrait of 26 Royals at Windsor in 1971, and culminates in the photographs of wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981. National Portrait Gallery until 31st August.

Guy Bourdin is the first retrospective of the influential French photographer known for dramatic fashion photographs, which owe more to documentary reportage than high gloss. Instead of the studio shot or glamorous location, his pictures look like Crime Scene Investigation officers have taken them in situations where the victim just happened to be wearing expensive clothes. In one, even the body has been removed, leaving just the chalk outline and the shoes. Bourdin was at the height of his career from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s, when he was working predominantly for French Vogue and Charles Jourdan shoes. An aura of voyeuristic violence, fear and cruelty surrounded his work, and a genuine unease is discernable in the models featured - although he often cropped their heads from the picture. Bourdin's 'colourful' personal life only added to the legend, not least because of the attempted and successful suicides of a number of the women with whom he was involved. As well as the photographs themselves, the display includes films made on fashion shoots revealing how he worked. There are also photographs, slides and notebook pages which record the images that Bourdin chased throughout his life, offering an insight into the his unrelenting mission to shape his experiences into a visual form. Both the character and the images used in the film The Eyes Of Laura Mars, about a fashion photographer who recreates visions of murders, owe a great deal to Bourdin. Victoria & Albert Museum until 17th August.

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is with us again, as it has been every year since 1769 - the usual collection of the good, the bad and the ugly - from amateurs to RA's, proving that popular taste and critical approval find no meeting point. Around 1200 works covering paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, architectural designs and models have been selected from over 12,000 submissions. Among this year's outrages are David Mach's collage showing nudists in St James Park (with Buckingham Palace in the background), and Dilek O'Keefe's estimation of where Kylie Minogue's talent really lies (it's behind her). Architecture takes a prominent role, with Norman Foster's 'Sky High: Vertical Architecture' exploring the development of the skyscraper from its earliest days in Chicago through to the most innovative skyscrapers currently being developed. Historic designs, such as William Van Allen's Chrysler Building, rub shoulders with contemporary proposals, ranging from candidates for the redevelopment of the World Trade Centre site to Renzo Piano's controversial London Bridge Tower. Models and graphics show how the skyscraper is taking a central role in urban redevelopment in cities around the globe. In a new feature this year the Royal Academy Schools, the Royal College of Art, Goldsmith's College and the Slade School of Fine Art, present work by emerging artists. There is an accompanying programme of lectures and events covering all aspects of the exhibition. Royal Academy of Arts until 10th August.