Exhibition Review – Arctic: culture and climate at the British Museum from 22 Oct 2020 to 21 Feb 2021

The British Museum presents the first major exhibition on the history of the Arctic and its indigenous peoples, through the lens of climate change and weather. The Arctic has been home to a number of communities for nearly 30,000 years, and the exhibition explores some of the cultures that have lived in one of the most dramatic environments on earth.

With climate change transforming the Arctic at the fastest rate in human history. The exhibition entitled Arctic: culture and climate looks at the circumpolar region through the eyes of contemporary Arctic communities, revealing how Arctic peoples have adapted to climate change in the past and addresses the present crisis.

The exhibition brings together the largest and most diverse circumpolar collection ever displayed in the UK, including objects from the British Museum’s Arctic collection and international lenders and commissions, this exhibition reveals artistic expression and ecological knowledge, from the past right up to the present day.

Exhibits include rare 28,000 year old archaeological finds excavated from the thawing ground in Siberia, unique tools and clothing adapted for survival, artworks reflecting the respectful relationship between Arctic people and the natural world and photography of contemporary daily life.

The Arctic Circle is the most northern region in the world which covers 4% of the Earth. It is home to 4 million people including 400,000 indigenous peoples belonging to one or more of 40 different ethnic groups with distinct languages and dialects. Most of the Arctic’s indigenous inhabitants rely on hunting, fishing and reindeer herding. These subsistence resources are supplemented by employment in industries such as government infrastructures, energy, commercial fishing and tourism. Arctic peoples have traded and engaged across the Circumpolar North for millennia. From Russia, Greenland, Canada and the USA to the Scandinavian nations, the peoples of the region have thrived within this ever-changing landscape.

The exhibition features objects from across the circumpolar region, including an 8-piece Igloolik winter costume made of caribou (wild reindeer) fur. Animals provides food for the community as well as clothing, all available natural materials are put to use.

Other highlights include a delicate and unique household bag from western Alaska, crafted from tanned salmon skin, a Inughuit (Greenlandic) sled made from narwhal and caribou bone and pieces of driftwood which was traded to Sir John Ross on his 1818 expedition, marking the first encounter between Inughuit and Europeans.

Arctic peoples’ responses to the establishment of colonial governments and state-sponsored religions in the Arctic will feature, including a bronze carved Evenki spirit mask that was made from a 17th century Russian Orthodox icon.

Many Arctic peoples are transforming traditional heritage to meet contemporary needs and the exhibition explores ritual practices to commercial artwork inspired by their storytelling and material traditions.

Stunning contemporary photography of the Arctic landscape provides a background to a wide range of of new artworks commissioned for the exhibition. These include a limestone Inuksuk, an iconic Arctic monument of stacked stones used to mark productive harvesting locations or to assist in navigation, built by Piita Irniq, from the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut, Canada.

A new installation from the art collective Embassy of Imagination will present traditional clothing made from Japanese paper and printmaking by Inuit youth in Kinngait (Cape Dorset) and Puvirnitug, Nunavut, Canada.

This fascinating exhibition provides a timely insight into an often neglected part of the world. The stories of the various communities provide evidence of the remarkable abilities of communities to deal with different kinds of change and developing strategies to make best use of change. Whilst climate change is often discussed in an abstract way and from little personal knowledge, we might be better to listen to communities that have survived the disruptive effects of social and environmental change and created thriving cultures.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the British 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.
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Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition Programme 2021

Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition Programme 2021

The Royal Academy of Arts have just released their exhibition programme for 2021, it includes a mixture of old and new which provides plenty of opportunity for visitors to enjoy the art on show.

Francis Bacon: Man and Beast
Main Galleries
30 January – 18 April 2021

In January 2021, the Royal Academy of Arts will present Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, the first exhibition to chart the development of the artist’s work through the lens of his fascination with animals, and how this impacted upon his treatment of his ultimate subject: the human figure. Francis Bacon (1909–1992) is recognised as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. This important exhibition will include 45 remarkable paintings spanning his career; from his earliest works of the 1930s and 40s through to the final painting he ever made in 1991, which will be exhibited publicly for the first time in the UK. Among the works, a trio of paintings of bullfights, all made in 1969, will also be displayed together for the first time.

Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict
The Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries
13 March – 6 June 2021

In March 2021, the Royal Academy of Arts will present an exhibition of Kenyan-born artist Michael Armitage (b. 1984). Armitage graduated from the RA Schools in 2010 and now works between Nairobi and London. In his paintings, Armitage brings together the Western painting tradition (drawing on Titian, Goya, Manet and Gauguin among others) with East African contemporary art, popular culture and politics. Also on display will be a group of works by East African artists, such as Jak Katarikawe (1938-2018), Theresa Musoke (b. 1944) and Meek Gichugu (b. 1968), selected by Armitage for their importance to the development of figurative painting in Kenya and to his artistic development. Alongside his work, Armitage recently founded the Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute, a non-profit visual arts space.

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020
The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries
27 March – 22 August 2021

The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 comprises a new body of work created by David Hockney RA during a period of intense activity at his home in Normandy and charts the unfolding and progression of spring. The period in which these works were made coincided with the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, where Hockney, along with the rest of Europe and much of the world, was in a state of lockdown. Faced with an unprecedented and perplexing period, Hockney’s focus on the emergence of spring instead celebrates the natural world and urges us, as he does himself in one of his frequently used phrases, to ‘love life’. The works have been ‘painted’ on an iPad, and then printed on paper at a large-scale.

Summer Exhibition 2021
Main Galleries
15 June – 17 August 2021

The Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition, the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show, is now in its 253rd year. It provides a unique platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience, comprising a range of media from painting, printmaking and photography, to sculpture, architecture and film. It has been held each year without interruption since 1769. Around 1200 works will go on display, the majority of which will be for sale offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original work.

Milton Avery
The Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries
3 July – 26 September 2021

Milton Avery (1885-1965) has long been recognised in the United States as one of the most important and influential twentieth-century American artists. Avery’s compositions, taken from daily life, including portraits and landscapes, are imbued with a colour sensibility, harmony and balance which was to have a major influence on the next artistic generation. Avery played a vital role in the development of Abstract Expressionism, through his close association with some of the younger exponents of the movement, such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Adolph Gottlieb. The last retrospective of his work was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1982 and this will be the first solo exhibition of Milton Avery in Europe.

Marina Abramović: After Life
Main Galleries
25 September – 12 December 2021

In September 2021, the Royal Academy of Arts will present a solo exhibition of the internationally acclaimed performance artist Marina Abramović Hon RA. The exhibition will be Abramović’s first major survey in the UK, bringing together key works spanning her entire career. The exhibition will explore how Abramović captures and defines performance art through photographs, videos, objects, installations and live re-performances of her work, reflecting Abramović’s interest in the legacy of performance art.

Herzog & de Meuron
The Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries
23 October 2021 – 23 January 2022

In Autumn 2021, the Royal Academy of Arts will present an exhibition of the critically acclaimed architectural practice Herzog & de Meuron, founded in Basel in 1978. With projects across the globe, the work of the practice continues to astound and inspire, as they transform what might otherwise be an ordinary condition or material into something extraordinary that engages with the senses. Notable projects include Tate Modern, London (2000 and 2016) and the National Stadium, Beijing (2008). In this exhibition at the Royal Academy, Herzog & de Meuron will explore ways of exhibiting architecture at this critical moment in time.

Late Constable
The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries
30 October 2021 – 13 February 2022

In 2021, the Royal Academy will present an exhibition on the late work of John Constable (1776-1837). The exhibition’s point of departure is the last of Constable’s celebrated six-foot Suffolk canal scenes, The Leaping Horse, one of the highlights of the RA’s collection, first exhibited in 1825. It is in this painting that, by inserting the detail of the tower of Dedham Church, Constable first departs from the notion of topographical accuracy which had been a hallmark of his work until that date. Distinguished by its rich technical vocabulary, the artist’s late work, though often conservative in subject matter, becomes increasingly expressive in style. The exhibition will explore Constable’s late career, from 1825 until his unexpected death in 1837, through his paintings and oil sketches as well as watercolours, drawings and prints.

RA Schools Show 2021
RA Schools Studios and Weston Studio
17 – 27 June 2021

The RA Schools Show is the annual exhibition of works by artists graduating from the UK’s longest established contemporary art school, the RA Schools. The show will present work by emerging artists in a range of media with each exhibiting in solo spaces in the rarely-seen working studios within the Royal Academy.

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

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Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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THE END by Heather Phillipson on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square

THE END, a new artwork by artist Heather Phillipson was unveiled on Thursday 30 July, on the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.

It is the 13th Fourth Plinth commission since the programme began in 1998, it is also the tallest to date, measuring 9.4m and weighing 9 tonnes, and follows on from The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist by Michael Rakowitz. Both artists were selected in 2017 by the Fourth Plinth Commission Group, following an exhibition at the National Gallery where 10,000 people voted for their favourite shortlisted artwork.

Heather Phillipson’s sculpture tops the Fourth Plinth with a giant swirl of whipped cream, a cherry, a fly and a drone that transmits a live feed of Trafalgar Square. The sculpture Entitled THE END illustrates Trafalgar Square as a site of celebration and protest, the live feed of Trafalgar Square picked up by the drone’s camera is visible on a dedicated website giving a sculpture’s eye perspective.

Heather Phillipson was born in London, where she lives and works. Her works include video, sculpture, web projects, music, drawing and poetry.

THE END is the first fully accessible commission on the Fourth Plinth. There is a braille panel included on the plaque, a tactile image of the work, and an audio description of the work on the GLA’s website

The Fourth Plinth as it is known has quite an unusual history, it was intended to be used for a equestrian statue of William IV astride a bronze horse to match the statue of George IV which is on the other side of the square. However George IV spent so much money during his reign that there was not enough funds left for the statue.
Remarkably, considering the square is a major public area, the plinth was empty for more than 150 years. Eventually it was decided that temporary modern pieces of work would occupy the plinth. The final choice is often controversial but is a focus of interest which generates considerable media interest.

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.
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Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer at the Barbican Art Gallery from 7 October 2020 – 3 January 2021

Photograph Hugh Glendinning

Barbican Art Gallery stages the first ever major exhibition on the groundbreaking dancer and choreographer Michael Clark. The exhibition entitled Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer explores Clark’s unique combination of classical and contemporary culture.

The exhibition features a large number of striking portraits of Clark through the eyes of collaborators and world-renowned artists including Charles Atlas, BodyMap, Leigh Bowery, Duncan Campbell, Peter Doig, Cerith Wyn Evans, Sarah Lucas, Silke Otto-Knapp, Elizabeth Peyton, The Fall and Wolfgang Tillmans.

2020 marks the 15th year of Michael Clark Company’s collaboration with the Barbican as an Artistic Associate. This exhibition, one of the largest surveys ever dedicated to a living choreographer, presents a comprehensive story of Clark’s career to date and development as a
pioneer of contemporary dance to films, sculptures, paintings and photographs by his collaborators across visual art, music and fashion.

Michael Clark during the filming of Charles Atlas Hail the New Puritan 1986 Photograph Alexander James

The exhibition features a new commission A Prune Twin (2020), by pioneering filmmaker, video artist and long-term collaborator Charles Atlas. This large-scale film installation will immerse audiences into Clark’s early work and provide an opportunity to revisit Atlas’ ‘Love letter to London’ Hail the New Puritan (1986) and Because We Must (1989). Featuring outrageous costumes and sets, Clark’s choreography
challenged notions of gender, conformity and conservative values within the context of Thatcher’s Britain. A section of the exhibition will be dedicated to Clark’s landmark performance I Am Curious, Orange (1988).

I Am Curious, Orange, 1988, Photographer Richard Haughton

The exhibition showcases a rare collection of Leigh Bowery’s provocative costumes which proved integral to Clark’s vision and radically disrupted the traditions of the dance world. These include the iconic bottomless leotards from New Puritans (1984) whose choreography was in turn inspired by The Fall’s postpunk compositions.

Clark’s friendship with Sarah Lucas resulted in a shared exploration of the human body and sexuality across sculpture and dance. Lucas has conceived two installations for the exhibition inspired by their friendship and collaboration on Before and After: The Fall (2001). These include a series of hand gestures, cigarette sculptures and a wanking arm as sculptural metaphors of Clark’s choreography, as well as a parodic casting of Clark’s body sitting on a toilet (Cnut, 2004).

Elizabeth Peyton’s and Wolfgang Tillmans’ portraits of Clark capture the naked intimacy of the artist as a human being, whereas Peter Doig’s painting, which seems to merge Clark’s face with that of Le Corbusier, is a playful rendering of their shared interest in the famed architect of the CitéRadieuse in Marseille. Doig’s Portrait (Corbusier) (2009) is exhibited in dialogue with 16mm footage of Clark’s dancers performing a choreography on the roof of the iconic modernist building in 2008, presented for the first time and resulting from a close dialogue with Clark and Michael Clark Company.

In 2005 Michael Clark Company became an Artistic Associate of the Barbican and embarked on The Stravinsky Project, a three-year collaboration to create a trilogy of works to seminal dance scores by Igor Stravinsky. Clark’s investigation of classical ballet vocabulary, extreme discipline and technical virtuosity in this trilogy inspired Silke Otto Knapp’s new series of paintings commissioned for the exhibition.

There is a section dedicated to Michael Clark Company’s archive of ephemera, posters and programmes highlighting the exposure of the company across Europe’s most renowned theatre venues.

The exhibition showcases a large selection of archival film documentation, focusing on Clark’s work with filmmakers (Peter Greenaway, Derek Jarman), fashion designers (Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Gucci) and musicians (Scritti Politti, Laibach, Bruce Gilbert from Wire). The archive also displays a selection of interviews with Clark, as well as the documentary The Late Michael Clark (2001) by filmmaker Sophie Fiennes and the recent BBC recording of Clark’s to a simple, rock ‘n’ roll . . . song. (2016) set to the music of Erik Satie, Patti
Smith and David Bowie.

For more information and tickets , visit the Barbican 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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Exhibition Review: Bruce Nauman at Tate Modern from 7 October 2020 to 21 February 2021

Tate Modern presents the first exhibition to show the full breadth of work by Bruce Nauman in London for more than 20 years. Nauman’s body of work encompasses a range of media including sculpture, sound, film, video and neon.

Since the late 1960s, Nauman has been known for inventing new ways to tell his narratives. He is now widely recognised as one of the most innovative and influential artists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The exhibition features more than 40 works, the exhibition explores a number of themes that have preoccupied Nauman during his 50-year career.

The exhibition begins with MAPPING THE STUDIO II with color shift, flip, flop & flip/flop (Fat Chance John Cage) 2001, a major moving-image installation .

A selection of early and iconic artworks such as Henry Moore Bound to Fail 1967/70 and A Cast of the Space Under My Chair 1965/68 highlights Nauman’s interest in conceptual art and performance.

Nauman has created several neon signs that combine text and colour to reveal everyday phrases and expressions. Some examples in the exhibition include The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truth (Window or Wall Sign) 1967, Human Nature Knows/Doesn’t Know 1983/86 and One Hundred Live and Die 1984.

Large-scale works such as Going Around the Corner Piece with Live and Taped Monitors 1970 and Double Steel Cage Piece 1974 reflect Nauman’s interest in surveillance and over zealous societal control.

These themes continue in the whole-room installation Shadow Puppets and Instructed Mime 1990 in which suspended wax heads, sound and video, provide a backdrop as a disembodied male voice gives commands to a female mime projected onto the walls.

Anthro/Socio (Rinde Spinning) 1992 reveals how Nauman consistently challenges the conventions of the gallery experience and confronts viewers directly.

Black Marble Under Yellow Light 1981/1988 illustrates how Nauman explores space and light.

Falls, Pratfalls and Sleights of Hand (Clean Version) 1993, the final room in the show, illustrates how themes of human perception have inspired Nauman throughout his career.

This imaginative exhibition provides plenty of evidence of how Nauman was one of the early artists to explore some of the effects of the digital revolution and how it would affect our perception of our physical and psychological place in the world. Many of the installations present an unnerving view of the future where humans are almost a ghost in the machine desperate to be heard but forever being distorted.

Visiting London Guide Rating – 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 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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Exhibition Review: Artemisia at the National Gallery from 3 October 2020 to 24 January 2021

The National Gallery presents a major monographic exhibition of the work of Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1654 or later), the inspiration for this exhibition is the National Gallery’s acquisition in 2018 of Artemisia Gentileschi’s Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, the first painting by the artist to enter a UK public collection.

Artemisia Gentileschi’s artistic career that spanned more than 40 years was remarkable, at a time when women artists were not easily accepted, she gained fame and admiration across Europe, counting leading rulers among her patrons. She was also the first woman to gain membership to the artists’ academy in Florence.

This exhibition entitled Artemisia presents a highly selective survey of the artist’s career, bringing together around thirty of her works from both public institutions and private collections around the world, the majority of the loans in the exhibition have never been seen in the UK before.

The earliest work in the exhibition will be her first signed and dated work, Susannah and the Elders (1610) painted when she was just 17. Artemisia often returned to this subject matter throughout her career, and her last-known painting, of the same subject, dating from 42 years later, is also included in the exhibition.

The exhibition is arranged broadly chronologically, starting with Artemisia’s training in Rome, where she learnt to paint under the guidance of her father Orazio, whose Judith and her Maidservant (about 1608) is on display beside Artemisia’s earliest paintings. In addition to her Susannah, the first room includes her Cleopatra (about 1611-12,) and Danaë (about 1612).

The original transcript of the trial in which the artist Agostino Tassi is charged with ‘deflowering’ Artemisia Gentileschi is on display for the very first time in public.

Artemisia’s used herself a a model in number of her paintings, The room entitled Becoming Artemisia in Florence opens with a trio of works for which she is the model, and which all date from the mid-1610s. These include Self Portrait as a Female Martyr, Self Portrait as a Lute Player and Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Nearby is another Saint Catherine of Alexandria from the Uffizi gallery in Florence.

One of the highlights of the exhibition, is the two versions of Artemisia’s most famous and iconic composition of Judith beheading Holofernes (one about 1612-13 the other about 1613-14,). Judith and her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes (about 1623-25,), is in a nearby room of the exhibition.

Artemisia attempted to give a female perspective to traditional subjects, many of which are drawn from the Bible or ancient history. Highlights of ‘female heroes’ in Artemisia include Lucretia (about 1620-25,), Cleopatra (about 1633-35), Clio, Muse of History (1632), David
and Bathsheba, Jael and Sisera (dated 1620) Susannah and the Elders (1622,), and the recently discovered Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy (about 1620-25).

A room called The Hand of the Famed Artemisia considers the artist through the eyes of others – a 1625 ‘portrait’ drawing of her hand by the French artist Pierre Dumonstier II, The Right Hand of Artemisia Gentileschi Holding a Brush, a bronze medal Portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi (unknown artist, about 1625) and a Portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi with painter’s palette in hand by her friend, the French painter Simon Vouet (about 1623-6).

There are also a series of letters from Artemisia to her Florentine lover Francesco Maria Maringhi, written between 1618 and 1620. These were only discovered in 2011 and have never been seen outside of Italy.

Two rooms of the exhibition are dedicated to Artemisia’s time in Naples, the city in which she settled for the last 25 years of her life and where she established a thriving studio with her daughter Prudenza, also a painter. Here, Artemisia’s first altarpieces will be on show, Annunciation (1630,) and Saint Januarius in the Amphitheatre at Pozzuoli (about 1635-7).

The exhibition ends with Artemisia’s brief trip to London, where she was reunited with her father just months before his death. It was here, at the court of Charles I of England, that she painted Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura) (about 1638-9).

This fascinating exhibition provides considerable insight into the artist who despite being famous during her lifetime, was often overlooked until being rediscovered in the 20th century. Certain elements of her biography particularly her rape as a young woman and the torture she endured during the trial that followed have often overshadowed her artistic achievements. Today, Artemisia has been recognised for her talents and has become something of an icon, her art and life continues to inspire novels, films, documentaries, musical and theatrical productions.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, 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

Exhibition Review: Summer Exhibition 2020 at the Royal Academy from 6 October 2020 to 3 January 2021

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is one of the great English Art traditions, it is the world’s oldest open-submission exhibition being established in 1768 whose long line of exhibitors reads like a Who’s Who of British Art. Some of the earliest exhibitors included the likes of Reynolds, Constable and Turner, however the exhibition prides itself that it offers a snapshot of contemporary art.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

However, this year’s  Summer Exhibition is like none of the previous incarnations in its long history, for the first time it is to be held in Autumn and Winter and all visitor’s will wear masks  due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The exhibition has added importance because it will give artists an opportunity to show their work,

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Against this background, the 252nd Summer Exhibition which is the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show has a rather surreal aspect. In the Annenberg Courtyard even the statue of Joshua Reynolds is wearing a mask.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Jane and Louise Wilson RA are co-ordinators of the 252nd Summer Exhibition in 2020, the first time it is curated by an artistic duo. Working with the rest of the Summer Exhibition Committee they seek to challenge the definition of what community is and what form collective communities can begin to take. Themes this year will reflect upon identity, immigration, contested borders, ecological threat, climate change, pro-democracy protest and landscape, in the form of installation, painting, film, photography and sculpture.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Part of the fun is walking around the exhibition and spotting work by established artists, work that particularly caught my eye was Vier Plus Eins by Anselm Kiefer, The Ship by Tracy Emin, Khnum by Brian Eno and Watermelon Bright by Frank Bowling.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In addition to the large number of public submissions, Royal Academicians and Honorary Academicians showcase new works, including Eileen Cooper, Rebecca Horn, Wolfgang Tillmans, Grayson Perry, Julian Schnabel, Gillian Wearing and Ai Weiwei.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Each room offers a kaleidoscope of colour and images in a range of media, from painting, printmaking, film and photography to sculpture, architectural works and performance art.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

A new element this year is the introduction of ‘invisible walls’ in some of the gallery spaces, walls that are suspended from the ceiling on wires to accommodate both two-dimensional works and video screens, adding another dimension to the hang.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Works from all over the world are judged democratically on merit and the final selection is made during the eight-day hang in the galleries. This year the Royal Academy received over 18,000 entries, of which around 1000 works, in a range of media, will go on display. This open, inclusive and democratic show supports the artistic community, art education and provides a display of creativity and joy for the public.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The majority of works in the Summer Exhibition are for sale, offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original work. Funds raised support the exhibiting artists, the postgraduate students studying in the RA Schools and the not-for-profit work of the Royal Academy.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition has a large number of wonderfully eclectic works on display, there is really something for everyone regardless of your particular artistic taste. The Summer Exhibition is one of the highlights of the art world and usually attracts a wide range of visitors. It also offers a rare opportunity to buy works from well-known and not so well-known artists with prices ranging from a few hundred to over a hundred thousand pounds.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and 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.
To find out more visit the website
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Exhibition Review – Tantra: enlightenment to revolution at the British Museum from 24 September 2020 to 24 January 2021

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The British Museum presents a new exhibition which charts the rise and spread of Tantra, a set of beliefs and rituals that first emerged in India around AD 500 and how these beliefs influenced Tantra’s early medieval transformation of Hinduism and Buddhism, its links to the Indian fight for independence and its part in the 1960s counterculture in the West.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Tantra: enlightenment to revolution is the first major exhibition in the UK to focus on the history of Tantra and its global impact. The British Museum houses one of the biggest and most comprehensive collections of Tantric material in the world and over 100 objects will be on show, including masterpieces of sculpture, painting, prints and ritual objects.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Tantra is a philosophy rooted in sacred instructional texts called ‘Tantras’. They take their name from the Sanskrit word ‘tan’, meaning ‘to weave’ or ‘compose’, and are often written in the form of a conversation between a god and goddess. The exhibition features four examples of some of the earliest surviving Tantras in the world, made in Nepal from around the 12th century, these texts outline a variety of rituals for invoking one of the many all-powerful Tantric deities.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Tantras often described rituals that transgressed existing social and religious boundaries, in order to achieve liberation and generate power.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition explores Tantra’s radical challenge to gender norms. The Tantric worldview sees all material reality as animated by Shakti which is unlimited, divine feminine power. This view inspired the dramatic rise of goddess worship in India and the exhibition features a 9th-century sandstone temple relief from Madhya Pradesh depicting the ferocious goddess Chamunda dancing on a corpse, to an 18th-century courtly painting showing female gurus offering Tantric initiation.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

These depictions have influenced contemporary works by female artists including Sutapa Biswas’ 1985 mixed media work Housewives with Steak-Knives, which evokes the Tantric goddess Kali in a modern feminist form.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Tantra was also used as a tool of revolution during the fight for India’s independence in the late 19th century. Indian revolutionaries used goddesses such as Kali as symbols of an independent India rising up against the British. The exhibition features dramatic sculptures and artworks of Kali wearing garlands of decapitated heads, which exploited British fears of a bloodthirsty revolution.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The final section of the exhibition focuses on the 20th century, and the way that certain aspects of Tantra were used in the West. During the 1960s and 1970s, Tantric ideas and imagery were used in global countercultural movements to advocate free love ideals. The Tantra-inspired psychedelic posters that were used in London and San Francisco are on show, as well as paintings, photographs and sculptures illustrating Tantra’s enduring influence in art and popular culture.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition provides evidence of the considerable and diverse cultural and religious traditions of Tantra, that has generally been misrepresented in the West. The association with sex and yoga has led to the Tantra traditions to be generally overlooked and ignored. This has been unfortunate because these traditions often challenge political, sexual and gender norms, this exhibition places the traditions in the correct context to understand their importance in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the British 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.
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Turner’s Modern World at Tate Britain from 28 October 2020 to 7 March 2021

Tate Britain will present a landmark exhibition dedicated to JMW Turner (1775-1851), exploring what it meant to be a modern artist during his lifetime. Turner’s Modern World will reveal how one of Britain’s greatest landscape painter found new ways to capture the momentous events of his day, from technology’s impact on the natural world to the dizzying effects of modernisation on society. The exhibition will bring together 160 key works, including major loans as well as paintings and rarely seen drawings from the rich holdings of Tate’s Turner Bequest.

Turner lived through turbulent times. Britain was at war for much of his life, while revolutions and independence struggles took place around the world. He witnessed the explosion of finance capitalism as well as the transition from sail to steam and from manpower to mechanisation. Political reform as well as scientific and cultural advances transformed society and shaped the modern world. Living and working at the peak of the industrial revolution, Turner faced up to these new challenges when many other artists did not. Starting in the 1790s when Turner first observed contemporary life as a young painter, the exhibition will explore his fascination for industry and infrastructure as new elements of Britain’s landscape.

Two decades of conflict with France through the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars introduced another key dynamic to Turner’s work. He directly engaged with war in paintings such as The Battle of Trafalgar 1806-8 and Field of Waterloo 1818, but also depicted aspects of life and work in Britain before, during and after conflict. The exhibition will present his recollections of wartime at home and his reflections on the reputations of Nelson, Napoleon and Wellington as well as on ordinary soldiers and civilians.

The exhibition will also reflect on Turner’s interest in social reform, especially his changing attitudes towards politics, labour and slavery. These include liberal and humanitarian causes such as Greek independence from Ottoman Turkey, the 1832 Reform Act and the abolition movement. Key works such as The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons 1835 show his engagement with political events of the day, while A Disaster at Sea 1835 and Wreck of a Transport Ship c.1801 are ambitious depictions of maritime catastrophes.

The final section of the exhibition will focus on Turner’s pioneering treatment of steam technology, presenting Turner’s late style as a means by which the artist sought to develop a visual language fit for the modern world. Though alarming to his contemporaries, Turner’s late work is now appreciated as an eloquent response to the dizzying pace of change witnessed during his lifetime. The exhibition will explore how Turner followed his early interest in industrial advances through to the 1840s when, alone among his fellow artists, he made steam-boats and railways the subjects of major exhibition pictures. Key works will include Snow Storm 1842 as well as The Fighting ‘Téméraire’ 1839 and Rain, Steam and Speed 1844 on rare loan from the National Gallery.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Britain 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

Summer Exhibition 2020 at the Royal Academy from 6 October 2020 to 3 January 2021

The Royal Academy presents this year’s Summer Exhibition, which has been delayed to the autumn for the first time in its long history due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. At a time when artists have been denied important opportunities to show work, the 252nd Summer Exhibition will be a unique celebration of contemporary art and architecture, providing a vital platform and support for the artistic community. It remains the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show and has been held every year without interruption since 1769, even throughout the war years.

Jane and Louise Wilson RA are co-ordinators of the 252nd Summer Exhibition in 2020, the first time it is curated by an artistic duo. Working with the rest of the Summer Exhibition Committee they seek to challenge the definition of what community is and what form collective communities can begin to take. Themes this year will reflect upon identity, immigration, contested borders, ecological threat, climate change, pro-democracy protest and landscape, in the form of installation, painting, film, photography and sculpture.

Isaac Julien RA is curating the first two galleries and his selection of invited artists is an homage to the late curator and art historian Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019). Many of the artists whose careers Enwezor influenced have contributed work and include Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Theaster Gates, Oscar Murillo, Wangechi Mutu, Chris Ofili and Isaac Julien himself.

Sculptor Richard Deacon RA is curating the sculpture gallery. Two Royal Academicians are curating their galleries virtually; Eileen Cooper is managing prints and Stephen Farthing is working from Jordan curating galleries 3 and 9. Sonia Boyce RA has encouraged many artists who have never shown at the Summer Exhibition to contribute to her gallery.

Once again, in addition to the large number of public submissions, Royal Academicians and Honorary Academicians will be showcasing new works, including Tracey Emin, Rebecca Horn, Anselm Kiefer, Julian Schnabel, Gillian Wearing and Ai Weiwei.

A new element this year will be the introduction of ‘invisible walls’ in some of the gallery spaces, walls that are suspended from the ceiling on wires to accommodate both two-dimensional works and video screens, adding another dimension to the hang.

Works from all over the world are judged democratically on merit and the final selection is made during the eight-day hang in the galleries. This year the Royal Academy received over 18,000 entries, of which around 1000 works, in a range of media, will go on display. This open, inclusive and democratic show supports the artistic community, art education and provides a display of creativity and joy for the public.

The majority of works in the Summer Exhibition will be for sale, offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original work. Funds raised support the exhibiting artists, the postgraduate students studying in the RA Schools and the not-for-profit work of the Royal Academy.

For more information and 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.
To find out more visit the website
here

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