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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

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Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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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.
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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.
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ABBA : Super Troupers at the Southbank Centre – 14th December 2017 to 29th April 2018

Southbank Centre and Entertainment Exhibitions International AB, in association with ABBA The Museum in Stockholm explore the world of chart-topping Swedish pop sensation ABBA in a brand new, immersive exhibition that charts their music, lyrics, creative process, and influence as one of the most iconic pop bands of the late 20th Century.

ABBA: Super Troupers recreates the extraordinary rise to worldwide fame and lasting legacy of ABBA (Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad), set against the shifting socio-economic and political conditions of the time. The guided exhibition transports audiences on a journey through previously unseen archive material including ABBA’s original costumes, handwritten notes and sketches, personal photographs, music and instruments, plus album artwork, photography and film by notable collaborators such as film director Lasse Hallström.

Against the backdrop financial crisis, strikes and economic downturn, ABBA’s infectious songs entered the popular consciousness with their optimism and dominated the airwaves with their carefree pop. ABBA: Super Troupers goes beyond the surface to examine the serious stories behind the unforgettable lyrics and tunes, the band’s innovative multi-layered sound, their pioneering approach to the music video and the influence of their unique styling on successive generations.

Objects from ABBA The Museum and private archives will be brought together in the UK for the first time, charting the success of the global pop sensation from their individual careers to their Eurovision Song Contest win and subsequent international stardom, as they topped the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982.

Theatrical backdrops recreate some of the most significant events from their heyday – including a hotel room, music studio and the disco – and provide context to the evolution of their creative process and their enduring appeal, from the Mamma Mia! phenomenon to their multi-million record sales worldwide.

ABBA: Super Troupers follows the Southbank Centre’s exhibition successes The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl (2015-16) and Adventures in Moominland (2016-17). The exhibition will launch as part of Southbank Centre’s Wintertime festival and the final month of Nordic Matters – a year-long programme of Nordic arts and culture at Southbank Centre throughout 2017.

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.
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Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain – 12th September 2017 to 21st January 2018

This September, Tate Britain will present the most substantial survey to date of work by Rachel Whiteread. It will reveal the extraordinary breadth of her career over three decades, from the four early sculptures shown in her first solo show in 1988 to works made this year especially for Tate Britain. Known for her signature casting technique, Whiteread’s work ranges in scale from the monumental to the intimate in a variety of materials such as plaster, resin, rubber, concrete, metal and paper.

Rachel Whiteread first rose to wide public attention with the unveiling of her first public commission House in London’s East End in 1993. A concrete cast of the interior of an entire terraced house, House only stood for a few months before its demolition, but was a landmark public sculpture for London and has come to epitomise Whiteread’s lifelong project as an artist: fusing everyday architectural and domestic forms with personal and universal human experiences and memories.

In a vast 1,500m² open gallery space, some of Whiteread’s most important large scale sculptures will be shown alongside her more intimate works. These will include Untitled (Book Corridors) 1997-8 and Untitled (Room 101) 2003 – a cast of the room at the BBC’s broadcasting House thought to be the model for Room 101 in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty Four. A range of smaller sculptures will include casts in different materials and colours from architectural features such as floors, doors and windows to domestic objects such as tables, boxes and a selection of Torsos, Whiteread’s casts of hot water bottles.

Another highlight of the exhibition will be Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) 1995 – an installation of 100 resin casts of the underside of chairs – shown in Tate Britain’s Duveen galleries. Special sections will also be devoted to archive material and to the artist’s drawings. Working with pencil, varnish, correction fluid, watercolour and collage, these works on paper constitute a distinct area of Whiteread’s practice and are an intimate part of her artistic process in producing her sculptural work. Whiteread was the first woman to win the Turner Prize in 1993 and went on to represent the UK at the 1997 Venice Biennale.

For more information , 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.
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Ilya and Emilia Kabakov : Not Everyone Will Be Taken into the Future at Tate Modern -18th October 2017 to 28th January 2018

This October, Tate Modern will stage the first major museum exhibition in the UK of artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. Curated in close dialogue with the artists and organised in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg and the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, the exhibition will explore this pioneering couple’s place in the international story of conceptual art and will offer the chance to view rarely seen works together for the first time in the UK.

The Kabakovs are amongst the most celebrated Russian artists of their generation, widely known for their large-scale installations which draw upon the visual culture of the former Soviet Union and narrative traditions of Russian literature, often addressing universal themes such as utopia, dreams, fears and the human condition. The exhibition will feature over 100 works in a range of media, including paintings, drawings, albums, models and installations, and will chart their artistic journey, from Ilya’s role as an unofficial artist in Moscow working under the radar of the Soviet authorities, through to his emigration to the west in 1987, and subsequent collaboration with Emilia.

Three ground-breaking ‘total’ or whole-room installations will be presented in the exhibition: The Man Who Flew into Space From His Apartment 1985, Labyrinth (My Mother’s Album) 1990 and Not Everyone Will Be Taken into the Future 2001. The immersive Labyrinth (My Mother’s Album) 1990 will feature at the heart of the survey – a claustrophobic, maze-like environment evoking the idea of life as an endless corridor. This intensely personal work recounts the memoirs of the artist’s mother and her tragic life during a turbulent period of dramatic societal change spanning the 1917 Revolution through the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. The labyrinth’s walls are hung with collages telling the story of Bertha Urievna Solodukhina, while a recording of Ilya Kabakov singing romantic Russian songs gives the impression of a live performance.

The exhibition will also feature Ilya Kabakov’s early drawings from the 1960s and his innovative Ten Characters series of albums in which he used fictional characters for the first time. In the late 1960s and 1970s his cavernous attic studio on Sretensky Boulevard became the centre of the unofficial Moscow art scene and it was here that he hosted ‘performances’ of his albums to fellow artists. A questioning of the practice of painting has also been a central feature of Ilya Kabakov’s works since the early 1960s. His object-paintings such as The Answers of an Experimental Group 1971 juxtapose image, text and objects to ironically criticise Soviet society and utopian ideals. In more recent paintings such as The Appearance of the Collage # 10 2012, the artists layer scenes from different art historical moments to explore ideas of collective memory and cultural heritage.

The title of the exhibition, Not Everyone Will Be Taken into the Future, is taken from Ilya’s response to a study on the Russian abstract artist Kazimir Malevich, published in a 1983 issue of the underground magazine A-YA. In his writing, Kabakov poetically imagines Malevich as a headmaster selecting students for summer camp – an allegory for those artists who will – and will not – be taken into the future. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see the whole-room installation, Not Everyone Will Be Taken into the Future 2001, on display for the first time in the UK.

Adult £12.50 (without donation £11.30). Concession £11 (without donation £10)

Open daily 10.00 – 18.00 and until 22.00 on Friday and Saturday

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 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