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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Exhibition Review – Shape of Light : 100 years of Photography and Abstract Art at Tate Modern from 2nd May to 14th October 2018

A major new exhibition at Tate Modern reveals the intertwined stories of photography and abstract art. The exhibition entitled Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art will be the first show of this scale to explore photography in relation to the development of abstraction, from the early experiments of the 1910s to the digital innovations of the 21st century. 

Featuring over 300 works by more than 100 artists, the exhibition explores the history of abstract photography side-by-side with iconic paintings and sculptures.

The first room sets the theme for the exhibition with paintings by Mondrian, Braques and Kadinsky paired with Alvin Langdon Coburn’s pioneering ‘vortographs’ from 1917.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a number of photographers including Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand began to look closely at the ability of photography to show different elements of abstraction and began looking at familiar items in a variety of ways. The exhibition features a number of works by these artists and others that spanned diverse media like László Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray.

It was not just inanimate objects that attracted artists, some began to create abstractions from the human body including André Kertesz’s Distorsions, Imogen Cunningham’s Triangles and Bill Brandt’s Baie des Anges, Frances 1958.

Photographers began to play with light to produce a number of interesting effects, the exhibition pairs the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Otto Steinert’s ‘luminograms’. 

The exhibition acknowledges the impact of MoMA’s landmark photography exhibition of 1960, The Sense of Abstraction for raising the profile of this type of photography and some installation photographs of this show are displayed with some of the works originally featured in the exhibition, including important works by Edward Weston, Aaron Siskind and a series by Man Ray that has not been exhibited since the MoMA show, 58 years ago.

Some artists in the 1960’s began to use the various effects of abstraction to create optical effects, the exhibition pairs work by Bridget Riley and installations of key photographic works from the era by artists including Floris Neussis and Gottfried Jaeger.

Much of this early worked was dominated by black and white photography, however by the 1970s, colour was being used increasingly especially from artists like Barbara Kasten with her Photogenic Painting and Sigmar Polke with Untitled (Uranium Green) in the 1990s.

The final room brings visitors up to date with contemporary abstraction artists like Thomas Ruff, Maya Rochat and Daisuke Yokota.

This intriguing exhibition explores how the birth of abstract art and the invention of photography created a new modern visual culture which was often marginalised for most of the 20th century but gradually became more popular and respected for the innovation and originality of artists and photographers. It is difficult to know what was the interaction and influence of abstract art and abstract photography on each other, however they did create a genre where artists and photographers began to push back the boundaries of contemporary art.  

Visiting London Guide Rating- Highly Recommended

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

Review: Country Living Magazine London Spring Fair at Alexandra Palace from 26th to 29th April 2018

With the warmer weather making an appearance, we decided to head for the wide open spaces of Alexandra Palace and visit the Country Living Magazine London Spring Fair. It is the 28th edition of the Spring Fair, although it has been at a number of venues in that time.

Country Living magazine offers an escape for many urban dwellers who can be transported into the British countryside with its beautiful landscapes, nature and wildlife with a healthy respect for creative businesses, skilled craftspeople and artisan producers.

The Country Living Spring Fair follows these themes and offers inspiration for your home, garden and wardrobe. Visitors can try their hand at new crafts, learn from experts and enjoy delicious food and drink treats.

Every village fair would have a bandstand and show follows suit where you can enjoy some food and listen to live music. There is a little bit of the countryside with a smallholding area where you can see lambs and Hen Corner with some chickens from an urban farm.

For those who do not want to get their hands dirty, pay a visit to the Viking Cruises Champagne Bar and watch the world go by.

If a cup of tea is more to your taste, take a break at Tea Rooms with products from the award-winning Thompson’s Tea.

Crafting is available in a number of areas with the Country Living Crafting Workshops and the Queen of Paint, Annie Sloan is joined by one of her in-house paint experts to teach you all things colour, style and technique.

There are tips from the experts on gardening know-how in Country Living Good Life theatre and cooking tips in the Country Living Kitchen theatre. 

Shopping is catered for with plenty of ideas for home interiors with fabrics and throws, or hand painted china and rustic earthenware.

For the craft minded, you can pick up supplies from the craft exhibitors or explore some of the delicious offerings from the food artisans and farmers in the producer’s village.

Country Living Magazine practices what it preaches by hosting a Pop-Up Market at the Spring Fair, featuring a selected collection of crafters, makers, designers and artists who create their wares in their own homes. The market allows these small producers to try selling their products to the public.

It is quite ironic that what was considered niche and slightly old fashioned twenty-eight years ago is now mainstream with design, crafts, baking and artisan food all enjoying a boom in interest and popular with all types of people and all age groups. The ‘Ally Pally’ is fascinating in its own right, however a trip to The Country Living Spring Fair offers a considerable amount of interest with plenty of attractions.

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 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 : Rodin and the art of ancient Greece at the British Museum – 26th April to 29th July 2018

Auguste Rodin is considered one of the greatest sculptors of the modern era and the British Museum presents an exhibition entitled Rodin and the art of ancient Greece which explores in detail the influence of the art of antiquity, particularly that of ancient Greece on the artist. The exhibition explores the influence on Rodin by the works of the fifth-century BC sculptor Pheidias who is known as the artist who conceived the Parthenon sculptures and the role of the British Museum in Rodin’s later works.

The exhibition will feature over 80 works in marble, bronze and plaster, alongside some of Rodin’s sketches. By showing Rodin’s work alongside the Parthenon sculptures that inspired him, the exhibition hopes to illustrate the connection between the two and provide new insights into the sculptures of the artist.

The exhibition design takes inspiration from Rodin’s home and studio in Meudon outside Paris, and is surprisingly open and airy with the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery filled with natural light at both ends of the space for the first time since it opened in 2014. The unusual open plan design allows visitors to walk around many of the works and view from a variety of angles.  

The exhibition opens with a direct comparison between Rodin and Greek sculpture with one of Rodin’s famous work The Kiss (1882), next to the tangled limbs of two female goddesses, originally on the East Pediment of the Parthenon. This copy of The Kiss is a plaster cast of the first marble example and it became the version which Rodin would display in exhibitions and from which others were copied.

Over his life Rodin built up a collection of over 6,000 antiquities and in 1900 he built a museum at Meudon to house his growing collection. His love of the sculptures of ancient Greece led him to visit the Louvre and the British Museum to study the Parthenon sculptures.

Walking around the exhibition it is often difficult to distinguish between Rodin’s work and the Greek sculptures because Rodin often used chop off the heads and limbs from his own sculptures in order to make them more like the archaeological ruins of the past.

If there are similarities, there are also differences, Rodin never sculpted copies of the Parthenon figures instead he used them as inspiration for his own original works. Some of Rodin’s most famous works are featured including The Thinker, The Age of Bronze, The Burghers of Calais, The Walking Man, The Man with the Broken Nose and many more. One of the more unusual sculptures is Pallas (Athena) which has the Parthenon balanced on the woman’s head.

The inclusion of some of the Parthenon Sculptures is fascinating not only in comparison of Rodin’s work but allowing visitors to view the sculptures in detail. When you look closely it is often the fluidity of movement and flowing lines that are the most impressive and one can understand the artist’s fascination with them.

This intriguing exhibition explores how Rodin’s interest in Greek Sculpture bought him to the British Museum many times and created a connection with the sculptures and the museum that forms the basis of the show.

In some ways, it is strange that these connections are not more widely known, however many people have been more interested to present Rodin as a modern sculptor rather that seeing his connections to the more classical period. This exhibition provides an unusual and unique opportunity to view  Rodin’s artistic work from new angles, the Parthenon Sculptures connected Rodin to the past but enabled him to create original works that looked to the future.

Visiting London Guide Rating –  Highly Recommended

For more information or to book 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.
To find out more visit the website
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Exhibition Review : Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition 2018 at Somerset House – 20th April to 6th May 2018

The picturesque Somerset House is the location of the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition 2018 which runs from  20th April to 6th May 2018.

Now in its 11th year, Sony World Photography Awards is one of the world’s largest and most diverse photography Awards, spanning four different competitions (Professional, Open, Youth, Student Focus). 2018 has seen record entries to the fair, with nearly 320,000 images submitted from over 200 countries and territories.

 The coveted Photographer of the Year title was presented to British artist Alys Tomlinson for her series Ex-Voto, winning the photographer $25,000. The work was praised by the jury for its beautiful production, technical excellence and sensitive illustration of pilgrimage as a journey of discovery and sacrifice to a greater power.

Tomlinson was selected from the 10 category winners of the Professional competition,  the overall winners of the Awards’ Open (best single image), Youth and Student Focus competitions were also revealed.

 All winners were flown to the London awards ceremony and received Sony digital imaging equipment, publication in the winners’ book and their work will be shown as part of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London.

Professional category winners.

Architecture: Gianmaria Gava, Italian with Buildings

Contemporary Issues: Fredrik Lerneryd, Swedish with Slum Ballet

Creative: Florian Ruiz, French with The White Contamination

Current Affairs & News: Mohd Samsul Mohd Said, Malaysian with Life Inside the Refugee Camp

Discovery: Alys Tomlinson, British with Ex-Voto

Landscape: Luca Locatelli, Italian with White Gold

Natural World & Wildlife: Roselena Ramistella, Italian with Deep Land

Portraiture: Tom Oldham, British with The Last of The Crooners

Sport: Balazs Gardi, Hungarian with Buzkashi

Still Life: Edgar Martins, Portuguese with Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes

Youth Photographer of the Year – Megan Johnson, American, Age 16

Student Photographer of the Year – Samuel Bolduc, Canadian, Age 20

Outstanding Contribution to Photography – Candida Höfer

Every year the Awards’ gives an Outstanding Contribution to Photography (OCP) prize. Past winners have included Martin Parr, Elliot Erwitt and Mary Ellen Mark. This year’s winner is the celebrated German artist Candida Höfer. A special selection of her large scale, striking architectural photographs is exhibited alongside the Awards’ photographs.

This year the exhibition is curated by Mike Trow, ex-Picture Editor, British Vogue and covers the entire ground floor exhibition space of Somerset House, spanning shortlisted and winning images from all categories of this year’s competition; from current affairs to ‘discovery’, travel and architecture to ‘creative’, street photography to wildlife, and more.

This fascinating exhibition gives visitors a snapshot of modern contemporary photography by professionals and non-professionals. The small intimate spaces within Somerset House allow visitors to explore the photographs in detail and marvel at the diversity of subjects and themes. The Sony World Photography Awards is one of the major platforms for the promotion of photography culture and this exhibition provides an opportunity to see a series of stunning images.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and to book tickets for the exhibition, 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 the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review : Fashioned from Nature at the Victoria and Albert Museum – 21st April 2018 to 27th Jan 2019

The Victoria and Albert Museum presents a major exhibition that explores the often complex relationship between fashion and the natural world since 1600. The story of how fashionable dress has constantly drawn on the beauty of nature is told through over 300 objects.

The exhibition provides plenty of evidence that the natural world has always provided inspiration for fashion. One of the earliest pieces in the exhibition, a women’s jacket from the early 1600s, is embroidered with designs of pea-shoots and flowers. There is 1780s man’s waistcoat, expertly embroidered with a pattern of Macacque monkeys. More recently there is a Gucci’s contemporary bag decorated with stag beetle motifs,  a 2016 Giles Deacon haute-couture dress features a pattern of bird’s eggs and gowns from Jean Paul Gaultier (1997) and Busvine (1933-4) both feature leopard print.

Few would question, the natural world as inspiration, however including the creatures themselves is slightly different. The exhibition includes a an 1875 pair of earrings formed from the heads of two real Honeycreeper birds and a 1860s muslin dress decorated with the iridescent green wing cases of hundreds of jewel beetles. This was the tip of the iceberg, birds, feathers, furs, whalebone and turtle shells are just a few of the materials that were taken directly from nature.

Raw materials played an important part in the global trade of the 17th and 18th centuries especially silk, flax, wool and cotton. The exhibition includes an 18th court dress that includes a variety of materials from all over the world.  At various times, whole nations depended on the revenue from raw materials and international trade grew with the import of precious materials to satisfy the demand for high quality products.

Although the introduction of man-made materials enabled fashionable dress to be available to the masses, the textile industry contributed greatly to the problems of air and water pollution.

Moving upstairs in the exhibition, the emphasis is more on the 20th and 21st centuries and shows a  display of posters, slogan clothes and artworks that illustrate the protest movements that have helped draw attention to some of the harmful side of fashion. The exhibition features the outfit worn by Vivienne Westwood whilst protesting against climate change. A man’s outfit from Katharine Hamnett’s 1989 ‘Clean Up or Die’ collection is on show alongside posters from Fashion Revolution, a collective aiming to change the way clothes are sourced, produced and consumed.

Menswear and womenswear from Stella McCartney, is displayed alongside a upcycled dress by Christopher Raeburn. The dress made from recycled plastic bottles worn by actor Emma Watson with a Calvin Klein look is also featured

The exhibition also explores some of the solutions created to reduce fashion’s impact on the environment.  These include a dress grown from plant roots by the artist Diana Scherer, who uses seed, soil and water to train root systems into textile-like material, a bio-luminescent genetically-engineered silk dress created by Sputniko! and a tunic and trousers made from synthetic spider silk from Bolt Threads x Stella McCartney. Vegea use grape waste from the wine industry to form a leather-substitute and their Grape gown is on show, as is a Ferragamo ensemble made from ‘Orange Fiber’ derived from waste from the Italian citrus industry and an H&M Conscious dress made from recycled shoreline plastic.

This thought-provoking exhibition provides evidence that fashion has been inspired by nature but has also exploited nature in often cruel and bizarre ways. The exhibition illustrates how this  complex relationship has developed over the past 400 years and how the search for raw materials have also impacted on global trade with often serious consequences on producers and suppliers. Part of the exhibition considers how many aspects of this legacy has been challenged in recent years with a series of contemporary designers looking to provide creative and sustainable popular fashion.

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

 

Red at the Wyndhams Theatre – 4 May 2018 to 28 July 2018

Red reunites John Logan and Michael Grandage following Peter and Alice with Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw.

MGC Artistic Director Michael Grandage directs this first ever UK revival since directing the world premiere at the Donmar Warehouse in 2009. The production went on to win six Tony Awards, including Best Play.

Award-winning stage and screen actor Alfred Molina reprises his critically acclaimed performance as the American abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko. He is joined by rising star Alfred Enoch of US television drama series How to Get Away With Murder as his assistant Ken.

Under the watchful gaze of his young assistant, and the threatening presence of a new generation of artists, Mark Rothko takes on his greatest challenge yet: to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting.

Important information

Child policy

To be confirmed.

Running time

To be confirmed.

Performance dates

4 May 2018 – 28 July 2018

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Booking 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: Concrete Dreams at the Southbank Centre – 10th April to 29th April 2018

A new Southbank Centre exhibition, Concrete Dreams explores the remarkable creative history of arts venues, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. The venues are reopening to the public after two years of extensive restoration and redesign.

The exhibition consists of an immersive audio-visual backstage journey which sets in context the rich history and behind the scenes secrets of the venues. Visitors on the tour start at the Queen Elizabeth Hall artists’ entrance and follow in the footsteps of all the legendary artists who performed on these stages at the start of their careers in the 60s, with a roll call that includes Pink Floyd, Cleo Laine and Daniel Barenboim.  

After collecting your stage pass, visitors are given rare access backstage, travel through the working scene dock, visit an artists’ lounge, go into the dressing rooms and ending on a surprise finale.

Throughout these areas are unique archives in which the past and present is brought to life with live performance footage, recordings and printed materials.

Highlights include 60s and early 70s archives of live performance footage, poetry recordings and print materials from stars including Deep Purple, London Sinfonietta, Imrat Khan, T Rex, David Bowie and Celeste Dandeker. Special events like the live film footage of the very first performance of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells 1973 and the performance of Schubert’s Trout Quintet in 1967, featuring Jacqueline du Pré and Daniel Barenboim are also shown.

The building of the venues were highly controversial and the archives include some of the previously unseen correspondence between London County Council and the venues’ young architects and early original photography and architect blueprints from 1961.

 In the dressing room area, some of the early art events at the Hayward Gallery are featured with posters about Gilbert and George,Kinetic psychedelia and Bridget Riley.

 The end of the exhibition involves moving on the stage in the Queen Elizabeth Hall  to enjoy an innovative multimedia show that celebrates many of the artists that have graced the very stage you are sitting on.

This fascinating exhibition challenges some of the preconceived ideas that the reopened venues where generally used just for classical concerts. In reality, the venues from the 1960s have been used for a wide variety of artistic events and has often played an important part in the careers of a large number of artists before they became superstars in their particular field. The new diverse programme of events in the venues is not a new beginning for the venues but part of the remarkable legacy illustrated by this exhibition.  

The final weekend of the Concrete Dreams event from the 27th – 29 April will involve three full days of  live performances and participation, with Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room filled with music, dance, workshops and talks celebrating the dynamic and vivid performance history of the 1960’s buildings, whilst looking  to the future.

A large number of free events includes 60s Big Sing, a participatory vocal performance workshop celebrating songs of the 60s – from Bowie to Pink Floyd. These include a new collaborative contemporary dance and music piece Our Veranda, performed by Freddie Opoku-Addaie, a new music composition Echoes in Time: Drake Music and dance company Corali’s new work 9 Windows Reimagined.

Other Concrete Dreams Weekend highlights include:

In conversation with folk singer Sam Lee and folk legend Shirley Collins

A late night concert of Sam Lee’s unique Singing With Nightingales

Rambert Dance, who originally rehearsed in the foyer of QEH in the 60s, returning to the foyer for a family workshop

Fifty Poems from Five Decades – with ten of the finest poets writing in the UK today,including Simon Armitage and Caleb Femi

Performances of South Asian dance, electronica, pop, Indian classical music, western classical music and jazz

The Concrete Dreams exhibition is free, but you must book for tours and opens to the public on Tuesday 10 April and Concrete Dreams Weekend runs from Friday 27 – Sunday 29 April.

Photographs taken with permission of Southbank Centre.

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