News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 6th July 2011

Commencing

Forests, Rocks, Torrents: Norwegian And Swiss Landscapes From The Lunde Collection features landscape paintings, primarily of the 19th century, which have rarely been on public view before. This exhibition of 51 paintings introduces lesser known skilled and innovative European landscape artists, many of whom enjoyed great reputations during their lifetimes. The paintings are of two principal kinds: small-scale landscape oil sketches and 'finished' paintings, some very large. The works show how the Norwegian and Swiss landscapes often resemble each other, with their snow-capped peaks, glacial valleys and dense forests, and also demonstrate the similarities of the Norwegian and Swiss traditions. Yet they also reveal the many differences that climate, character, national temperament and political regimes can impose on art. The Norwegian landscape tradition is traced primarily through the artists Johan Christian Dahl, who committed himself to depicting his nation, although he worked in Dresden as seen in 'The Lower Falls of the Labrofoss'; his friend Thomas Fearnley, who unites the two schools with his Swiss paintings 'Near Meiringen', 'The Mountain Wetterhorn' and 'Valley of Lauterbrunnen'; and Peder Balke, whose specialised in scenes of storms at sea and shipwrecks on rocky coasts, as in 'Seascape'. The Swiss artists are headed by Caspar Wolf, whose interests lay in the depiction of rocks, caves and water as in 'The Geltenbach Falls in the Lauenen Valley with an Ice Bridge'; and Alexandre Calame, who portrayed mountains, dense fir forests and raging torrents, such as 'Cliffs of Seelisberg, Lake Lucerne', and 'Mountain Torrent before a Storm'. National Gallery until 18th September.

Rene Magritte: The Pleasure Principle is the most comprehensive exhibition of the work by the Belgian Surrealist ever staged in Britain. The exhibition brings together over 100 paintings by Rene Magritte, some never seen in Britain before, as well as a selection of his little known drawings, collages, photographs, home movies and commercial art. Renowned for witty images depicting everyday objects such as apples, bowler hats and pipes in unusual settings, Magritte plays with the idea of reality and illusion. The display explores compositional and conceptual devices that are present in Magritte's work, such as veiling and revelation (through curtains and stage sets), the uncanny double (the encounter with mannequins ambiguously located between life and death), paradoxical realities (the simultaneous state of night and day) and the metamorphic transformation of objects (through scale or petrification) to create an enigmatic and continually mesmerising world. Among the highlights are 'The Threatened Assassin', 'The Human Condition', 'Time Transfixed', 'The Dominion of Light', 'Golconda' and 'The Listening Room'. In addition to these iconic works, the exhibition includes paintings from his lesser known 'Vache' period, erotic works and examples of his commercial designs. Rare photographs and home movie footage illuminate the life and work of Magritte, providing insights into his relationship with his wife and muse Georgette, and his collaborations within the Belgian Surrealist group. What emerges is a versatile artist and complex figure with an often anarchic sense of humour whose art transcends the image of the unexciting bourgeois which he liked to project. Tate Liverpool until 16th October.

The Art Of Harmony explores traditions of Western classical music and the role of instruments as makers of music, works of art and emblems of social status. The exhibition focuses on particular instrument traditions of Western classical music from 16th to 19th centuries, and features some of the finest, rarest and most ornate examples of their types. The 44 instruments are divided into 6 groups: according to their function under the titles Consort, Continuo and Salon, and constructional or acoustical features under the titles Resonances, Virtuoso and Encore. The oldest instrument on display, the Jerome of Bologna harpsichord from 1521, is seen together with its red and gold tooled leather outer case. Many of the stringed instruments, including lutes and viols, have intricate inlay work in ivory, ebony and mother of pearl. Others, like the exquisitely carved octagonal recorder by Anciuti, are made entirely of ivory. Among the celebrity items are a compact violin used for dance lessons by Louis, le Grand Dauphin of France; the Grand Duke Ferdinand II of Tuscany's guitar; and Rossini's oboe. The instrument display is enhanced and set into context with photographs and facsimiles of rarely seen archival materials. In addition to the instruments themselves, the exhibition explores the social milieu in which the collection of over 7,000 objects was begun, and the way the collection is cared for and used today, including the lengths to which conservation and curatorial teams go to protect the instruments. Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, London SE23, until March.

Continuing

Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril: Beyond The Moulin Rouge brings together a group of paintings, posters and prints to celebrate the remarkable creative partnership that captured the excitement and spectacle of bohemian Paris, and has to come to define the world of the Moulin Rouge. Nicknamed 'La Melinite' after a powerful form of explosive, the dancer Jane Avril was one of the stars of the Moulin Rouge in the 1890s. Known for her alluring style and exotic persona, her fame was assured by a series of dazzling posters designed by the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Avril became an emblematic figure in Lautrec's world of dancers, cabaret singers, musicians and prostitutes. She was also a close friend of the artist and he painted a series of striking portraits of her. These go beyond Lautrec's exuberant poster images of the star performer, and give a more private account of Avril captured out of costume. In the strong, solid colours of lithograph prints, the showgirl icon appears in outrageous hats or with inky calves provocatively displayed. Off stage she is a pale faced, thoughtful and psychologically rounded individual in tender paintings. Highlights include the iconic painting 'At the Moulin Rouge', in which Avril is instantly recognisable by her red hair; 'Jane Avril in the Entrance to the Moulin Rouge', where she seems withdrawn, and far older than her 22 years; and 'Jane Avril leaving the Moulin Rouge', showing her as a passer-by, an elegant but anonymous and solitary figure; and the posters 'Jane Avril au Jardin de Paris', which was credited as launching her career; 'Divan Japonais', showing her in profile as a member of the audience; and 'Jane Avril', one of the last posters, showing her full length, with a snake coiling up her dress, animating her wild dance. Courtauld Gallery, London, until 18th September.

Riverside Museum is a spectacular £74m building designed by Zaha Hadid, covering 7,800sqm with no supporting columns, that provides an new home for Glasgow's transport collection. The development has a riverside location at Pointhouse Quay in Yorkhill, opposite Govan shipyard, where the Clyde meets the River Kelvin. It is the site of the former A & J Inglis Shipyard, close by the Harland & Wolff and Robert Napier yards, adjacent to the Glasgow Harbour development. For the first time the new building will allow the proper interpretation of Glasgow's maritime history, and is crammed with over 3,000 objects, from skateboards to locomotives, paintings to prams, velocipedes to voiturettes. Visitors can climb aboard some of the exhibits to get a feel for vintage public transport, with 4 steam locomotives, 3 trams, 2 subway cars, a train carriage and a bus. In addition, the 19th century sailing ship, the Glenlee, the only Clyde built Tall Ship in Britain, is moored outside, following a £1.5m refit. There are 3 re-created streets (with vehicles) that span the years from 1890 to 1980 with complete shops, including an Edwardian photography studio, a 1930s Italian Cafe, a 1960s garage and a subway station. Further highlights include the 'Wall of Cars', with some of the earliest motorcars built by Albion, Argyll and Arrol-Johnson; the 'hanging Bicycle Velodrome', including the world's oldest pedal bicycle; a collection of 159 model ships, including Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and QE2, all ships that were built on the Clyde; and Stanley Spencer's epic Clydeside murals from the Second World War. Accompanying the displays are the personal experiences, memories and stories of hundreds of Glasgow's inventors, paramedics, tram drivers, pilots, schoolchildren, cafe owners, clippies, firefighters, skateboarders, dancers, refugees, teenagers, racing champions and ship captains.

Out Of Australia: Prints And Drawings From Sidney Nolan To Rover Thomas focuses on Australian artists of the past 70 years through their graphic art. The exhibition comprises 126 works on paper by 60 artists and is arranged broadly chronologically. It begins in the 1940s, with the rise of the distinctive school of Australian artists known as the 'Angry Penguins', where Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Albert Tucker and Joy Hester experimented with surrealism and expressionism. The influence of the Jewish 'enemy alien' refugee artists from Europe is traced through the work of Erwin Fabian, Klaus Friedeberger and former Bauhaus teacher Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, during and after their internment in Australia. Works by Australian artists in London and Paris during the 1950s and 1960s include Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Arthur Boyd, Robert Klippel, Brett Whiteley and Colin Lanceley. The examples from the 1960s and 1970s show the development of printmaking in Australia, with the landscape etchings of Fred Williams, the feminist works of Barbara Hanrahan and Bea Maddock, the figurative expressionism of George Baldessin, and the abstract metaphysical etchings of Roger Kemp. The 1980s and 1990s are represented through drawings by Dick Watkins, James Gleeson and Ken Whisson, with political and social issues expressed in the prints of Mike Parr, Ann Newmarch and Micky Allan, and the AIDS activist David McDiarmid. The exhibition concludes with works by contemporary artists including Brent Harris, Ricky Swallow and G W Bot, and prints by Indigenous Australian artists including Rover Thomas, Robert Cole, Pedro Wonaeamirri, Gloria Petyarre, Kitty Kantilla, Judy Watson and Dorothy Napangardi. British Museum until 11th September.

The Vorticists: Manifesto For A Modern World explores the avant-garde British art movement of the early 20th century. Led by painter Wyndham Lewis and named by American poet Ezra Pound, the Vorticist artists reacted against the culture of Edwardian England with a radical new aesthetic that embraced the maelstrom of the modern world. The exhibition celebrates the force and vitality of Vorticism by bringing together over 100 works, including paintings, sculptures and rarely seen photographs by Alvin Langdon Coburn, claimed as the first ever abstract photographs. It goes beyond a purely British interpretation of Vorticism, highlighting the movement's connections with the American avant-garde in New York. Amidst dramatic social and political change, and rapidly developing technology, these artists observed the world around them as if from a vortex, the still centre of a chaotic modernity. With self-proclaimed leader Wyndham Lewis, Vorticism included sculptors Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Jacob Epstein, and painters William Roberts, Frederick Etchells and Edward Wadsworth, together with the less well known Jessica Dismorr, Dorothy Shakespear and Helen Saunders. The exhibition also includes the work of associated artists such as David Bomberg and C R W Nevinson. Among the highlights are Jacob Epstein's iconic sculpture 'Rock Drill'; the zig-zagging forms of David Bomberg's 'The Mud Bath'; Wyndham Lewis's 'The Crowd'; and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska's monumental 'Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound'. The exhibition also highlights the literary presentations of the Vorticists' ideas, with the group's ground breaking journal 'BLAST No.1: Review of the Great English Vortex' and 'BLAST War Number: Review of the Great English Vortex', showing its powerful design, and literary contributions by T S Eliot, T E Hulme and Ford Madox Ford. Tate Britain until 4th September.

Secrets Beneath: Ancient Chinese Burial Practices And Beliefs reveals ancient Chinese burial practices during the Han dynasty, almost 2,000 years ago. Like the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Chinese believed in a life after death that was very similar to this world. To allow them to enjoy this afterlife, the rich and powerful members of China's ruling elite wished to have all of the comforts of their past life. During the Han dynasty elaborate burials included beautifully crafted bronze vessels for food and drink, together with models of servants, granaries and even farm animals. The body of the dead person might also be further protected with finely carved pieces of jade, a stone that was believed to have magical qualities. This exhibition showcases some of the beautifully crafted tomb goods from this period, ranging from bronze offering vessels to fine ceramics, and a solid jade burial mask. Old Fulling Mill Museum of Archaeology, Durham, until 6th 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.

Concluding

Bell Epoque: 30 Years Of Steve Bell features examples of the legendary political cartoonist's work over a period that spans Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron. Steve Bell's attacking style has earned him the respect and admiration not only of his peers, but even of commentators politically opposed to him. His uninhibited inventiveness can be scatological but is always witty and finely honed. The exhibition comprises over 200 of Bell's leader cartoons, strip cartoons and comic pages produced for the Guardian and other periodicals. The works document many of the major events of our age: Thatcherism, the Falklands War, the Poll Tax, the death of Princess Diana, the rise of New Labour, the Iraq War, the war on terror, the international banking crisis and the coalition government. His viewpoint is one that takes the consternation of his audience and elucidates it in cartoons that are works of art in their own right. However, what marks Bell out as the leading cartoonist of his generation, is that in addition to iconic images poking fun of political leaders, such as John Major in his underpants and George Bush as a chimpanzee, he has a sensitivity that enables him to capture the grief of tragic events with unsentimental poignancy. Ronald Searle has said that Bell is in the true tradition of Thomas Gillray. The Cartoon Museum, London, until 24th July.

Extinct comprises specimens and images of extinct and endangered animals. This wide ranging exhibition displays the remains of prehistoric giants, such as the woolly mammoth, the megalodon shark, a megatherium sloth and a mastodon, together with a leg from an Irish elk and the obligatory dodo skeleton, alongside creatures lost only a few decades ago, including the Tasmanian tiger and the quagga, a subspecies of zebra, which is only partly striped. A forewarning of extinctions yet to come is given by a display on today's critically endangered species, including the polar bear, panda and gorilla, raising questions about human interaction with the natural world. While mankind is not extinct, the 7ft 7in tall 'Irish Giant' Charles Byrne certainly is, and his 230 year old remains can also be viewed.

Ivory: Treasures From The Odontological Collection comprises a selection of ivory specimens from terrestrial and marine mammals that have teeth or tusks large enough to be classed as 'ivory', ranging from the prehistoric to the elusive narwhal. Also included are a selection of historical medical instruments and dentures fashioned from ivory. These items are normally used only as a teaching resource. Hunterian Museum, 35 - 43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, until 23rd July.

The Cult Of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860 - 1900 celebrates the first artistic movement to inspire an entire lifestyle, prizing the importance of art and the pleasure of beautiful things above all else. Comprising over 250 objects, this exhibition gathers many of the greatest masterpieces in painting together with sculpture, design, furniture and architecture, as well as fashion and literature of the era. Aestheticism was a British movement born as a reaction to the art and ideas of the Victorian establishment. The display traces its development from the romantic bohemianism of a small avant-garde circle in the 1860s to a cultural phenomenon. The style was characterised by a widespread use of motifs such as the lily, the sunflower and the peacock feather, drawing on sources as diverse as Ancient Greek art and modern day Japan, which had just been opened up to the West. Aestheticism created an unprecedented public fascination in the lives of artists, and the exhibition explores the dazzling array of personalities in the group, including William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Oscar Wilde. The clear artistic ideal that emerged from the confusion of styles in the mid 19th century was the 'cult of beauty' that brought together the Pre-Raphaelite bohemians like Dante Gabriel Rossetti, maverick figures such as James McNeill Whistler, and the painters of grand, classical subjects like Frederic Leighton and G F Watts. These painters created an entirely new type of beauty, where mood, colour and harmony were more important than the subject. The public became mesmerised by the extravagant dress and the homes or 'Palaces of Art' of figures like Leighton and Lawrence Alma-Tadema. The exquisite interiors and collections within these houses inspired aristocrats, intellectuals and entrepreneurs across the country to reproduce a similar style in their own homes. A number of setpieces within the exhibition evoke interiors of the day, such as the celebrated Grosvenor Gallery exhibition, Whistler's Peacock Room and Rossetti's bedroom in Chelsea. Victoria & Albert Museum until 17th July.