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Monthly Archives: February 2018

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Exhibition Review – Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography at the National Portrait Gallery from 1st March to 20th May 2018

The National Portrait Gallery presents an exhibition entitled Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography which combines for the first time ever portraits by Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Lady Clementina Hawarden (1822-65).

The exhibition examines the relationship between the four artists and brings together images drawn from public and private collections internationally. A number of the images have not been seen in Britain since they were made.

Two ways of Life by Oscar Rejlander, 1856-7

The exhibition explores in detail, the remarkable work of Swedish born Oscar Rejlander and features the finest surviving print of his famous picture Two Ways of Life of 1856-7, where he used a pioneering technique combining over 30 different negatives to create a single final image. An album of photographs by Rejlander purchased by the National Portrait Gallery is also on display.

Rejlander inspired many photographers with his ground breaking work  and Carroll, Cameron and Hawarden all studied under Rejlander briefly, and the four continued to exchange ideas about the new art of photography.

The photographers also shared sitters and within the exhibition, visitors can compare how Cameron and Rejlander both photographed the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the scientist Charles Darwin and how Carroll and Cameron both photographed the actress, Ellen Terry.

Lewis Carroll’s initial fame was through his writing especially Alice in Wonderland, his photography is probably lesser known, however the exhibition provides a connection between the two by featuring a series of Carroll’s photographs of Alice Liddell, his model for Alice, both as a child and a fully grown woman.

The work of Julia Margaret Cameron and Lady Clementina Hawarden is particularly interesting because they were women in a male dominated environment. Their portraits of other women are known for their often complex interpretations. Sadness featuring actress Ellen Terry by Cameron is an example of great technique and sensitivity. Hawarden’s images of the Maude family provide unusual poses with the women often looking away or into a mirror.

One of the consequences of the new art of photography was famous Victorians were photographed for the first time, the exhibition include portraits of sitters such as Charles Darwin, Alice Liddell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle, George Frederick Watts, Ellen Terry and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

This fascinating exhibition challenges the long accepted view that Victorian photography was formal and formulaic. Oscar Rejlander in particular, quickly pushed back the boundaries of the new art of photography. His influence on the other three artists to experiment was considerable and many of the images are remarkable even by today’s standards. All four photographers were pioneers in their own way and influenced latter generations of photographers in a variety of ways.

Video Review available here 

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the National Portrait 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 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 – Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins at the Barbican Art Gallery from 28th February to 27th May 2018

The Barbican Art Gallery presents an exhibition entitled Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins which examines how photographers have engaged with those on the margins of society.  

The exhibition features the work of 20 photographers including Bruce Davidson, Paz Errázuriz, Larry Clark, Mary Ellen Mark, Boris Mikhailov, Daido Moriyama and Dayanita Singh. Over 300 works from the 1950s to the present are on show, the exhibition includes vintage and contemporary prints, archival material, specialist magazines, rare film and photo books. 

The exhibition begins by showcasing two of the United States most famous photographers, Diana Arbus and Bruce Davidson. The Bruce Davidson’s series The Dwarf and Brooklyn Gang was taken in the late 1950s in New Jersey and Coney Island; and was only recently discovered at a Manhattan flea market.

Two celebrated Japanese photographers, Daido Moriyama and Seiji Kurata explore some of the seedy and hidden aspects of the notorious Ikebukuro and Shinjuku districts of Tokyo. 

The little known works of Russian photographer Igor Palmin entitled The Enchanted Wanderer (1977) and The Disquiet (1977), features Soviet Hippies in desolate landscapes. Other counterculture movements are recorded by Philippe Chancel, Walter Pfeiffer and Chris Steele-Perkins who charts the rise of the Teddy Boys in 1970s Britain.

Moving to the higher level of the gallery, Alec Soth’s Broken Manuel (2006–10) documents those who turn their back on society, his images of monks, survivalists, hermits and runaways in America provide an alternative narrative to the mainstream.

Some of the most remarkable images in the exhibition are the series called The Hyena and Other Men (2005–2007) by South African photographer Pieter Hugo of a group of urban nomads from Nigeria.

One of the most poignant parts of the exhibition is the film by Indian photographer Dayanita Singh who formed a long term friendship with Mona Ahmed, a eunuch from New Delhi who lived much of her life in a cemetery.

The series of photographs, Adam’s Apple (1982-87), by Chilean photographer Paz Errázuriz of a community of transgender sex-workers working in an underground brothel in Chile in the 1980s underlines the point that living on the margins is often a dangerous place to be with persecution and brutality commonplace.  

This intriguing exhibition explores the often diverse and complex relationship between the artist and disenfranchised communities. By their very nature, these communities are wary of outsiders and photographers often have to earn the communities trust before they are accepted. Many of the photographers in Another Kind of Life needed to follow this process to create their own distinctive take on countercultures, subcultures and minorities of all kinds. In many ways this benefits the photographer who avoids accusations of exploitation and is considered to be presenting an authentic representation of disenfranchised communities.

Video Review available here 

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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

 

 

Exhibition Review – Murillo: The Self Portraits at the National Gallery from 28th February to 21st May 2018

Marking the 400th anniversary of the birth of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), the National Gallery presents an exhibition entitled  Murillo: The Self Portraits. This small exhibition reunites the artist’s only two known self-portraits for the first time in over three hundred years. 

Murillo is considered one of the most celebrated painters of the Spanish Golden Age and his best known for his religious paintings and depictions of street children. However this exhibition, highlights Murillo’s work as a portrait painter, an area of his work less well known. Portraits by Murillo are relatively rare, only around sixteen have been identified so far which include the two self-portraits featured in the exhibition.

The first self-portrait (about 1650-55), now in the Frick Collection, New York, shows Murillo in his thirties. Murillo’s face is illuminated by light and he is wearing the fashionable attire of the period.  

The later self-portrait (about 1670), in the National Gallery collection, shows Murillo around twenty years older. By this time he was considered the most important living artist in Seville. The ageing artist is shown with the tools of his trade and Latin inscription at the bottom translates as ‘Bartolomé Murillo portraying himself to fulfil the wishes and prayers of his children’. Family matters were clearly important at this time, although by this date, his wife and five of his children had died.

The exhibition shows six additional portraits, including Murillo’s first known portrait of Juan Arias de Saavedra, 1650 which has been restored especially for the exhibition and is being shown in public for the first time. The exhibition also includes the portrait of Diego Ortiz de Zúñiga, ca. 1655 which has recently been re-attributed as the lost original by Murillo following its re-discovery in Penrhyn Castle, Wales. 

The other portraits in the exhibition illustrate Murillo’s considerable skill with the informal A peasant boy leaning on a Sill 1675 and Two Women at a Window 1655- 60 and the more formal Portrait of Nicolas Omazur 1672 and Portrait of a Young Man 1650-55.

A print by Richard Collin based on a Self Portrait from 1682 which was produced just after Murillo’s death is an indication of the high esteem the artist was held in by his contemporaries. 

Murillo enjoyed a considerable reputation as an artist from the 17th century until the early 20th century when his popularity began to wane. Victorians in particular were great admirers of the Murillo paintings, even Queen Victoria considered his paintings “beautiful” and “exquisite”. 

This interesting small free exhibition is part of a National Gallery attempt to bring together either a single painting or a small number of paintings to highlight perhaps lesser known aspects of an artist’s work. Murillo: The Self Portraits is a rare opportunity of viewing a number of portraits from one of the most famous painters of the Spanish Golden Age.

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

 

Exhibition Review – All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life at Tate Britain from 28th February to 27th August 2018

Tate Britain presents an exhibition entitled All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life which showcases around 100 works by some of the most celebrated modern British artists featuring many works by Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. 

The exhibition explores how generations of British artists began to explore some of the boundaries of figurative painting in the 20th century. Central to the exhibition is the work of Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon who began to present more honest depictions of models of all shapes and sizes.

Both Freud and Bacon were following a theme going back to artists like Walter Sickert and Chaïm Soutine in the early 20th century.  The first room in the exhibition features work by Sickert, Soutine and Stanley Spencer.

The next room pairs together a series of works by Francis Bacon alongside a sculpture by Giacometti which explores the themes of alienation and isolation.  

The exhibition highlights the teaching of William Coldstream at the Slade School of Fine Art and David Bomberg at the Borough Polytechnic who were considered influential in the encouragement of later artists like Michael Andrews, Euan Uglow , Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff .

All these artists developed their own particular style and the exhibition features Auerbach’s and Kossoff’s fascination with London’s streets and public spaces, F.N. Souza’s spiritual and symbolic figures, and Michael Andrews’s and R.B. Kitaj’s interest in group scenes and storytelling.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the room entitled Lucien Freud: In the Studio in which has a number of the artist’s works including Sleeping by the Lion Carpet 1996 and David and Eli 2003-4. In the preview, two of the models for the paintings were present to come face to face with their representations.

Freud is often associated with Francis Bacon and the next room explores how Bacon often worked from photographs, John Deakin’s portraits of friends and lovers were often the starting point for some of Bacon’s work.

The exhibition also explores how women artists have developed in the traditionally male-dominated field of figurative painting. The works of Paula Rego explores the roles of women in society such as in The Family 1988.

Later Contemporary artists like Cecily Brown, Celia Paul, Jenny Saville and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye began to find ways of taking the painting of figures in new directions.

This fascinating exhibition provides plenty of evidence of the ways that British figurative painters found new and interesting ways to capture life on canvas throughout the 20th century.  Many of the artists moved beyond the superficial to explore some of the deeper elements of the human condition. As the exhibition illustrates, these sometimes expose some of uglier elements of human nature. Artists like Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and others influenced by the often tragic and dramatic events of the 20th century, perhaps developed more honest depictions of the different sides of human beings.

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating  – Highly Recommended 

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

The Barbican 2018/19 Classical Music Season

The Barbican has announced its ambitious 2018/19 classical music season featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, Associate Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Barbican Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia alongside the Barbican’s own-curated concert series, Barbican Presents.  The Australian Chamber Orchestra returns as the Barbican’s newly appointed International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court.

Highlights include:

Pioneering collaborations and special projects

Director Peter Sellars returns with two contrasting staged productions, a performance of Lassus’s a cappella Renaissance masterpiece Lagrime di San Pietro featuring the Los Angeles Masterchorale with conductor Grant Gershon; and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with the LSO conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and featuring Gerald Finley, Lucy Crowe, Willard White, Sophie Burgos and Peter Hoare

To open their season the BBC SO join forces with Professor Brian Cox and conductor Ben Gernon to take a fresh musical and visual look at The Planets, 100 years since the landmark work received its premiere

A semi-staged performance of Purcell‘s Dido & Aeneas with the Academy of Ancient Music, concludes a three-year Purcell opera cycle, co-presented with the Barbican

Sound Unbound returns in May 2019 in what will be the third iteration of the Barbican Classical Weekender.

Marin Alsop conducts the LSO in two performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, on the same stage where Bernstein himself conducted the orchestra in this work in 1989.

In the year that marks 100 years since the successful Parliamentary appeal for universal suffrage, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performs Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D, commemorating a composer who was herself a key member of the women’s suffrage movement.

Other Worlds – the London Contemporary Orchestra and Choir with conductor Robert Ames present the UK premiere of Giacinto Scelsi’s Uaxuctum ; alongside a performance of John Luther Adam’s apocalyptic piece Become Ocean,.

Jóhann Jóhannsson: Last and First Men – a new multimedia work by the Oscar-nominated Icelandic composer, combining film – with narration by Tilda Swinton – and music, with the score performed live by the LSO and conductor Daníel Bjarnason

Enda Walsh and Donnacha Dennehy’s The Second Violinist – the Barbican presents the UK premiere of this modern opera telling the foreboding story of a life falling apart. Produced by Landmark Productions and National Irish Opera

Darbar Festival – the iconic festival of Indian classical music comes to the Barbican for the first time in Oct 2018.

Premieres and new commissions

Sir Harrison Birtwistle: Fanfare (world premiere) co-commissioned by the Barbican and the LSO for Sir Simon Rattle to open the LSO season and a new work (world premiere), a Barbican and LSO co-commission to be performed in May 2019

UK premiere of Alain Altinoglu’s arrangement of a suite from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, performed by the BBC SO and conducted by Sir Andrew Davis

Die Stadt ohne Juden/The City Without Jews  (1924): A Dystopian Prophecy of Intolerance – a live screening of the restored silent film directed by H K Breslauer with a new score by Olga Neuwirth  (UK premiere), co-commissioned by the Barbican

Roderick Williams, Milton Court Artist-in-Residence – programmes for the baritone’s residency will include the world premiere of a new song cycle by Ryan Wigglesworth as well as the UK premieres of a new work by Williams himself and by composer Bob Chilcott performed by the BBC Singers

Sunleif Rasmussen: Quadroforone  (world premiere, commissioned by the Barbican) and a new work by Anahita Abbasi (UK premiere), both performed by harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani

BBC SO present world premieres by Richard Causton, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Gavin Higgins and Paweł Szymański, and a number of UK premieres by Thomas Larcher

The LSO gives world premiere performances of works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, James MacMillan, and two young composers who have been part of the Orchestra’s new music development programmes, Liam Mattison and Donghoon Shin.

For the Fallen: Marking the First World War Centenary

100 years since the guns fell silent, For the Fallen looks to a future haunted and shaped by the past, with a series of concerts by living composers that bridge the century between that moment and now.

4 Nov 2018  – The LSO gives the world premiere of James MacMillan’s All the Hills and Vales Along, setting poetry by WWI poet Charles Sorley who was killed in action in 1915

9 Nov 2018 – Britten Sinfonia gives the world premiere of a new orchestral version of Nico Muhly’s poignant The Last Letter, settings of last letters to loved ones sent by soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

10 Nov  2018 – The BBC SO’s Total Immersion: In Remembrance World War 1 will feature talks and music inspired by the First World War, culminating in a performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera The Silver Tassie based on a play by Seán O’Casey

11 Nov 2018 – The BBC Singers and their new Chief Conductor Sofi Jeannin perform two new contemplative works: a Barbican and RIAS Kammerchor co-commission for Roderick Williams; and, to coincide with the centenary of Wilfred Owen’s death, Bob Chilcott’s setting Move him into the sun.

Composer and Artist Focuses

 The BBC SO presents Total Immersion days dedicated to exploring the musical life and works of composers György Ligeti (2 Mar) and the Boulanger sisters – Lili and Nadia (6 Apr)

Diana Damrau sings Strauss – in recital with pianist Helmut Deutsch; in the Four Last Songs with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, and in the closing scene of Capriccio with the LSO under Gianandrea Noseda

Daniil Trifonov features in an LSO Artist Portrait performing with the Orchestra and in recital

Visiting orchestras and ensembles

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Ádám Fischer

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with conductor Mariss Jansons

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with conductor Sir Antonio Pappano 

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

Il Pomo d’Oro with conductor Maxim Emelyanychev

Collegium Vocale Gent with conductor Philippe Herreweghe

Les Arts Florissants with conductor William Christie

Le Concert Spirituel with conductor Hervé Niquet

The 2018/19 classical music season opens in September 2018. Booking will open to the general public on 2 February 2018.

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

 

BBC Symphony Orchestra 2018/19 season at the Barbican

Opening the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s 2018/19 season, conductor Ben Gernon and Professor Brian Cox join the orchestra to present Holst’s The Planets, 100 years to the day since the piece was first performed.

The BBC SO’s Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo leads the orchestra in performances of landmark works, including Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and Dvorák’s Symphony No.7. A number of key centenaries are marked, including the end of the First World War, the 100th anniversary of Polish Independence and the 100th anniversary of the death of Debussy.

The BBC Symphony Chorus celebrates its 90th birthday with performances including Ethel Smyth’s rarely performed Mass in D, Bach’s Mass in  B minor, Osavlado Golijov’s Oceana, Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ and works by Lili and Nadia Boulanger.

The BBC SO’s acclaimed Total Immersion days return; the first exploring the centenary of WW1 including a performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera The Silver Tassie – based on a play about the First World War written by Seán O’Casey and David Lang’s Memorial Ground – performed in the Barbican foyers with members of the BBC Symphony Chorus and community choirs.

Two further Total Immersion days focus on the music of György Ligeti (2 Mar) and the Boulanger sisters (6 Apr).

The BBC SO’s commitment to new music and rarely-performed works continues with performances of works by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Thomas Larcher and Michael Tippett among others, while Stravinsky’s recently discovered Funeral Song, Op. 5 is performed following its world premiere earlier this year. The orchestra will also give the UK premiere of Alain Altinoglu’s arrangement of a suite from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, conducted by BBC SO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis.

BBC SO Günter Wand Conducting Chair Semyon Bychkov returns, and there are debuts from some of the most exciting young conductors and instrumentalists performing today, including conductors Karina Canellakis, Cristian Macelaru, Joana Carneiro, pianist Pavel Kolesnikov and violinist Lisa Batiashvili.

Former Principal Guest Conductor David Robertson conducts Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1, and three Principal members of the orchestra step forward as instrumental soloists, including the world premiere of Gavin Higgins’ Trombone Concerto performed by BBC SO Principal Trombonist Helen Vollam. Shostakovich Symphonies 1, 4, 5, 9 and 11 all feature during the season.

The BBC Singers return to Milton Court for a series of four concerts, two of which will be led by their new Chief Conductor Sofi Jeannin. They also host three early evening concerts complementing the BBC SO’s programme that follows, as well as appearing with the BBC SO in the Barbican Hall and at Total Immersion days.

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

Review : The Telegraph Travel Show at ExCeL London from 23rd to 25th February 2018

The Telegraph Travel Show offers advice and inspiration for travellers from its award winning travel journalists, international travel writers, bloggers, adventurers and much more.

Among the wide range of exhibitors, there is a strong focus on cruises, whether its luxury on the high seas or exploring on a river cruise. Many cruise firms are represented including Voyages Jules Verne, Noble Caledonia, Hurtigruten, Star Clippers, Fred River Cruises, Saga Cruises and Hapag Lloyd.

Visitors to the show can receive personalised advice from The Telegraph Travel journalists in the Travel Genius Bar, as well as speaking with leading travel providers including Travelbag, ROL Cruise and Trailfinders.

Singapore Airlines have a large display showing the new seating arrangements in their fleet of aircraft.

The Telegraphs journalists are joined by adventurers and explorers in the Destinations Theatre, travel advice from the experts is interspersed with tales of adventure with David Cornthwaite explaining about his incredible expedition in Norway and wildlife photographer Warren Samuels explaining how to film Kenya’s big cats.

Food is an important part of any travel adventure and the show has a Food & Wine Theatre, showcasing dishes from across the globe. TV chef, Lesley Waters hosts an interactive cookery experience whilst the Telegraph’s wine expert Susy Atkins will be taking visitors on a tour of France and Italy through a variety of grapes and vineyards.

The show includes a section on Incredible Oceans which celebrates world’s whales and dolphins and highlights the scourge of ocean plastics. Visitors to the show can learn how Incredible Oceans and Water-to-Go are teaming up to create new solutions that combat the negative effects of ocean plastics.

The Telegraph Travel Show is not the largest travel show in London but does provide more of a personal touch with plenty of advice and inspiration for travellers from its award winning travel journalists and international travel writers. The exhibitors tend to offer adventure with comfort to destinations all around the world.

The Show takes place alongside the London Bike Show and The Triathlon Show with one ticket giving entry into all three events.

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