Private View held by Richard Andrews
Recording The New: The Architectural Photography Of Bedford Lemere & Co 1870 - 1930 showcases the photography of one of the pioneers of architectural photography in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Employed by a wide range of industrialists, retailers, hoteliers and government departments to capture new buildings in pristine condition, Bedford Lemere & Co's photographs show the work of leading contemporary architects, interior decorators, designers and artists. The display explores Bedford Lemere & Co's extraordinary client list, the evolving role of commercial photography and the lasting social significance of the images. The high quality photographs offer a rare glimpse at late Victorian interiors such as Heal & Son showrooms in 1897, the bar at the North Eastern Station Hotel in 1893 and a host of other 'new' interiors and exteriors. Bedford Lemere & Co photographed a wide variety of buildings including country houses, hospitals, shops, banks, railway stations, cruise liners and, during the First World War, armaments manufacture. The firm's work centred on London, but it received commissions throughout Great Britain and occasionally from abroad. The reputation of the company rested above all on the quality of its work. Its photographers were outstanding technicians with a highly developed visual sense, able to capture the monumentality of a building as well as the minute detail of its decorative scheme. Using large format negatives, they produced images of exceptional quality, depth and sharpness. The size and clarity of the photographs render them as fresh and legible today as when they were first composed. Victoria & Albert Museum until 30th October.
Ben Nicholson: The Intimate Surface Of Modernism provides an opportunity to glimpse the private side of one of the major figures in British modernism. In the 1920s, while Ben Nicholson was married to his first wife, fellow artist Winifred, he spent much of his time living between London and Cumberland. It is largely this early period of Nicholson's life and work that is represented in this exhibition. These are mostly landscape drawings, which belong in the heritage of pastoral art, rather than with his later more abstract paintings and sculpture. This work is grounded with a sense of family and place, includes gifts made to family and friends, which help to connect with Nicholson as a person, rather than just the well known art historical figure. As well as works by Nicholson the display includes paintings by Winifred Nicholson and their maverick friend Alfred Wallis, together with postcards from family holidays. In addition, works such as 'Venice' and 'St Ives' honour Nicholson's more recognised and alternative approach to drawing, which explores new ideas, and refuses to define the term in the traditional way. Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art until 6th November.
Land Girls And Lumber Jills tells the story of the Women's Land Army and Women's Timber Corps, and the vital role they played in feeding the nation and providing timber during both World wars. Both organisations were formed in 1917 to help meet growing demands for home production during the long struggle of the First World War. Women of the Land Army, or 'Land Girls' as they became known, took on all types of agricultural work, from sowing to harvesting, calving to shearing, the hard physical work that until the war had largely been undertaken by men. The Women's Timber Corps or 'Lumber Jills' supplied the wood used for manufacturing, energy production and more. During the Second World War some volunteered while others were conscripted, as by 1941 all women under the age of 60, without children under 14, could be called up for essential war work. This exhibition provides an opportunity to step into their shoes and find out where and how they lived and worked. Objects on display range from recruitment posters and uniforms to working clothes and tools of their various trades. These are brought to life by personal testimonies, audio recordings and period photographs and film footage. In addition, there is material featuring the work of women's land armies amongst the allied countries. National Museum of Costume, Edinburgh, until 31st October.
This is Design examines the impact of design on the modern world, whilst also exploring the consequences of design, and how it shapes daily life. The museum's collection contains pieces ranging from early items of mass manufacture through to cutting edge contemporary design, and includes furniture, fashion, transport, products, ceramics and graphics. By using themes such as Identity, Manufacturing Innovations, the Digital Revolution and Lifecycle, the exhibition looks at how design provides a visual language to help use the objects around us. Prototypes, drawings, couture samples, models, first editions and finished industrial objects are included in the display, demonstrating the design process and subsequent influence of design on the contemporary culture. The exhibition also explores 'quiet' design, revealing how design surrounds us, and how, whether accidental or subtle, design plays a role in shaping the way we live, and enables us to understand the world. Highlights include the Anglepoise lamp, UK road signs, UK traffic lights, the Moulton bicycle displayed alongside an original Mini, large scale architectural models, including Norman Foster's HSBC Bank headquarters in Hong Kong, couture garments and street furniture. The exhibition also looks at the changing role of collecting design and future developments of the museum's collection, as it prepares to move to a new home at the former Commonwealth Institute. The new museum will provide dedicated gallery space to display the collection and celebrate the importance of design through a permanent display. Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1, until 22nd January.
Durer's Fame examines the work of the 16th century German artist and his enduring influence, spanning 5 centuries. Albrecht Durer excelled as a painter and draughtsman, but it was his skill as a printmaker that spread his fame across Europe. The printmaking process allowed for multiple copies of Durer's work to be produced that could easily be sold and distributed. This accessibility, combined with his technical brilliance and highly individual style, made him a much admired and imitated artist. The exhibition showcases a selection of Durer's prints together with contemporary and later copies of his work. These objects are augmented by a selection of illicit imitations and surprising tributes, including a 21st century tattoo. Highlights include Durer's iconic 'Melancholy', 'Saint Jerome in his Study', 'Knight, Death and the Devil', 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse' from 'The Apocalypse: Revelation of Saint John the Divine', 'Christ taking leave of his Mother' and 'Adam and Eve', alongside works by Italian and Netherlandish artists such as Marcantonio Raimondi's 'The Circumcision of Christ' from 'The Life of the Virgin', and Johan Wierix's 'Melencolia', Scottish artist John Runciman's 'Christ taking leave of his Mother', and a poster of German handball star Pascal Hens sporting a tattoo based on Durer's 'Study of Praying Hands'. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, until 11th October.
Mass Photography: Blackpool Through The Camera features photographs of the seaside resort from the early 20th century to today. The exhibition encourages the viewer to make their own way through the Blackpool experience, comparing and juxtaposing the way that different photographers have looked at people having fun. Over 100 images combine the work of some of Britain's greatest documentary photographers with amateurs who have lived or invested much holiday time in the resort. The starting point of the exhibition is the work that Humphrey Spender and Julian Trevelyan produced in 1937/1938 as part of the Mass Observation project, initiated to study the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain as an 'anthropology of ourselves'. Spender and Trevelyan's affinity to British surrealism lets them appreciate Blackpool's efforts towards the exotic in images where dolls appear larger than people and advertisement copy reads as poetry. Yet their subject matter of gambling machines, the overcrowded beach, signs on hotels and ventriloquists are also to be found in the images of many other photographers who have come to Blackpool. By showing the variations of such recurring subjects, the display traces changing trends in photographic expression. The exhibition also includes a new video installation created by Nina Konnemann based on material from yearly updated souvenir films of the Blackpool Illuminations that evoke the special sense of time of the cyclical holiday seasons. Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, until 5th November.
Art For The Nation: Sir Charles Eastlake At The National Gallery examines the development of the Gallery's collection and the work of its director. The exhibition, comprising some of Sir Charles Eastlake's major purchases of Italian Renaissance art, together little known items from the Gallery's archive and library, reveals the extent to which he laboured behind the scenes. Prior to being appointed Director of the National Gallery in 1855, in his capacities as Keeper and then a Trustee, Eastlake had become acutely aware of the Gallery's shortcomings. Using his executive powers, Eastlake set about developing coherent policies on acquisition and display at the Gallery, spending at least 6 weeks of each year abroad in search of paintings for the nation. During these excursions, Eastlake acquired an astonishing 139 masterpieces, the majority being Italian paintings dated to the late 15th and early 16th centuries, including Uccello's 'Battle of San Romano', Giovanni Bellini's 'Madonna of the Meadow' and Catena's 'Saint Jerome in his Study'. Eastlake developed 3 principal methods to secure his attributions of paintings: comparative analysis of a comprehensive range of art works documented in his notebooks; use of archival and secondary source material; and, most pioneering, first hand and proto-scientific analysis of the materials and methods used to create paintings. The display includes 1 of Eastlake's 36 very detailed travel notebooks, with jottings about Pisanello's 'Virgin and Child with Saints'. Having acquired the paintings Eastlake gave great thought to how they should be shown, and his desire to display pictures in well-lit and sympathetically decorated rooms, and to arrange them in appropriate frames and in historical sequence, still influences the arrangement of paintings in the Gallery's permanent collection today. National Gallery until 30th October.
National Museum of Scotland has reopened after a 3 year £47.4m redevelopment and restoration programme of the Victorian Royal Museum. Access is now through a new street level glass entrance hall, housing 1 of 2 new restaurants, 1 of 2 new shops and other public facilities. New glass lifts, escalators and staircases make moving around the building far easier for visitors. The original interior of the building has been comprehensively restored, revealing the wonderful architecture of one of the finest Victorian public buildings in Britain. There is now 50% more public space, with 16 new galleries, featuring over 8,000 objects, 80% of which will be on display for the first time; the reinstated Grand Gallery (inspired by the Crystal Palace) with a new installation: The Window On The World, featuring over 850 objects, rising over 4 floors, showcasing the diversity of the collection; a spacious gallery for international touring exhibitions; 2 discovery galleries for children and families; and a new 3 storey learning centre. Visitors can now experience the world under one roof, through a dramatic range of treasures, revealing the wonders of nature, the diversity of cultures across the world, and the excitement of science and discovery. The Museum's rich collections also illuminate the story of Scotland's place in the world and the impact of Scots on it. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, continuing.
Frida Kahlo And Diego Rivera brings together the iconic paintings of the two central figures of Mexican Modernism for the first time in this country. Few artists have captured the public's imagination with the force of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, the Mexican painter and muralist Diego Rivera. The myths that surrounded them in their lifetime arose not only from their significant body of work, but also from their active participation in the life of their time, their friendships (and conflicts) with leading figures, their striking physical appearance and spirited natures. The exhibition includes key images by Kahlo such as 'Self Portrait with Monkeys', and 'Self Portrait as a Tehuana or Diego in My Thoughts', and the major work by Rivera, 'Calla Lily Vendors'. The paintings are supplemented by a display of the rarely seen photographs by Kahlo's father Guillermo Kahlo, depicting churches and cloisters around Mexico City and Tepotzlan, alongside views from the Palace in Chapultepec Park. Their inclusion allows the work of Kahlo to be placed alongside and put into context with the two most important men in her life. The exhibition also includes photographs by another key artistic couple who offer a significant glimpse of Mexico's cultural history, the photographers Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Lola Alvarez Bravo. Manuel photographed the Mexican Muralists, and his cinematic images of Mexico speak of the mystery of everyday life and contemporary political and social problems. Lola, a close friend of Frida Kahlo, worked in a number of photographic genres such as nudes, still life, landscape, photomontage and portraits. Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 2nd October.
The Worlds Of Mervyn Peake examines the creative output of the novelist, poet, playwright and illustrator through the worlds he inhabited, both real and imagined. Mervyn Peake was a prolific and astonishingly original writer and artist, who touched at one time or another on almost every literary form. The exhibition brings together a wealth of material from the Mervyn Peake archive, with previously unknown works, including the manuscript of the soon to be published fourth Titus book 'Titus Awakes', completed by Peake's wife Maeve Gilmore after his death; and the complete first scene of his sci-fi play 'Isle Escape', in which a couple escape to a tropical island to wait out a world war that they later discover failed to take place. Other highlights include Gormenghast notebooks, illustrated with character drawings of the Prunesquallors, Flay and Barquentine; Peake's original drawings for 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass'; a letter home to his wife from Germany in 1945, where he attended the war crimes trial of Peter Back and visited Bergen-Belsen as war correspondent for The Leader magazine; a storyboard for an animated television programme 'Just a Line', in which an ordinary little line transforms into pirates, princesses and other strange sights as it journeys across the screen; 'The White Chief of the Umzimbooboo Kaffirs', the earliest surviving story by Peake, written when he was 11 years old on his return from China, where he had spent the first part of his life; and correspondence from Dylan Thomas, Graham Greene and C S Lewis. British Library until 18th September.
Watch Me Move: The Animation Show presents the full range of animated imagery produced in the last 150 years. The exhibition brings together industry pioneers, independent film-makers and contemporary artists, including Eadward Muybridge, the Lumiere Brothers, Ray Harryhausen, Etienne-Jules Marey, Harry Smith, Jan Svankmajer, William Kentridge and Nathalie Djurberg, alongside the creative output of commercial studios such as Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Aardman, Studio Ghibli and Pixar. Cutting across generations and cultures, the show features over 170 works, from iconic clips to lesser-known masterpieces. Taking the viewer behind the dream world of the finished film, it includes puppets, stage sets, storyboard drawings, wire-frame visualisations, cel and background images. Transforming the gallery into an immersive environment, the exhibition is divided into 7 interconnected themes: Apparitions, focusing on the emergence of the animated image, from early scientific experiments with photography to computer generated imagery; Characters, presenting stars of the animated screen from Mickey Mouse to Buzz Lightyear; Superhumans, featuring individuals with extraordinary powers from Marvel and DC comics, plus Japanese manga; Fables, examining the interpretations of ancient myths, fables and fairy tales; Fragments, demonstrating the potential of animation to construct individual stories; Structures, looking at experiments with its most basic properties - form, sound, movement and duration; and Visions, showing how animation has moved into a whole new virtual sphere thanks to the realism of CGI technologies. A separate cinema is showing classic films of all ages. Barbican Gallery, London, until 11th September.
Joan Miro: The Ladder Of Escape is the first major retrospective of the one of the 20th century's greatest artists to be held in London for almost 50 years. The exhibition represents the breadth of Joan Miro's output, with over 150 paintings, works on paper and sculptures. It explores the wider context of his work, bringing to light Miro's political engagement and examining the influence of his Catalan identity, the Spanish Civil War and the rise and fall of Franco's regime. Miro was among the most iconic of modern artists, evolving a Surrealist language of symbols that evokes a sense of freedom and energy in its fantastic imagery and direct colour. Often regarded as a forefather of Abstract Expressionism, his work is celebrated for its serene, colourful allure. However, from his earliest paintings onwards, there is also a more anxious and engaged side to Miro's practice, reflecting the turbulent political times in which he lived. Miro's work encompasses images of rural life such as 'The Farm' and 'Head of a Catalan Peasant', opposition to the Spanish Civil War in 'Aidez l'Espagne' and 'Le Faucheur', and the Second World War in the 'Constellation' paintings, the atmosphere of protest in the late 1960s achieved by blackening or setting fire to pieces such as 'May 1968' and 'Burnt Canvas II', or by creating euphoric explosions of paint in 'Fireworks', through to the 'Hope of a Condemned Man' triptych, in which he publicly declared his opposition to Franco. This exhibition explores these responsive, passionate characteristics across six decades of Miro's extraordinary career. Tate Modern until 11th September.