Private View held by Richard Andrews
Giorgio de Chirico And The Myth Of Ariadne charts a man's obsession with a subject, which he first painted in 1912, and was still pursuing over 100 paintings later in 1970. According to legend, Ariadne was abandoned by her lover Theseus on the desert island of Naxos, after he had slain the Minotaur and escaped from the labyrinth with the aid of her thread. Chirico's melancholic, enigmatic paintings have dream-like imagery of a reclining statue of Ariadne, in an empty, sun-drenched piazza, filled with mysterious shadows and stopped clocks, repeated with subtle variations in shadow, colour and composition. These iconic works, which inspired and influenced the Surrealist paintings of Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and, Rene Magritte, are complemented by a selection of later paintings on the theme of Ariadne, whose serial approach foreshadows the work of Andy Warhol, a close friend of de Chirico in the 1970s.This exhibition brings together key works of the Ariadne series from private and public collections around the world and includes The Soothsayer's Recompense, along with related drawings and sculptures. Estorick Collection, London until 13th April.
Unknown Pleasures: Unwrapping the Royal Photographic Society Collection celebrates one of the world's finest collections of photographs and photographic technology. It has been created to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Photographic Society, and the move of the RPS collection to the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television. Founded in January 1853 by a small group of respectable amateurs, the Society looked to promote the art and science of photography in Britain and further afield. This exhibition includes over 300 objects and images revealing both the familiar and hidden dimensions of this diverse collection, reflecting documentary, fashion, travel, architectural and medical photography. Examples of the some of the finest work by pioneering photographers such as William Henry Fox Talbot, Lewis Carroll, Alfred Stieglitz, Alvin Langdon Coburn and Edward Weston, are seen alongside experimental cameras, stereoscopic equipment, portable darkrooms from the 1850s, pioneering colour processes, postcards, illustrated books and journals, manuscripts and ephemera. From the portraits of Dr. Diamond and the pastoral landscapes of Peter Henry Emerson, to one of the earliest X-ray images and Larry Burrows graphic record of the Vietnam War, the content of the exhibition reflects the breadth of scope of the art of photography. National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford until 30th March.
Silver 1800 - 2000 displays over 1000 pieces, showcasing artistry in many different period styles from classical, through Art Nouveau and the Art and Crafts movement, to modern cutting edge designs, in a series of newly restored rooms. Exhibits range from the spectacular - three life-size silver lions copied from Rosenborg Castle, Copehagen, the magnificent Doncaster race cup of 1857, and a sculpted tureen based on designs by Karl Friedrich Schinkel - to the mass-produced - a nutmeg grater and an electroplated jug supplied to a shipping line. Works by the pioneering designers A.W.N. Pugin, William Burges, Christopher Dresser and C.R. Ashbee all feature, as do those by major goldsmiths and retailers Paul Storr, J.B.C. Odiot and Elkington and Co. For the first time in two hundred years, major pieces from the most spectacular and stylistically adventurous table garniture of the 19th century are shown together. Frederick, Duke of York rivalled his older brother the Prince Regent (later George IV) in his taste for fine silver, buying large quantities of plate, modern French neoclassical and antique, indulging in an advanced historicist taste. The pieces include five extravagant candelabra incorporating classical figures, twelve salt cellars in the form of mythical sea creatures, and a grand cistern. Victoria & Albert Museum until April.
David Hockney: Five Double Portraits is a double celebration, marking the return to Britain of one of our most globally successful artists, and the discovery of (for him) a new medium - watercolour. Relishing the possibilities and restrictions of watercolour, these portraits are large (almost 4ft high), produced in a single six or seven hour sitting, with no preparatory sketches, and no possibility of over painted alterations. The centrepiece is a portrait of the Glyndebourne impresario Sir George Christie and his wife, commissioned by the gallery, which proved the catalyst for Hockney's interest in the medium, and produced a burst of creativity. National Portrait Gallery until 29th June.
Painting On Paper continues David Hockney's new enthusiasm for watercolour, with large scale, vividly coloured landscapes, painted on multiple sheets of paper, executed during visits to Norway and Iceland last summer. These have the qualities we expect of a Hockney painting, but which are rarely seen in watercolours. They are shown alongside line drawings and studies of bonsai trees, and a dozen more portraits. Typical of Hockney to rush to explore his new found medium with all kinds of subjects. Annely Juda Fine Art, 23 Dering Street, London W1 until 1st March.
Paradise explores ways in which artists have reinterpreted the visible world to create images of paradise itself, to recall a lost Golden Age or a longed for future, or to show the world transformed and idealised. At the centre is Brueghel's The Garden Of Eden, imagined as a menagerie in which leopards lie down with guinea-pigs and parrots fly above penguins. Religious images include Benozzo Gozzoli's Virgin And Child With Angels, set in a heavenly garden recalling the lost Eden, and Friedrich's visionary Winter Landscape. The pastoral poetry of the ancient Greeks, revived in the Renaissance, is represented by Claude Lorrain in Landscape With Narcissus And Echo; the shepherds, nymphs and satyrs depicted by Poussin in A Bacchanalian Revel Before A Term Of Pan also derive from classical descriptions of a lost Arcadia; while Constable's The Cornfield presents a quintessentially English Golden Age. From among the 19th and 20th century artists who looked beyond these traditions in their search for the perfect world, are works by Gauguin, who sought Paradise in Tahiti and the islands the South Pacific, and Monet, who retreated from the world to the Eden of his water garden at Giverny. This is the second in a series of touring exhibitions organised by the National Gallery in association with regional partners. Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery until 30th March.
Working Water: Roman Technology In Action is a full scale reconstruction of a 2000 year old water lifting machine. The sophisticated Roman mechanism - possibly the earliest example of mechanical engineering in Britain - was uncovered in Gresham Street, in the City of London, in September 2001. However, key elements were missing, and there were no written instructions about its design or operation. By comparing evidence from the surviving remains with known examples of ancient engineering, and supporting these with modern engineering principles, experts have been able to reconstruct a unique machine, which in its original form would have been capable of raising an astonishing 72,000 litres (15,000 gallons) per 10 hour day. The completed machinery consists of an 8 sided oak drive wheel, with water buckets jointed together to form a continuous loop, that empty into a trough as they near the top of the chain. The 18 oak buckets are made from planks with a recessed base to allow room for the articulated movement of an iron chain. This reconstruction, on view outdoors, has been made with a capstan and gears, and is being operated by a trained demonstrator assisted by members of the general public. Museum Of London until 31st May.
Unseen Vogue: The Secret History Of Fashion Photography has been produced by sifting through over one and a half million unused images in the archive of the fashion bible British Vogue. From first efforts by famous photographers and great pictures by forgotten ones, to out-takes from now legendary shoots, it reveals images which were commissioned by Vogue but never published, either due to editorial arguments or 'excess of imagination' on the part of the snappers. Either way, this collection offers an alternative version to the official history of fashion photography. It features previously unseen work by such legends as Horst, Cecil Beaton, William Klein, David Bailey, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, Bob Richardson, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, Nick Knight and current hottie Mario Testino (although surely the world has seen even his holiday snaps). The photographs are given an extra dimension by the inclusion of editors' notes and sketches, photographers' letters, and even models' payslips. A fresh insight into a world about which we thought we already knew too much. Design Museum until 23rd February.
Barbara Hepworth Centenary Exhibition is the first of many planned to mark the anniversary of the birth of one of the twentieth century's most important and influential sculptors. Hepworth's first love was carving, and although her early work in stone was representational, she soon moved on to abstracts, using woods such as walnut, teak and guarea, and stones such as marble and alabaster. Together with her second husband Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore, Hepworth was at the centre of a group of British sculptors living in Hampstead, who created a revolutionary new approach to European abstract sculpture of the 1930s. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Hepworth and Nicholson moved to St Ives in Cornwall, where she developed a deep affinity with the location. In the 1950s she started working with metal, constructing forms in sheet metal, and bronze casts from her original carvings. As a result, Hepworth's sculpture could be shown out of doors, and she went on to undertake many large scale public commissions, often exhibiting her trademark 'big lump with a hole drilled through it (usually larger on one face of the material than the other)'. This exhibition shows the full range of her work, with marble carvings in the gallery, and large bronzes outdoors in the park. New Art Centre Sculpture Park & Gallery, Salisbury until 6th April.
Piranesi's Carceri is an exhibition of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's celebrated Imaginary Prisons series of etchings. These images of dark cavernous spaces traversed by vertiginous walkways have a nightmarish quality that gripped the imagination of Romantic artists like William Wordsworth and Thomas de Quincey. The influence of these works can still be felt in today's cinematic visions of dystopian cities of the future. In essence, Piranesi was creating the world of Blade Runner in the 18th century. Perhaps best known for his etchings of ancient and modern Rome, Piranesi also opened up new vistas in the world of fantasy architecture, breaking loose from practical restraints to allow his imagination free rein. Piranesi's architectural fantasies developed out of his early training as a theatrical designer in his native Venice, but he invested the genre with a dark brooding menace that was entirely new. Despite being 200 years old, these images remain freshly, almost futuristically, threatening. British Museum until 21st April.
Art In The Making: Underdrawings In Renaissance Paintings looks the drawings with which artists sketched out their compositions on the prepared panel or canvas before painting. By their very nature, these underdrawings are normally hidden from view under layers of paint, and special photographic techniques using infrared radiation were required to make them visible. This exhibition reveals fascinating and spectacular images of the drawings beneath twenty familiar 15th and 16th century paintings. Although only ever created as preparatory sketches, and never intended to be seen, some of the underdrawings appear as brilliant creations in their own right, such as the free loops and whirls found beneath Altdorfer's 'Christ Taking Leave Of His Mother' or the delineation of the Master of the View of Saint Gudula's 'Portrait Of A Young Man'. In other examples, dramatic changes of composition by the artist are revealed, such as the complete reversal of Pontormo's design for 'Joseph With Jacob In Egypt'. National Gallery until 16th February.
Mad Bad And Dangerous: The Cult Of Lord Byron examines the Byronic phenomenon, which almost invented 'celebrity culture', charting how it was created and maintained. Bringing together over 100 works, including paintings, photographs, letters, literary manuscripts, memorabilia and examples of Byronic dress, this exhibition explores how Byron's literary fame and social notoriety were intertwined, and fuelled by the many carefully controlled visual representations of the poet. It also looks at Byron's influence on leading figures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including Oscar Wilde, T E Lawrence and W H Auden, as well as the more recent stars of popular culture, such as Rudolf Valentino, James Dean and Mick Jagger. National Portrait Gallery until 16th February.
A New World Trade Center - Design Proposals is the result of New York art gallery owner Max Protetch's invitation to some sixty architects and artists to submit ideas about how the site of the World Trade Centre might be redeveloped. The participants, some leaders in their fields, others up and coming practitioners and theorists, were selected for their imaginations and artistic accomplishments, rather than their ability to deliver practical solutions. There were no rules, regulations, or requirements, and this exhibition, comprising drawings, sketches, models, animations, photos, texts and even sound, reflects the diversity of the responses. Many of them attempt rethink the skyscraper - arguably America's greatest contribution to world architecture. Others look beyond buildable architectural forms, seeking to redefine the urban environment and reshape how we think about cities, imagining a new character for lower Manhattan. At a time when technological change is directly impacting on both the way architects design and builders build, these proposals encompass a broad swath of contemporary architectural thought and practice. This is only UK appearance for the exhibition, which was originally staged in New York in January. Cube Gallery, Manchester until 8th February.