News and Events
Private View held by Richard Andrews
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.
William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain examines the life and work of the leading architect and designer of early Georgian Britain. The exhibition celebrates Willaim Kent's work over four decades when Britain defined itself as a new nation with the act of union with Scotland and the accession of a new Hanoverian Royal Family. Kent was a polymath, turning his hand to painting, sculpture, architecture, interior decoration, furniture, metalwork, book illustration, theatrical design, costume and landscape gardening. The exhibition demonstrates how Kent's artistic ingenuity and inventiveness led him to play a dominant role in defining British taste and a new design aesthetic for the period. It brings together nearly 200 examples of William Kent's work, including architectural drawings for prominent buildings such as the Treasury and Horse Guards in Whitehall; spectacular gilt upholstered furniture from Houghton Hall, Wanstead House and Chiswick House; and designs for landscape gardens at Rousham and Stowe; as well as paintings, illustrated books and Kent's model for the Royal palace that was never built, demonstrating the versatility of the 'Kentian' style. Also featured are designs for the new Royal Family including those produced for Frederick, Prince of Wales's Royal Barge, Queen Caroline's Library at St James' Palace and the Hermitage in Richmond Gardens, together with spectacular examples of silver including a chandelier commissioned for the Royal palace in Hanover. The exhibition also examines Kent's projects for the redesign of Georgian London, including projects that were never realised, such as proposals for a new House of Parliament, and interiors for the House of Lords. Victoria & Albert Museum until 13th July.
Titian And The Golden Age Of Venetian Art illuminates an exceptionally creative period in the city of romance's history. The exhibition includes 16 paintings and some 30 drawings and prints by most the greatest names in Venetian art of the 16th century, including Lorenzo Lotto, Palma Vecchio, Jacopo Bassano, Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese. At the heart of the exhibition are two of the greatest paintings of the Italian Renaissance: Titian's 'Diana and Actaeon' and 'Diana and Callisto', part of a series of 6 large mythological paintings with subjects drawn from the ancient writer Ovid's Metamorphoses pained over a period of 10 years, shown for the first time in Scotland with 'Death of Actaeon' also from the series. Other highlights include Bassano's festive pageant, the 'Adoration of the Kings', Paris Bordone's 'Venetian Women at their Toilet', Lotto's 'The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome, Peter, Francis and an Unidentified Female', Bassano's 'Adoration of the Magi', Tintoretto's altarpiece, 'Christ Carried to the Tomb', and Titian's early pastoral masterpiece 'Three Ages of Man' and 'Venus Rising from the Sea'. Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until 14th September.
Spitting Image celebrates the 30th anniversary of the launch of the groundbreaking satirical television show. The exhibition looks at the partnership between artists Peter Fluck and Roger Law, whose talent for three-dimensional caricature formed the bedrock for the complex creation that would become Spitting Image. The display includes images of the satirical sculptures created by 'Luck and Flaw' in the 1970s and '80s for magazines such as National Lampoon, Men Only, Der Spiegel, The New York Times, The Sunday Times Magazine and many others. Featured are Spitting Image caricature drawings and photographs of, amongst others, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Kate Moss, Saddam Hussein, Billy Connolly, Rupert Murdoch, Jo Brand and John Paul II, plus the Royal Family, Margaret Thatcher's cabinet and her political opponents. The exhibition reunites some of the best-known puppets, including Margaret Thatcher, The Queen, Princess Diana and Mr Spock. Also on show are ceramic teapots of Margaret Thatcher, Royal eggcups, books and magazines, dog chews and other ephemera. Spitting Image ended in 1996 after 18 series, but the Spitting Image workshop created spin-off series in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Japan and Russia. The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1 until 8th June.
Collider endeavours to convey what it is like inside the £5bn Large Hadron Collider at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva, probably the most complicated scientific machine on the planet. It is not easy depicting something the size of the London Underground's Circle Line, with magnets the size of a house, or to visualise the events that take place when one subatomic proton travelling at 99.9999991 per cent of the speed of light hits another travelling at the same speed in the opposite direction, but this is a good stab at it. The exhibition begins with a 10 minute video outlining the basic facts of what the Collider is, what it does, and the first definitive results it has achieved pointing to the existence of the Higgs boson 'God particle'. From there, visitors can wander through a mock tunnel that represents the journey through the Collider, which in reality extends for some 27km underground, and employs some 3,000 scientists. This is filled with authentic artefacts, pieces of hardware such as a 2 tonne part of a 15m high superconducting magnet, a beam-focuser and a detector sensor, a calorimeter crystal, lab-bench notes, calculations and diagrams. Finally, visitors arrive in a circular space with a wrap-around screen where a computer-generated video sequence simulates a journey through the Collider, ending with an actual collision, based on real images from the Collider, which are like a post-modernist painting. Science Museum, until 6th May.
Joseph Wright Of Derby: Bath And Beyond examines a brief and little known episode in the painter's life that marked a crossroads in his career. Joseph Wright of Derby lived and worked in Bath between November 1775 and June 1777, but this period has never been explored in detail. This exhibition places Wright in the context of the many artists, musicians, writers, business people and scientists living and working in the Georgian spa, and for the first time presents a comprehensive view of his life and work during those eighteen months. It also examines the effect of Wright's time in Bath and travels in Italy on his later work. Wright came to Bath to paint portraits, hoping to build on the success of Thomas Gainsborough who had recently left for London. The exhibition features the three remaining portraits that he made in Bath, and includes his paintings 'The Rev Thomas Wilson and His Adopted Daughter Miss Catharine Macaulay', 'Agnes Witts, ne Travell' and 'Roman Wright', his daughter. Whilst in Bath Wright worked up landscape studies he had made in Italy, producing spectacular depictions of fire, smoke and lava in views of Vesuvius in Eruption and the firework displays of Rome, which he charged visitors a fee to view in his studio in Brock Street. It was whilst in Bath that he first began to explore subjects from sentimental contemporary literature, which in turn had a strong impact on his portrait composition, and the display includes some of his most beautiful depictions of figures alone in the landscape. Holburne Museum, Bath, until 5th May.
In The Making captures 25 objects mid-manufacture, putting the aesthetic of the unfinished centre stage, as chosen by the founders of design studio BarberOsgerby. The secret life of cricket bats, felt hats, shoes, boots, marbles, light bulbs, whistles, pencils, coins, horns, lenses and the Olympic torch are revealed, as they are exhibited in an incomplete state, celebrating the intriguing beauty of the production process. The show gives a glimpse of the designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby's ongoing dialogue with manufacturing. This perspective is distinctive to their practice: throughout their careers, they have had a technical curiosity and fascination with the making process. The way in which things are created has had a profound influence on Barber and Osgerby, and continually inspires their work. The exhibition provides a platform to capture and reveal a frozen moment in the manufacturing process and unveils an everyday object in its unfinished state. Often the object is as beautiful, if not more so, than the finished product. These partially made objects give an insight into the multidisciplinary approach that challenges the boundaries of industrial design, architecture and art, which has driven Barber and Osgerby to success, including designing the London 2012 Olympic Torch. Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1, until 4th May.