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Review – Ilya and Emilia Kabakov : Not Everyone Will Be Taken into the Future at Tate Modern -18th October 2017 to 28th January 2018

To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Tate Modern presents the first major museum exhibition in the UK of artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. The exhibition entitled Not Everyone Will Be Taken into the Future explores the couple’s place in the international story of conceptual art and offers the opportunity to view rarely seen works together for the first time in the UK.

The Kabakovs are have gained a reputation for their large-scale installations which draw upon the culture of the former Soviet Union and addresses universal themes such as utopia, dreams, fears and the human condition. The exhibition features around 100 works in a range of media, including paintings, drawings, albums, models and installations.

The exhibition begins with some of Ilya Kabakov’s early drawings from the 1960s and his innovative Ten Characters series of albums. His studio flat in Moscow was the centre of an unofficial Moscow art scene where he showed his work to fellow artists. Being an unofficial artist led Ilya Kabakov’s to begin to question the role of the artist in a state system.

The artist looked back to the past for a time in Russia when artistic experimentation was considered after the 1917 Revolution before the dominance of Social Realism in the 1930s restricted any meaningful artistic development.

In the 1980s, Ilya created The Man Who Flew into Space From His Apartment 1985, it was his first ‘total’ installation and explores how the communal apartments in the Soviet Union restricted any individual freedom.

With the sculptural installations, Trousers in the Corner 1989 and I Catch the Little White Men 1990, similar themes are revisited but the scale has changed.

Three Nights 1989 finds three large paintings obscured by a large screen which offers limited and unusual views.

One of the most dramatic installations is Not Everyone Will Be Taken into the Future by Ilya and Emilia in 2001, a train is leaving the station with those selected to be part of the future, discarded canvases are reminder that artists are often at the whims of patrons who discard them if they are unfashionable or not willing to toe the line.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990’s becomes a theme for the Kabakovs in the 2000s, pictures resembling Soviet paintings are torn and ripped with different pieces bought together in a fragmented style. They seem to say that Social Realism has been torn apart by Social Reality.

The next installation, Labyrinth (My Mother’s Album) 1990 looks at the past on a more personal level, a corridor is full of photographs and collages telling the story of the artist’s mother.

This fascinating exhibition introduces the work Ilya and Emilia Kabakov to a wider audience and explores how Russian artists who were restricted by State system made sense of the decline of that system. Not Everyone Will Be Taken into the Future also explores the often transient nature of fame for artists, the title refers to an essay about Russian artist Kazimir Malevich who was one of the artistic heroes of the post 1917 Revolution Soviet Union before being discarded in the 1930s.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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

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Review – SUPERFLEX: One Two Three Swing! at Tate Modern from 3rd October 2017 to 2nd April 2018

The Tate Modern presents a large-scale interactive installation by Danish collective SUPERFLEX. One Two Three Swing! in the Turbine Hall.

Conceived as an incentive for collective movement, the work invites audiences to combat social apathy through collaborative action by swinging together to create motion for a large pendulum.

One Two Three Swing! challenges society’s apathy towards the political, environmental and economic crises of our age. The installation explores the Turbine Hall’s industrial history and its new role as an open space in the heart of an art gallery.

The free installation is experienced in three states: apathy, production, and movement. The state of apathy comprises a large pendulum suspended by a 20 metre cable from the ceiling and swinging above a 770 square metre carpet in a colour scheme inspired by British currency. Occupying the far end of the hall is the state of production, a factory station where swing seats are assembled, stamped and stored prior to distribution and use. Emerging from the state of production, an orange line formed of sets of interconnected, three-seated swings invite and frame the movements of users.

The pendulum swinging forms a hypnotic mechanical effect which is in contrast with the enjoyable and spontaneous experience of swinging together.

It is hoped over time, the work will evolve as the orange line continues to grow and new swings are added, spreading outside Tate Modern, into the urban landscape of London and potentially beyond into the wider world.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review: Dalí / Duchamp at the Royal Academy – 7th October 2017 to 3rd January 2018

The Royal Academy presents Dalí / Duchamp which is the first exhibition to bring together the art of two of the twentieth century’s most influential artists. Whilst Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) and Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) where often seen as two very different characters, they did share attitudes to art and life that led to a lifelong friendship. The exhibition includes over 80 paintings, sculptures, ‘readymades’, photographs, drawings, films and archival material that explores the connections between the two artists. The Dalí / Duchamp exhibition includes loans from public institutions and private collections across Europe and the US.

Both Duchamp and Dalí are probably best known for their surrealist work and it was whilst exploring this genre that they first met in the early 1930s. On the surface, the two men seemed complete opposites with Dalí the extrovert showman whereas Duchamp was a more introverted character. What the two artists did share was a sense of humour and the ability to challenge conventional views of art.

The exhibition is organised into three main thematic sections which consider how their friendship influenced their work.

The section entitled Identities features how the two artists began their careers  within the artistic movements of their day especially Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism and Futurism. Although it was as a painter that Duchamp came to public attention, he quickly decided to experiment with other media which he later made his name. Photographs from this era show both artists playing with their personal identities and the role of the artist. Highlights of this section will include Duchamp’s The King and Queen Surrounded by Swift Nudes, 1912 and Dalí’s The First Days of Spring, 1929.

The Body and the Object section features works that illustrate how both artists were beginning to find their own artistic voices often focused on the theme of eroticism and surrealism.

Figurative and abstracted paintings, drawings and sculptures showcase the artist’s skills of combining everyday objects in unusual and origin way. Duchamp’s ‘readymades’ include Bicycle Wheel, 1913/1964 and the iconic Fountain, 1917/1964 with Dalí’s famous Lobster Telephone, 1938.

The final section, Experimenting with Reality show how Dalí and Duchamp were fascinated with perspective and illusion. Optical illusions feature in many of the works including Dalí’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross, c. 1951 and Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach, 1938 as well as Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), 1915 (reconstruction by Richard Hamilton 1965-6/1985).

This fascinating exhibition shines a light on two of the most well known artists of the twentieth century. Both are known for their surreal and original sense of humour in their art, however this sometimes obscures the often serious ideas underpinning their work. Both artists in their own way challenged the conventional views of art and the role of the artist.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Admission

£16.50 full price (£15 without Gift Aid donation); concessions available; children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free.

For more information , 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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Review : Royal Gifts exhibition at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace – 22nd July 2017 to 1st October 2017

Buckingham Palace serves as both the office and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen and is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. For a limited period in the year, the State Rooms are open to the public in which a special themed exhibition provides some insights into the Queen’s life and reign.

Royal Gifts, the special exhibition at the Summer Opening of the Palace in 2017, tells the story of The Queen’s reign through a remarkable display of official gifts presented to Her Majesty during the past 65 years. Throughout her long reign, Queen Elizabeth II has been presented with gifts of great value and historical significance from world leaders such as former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, former South African President Nelson Mandela and President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China.

However much of the focus of exhibition is to display the incredible craftsmanship from the United Kingdom and across the globe. The fascinating objects come from more than one hundred countries, and cross every continent.

The section on Europe illustrate an eclectic collection of gifts that include Francesco Valdambrini’s Polychrome female bust from the early fifteenth century, G Perlee’s (Amsterdam) Model barrel organ and a present from Pope Francis in 2014 of a Decree canonising King Edward the Confessor on 29 May 1679.

Many of the gifts celebrate local cultures and traditions including boomerangs, indigenous art from Australia, a Yoruba throne from Nigeria, a Queen inspired Tree of Life from Mexico, a Totem pole from Canada, a Duho ceremonial stool from the Bahamas and a Burmese Silver Tea set.

Some of the more unusual gifts include a bag of Salt from the British Virgin Islands, a pair of Mittens from Canada, a model bus from Pakistan, a hand painted jigsaw in a box from New Zealand, a pair of Ostrich shells from Namibia and a dinosaur fossil from Canada.

The Queen has met many major leaders throughout her reign and the exhibition includes a Scarf depicting San (Bushmen) hunting a herd of eland antelope from President Nelson Mandela, a Vessel of Friendship from President Xi Jinping of China and a framed photograph from American president John F. Kennedy.

This summer marks the twentieth anniversary of the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. As a tribute, the desk where The Princess worked in her sitting room at Kensington Palace will be displayed in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace. Many of the objects on and around the desk have been selected by her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, to reflect her commitment to duty and their personal memories of their mother.

The fascinating Royal Gifts exhibition illustrates the importance of giving and receiving gifts in the world of Royal protocol. The Queen promotes British craftsmanship and other countries have followed that lead by giving gifts that highlight local crafts and traditions.

A ticket to the Summer opening of the Palace includes the Royal Gifts exhibition, the special display in the Music Room as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, a multimedia guide and access to the Terrace Café, the shop and a walk through the gardens to the exit.

Admission Prices

Adult £23.00, Over 60/ Student (with valid ID) £21.00, Under 17/ Disabled £13.00, Under 5 Free, Family £59.00 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Video Review available here

For more information or book tickets, visit the Royal Collection 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 : Matisse in the Studio at the Royal Academy – 5th August to 12th November 2017

The Royal Academy presents an exhibition which explores the relationship between Henri Matisse and some of his most treasured objects. The exhibition considers how these items played an important role in his work and how it influenced the development of the artist’s art.

Whilst Matisse was firmly within the Western art tradition, the objects in his collection provided influences from the far corners of the world. Buddhist statuary from Thailand, Bamana figures from Mali, furniture and textiles from North Africa provided the backdrop to his studio in which objects could be used in different guises across decades.

Each section of the exhibition presents the interplay of objects with paintings and drawings. Matisse’s Lilacs 1914 illustrates how the small object of a nude is included in a still life painting.

Matisse often saw objects as actors playing various parts in a variety of media, one of his favourite objects was a nineteenth century Venetian rocaille chair which stands in the exhibition in front of a series of paintings and drawings.

The exhibition provides plenty of evidence that Matisse was greatly influenced by African art and this provided a vehicle to reinvent the way that nudes were represented with a simplified and disproportionate bodies. The exhibition features of Bamana figures from Mali which illustrate this point.

Matisse also began to use African art and in particular African masks to influence his attitude to portraiture. The Italian Woman 1916 shows a woman with almost a mask like face.

Matisse often adorned his Nice studio with props from the Islamic world to create the sensuous sets for his ‘odalisques’, often these paintings included a reclining female model in front of a very decorative background. Matisse was keen to point out that the subject in the painting and the background were of equal importance.

In Matisse’s later years, he entered what is known as his cut-out period, he was inspired by the concise precision of Chinese calligraphy and African textiles to create his own simple way of bringing different forms together.

This fascinating exhibition offers an opportunity to understand elements of the creative process and how an artist’s personal collection can inspire paintings, sculptures and drawings. Part of this process was not imitation but understanding how different cultures have created their own images in many different ways. From this Matisse developed his own particular method which brings many of the influences together.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Video Review available here

Admission

£15.50 full price (£14 without Gift Aid donation); concessions available; children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free.

For more information , 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

 

Exhibition Review – Plywood: Material of the Modern World at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 15th July to 12th November 2017

The Victoria and Albert Museum explores the many qualities of Plywood in a ground breaking exhibition entitled Plywood: Material of the Modern World. Known for being light, strong, affordable and versatile, plywood is the unlikely material behind an eclectic array of ground breaking designs celebrated in the exhibition.

Over 120 objects are brought together to illustrate how the often-overlooked product has helped create the modern world. The material has been used for diverse purposes including the fastest and highest-flying aeroplane of WWII, the de Havilland Mosquito and the downloadable self-assembly WikiHouse.

It was in the nineteenth century that plywood’s adaptability and potential was fully exploited. However, although many manufacturers used plywood in a number of ways, it gained a reputation for being inferiority to solid timber.

Gradually the adaptability of plywood began to overcome the doubters with a bewildering range of objects produced from the material. The exhibition includes objects from the V&A’s world class furniture, design and architecture collections with significant loans from across the globe.

Some of the highlights include early experiments in plywood, such as a 1908 book printed during Ernest Shackleton’s Nimrod expedition to Antarctica and bound with plywood covers; celebrated pieces by modernist designers such as Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer, Grete Jalk, Robin Day, Charles and Ray Eames; and striking examples of transport design such as 1917 moulded canoe, a 1960s British racing car with plywood chassis, and some of the first ever surf and skate boards.

The exhibition also provides multimedia displays that explore the three ‘process’ moments that mark important milestones in the evolution of plywood manufacture. The three processes featured are the invention of the rotary veneer cutter in the early 19th century; the advent of moulding techniques that inspired the remarkable forms of 1930s modernism; and plywood’s recent dominance as a material for CNC cutting and digital manufacture.

In the John Madejski Garden, a cluster of ice skating shelters designed by Patkau Architects are display throughout the exhibition. Visitors can sit in the structures which are made by bending flexible plywood sheets and attaching them to a timber frame to create sculptural forms. The shelters were originally designed to sit on a frozen river in Winnipeg, Canada.

This fascinating and unusual free exhibition brings the often unheralded Plywood into the spotlight. Since the Victorian times, Plywood has been one of the most popular and versatile materials used in manufacturing and has been used in many innovative ways by designers and architects. This exhibition allows visitors the opportunity to consider the many qualities of Plywood and its importance in the creation of the modern world.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Video review available here

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

 

Exhibition Review – The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt at the National Portrait Gallery from 13th July to 22nd October 2017

The National Portrait Gallery presents its first exhibition of old master European portrait drawings, the exhibition entitled The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt (13 July – 22 October 2017), includes works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Annibale Carracci, François Clouet, Albrecht Dürer, Anthony Van Dyck, Benozzo Gozzoli, Hans Holbein the Younger, Antonio di Puccio Pisano (Pisanello), Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Francesco Salviati and Leonardo da Vinci. Many of the drawings have rarely seen in public, and some have been not displayed for decades.

The exhibition focuses on not only the artist’s skill but on the moment of connection between an artist and a sitter. Many of the drawings provide illustrations of people like the artist’s friends, pupils in the studio or faces from the street who were rarely the subject of paintings during this period.

Some of the highlights of the exhibition include 15 drawings  lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection, including eight portraits by Hans Holbein the Younger; a group of drawings produced in the Carracci studio from Chatsworth; and the British Museum’s preparatory drawing by Albrecht Dürer for a lost portrait of Henry Parker, Lord Morley, who had been sent to Nuremberg as ambassador to King Henry VIII.

The exhibition also includes a display of the types of drawing tools and media used from metalpoint to coloured chalks and show how artists moved away from medieval pattern-books to undertake their own study of the figure, and the face, from real life.

 

This intriguing exhibition provides a series of insights into how portrait drawings have a sense of spontaneity and honesty that allows the dynamic connection between the artist and sitter to be explored more fully.

The portraits from the Renaissance and Baroque periods allows the study the faces and expressions from the famous and not so famous sitters, whilst many of the drawings were not created for public show, they offer a genuine insight into the past.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Video review available here

If you would like to find out more about the exhibition, 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.
To find out more visit the website here