Exhibition Review – America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s at the Royal Academy from 25th February to 4th June 2017

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The Royal Academy of Arts presents America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s, an exhibition that chronicles how artists responded to the social, economic and political turmoil that dominated the decade following the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The exhibition draws on paintings from collections across the USA, and showcases forty-five seminal paintings by some of the foremost artists of the era. For the very first time, Grant Wood’s iconic painting American Gothic, 1930 will be exhibited outside North America. The exhibition will also feature works by Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O’Keefe, Philip Guston, Edward Hopper, Alice Neel and Jackson Pollock.

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The Great Depression of the 1930s created considerable economic insecurity and social hardship and artists were keen to chronicle the enormous changes taking place in America. The exhibition provides evidence of the diversity of art created in the period which included a variety of styles.

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America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s is arranged around a number of themes sections. New York offers a number of views in a modernist style including Stuart Davis’ New York-Paris No 3, 1931.  Industrial Life illustrates how the enormous growth in industrial manufacturing had raised a number of issues especially concerning labour.

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Urban Life captures the excitement and dynamism of the city and mass entertainment. Some artists began to question the capitalistic system and the Looking to the Past reveals how artists looked back at American history for inspiration.

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Other artists like Thomas Hart Benton began to document and idealise the rapidly disappearing rural America. Visions of Dystopia considers how some artists began to consider that American society was falling apart and Looking to the Future presents work by artists such as Arthur Dove and Jackson Pollock, who began to create abstract paintings that turned its back on the dominant figurative movement.

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Some of the highlights of the exhibition include Georgia O’Keeffe, Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses, 1931 (Art Institute of Chicago), Charles Sheeler, American Landscape, 1930 (Museum of Modern Art, New York), Jackson Pollock, Untitled, c. 1938-41 (Art Institute of Chicago), Philip Guston, Bombardment, 1937 (Philadelphia Museum of Art), Edward Hopper, Gas, 1940 (Museum of Modern Art , New York), Alice Neel, Pat Whalen, 1935 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York) and Thomas Hart Benton, Cotton Pickers, 1945 (Private Collection).

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It seems a very appropriate time to assess America’s response to crisis, the present day and the 1930s have some distinct parallels. In both cases, there is a questioning of what is the American identity and this fascinating exhibition provides a variety of artistic responses. It is somewhat paradoxical that there is often more creativity and experimentation in times of crisis and the exhibition offers plenty of opportunities to consider how art can often be used as prism to consider wider issues.

Our Video  review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Review : The London Bike Show at ExCel London – 16th to 19th February 2017

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Cycling is one of the UK’s and London’s fastest growing sports and pastimes, therefore it was no surprise that the crowds descended on ExCel London on the 16th February for The London Bike Show. Sir Chris Hoy was on hand to cut the tape and declare the show open.

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The London Bike Show is the UK’s largest cycling exhibition and attracts a wide variety of cyclists and visitors. All aspects of cycling are covered including road cycling, mountain biking, BMX, cycle cross and recreational cycling.

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The London Bike Show offers plenty of interest for the serious cyclist and those who like to takes things a little more sedately. All aspects of cycling are covered with a wide range of bikes and accessories to purchase. There will be huge selection of road bikes, commuter bicycles, mountain bikes and children’s bikes on display. Pinarello, Giant, Cannondale, Canyon, Scott and Cervelo are just a number of the brands whose latest bikes will be on show.

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If you like the look of one of the new bikes, why not test ride on the 500m road cycling, electric and commuter bike test track as well as a smaller track for the little ones.

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If you are looking for a bit more excitement make your way to the ever popular Air to the Throne – the UK’s largest FMB (freestyle mountain bike) competition which returns with American World Number 1 Nicholi Rogation amongst those confirmed to ride.

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For more thrills and spills, watch the Action Sports Tour who one of Europe’s best action sports stunt team.

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For those who want to be part of the action, take a ride around the Street Velodrome where you can hit the banked curve sections and power down the straights as you race head-to-head against the clock and friends.

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There’s a large range programme of  track action each day of the Show. With free on track coaching sessions, Pro Rider challenges and the launch of the 2017 Street Velodrome Series.

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A number of cycling legends are interviewed within the Riders’ Lounge, Sean Kelly, Sir Chris Hoy, Dame Sarah Storey and Graham Obree among others will be passing on some tips and insights.

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The London Bike Show is one of London’s most popular shows with a wide range of events and attractions. If you are a serious cyclist or beginner, every aspect of cycling is covered. This year the show is taking place during the February Half Term and the show provides plenty of entertainment for all the family.

An added bonus attending the Bike Show is that your ticket will also give you free access to the Triathlon Show: London, The Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show and the London International Dive Show.

Our Video  review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information , visit the Event website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Review : RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair at the RHS Horticultural Halls – 14th and 15th February 2017

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It is always a sign that spring is on its way when the RHS open their first London Show of the year, The RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair seeks to inspire the large number of visitors with a number of attractions in both the Lindley and Lawrence Halls.

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A large number of  winter colour and early-flowering plants are on display by leading UK nurseries and growers who were selling plants and bulbs such as snowdrops and daffodils.

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It is not just flowers on display, carrying on the tradition of previous years there is a large potato display with plenty of different varieties for sale.

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In the halls, there are plenty of shopping opportunities available, with stalls selling books, tools, outdoor furniture, crafts, plants, gardening accessories and prints.

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Designs for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 are previewed at an exclusive exhibition in the Lindley Hall, which includes images, design sketches and items that have inspired gardens and some of the designers were attending answering questions.

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As usual the standard of the displays are very high and you can notice the occasional Gold Medal awarded by the RHS amongst the plants.

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Perhaps as a reference to Valentine’s Day , above the hall hung a stunning floral installation of an anatomical heart, created by RHS Floral Artist in Residence Fiona Haser Bizony from flowers grown on her own farm near Bath. For those with large gardens, a large variety of pots were available.

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One of the most popular aspects of the RHS London Shows is series of talks on a number of gardening subjects and RHS experts are always on hand to answer those gardening queries to enable you to get in good shape for the main growing season.

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It might have been a freezing cold day, but the bright winter sunshine encouraged a large crowd to attend the first RHS London show of the year. The London Shows provide plenty of ideas and inspiration for serious or new gardeners, there is plenty of friendly advice from growers and RHS experts and a large number of events to keep visitors entertained.

Our Video review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets for London Shows, visit the RHS website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review : Wolfgang Tillmans 2017 at Tate Modern – 15th February to 11th June 2017

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Wolfgang Tillmans is considered one of the most exciting and innovative artists working today. Tate Modern presents an exhibition concentrating on his production across different media since 2003.

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Since 2003, Tillmans has worked in a wide range of media and this exhibition considers his work in photographs, video, digital slide projections, publications, curatorial projects and recorded music.

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Wolfgang Tillmans was born in Germany in 1968 but has lived in the UK since the late 1980s, he first came to public prominence when he became the first photographer and first non-British artist to receive the Turner Prize in 2000.

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The exhibition is not a retrospective, it follows Tillmans interest in social and political issues since 2003. A tangible representation of Tillmans’ political interest was the creation of his tabletop installations in 2005, within the exhibition is tables full of newspaper cuttings, photographs and pamphlets which illustrate how news is manipulated according to the political interest that is producing it.

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Perhaps as a response against the manipulation of images, Tillmans began using digital photography and travelled extensively to capture images of the commonplace and the extraordinary, photographing people and places across the world for the series Neue Welt 2009 – 2012.

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In 2014, Tillmans began to become interested and created works of abstraction, including Sendeschluss / End of Broadcast I 2014 which is based on images the artist took of an analogue TV losing signal. Other works include the Blushes series made without a camera by manipulating the effects of light directly on photographic paper.

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Another interest of Tillmans is music especially the dance and techno scene, in his Playback Room project, first shown at his Berlin exhibition space Between Bridges, visitors can experience music by Colourbox at the best possible quality. The video installation Instrument 2015 shows Tillmans dancing to a soundtrack made by manipulating the sound of his own footsteps, while in the Tanks Studio his slide projection Book for Architects 2014 is being shown for the first time in the UK.

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Wolfgang Tillmans 2017 is a fascinating exhibition that brings together many strands of the artist’s work. Tillmans is concerned about finding ‘honesty’ in its different forms, in many ways this is a response to the digital age where it has never been easier to manipulate everything. The recent political debates about ‘fake news’ overlooks the fact that most news is manufactured as illustrated by Tillmans’ study centres.

Our Video review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Review : Cagnacci’s Repentant Magdalene at the National Gallery – 15th February to 21st May 2017

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The National Gallery is world-famous for its collections and exhibitions, however the Gallery often showcases individual paintings if they are considered of particular historical interest.

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From the 15th February 2017, visitors to the National Gallery will have a unique opportunity to admire what is widely regarded as Guido Cagnacci’s greatest work, The Repentant Magdalene which is on a temporary  loan from the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena (California).

Guido Cagnacci (1601–1663) is considered one of the most unconventional and sensual artists of the Italian Baroque period, yet he is largely unknown today with none of his paintings represented in any UK public collections.

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Little is known about Cagnacci’ s life except some mentions in a number of legal and criminal records of the time. By the age of 20 he was living in Bologna, from 1649 Cagnacci was in Venice and in 1658 he moved to Vienna. It was when the artist was living in Vienna (around 1660-61), that Cagnacci painted what is considered his masterpiece

Cagnacci’s Repentant Magdalene provides a controversial representation of Mary Magdalene, who became a follower of Christ and later a saint.

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In the painting, Mary lies almost naked on the ground looking at her virtuous sister Martha who is trying to persuade her to abandon her life of vice and luxury. In the background, Virtue, an angel, chases out Vice, a devil who leaps away and a woman wipes away a tear.

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What is unusual about the painting is the way that Cagnacci despite the moral theme seems to be more attracted by worldly temptations especially the expensive costumes, beautiful shoes, and jewellery scattered across the floor.

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The painting has an illustrious history, once being part of the Gonzaga collection in Mantua, Italy in 1665 but arrived in England in 1711, entering the collection of the Duke of Portland. The painting remained in England for over 250 years until it was purchased by the American collector, Norton Simon (1907–1993) in 1981.

This free exhibition in Room 1 marks the painting’s return to England, it offers visitors a rare opportunity to discover Cagnacci’s masterpiece which is considered one of the greatest Italian Baroque pictures of all time.

Our Video review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Dog’s Nose and Shandygaff: Drinks at the Charles Dickens Museum – 16th February 2017

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Explore the works of Charles Dickens through delving into his wine cellar at a special event at the Charles Dickens Museum on the 16th February.

The event marks the arrival at the Museum of Dickens’s handwritten 1865 inventory of the contents of his cellar at Gad’s Hill Place in Kent, which Dickens bought in 1856 and where he lived until his death in 1870. The list, on loan from a private collector, is now on display in the Drawing Room at the Museum.

 Among the items to be found in Dickens’s cellar in 1865 were ‘one 50 gallon cask ale’, ‘one 18 gallon cask gin’, ‘one 9 gallon cask brandy’ and ‘one 9 gallon cask rum’. The cellar also included dozens of bottles of champagne, Chablis, Sauterne, Metternich hock, claret, L’eau d’or and Kirsch.

Charles Dickens Museum has teamed up with the London Gin Club to create some of the ‘wonderful inventions’ found in Dickens’s stories and in the recipes of his family, including the likes of Champagne Cup, Dog’s Nose, gin punch and Sherry Cobbler.

Dickens’s novels are full of references and descriptions of drink and its effects, including hot mulled drinks, Smoking Bishop (port, red wine, fruit, sugar and spices) and negus (port, hot water, sugar and spices) in A Christmas Carol, Dog’s Nose (porter, gin, sugar and spice) makes an appearance in The Pickwick Papers and Martin Chuzzlewit enjoys a Sherry Cobbler cocktail. 

Whilst Dickens enjoyed the contents of his cellar, he was fully aware of the way that over indulgence added to terrible living conditions and health of the poor of London. 

The event will include tasting sessions and talks by the London Gin Club, a bar with a special menu of forgotten cocktails and an opportunity to take a tour of Dickens’s home. And historical British street food masters, What the Dickens, will serve up a variety of snacks inspired by Catherine Dickens’s published cookbook What Shall We Have For Dinner? An extremely rare 1852 edition of the book, written by Catherine under the pen name ‘Lady Maria Clutterbuck, is on display in the Museum. 

The Charles Dickens Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens-related material and the house has changed little since Dickens moved into 48 Doughty Street. The rooms are still filled with the furniture he bought and most of the fireplaces, doors, locks, window shutters and fittings are still in place as they were when the family resided there.  

Visitor Information:

Dog’s Nose & Shandygaff Event : Thursday 16 February. 

Timed entry from 6-8pm. Bar closes at 9pm. 

Admission price: £20 per person. 

All ticket holders must be minimum 18 years of age and able to produce ID if required.

Charles Dickens Museum Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm). 

Admission prices: Adults £9; Concessions £6; Children (6-16) £4; Under 6 free.

Address: Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Project Adrift : Machine 9 at the Science Museum – 14th to 16th February 2017

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A unique sound instrument and installation created by BAFTA-winning composer and sound artist, Nick Ryan, is about to go on public display for the first time at the Science Museum in London from the 14th to 16th February 2017.

Adrift is a new arts and science project revealing the extent of space debris orbiting Earth and Machine 9 is an electromechanical sound instrument that transforms the movement of 27,000 tracked pieces of space debris into sound, in real time.

Machine 9 consists of a large rotating aluminium cylinder (1.5m long) with 1000 sounds engraved into ‘orbits’ along its length and uses live data, as a ‘score’. Eight motorised styluses locate and play a sound from the cylinder for each (otherwise silent) debris object that passes directly overhead, creating a live, indeterminate composition from their infinite combinations. Nick Ryan’s Machine 9 has been built in the UK  by engineer Dave Cranmer and a team of software engineers.

 Machine 9 and the Adrift project is an innovative way of bringing attention to space debris and explores some of the dangers and environmental issues.

NASA defines space debris as ‘any man-made object in orbit about the Earth which no longer serves a useful function’. There are around 100 million pieces of space junk, 27,000 of which are larger than 10cm and now in orbit and being tracked by NASA and the US Department of Defense. Each piece is travelling at speeds of up to 28,000km/h, meaning that the tiniest fragment can damage satellites or spacecraft.

A recent example of the hazard came when a tiny fleck of paint hit one of the windows of the International Space Station, causing a 7mm chip in the glass. And as well as the pieces that remain in orbit for many years, endangering spacecraft, many pieces fall to Earth unpredictably. One such incident took place at the end of July 2016, when large parts of a Chinese rocket flew across the sky in Utah and California before plummeting to the ground. 

One of the largest mass of space junk is the 150,000 pieces of debris created by an intentional explosion by China to destroy the Fengyun 1C weather satellite in 2007. Over a third of all space debris was caused by this one action.

Adrift is a three-part project, comprising Machine 9, a new short documentary film and an interactive element which enables audiences on Twitter to adopt an individual piece of junk.

Visitors to the Science Museum display will be able to discuss the project and the spiralling problem of space junk with Nick Ryan and Dr Hugh Lewis. They will be joined by Senior Lecturer Dr Stephen Hobbs and Chiara Palla, PhD student in Space Engineering, both from Cranford University, where they have been working to develop sails designed to pull decommissioned satellites out of orbit and into the atmosphere to be burnt up. The Adrift display will include examples of the new sails.

Visitor Information

Adrift at the Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD

Dates and times: 14-16 February 2017 from 11am-1pm and 2-4pm.

Admission is free. 

For more information , visit the Project Adrift website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

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