News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th January 2011

Commencing

Waterline is a photographic exhibition revealing the joys and trials of the heyday of cruising, from the 1920s to the 1970s. Cruising grew in popularity after the First World War, with passengers wanting to travel by sea for pleasure, rather than simply to get from one place to another. Liners were microcosms of society, where class boundaries were preserved, with first class passengers and officers travelling in greater style and luxury than third class passengers and crews. Following the Second World War and hardships of the 1950s, the 1960s brought rising incomes, increased leisure time and other social changes, and liners of two and three classes were converted into one class ships, where attention was increasingly paid to better facilities for all. The images in this exhibition reflect the experiences of passengers and crew, and show the range of destinations visited, near and far. Conga lines, lifeboat drills, sumptuous displays of cruise food and visits ashore all feature in historical film footage. Photography was a profitable business in the early days of cruising, when few passengers owned cameras, and onboard photographers worked long hours, developing negatives in makeshift dark rooms to prepare prints sold to holidaymakers. The photographers captured all aspects of shipboard life, exotic destinations, local communities, flora and fauna, famous landmarks and the ships themselves. These photographs were also used by companies for publicity and made into calendars and postcards for sale. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until April.

Lucien Pissarro In England: The Eragny Press 1895 - 1914 celebrates the work of the French painter, engraver and printmaker, with the first comprehensive display of his books. The exhibition features the 32 books printed by Lucien Pissarro and his wife Esther at their home in London, along with his preparatory drawings, and paintings by his father, Camille Pissarro, the Impressionist painter, who assisted him during the 1890s. The exquisite handmade Eragny books are beautifully printed, using wood blocks designed by Lucien and cut by him and his wife, with a degree of artistry which owed much to the influence of the English Arts and Crafts movement. These illustrations, often printed in colour and sometimes with added gold, accompanied the texts of French and English authors, ranging from classic to modern literature. The first book, published in 1895, was the fairytale 'The Queen of Fishes' by Gerard de Nerval, translated into English by Margaret Rust. Other highlights include 'Un Coeur Simple' by Gustave Flaubert and 'Of Gardens' by Sir Francis Bacon, first published in 1625. To point up the influence of the English art scene on Lucien's work and his concurrent artistic contribution in England, there are a number of books from several famous contemporary private presses, including William Morris's Kelmscott Press and Charles Ricketts's Vale Press. It is this curious blend of two quite different traditions - a French artistic upbringing and the English craft revival in full swing - which gives the Eragny books their unique character. The books are accompanied by material from the Pissarro Family Archive, including paintings by Camille, such as 'The Cricket Match', photographs, letters and other memorabilia. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 13th March.

Paper Memories features childhood fashion memories preserved in paper. The exhibition comprises a collection of more than 100 authentically recreated life-sized children's clothes made from paper by one dedicated woman, which is on public display for the first time. All the clothes are modeled on items of clothes made between the 1940s and the 1970s, and have been painstakingly created over the last few years by fashion expert Felicity Austen. The unique collection, ranging from school uniforms to party outfits, fancy dress to holiday clothes, includes 10 pairs of paper shoes, as well as paper dresses, shirts and even socks. Austin re-created the clothes after studying original garments, looking at family photographs and advertisements, and hearing the reminiscences of a number of people who provided memories of their childhood clothes. Some of the clothes represent 'home made' garments, very popular at the beginning of the period represented, and others, those produced commercially in factories, but all predate the concept of 'children's fashion'. Each garment took hours to put together, using everything from tissue paper to wrapping paper. The clothes are supported by photographs and objects of the period. Also included in the exhibition are other nostalgic paper artefacts, from Coronation memorabilia and old photos, to school books and brown paper packages tied up with string. Snibston Discovery Park, Ashby Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, until 15th May.

Continuing

London Under Siege: Churchill And The Anarchists, 1911 marks the 100th anniversary of the Houndsditch Murders and the siege of Sidney Street. The exhibition sets the murders and the siege in their historical and social context, explores immigration at the time, and the then Home Secretary Winston Churchill's role in the events. The Houndsditch Murders took place on 16th December 1910, when a group of armed Latvian revolutionaries attempted to break into H S Harris's jeweller's shop in Houndsditch. Three City of London policemen were fatally shot and two were disabled for life. The murders remain the highest loss of police life on a single day in Britain. The Siege of Sidney Street took place two weeks later on 3rd January 1911, when over 200 armed police and a detachment of Scots Guards laid siege to 100 Sidney Street in Stepney, where two of the Houndsditch gang were hiding. The ensuing stand-off eventually saw 100 Sidney Street burn to the ground. The remains of the two gang members, Fritz Svaars and William Sokolow, were found insideThe stand-off eventually saw the building burn to the ground, with the remains of the gang members found inside. The scene was captured in an iconic photograph showing Winston Churchill in overcoat and top hat (which was punctured by a stray bullet) surrounded by police and soldiers. The siege of Sidney Street is part of East End and socialist folklore, and the area at the time was home to radical political groups, most of whom had come from Eastern Europe, thus helping to exaggerate people's imaginations about immigration and other cultures. The display includes exhibits from the trial of suspected gang members in May 1911: several objects used by the Houndsditch gang, such as never before seen guns from the crime scene, safe-breaking equipment, an ammunition belt, cap, gloves and a dagger; plus the overcoat worn by Winston Churchill on the day of the siege, and an order of service from the funerals of the murdered policemen at St Paul's Cathedral. Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay E14, until April.

The Brunel Institute is a heritage and visitor centre, which recently opened alongside the SS Great Britain, the Victorian engineer's masterpiece and only surviving ship. Designed by Alec French Architects, it comprises a conservation suite and archive, major reference library, lecture theatre and seminar rooms, education space, and teaching offices. The institute houses the National Brunel Archive, including Isambard Kingdom Brunel's drawing instruments, notebooks and diaries, letters, engineering drawings, and photographs of projects both under construction and completed. The institute's entire collection comprises over 45,000 objects, including: over 6,000 maritime books, such as Registers from provincial ports, and the East India Company Ships; 2,500 ship plans, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries; 100 ship models of all kinds; 35,000 maritime photographs and postcards; hundreds of periodicals covering the history and development of shipping from the 18th century onwards, including The American Neptune, Yachting Monthly, Sea Breezes, Blue Peter, Ships and Ship Models and Model Shipwright; the complete run of Mariner's Mirror and most of Lloyd's Register; diaries and personal letter relating to passengers and crew of the SS Great Britain; over 50 films of historic maritime craft; and hundreds of works of art. The Brunel Institute, Great Western Dockyard, Bristol, continuing.

Picasso To Julie Mehretu features graphic art from across the world, exploring the significant interchange of ideas between artists mainly working in Europe and America during the past hundred years. It showcases some of the greatest artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, starting with Picasso's study for 'Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon', the painting that changed the art world in 1907, and concluding with work by Julie Mehretu, the Ethiopian-born artist who is one of the stars of the contemporary international art scene. The exhibition features 70 works, most of which have never been on public display before. Impromptu sketches and compositional studies are shown alongside works that are complete in themselves. Some drawings are intended to provide a template for the final product, others to capture retrospectively something executed in another medium. As well as Pablo Picasso, the exhibition features works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Georgio de Chirico, Henri Matisse, Rene Magritte, David Smith and Louise Bourgeois and major contemporary artists, including Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Francesco Clemente, Judy Chicago and William Kentridge. A highlight is Picasso's double page composition 'Leaping Bulls' dating from 1950, the first entry in the Visitors' Book for the Institute of Contemporary Arts. British Museum until 25th April.

The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner explores one of the best known English poems, written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. First published in 1798 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner tells the tale of a mariner's nightmarish journey to the ends of the Earth. The poem deals with the universal themes of sin, guilt, remorse and redemption and its insight into the human condition has provided inspiration for writers, artists and musicians for over 200 years. This exhibition, through manuscripts, printed books and sound recordings, examines the poem within the wider context of Coleridge's life, and explores his crucial role, along with that of his friend William Wordsworth, co-author of the Lyrical Ballads, (in which The Rime of the Ancient Mariner first appeared) as a founding member of the Romantic Movement in England. A man of remarkable intellect with an inquiring spirit, Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a literary critic, philosopher, writer, journalist and public lecturer. Deeply learned and widely read, Coleridge took an exalted view of his art, asserting that 'The Poet is the man made to solve the riddle of the Universe', who 'brings the whole soul of man into activity'. The display also looks at modern interpretations of the poem, and highlights the work of illustrators and writers who have been inspired by its vivid imagery. Highlights include the 1798 first edition of the Lyrical Ballads; and two of Coleridge's notebooks, one containing re-workings of the poem (lines 201-212, dated 1806), and the other with details of a walking tour of Cumbria in 1802, providing a fascinating record of his random thoughts and observations. The British Library, until 27th February.

Japanese Ghosts And Demons: Ukiyo-e Prints is a display of highly coloured 19th century woodblock prints. Belief in the supernatural is deep-rooted in Japanese folklore. According to Japan's native Shinto religion, gods reside everywhere - in the forests, the fields, the mountains and in the home. The arrival of Buddhism during the 6th century AD brought with it more supernatural beings, and many Chinese tales of spirits and monsters were also absorbed into Japanese tradition. Obake, the Japanese word for ghost, means 'something that is transformed'. There are many kinds of ghosts in Japan, including household objects that come to life, animals with supernatural powers, wicked demons and the vengeful spirits of cruelly-wronged women. These beings have long been represented in Japanese art and literature - depicted in paintings and prints, carved as netsuke belt toggles and dramatised for the Kabuki and Bunraku theatres. The ukiyo-e woodblock prints shown here all date from the mid-19th century, when artists competed to satisfy the public's appetite for images of the bizarre and macabre. Focusing on works by the renowned artists Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, and their contemporaries, giant spiders, dancing skeletons, winged goblins and hordes of ghostly warriors are among the spooky subjects depicted. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 27th February.

Norman Rockwell's America is the first ever exhibition in Britain of work by America's best known and best loved illustrator for over 6 decades of the 20th century. Astonishingly prolific, Norman Rockwell is best known for the 323 covers he created for the Saturday Evening Post, but he also painted countless other magazine illustrations and advertisements, capturing images of everyday American life with a humour and power of observation that spoke directly to the public, whose love for his work never wavered. These good natured, often very funny, occasionally sweetly sentimental images, picturing America as he wished it to be, rather than as it perhaps was, gave rise to an adjective, 'Rockwellesque', which in some critics' minds became something of a dirty word. But Rockwell's output was not all sugar and spice - he recorded political events, portrayed presidents, and on occasion painted searing images in support of the civil rights movement. Although Rockwell himself was happy to be described as 'an illustrator', his illustrations were executed with considerable technical skill in oils, and these original paintings have increased dramatically in value since his death in 1978, and recent years have seen a critical reassessment of the importance of his work. This exhibition provides a comprehensive look at Rockwell's career, including every single cover of the Saturday Evening Post, created between 1916 and 1963, along with some 30 original paintings, and illustrations for advertisements, magazines and books. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, until 27th March.

Concluding

Future Beauty: 30 Years Of Japanese Fashion is the first exhibition in Europe to comprehensively survey avant-garde Japanese fashion, from the early 1980s to now. Japanese designers made an enormous impact on world couture in the late 20th century. Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto redefined the very basis of fashion, challenged established Western notions of beauty, and turned fashion into art. The tight silhouettes of Western couture were jettisoned for new fluid shapes. Out went the magnificent ornament and extravagant techniques of the post-war tradition and in came a stark, monochrome palette and an entirely new decorative language - holes, rips, frays and tears - emerging from the stuff of fabric itself. This exhibition examines the work of these designers in relation to Japanese art, culture and costume history, and explores the distinctive sensibility of Japanese design and its sense of beauty embodied in clothing. It brings together over 100 garments, some never seen before in Britain, with specially commissioned photographs by Japanese artist and photographer Naoya Hatakeyama. There are focused presentations on each of the principle designers in the show, featuring a range of archive and recent works: Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, Jun Takahashi and Tao Kurihara, as well as Mintdesigns and a number of emerging designers such as Akira Naka, Anrealage, N e -Net, Sacai , Somarta, Mikio Sakabe, Matohu and Taro Horiuchi. Also included are catwalk collection films, and a wealth of rare books, catalogues and magazines, which highlight Yamamoto, Miyake and Kawakubo's collaborations with artists, photographers and designers. Barbican Art Gallery, London, until 6th February.

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power And Brilliance showcases the most important British portrait painter of his generation, and explores his development as one of the most celebrated and influential artists in Europe at the start of the 19th century. The first exhibition of works by Thomas Lawrence in London for over 30 years offers an opportunity to experience the beauty and virtuosity of his paintings, and also re-examine them in the light of recent scholarship on the art of the Regency period. Beginning as a child prodigy working in pastels, Thomas Lawrence succeeded Joshua Reynolds as Britain's greatest portrait painter. With the temperament and flair to capture the glamour of the age, Lawrence created the image of Regency high society with dazzling brushwork and an innovative use of colour. His international reputation was ensured when the Prince Regent commissioned portraits of all the foreign leaders involved in the downfall of Napoleon. The 54 portraits on view, many of which are rarely seen in public, are Lawrence's greatest paintings and drawings, conveying the power and originality of his work. These include portraits of Charles William Lambton, the famous 'Red Boy', Elizabeth Farren, three portraits of Pope Pius VII, Field Marshall Gebhardt von Blucher and Charles, Archduke of Austria. Providing a fresh understanding of Lawrence and his career, the exhibition explores both his technical innovations as a draughtsman and painter, and his unprecedented international reputation. It also places him within the broader contexts of the aesthetic debates, networks of patronage and international politics of his day. National Portrait Gallery until 23rd January.

The Glasgow Boys: Drawings And Watercolours is a selection of works by the informal grouping of artists who were inspired by progressive French painting, and produced some of the most decorative and adventurous painting in Scotland at the end of the 19th century. The group of around 20 artists became known as the 'Glasgow Boys', whose leading figures, James Guthrie, George Henry, E A Hornel, John Lavery, Arthur Melville, James Paterson and E A Walton, treated watercolour and pastel as mediums just as noble as paint. The 80 works on display feature drawings and watercolours that mainly belong to the second half of the artists' careers, when their early interest in rustic realism had been replaced by a commitment to decorative and aesthetic effect, and a wider range of subject matter. Highlights include James Guthrie's 'To Pastures New' and 'The Hind's Daughter', George Henry's 'Noon' and Edward Arthur Walton's 'A Berwickshire Fieldworker', among the studies of individual figures; James Paterson's 'Moniaive' and James Guthrie's 'Winter', both of which show a desire to experiment in an almost abstract manner with the forms and shapes found in landscape; Arthur Melville's 'A Byway in Granada', in which he achieved its strong contrast between light and dark by dropping pure pigment onto untouched areas of the wet paper; George Henry's 'A Japanese Pottery Seller' and 'Japanese Beauty', which mark a high point in his career; and John Lavery's 'The Tennis Party' and William Kennedy's 'Stirling Station', which record modern urban life. Royal Academy of Arts until 23rd January.