Home » 2018 » January

Monthly Archives: January 2018

Exhibition Review – Ocean Liners: Speed and Style at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 3rd February to 17th June 2018

The Victoria and Albert Museum re-imagines the golden age of ocean travel with their major new exhibition entitled Ocean Liners: Speed & Style.  It is the first ever exhibition to explore the design and cultural impact of the ocean liner on an international scale and features sections on ship design, engineering, architecture and interiors to the fashion and lifestyle aboard.

Ocean Liners: Speed & Style introduces over 250 objects, including paintings, sculpture, and ship models, alongside objects from shipyards, wall panels, furniture, fashion, textiles, photographs, posters and film. It will display objects never-before-seen in Europe, and reunite objects not seen together since on-board these iconic vessels.  

The exhibition begins by looking at some of the interiors of some of the world’s most luxurious liners from the Beaux-Arts interiors of Kronprinz Wilhelm, Titanic and Olympic, to the floating Art Deco palaces of Queen Mary and Normandie, and the Modernism of SS United States and QE2.

The idea of luxurious ocean liners began to some extent from the ill-fated Brunel’s steamship, the Great Eastern of 1859, however it was not until the early 20th Century that shipping companies began to sell on-board travel on the liners as an enjoyable experience in itself.

There was also an element of international rivalry with various nations using the liners as a showcase for marine technology and cultural expression. Part of the exhibition features some of the state of the art engineering behind the liners and some of the skills of the workers who built the ships. One of the highlights is Stanley Spencer’s painting ‘The Riveters’ from the 1941 series Shipbuilding on the Clyde.

The exhibition reveals some of the leading artists and designers who contributed to the interior design of the ships, such as William De Morgan, Richard Riemerschmid, Jean Dunand, Edward Bawden and Edward Ardizzone.

The often formal nature of travel in the areas on the ships catering for wealthy passengers led to some of the great couturiers designing fashions for passengers to wear whilst enjoying ocean travel. Famous passengers were often used to promote their designs, the exhibition features a Christian Dior suit worn by Marlene Dietrich as she arrived in New York aboard the Queen Mary in 1950, and a Lucien Lelong couture gown worn for the maiden voyage of Normandie in 1935.

The exhibition will also showcases Jeanne Lanvin’s ‘Salambo’ dress, the dress belonged to Emilie Grigsby, a wealthy American who regularly travelled between the UK and New York aboard the liners throughout the 1910s and 1920s. The Duke of Windsor’s 1940s Goyard luggage is also featured, on display in Europe for the first time since leaving the Windsor Estate.

One of the ironies of ocean liner travel is that it is the ships that sank that are the most famous, the exhibition features a precious Cartier tiara recovered from the sinking Lusitania in 1915 and a panel fragment from the Titanic’s first class lounge, returning to the UK for the first time since its doomed maiden voyage in 1912. At the end of the exhibition, clips from Ronald Neame’s The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and James Cameron’s Titanic (1997), remind us of our fascination with these ‘floating palaces’.

This attractive, enjoyable and fascinating exhibition explores the relatively short ‘golden age’ of luxury ocean travel. In many ways, the exhibition illustrates how shipping companies created the impression that the often long periods on board could be enjoyed rather than just endured. This was often achieved by creating a ‘fantasy’ of an ordered society where everyone knew their place, the irony of course is that ‘ordered’ society on land was under attack for a variety of reasons. 

Despite wars and depression in the early part of the 20th century, seemingly no expense was spared to provide sumptuous interiors and leisure activities that would appeal to the wealthy or the aspiring middle classes.

The growth of the commercial airlines after the Second World War gradually led to the end of the ‘golden age’ of luxury ocean travel but the nostalgia and romance for the period is still strong. This exhibition gives a taste of the period and how artists contributed to and were inspired by the ‘age of the luxury ocean liners.’

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information , visit the V & A 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

Hotel Review: Novotel London Blackfriars

Novotel London Blackfriars is a contemporary hotel located near the Southbank area of London, the hotel has 182 modern guest rooms and 10 disabled accessible rooms. The hotel is within walking distance of London’s famous Southbank and Bankside, both of which feature many of London’s attractions including the Southbank Centre, London Eye, The National Theatre, Tate Modern, and Shakespeare’s Globe, a short walk across Blackfriars Bridge will take you to the City of London and  St Paul’s Cathedral.

Getting to the hotel is relatively easy, with plenty of transport options near to the hotel with Southwark Tube station (2 minutes) and the transport hubs of Blackfriars Station (5 mins), Waterloo Station (10 mins) and London Bridge Station (12 mins).

The hotel’s main entrance is located on Blackfriars Road, we entered into an open plan reception in which the booking in process was quick, efficient and friendly.

The hotel rooms are new-generation Novotel rooms which are tailored to meet the modern traveller’s needs, with access to modern technology and feature products that are eco-friendly.

Our stay was in an Executive Room on the 12th floor facilities included a 32″ TV with media hub & free WIFI, music docking station, Nespresso machine, safe, and modern bathroom with shower.  The sleeping arrangements featured “smart pillows” and eco-designed LIVE ‘N’ DREAM comfort bedding.  

Some of the Executive Rooms have a spacious balcony which offers magnificent views of the South London skyline dominated by the Shard.

Back on the ground floor next to the reception area is the bar and seating area where we settled down in the comfortable leather settees to enjoy a drink. The colourful Jamboree Foodfest & Bar concept brightens up the hotel bar and restaurant combination area and offers a range of International cuisine with a modern twist.  This bright, snazzy but relaxing environment is a real opportunity to enjoy a quiet drink or trying a range of dishes, and really makes a change from the often staid and traditional hotel bars and restaurants you quite often find.

If you prefer to try different venues for a drink or something to eat away from the hotel, a short walk to Blackfriars Bridge and along the banks of the Thames to the Southbank  and Bankside provide many drinking and eating options.

For those who would like to relax after a hard day’s sightseeing or business, the hotel has a small swimming pool with water jet pool, sauna and fitness centre.

Novotel London Blackfriars is one of the new breed of hotels, catering for the needs of the modern traveller who demands a range of facilities to be part of their experience.  This hotel meets these needs excellently, but even more is situated in a favourable location for either the visitor who is looking to visit the sights of London or the modern business visitor who needs a hotel that is close to efficient transport links and the business community.

The general ethos of the hotel is contemporary, professional  with clear and distinct design features that create a bright and upbeat experience,  the hotel staff follow this approach and were attentive, friendly and efficient  throughout our stay.

Video Review Available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information , visit the Accor Hotel 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

 

Exhibition Review : Andreas Gursky at the Hayward Gallery – 25th January to 22nd April 2018

 

London’s Hayward Gallery presents the first major UK retrospective of the work of acclaimed German photographer Andreas Gursky.

Gursky is a landscape photographer who is best is known for his large-scale pictures that portray scenes of the global economy and contemporary life. This retrospective features sixty-eight of the artist’s photographs, from the 1980s through to eight new works which can seen for the first time in this exhibition.

The exhibition includes some of the artist’s most well-known works including Paris, Montparnasse (1993), Rhine II (1999/2015). Kamiokande (2007) and May Day IV (2000/2014) These large-format pictures often work on a number of levels, on the surface they can take abstract forms, however look closer and there are lots of precisely captured details.

Gursky’s photographs offer a very different view of human existence with large natural landscapes often obscured by massive man-made structures or  huge gatherings of people in various locations.

The eight new works in the exhibition Pyongyang VI (2007/2017) and Pyongyang VII (2007/2017) documenting North Korea’s Mass Games illustrates Gurky’s particular approach related to large crowds forming intricate patterns. These patterns are everywhere and Gursky finds them in a rubbish-strewn verge of a Spanish highway in  El Ejido (2017),  a stock exchange in Chicago Board of Trade III (2009), a vast distribution centre shown in Amazon (2016), and in a vast range of budget items in  99 Cent II, Diptych (2001).

One remarkable aspect of Gursky’s work has been his use of computer-enabled post-production techniques to enable his photographs despite often being on a massive scale to maintain a sharpness and precision that enables the smallest details to be clearly visible.

Much has been made of ‘Fake News’ in recent years, Gursky has undertaken experiments in manipulating images to create examples of ‘fictional photography’. Review (2015) shows a constructed fictional scene in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her three predecessors gaze at Barnett Newman’s Vir Heroicus Sublimis (1950–51).

Other highlights of the exhibition include Untitled XIX (2015), which depicts acres of Dutch tulips, Bahrain I (2005) which features the motor racing circuit and Tour de France (2007) which shows the route of the cycle race on a mountainside.

This intriguing exhibition introduces the compelling work of  Andreas Gursky to a wider audience, the photographer’s considerable talent is in evidence in the wide range of works on display. Many of the photographs have an abstract beauty before you look closer and see the reality of many of the man- made patterns in their different shapes and forms. 

The Andreas Gursky exhibition marks the beginning of the Hayward Gallery’s 50th anniversary year and is the first exhibition to take place in the Gallery following its refurbishment. For the first time ever, the gallery’s pyramid roof lights allow natural light into the spaces below.

Video Review available here

Andreas Gursky runs from 25 January – 22 April 2018 at the Hayward Gallery.

Opening times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday 11-6pm, Tues Closed, Thursday 11-8pm

Prices: £16.00 – £7.25. Members go free

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information , visit the Southbank Centre 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

Exhibition Review – Charles I: King and Collector at the Royal Academy from 27th January to 15th April 2018

The Royal Academy presents a new exhibition entitled Charles I: King and Collector which reunites some of the greatest masterpieces of the king’s collection for the first time. The exhibition features over 100 works of art including classical sculptures, Baroque paintings, remarkable miniatures and monumental tapestries.

The theme of the exhibition is how the political turmoil in 17th-century Europe provided opportunities to collect masterpieces from private collections and Charles I in particular, built his art collection by using these methods.  

The exhibition explores how the  king’s collection was used to illustrate a monarch’s power, his authority and good taste in the arts. Many of the great powers of Europe had built up great collections of art and had commissioned some of the great artists of the period to work for them. It was not just the competition from abroad that inspired the king to build up his collection, he was surrounded by aristocrats in his court most notably his friend, the Duke of Buckingham who were building their own collections.

When Charles reached nineteen, he inherited Queen Anne’s art collection when she died in 1619. He then travelled to Spain with the Duke of Buckingham and began to explore some of the great European collections. Titian in particular was a favourite as were many of the Italian masters and he returned to England with a number of works including paintings by Titian, Correggio and Veronese.

The exhibition features Titian’s The Supper at Emmaus and Veronese’s Mars, Venus and Cupid. 

When Charles became King in 1625, he sent Nicolas Lanier to buy paintings in Italy, whilst in Venice, Lanier was told that one of the great collections in Europe may be for sale. The Gonzaga’s in Mantua had fallen on hard times and in 1628 they were persuaded to sell their famous collection. The Gonzaga hoard included classical and modern sculptures, paintings by Titian, Correggio and Jan van Eyck. It also included the nine large canvases of Mantegna’s Triumph of Caesar (c.1484-92), with its scenes of elephants and trumpeters, chariots and crowds. The canvases are included in the exhibition and are featured in a dedicated gallery of their own.

Equally monumental are the Mortlake tapestries of Raphael’s Act of the Apostles which are considered some of the most spectacular tapestries ever produced in England.

The spectacular Gonzaga purchase made Charles’ reputation as a serious collector, however his vast expense on art was not so popular at home and his great friend, the Duke of Buckingham was assassinated in 1628.  Charles carried on building his collection and began to commission paintings and portraits from famous artists Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the monumental portraits of the king and his family.

In all, Van Dyck painted about 40 portraits of Charles, his triple portrait of the King was sent to Rome for Bernini to model his bust. Van Dyck use of horses made the rather small king seem tall and heroic.

In the exhibition is a room dedicated to the Cabinet Room in Whitehall Palace, this was the king’s inner sanctum which housed smaller items such as bas-reliefs, miniatures, books, engravings, drawings, medals and precious objects.

It is with some irony that considering Charles’ collection was amassed by taking advantage of political turmoil in Europe that it would be dispersed by similar events much closer to home. The fall of Charles in the English Civil War led to the collection being used to repay royal debts, many of the works being sold to European courts.

This fascinating and remarkable exhibition illustrates how art was used in the 17th century for the self-aggrandisement of monarchs and leaders. Charles I was not the first and will not be the last leader to learn the lesson that using the nation’s wealth to finance your own vanity projects usually ends in disaster. 

The exhibition launches the Royal Academy  250th celebrations and runs in parallel with Charles II: Art and Power at the Queens Gallery. 

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

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

Germán Cornejo : Tango After Dark at the Peacock Theatre – 28th February to 17th March 2018

13

Sadler’s Wells welcomes international tango star Germán Cornejo back to London with his company for the world premiere of Tango After Dark at The Peacock from Wednesday 28th February – Saturday 17th March 2018.

8a

As the night falls, the music of the great Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player and arranger, Astor Piazzolla, merges with the sophisticated and sensual performance of world-class Argentinean dancers to reveal tango in its most authentic and pure form.

24

Tango superstar Germán Cornejo, who is widely acclaimed by critics and audiences all over the world as one of the most distinguished tango artists working today, leads his outstanding cast of 10 dancers, including his long term dance partner and collaborator Gisela Galeassi in this exciting new show. Accompanied by two singers and seven musicians playing tango classics.

For more information and tickets, visit the Sadler’s Wells 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

 

Korper: Sasha Waltz and Guests at Sadler’s Wells – 1st to 3rd March 2018

Renowned contemporary choreographer Sasha Waltz is celebrated for her compelling imagery and body-focused choreography. Taking the body itself as her subject in Körper, Waltz combines clinical analysis and fantastical illusions as 13 dancers meld together to form strange chimerical creatures and squirm behind glass like scientific specimens, in a series of living tableaux.

Körper, meaning body in German, engages dancers in a variety of movements. Linking architecture and body, the production asks what is the body and how is it constructed. The dance analyses morality, the quest for immortality, and investigates reproduction in the age of genetic manipulation. Körper received its World Premiere in Berlin in 2000 and had its UK Premiere in the same year.

The development of innovative forms of performance and creation has become the most significant focus of the work of Sasha Waltz & Guests. The company was named an official Cultural ambassador of the European Union for the 2013 anniversary year. The company also received the 2014 George Tabori prize for exceptional artistic achievements over the last 20 years.

For more information and tickets, visit the Sadler’s Wells 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

Sutra: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley and monks from the Shaolin Temple at Sadler’s Wells – 26th to 28th March 2018

One of Sadler’s Wells’ most successful productions, Sutra returns to London from Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 March to celebrate its 10th anniversary after touring around the globe to sell-out audiences. This award-winning collaboration between choreographer and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, sculptor Antony Gormley and 19 Buddhist monks from the Shaolin Temple in China is one of Sadler’s Wells’ longest running and most successful productions.

Since its first sell-out performances at Sadler’s Wells in London in May 2008, Sutra has toured to 66 cities in 33 countries across the world. The production plays its 200th performance when it returns to the Sadler’s Wells stage. With Gormley’s striking set of 21 wooden boxes and Polish composer Szymon Brzóska’s specially commissioned score performed live, Sutra is a breath-taking spectacle of athleticism that explores the philosophy and faith behind the Shaolin tradition and its relationship with kung fu within a contemporary context.

Sutra is accompanied by a live, specially commissioned score for five musicians, including piano, percussion and strings by Szymon Brzóska.

For more information and tickets, visit the Sadler’s Wells 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