Private View held by Richard Andrews
Dan Dare And The Birth Of Hi-Tech Britain examines the heady excitement of the reinvention of Britain after the Second World War, showing how the years from 1945 to 1970 saw a long climb from austerity to affluence. Dan Dare, pilot of the future, as featured in the Eagle comic, was the emblematic hero of those times, embodying a faith in the nation's ability to 'conquer the future' through its resourcefulness and powers of invention. A popular feature in the comic was a detailed cutaway drawing explaining how new inventions like nuclear submarines were constructed, and original artworks of these are featured in the exhibition. Sadly, the pride and faith in the future of British design and manufacturing of that time was as misplaced as the idea of a British astronaut commanding an expedition across the universe. Thus the future as imagined here, seems almost more remote than that imagined by Victorians. Nevertheless the exhibition allows visitors to revel in consumer technology world firsts, from food processors to portable televisions, plus a Bloodhound missile, one pillar of Britain's defence against Soviet threat in the Cold War, together with the British built WE177 nuclear weapon; a Hillman Imp car; a section of Comet 1, the world's first jet airliner; a nuclear reactor control panel for British submarines, with infamous SCRAM button; Pye radios designed by Robin Day; a Roentgen IV X-ray machine, the mainstay of the new NHS diagnostic service; and a Coventry Climax racing engine of type that took Stirling Moss to victory. Science Museum until October.
OGS Crawford is a unique opportunity to see images from the archive of Osbert Guy Stanhope Crawford, a field archaeologist who pioneered aerial photography after seeing its potential in the First World War. Crawford was a rare visionary who recognised key events and recorded them, documenting the passage of time from pre-history archaeological digs, to the utopian projects propounded by revolutionaries throughout the turbulent times in which he lived: 1886 to 1957. Distance, in Crawford's view, brought clarity, and he saw world history - and the future - in the broadest possible perspective, perceiving patterns in times past and in things to come. Thus he believed the passage of time, from prehistory to a utopian future, could be charted and photographed, evidenced in the design of objects, in the rise and fall of superstitions, and in the organisation of domestic space. Crawford's photographic output was prolific and varied, reflecting both his professional work and a world view critical of a society increasingly led by consumerism and materialism. The exhibition ranges from images of archaeological sites, through between the wars anti-Nazi graffiti in Berlin, rural Hampshire scenes, and suburban advertising hoardings, to aspirational post Second World War housing developments in his home city of Southampton. John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, until 14th June.
Skin+Bones: Parallel Practices In Fashion And Architecture is the first show in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House, a new exhibition space where the Hermitage Rooms used to be, which will focus on photography, design, fashion and architecture. Traditionally, fashion and architecture have remained quite distinct, but in recent years however, the two disciplines have become closer than ever before. Frank Gehry's controversial design for tower blocks on the seafront at Hove in Sussex has even been described as looking like 'transvestites caught in a gale'. Taking the early 1980s as its starting point, this exhibition examines the many visual and conceptual ideas that unite the two disciplines. By examining designs by over 50 internationally renowned architects and designers, including Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Comme des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto, Future Systems, Herzog and de Meuron, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid, through garments, maquettes, architectural models and photographs, the exhibition reveals how inspiration in both disciplines have come from the same sources. It also shows how they can borrow each other's techniques, as with Hussein Chalayan's Remote Control Dress, made from aircraft material with moveable flaps and structural lines like the design of an aeroplane, and Heatherwick Studio's Temple, which echoes the undulating, organic folds of a piece of cloth combined with a mille-feuille stepped texture on the outside. Embankment Galleries, Somerset House until 10th August.
The London Bridge Experience is a new £2m attraction located in tunnels and vaults of the famous 1831 bridge, that remain under the current London Bridge, where its history is brought to life through special effects, CGI, live actors and animation. From the building of the first bridge across the Thames in Roman times, it offers a whistle stop tour through the gorier side of London's past, with the sacking of London by Boudicca, the Viking invasion, the times when the heads of the vanquished were exhibited on poles, and the Great Fire, with the opportunity to cross a burning replica of the 17th century bridge. In addition, there are characters such as William Wallace, Sir John Rennie (designer of the 1831 bridge), Charles Dickens, and Robert McCulloch (who purchased the 1831 bridge and shipped it stone by stone to Arizona). There is also a small museum, with exhibits provided by the estate of London historian Peter Jackson. After viewing this, the bravest visitors can go below to London Tombs, down in the vaults and catacombs, where the Black Death plague pits of 14th century London were located, which are peopled by crazed zombies, animatronic torture victims and severed heads - not for the squeemish. The London Bridge Experience, 2-4 Tooley Street SE1, continuing.
Art In The Age Of Steam captures the excitement of the steam train in art from the earliest days, through the boom years of Victorian railways to the end of the line in the 1960s. The exhibition looks at how artists responded to the extraordinary impact that steam trains had on landscape and society, as aboard these great machines, passengers travelled at faster speeds than ever before, and notions of time and space were forever changed. It comprises around 100 paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and posters, from some of the world's greatest artists and photographers, covering the years 1830 to 1960. Highlights include: Manet's 'The Railway', Van Gogh's 'La Crau from Montmajour, with train', Pissarro's 'Lordship Lane Station', four paintings by Monet, including 'Gare Saint-Lazare', Honore Daumier's 'The Third-class Carriage', Gustav Caillebotte's 'Pont de l'Europe', Edward Hopper's 'Railroad Train' and 'Railroad Sunset', Giorgio de Chirico's 'The Anxious Journey', and photographs by Bill Brandt, Alfred Stieglitz and O Winston Link. British artists are represented by Turner's iconic 'Rain, Steam and Speed', 'The Travelling Companions' by Augustus Egg, showing two crinoline-clad girls in a luxurious railway compartment, while 'The Railway Station' by William Powell Frith, vividly captures the hustle and bustle of Paddington station, and James Tissot's 'Gentleman in a Railway Carriage' consults his watch and a timetable. Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, until 10th August.
Seasons Through The Looking Glass is an underground garden inspired by Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, which began when Lewis Carroll's heroine fell into a tunnel, and met gardeners painting roses. This notion of mythical underground spaces is the subject of C J Lim and Studio 8 Architects's installation in the museum's tunnel entrance, a multi-sensory and tactile intervention which explores the spatial possibilities of a subterranean garden. It is a cartouche-shaped topiary, covered with rose blossoms that taper to a crown before sprouting an array of forked branches, whose shadows fence around the grand vaulted ceiling. However, instead of soil and living vegetation, it consists of trunks and twigs constructed from honeycomb paper sandwich panels, with roses made from rolled recycled garments. During the installation's one year lifecycle, these fabric samples will be subtly altered to reflect the changing seasons. To further emphasise the seasonal nature, it is accompanied by Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. The references to Alice's wonderland extend beyond the garden theme, to a large mirror, or looking glass, which lies at the end of the installation, infinitely extending it in virtual space. Victoria & Albert Museum, until 29th March.
Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming And James Bond is an exhibition celebrating the life and work of the man who created the world's most famous secret agent, James Bond, on the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth. It looks at the author and his fictional character in their historical context, and examines how much of the Bond novels were imaginary, and how far they were based on real people and events. The exhibition explores the early life of Fleming, his wartime career and work as a journalist and travel writer, and how as an author, he drew upon these experiences to create the iconic character of James Bond. Among the rare materials on display are Fleming's desk and chair from his Jamaican home Goldeneye, where he wrote all of the Bond novels; a map of the Mercury News Network established by Fleming in the 1950s, showing where all Sunday Times foreign correspondents were based; the jacket worn by Fleming on the Dieppe Raid of 1942; a selection of annotated Bond manuscripts; the Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver presented to Fleming by the Colt company in 1964; a working model of an Aston Martin DB5 complete with gadgets from the films Thunderball and Goldfinger; prototypes of Rosa Klebb's flick knife shoes from From Russia With Love; and Daniel Craig's blood-splattered shirt from Casino Royale. The exhibition examines to what extent the books and films reflect the reality of the Cold War and life in post war Britain, and how far they were a product of Fleming's imagination. Imperial War Museum until 1st March.
From Sickert To Gertler: Modern British Artists From Boxted House celebrates the lives of Bobby and Natalie Bevan, and the works that hung on the walls of their home, which became a gathering place for a wide range of creative people after the Second World War. Bobby was the son of the artists Robert Bevan and Stanislawa de Karlowska, and the painter and ceramicist Natalie Denny modelled for many artists, most famously Mark Gertler. As patrons of the visual arts, they played an important role in the post war cultural renaissance, and Boxted House became the heart of a social milieu not just of artists, but also of writers, politicians, gardeners and other creative individuals. Paintings by Bobby's parents and their friends, including Walter Sickert, Harold Gilman and Charles Ginner, hung beside works by Bobby and Natalie's friends, such as Christopher Nevinson, John Armstrong and Frederick Gore. Virtually every work in the exhibition has a personal link to Bobby and Natalie, with highlights including Robert Bevan's 'Showing at Tattersall's'; Charles Ginner's 'La Vieille Balayeuse, Dieppe', which he exchanged for a work by Robert Bevan; Harold Gilman's portrait of Bobby's mother; John Armstrong's 'Still Life with Leeks' painted whilst staying at Boxted House; Mark Gertler's 'Supper', a portrait of Natalie aged 19; John Nash's 'Ice and Snow', a snowscape of his garden not far from Boxted House; Cedric Morris's 'Paysage du Jardin No 2'; and works on paper by artists Francisco de Goya, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Cezanne. Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until 22nd June.
Richard Rogers + Architects - From The House To The City reviews the work of one of the most influential architects of our time, from his first family house in Cornwall, to the recently opened Heathrow Terminal 5. Covering a period of 45 years, it is a detailed survey of Rogers's collaborations, from early work with Norman and Wendy Foster, and Su Brumwell at Team 4; through the Pompidou Centre with Renzo Piano, which changed the shape of contemporary architecture; and the establishment of the Richard Rogers Partnership, which produced the Lloyd's of London building and the Millennium Dome; to the present as Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and the National Assembly for Wales. It also features a number of less well known buildings in Britain and around the world, together with proposals and competition entries for projects that were never built, and a number of current works in progress. The projects are explored in depth, through new and archive architectural models, photographs, initial sketches, renderings, plans, drawings, films and computer animations. They are arranged in colour coded sections, with each block examining an architectural theme: Transparent, Legible, Green, Lightweight, Public, Urban and Systems. Design Museum, London until 25th August.
Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia charts the artistic and personal relationships of Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Francis Picabia, and explores the affinities and parallels in their work, showing how they responded to each others' ideas and innovations. The godfathers of conceptual art, they created the Dada movement in New York during the First World War, and unusually in modern art, remained friends throughout their lives. At the heart of this friendships lay a shared outlook on life, manifested in their works through jokes and a sense of irony, iconoclastic gestures, and an interest in eroticism. Picabia was a painter, Man Ray worked in all media but became celebrated as a photographer, and Duchamp abandoned the life of a professional artist, yet became a revered figure for later artists. The exhibition features seminal early works such as Duchamp's iconic 'Fountain' and 'Nude Descending a Staircase (No.2)'; Picabia's 'I See Again in My Memory My Dear Udnie' and 'Femmes Au Bull Dog'; and Man Ray's 'The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows'. Covering the period to the end of their careers, the show features Duchamp's 'ready mades' and optical experiments, Man Ray's 'rayographs' (cameraless photographs), iconic photographs of the interwar years, and examples of his many objects, and a selection of Picabia's 'monster' and 'dot' paintings. Films by all three artists are also being shown, including 'Entr'acte', which was scripted by Picabia and in which all have cameo appearances. A display devoted to the artists' friendships, includes photographs, letters, books and magazines. Tate Modern until 26th May.
Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913 - 2008 brings together rare vintage prints with contemporary classics from Vanity Fair and the Conde Nast Archive. It provides a photographic history of celebrity portraiture, with works of master photographers from Edward Steichen and Cecil Beaton, to Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino. Some of the greatest portrait photographs of the 20th century were taken for, or published in, Vanity Fair. This selection of 150 images features works from the magazine's first period, 1913 to 1936, displayed for the first time with works from its contemporary incarnation, 1983 to 2008. In the first period, celebrated subjects such as Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow, Louis Armstrong, Noel Coward, Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, Anna May Wong and Paul Robeson are shown in portraits by Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Baron De Meyer, Man Ray and George Hurrell. Since the magazine's re-launch, the works of Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, Nan Goldin, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber and Mario Testino are featured, depicting a wide range of subjects from Arthur Miller to Madonna. From the beginning, British, Irish and American authors were profiled and their writings published, and among the vintage portraits in the exhibition are iconic images of H G Wells, James Joyce, D H Lawrence, Rebecca West, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and George Bernard Shaw. Since its reincarnation, iconic cover images featured here include the Reagans dancing, a very pregnant Demi Moore, a formal portrait of President Bush's Afghan War Cabinet, and actresses Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley photographed naked. National Portrait Gallery until 26th May.
Artful Practice: Architectural Drawings By Richard Norman Shaw RA reveals how Norman Shaw changed the face of English architecture in the last third of the 19th century. Working in the spirit of local vernacular building traditions, rather than to the letter of textbook historicism, he paved the way for the free style of the Arts and Crafts movement in the 1890s. Shaw's domestic work in particular touched with unerring instinct the Victorian imagination, creating homes and offices that were not only well planned for their owners to live and work in, but were also buildings to which the man in the street could feel an emotional tie. Although he was born in Edinburgh to an Irish father and Scottish mother, probably no other architect since Wren can claim to have defined more clearly for his time the Englishness of English architecture. A particular feature is the nautical flavour of some of Shaw's buildings. Half-timbered walls and gables, mullioned windows, sweeping roofs and high chimneystacks all symbolise a promise of shelter, but they also echo the wooden hulls, poop decks and towering masts and sails of the great ships upon which England's commercial prosperity had always depended. Developers of suburban housing have endlessly recycled Shaw's redefinition of English architecture well into the present time. A sense of the impact that Shaw wanted his work to have on posterity can be gained from the series of pen and ink perspectives that he put into the Royal Academy's annual exhibition in the 1870s and 1880s, now on view there again. Royal Academy of Arts, until 25th May.