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Partenope at the London Coliseum – 15th to 24th March 2017

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Christopher Alden’s Olivier Award-winning production with designs inspired by the Surrealist imagery of Man Ray returns for its first revival.

The story centres around Rosmira who still loves the man who jilted her, Arsace. He, unfortunately, is in love with beautiful Partenope. As too are Armindo and Emilio. So naturally, Rosmira dresses up as a man and becomes another of Partenope’s suitors, in order to win back Arsace. Wonderful arias and spectacular ensembles, Handel’s comic masterpiece follows the exploits of four rival suitors in pursuit of Partenope’s love.

Baroque-specialist Christian Curnyn conducts a world-class cast which includes soprano Sarah Tynan, mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon, and tenor Robert Murray.

Running Time

3hrs 25mins

Running time includes two intervals of approximately 20 minutes

For more information , visit the ENO website here

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Exhibition Review: Radical Eye at the Tate Modern – 10th November 2016 to 7th May 2017

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Tate Modern presents the first exhibition of Modernist photography from The Sir Elton John Collection ever staged in the UK.  The collection includes some of the most iconic images from the 1920s to the 1950s and covers themes ranging from classic portraiture to social documentary, still life and experimental techniques.

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The exhibition features almost 200 works from more than 60 artists and consists entirely of rare vintage prints, all created by the artists themselves. Some of the artists in the exhibition include  Man Ray, André Kertész, Berenice Abbot, Alexandr Rodchenko and Edward Steichen.

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The first half of the 20th century began to see photographers exploring with many aspects of the photographic medium and developing photography into a distinct art form. One of the leading artists of the period was Man Ray who has 25 works in the exhibition including a set of portraits depicting well-known figures of the early 20th century including André Breton, Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar, Henri Matisse and Man Ray himself. Whilst many of the portraits in this section could be considered traditional, many modernist artists challenged the often ‘stiff’ formal portraiture with more informal poses and compositions.

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This was also an age when artists began to experiment with the process of photography using double exposures or manipulating the image for the desired effect. Some artists went for a more serious approach whilst others went for a more humorous approach.

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The experimental approach began to see the human form in different ways especially catching dancers in performance which profiled their remarkable athleticism and bodies.

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The first half of the 20th century was a period of considerable upheaval and social turmoil and some artists began to use photography to document some of the victims of the financial and economic downturns. Dorothea Lange’s remarkable Migrant Mother 1936 presented a different picture of the American Dream and challenged viewers to consider different aspects of their society. Technological advances such as the portable camera allowed artists to go into streets and neighbourhoods to record ‘everyday life’.

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The final room illustrates how some artists began to reveal the beauty of everyday objects by isolating them from their surroundings or using unconventional angles or perspectives.

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Taking a private collection of photography and transferring it into an art gallery can sometimes take away some of its intimacy. The film of Elton John in his apartment full of the photographs illustrated how the pictures formed an important part of his creative life. Some of the informality of the collection is transferred to the gallery by using the same frames  when displayed in Elton John’s home.

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This fascinating exhibition may only cover a relatively short period, however it can be considered an era when photography began to cease replicating other art forms and began to assert its own identity. Manipulating the photographic process began to create unique images of many different types of objects. Although many artists veered towards the abstract, others were drawn to the ‘real world’ and used photography to document everyday life in all its variety. This is a rare opportunity of viewing so many iconic vintage prints in one exhibition.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to 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 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.
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Exhibition Review : Performing for the Camera at Tate Modern – 18th February to 12th June 2016

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Tate Modern explores the relationship between photography and performance in their exhibition, Performing for the Camera.

Since the invention of photography in the 19th century, the genre has been concerned with showing art and performance, the exhibition brings together over 500 images spanning 150 years which document  performance works such as Yves Klein’s Anthropometrie de l’epoque blue 1960, a live painting event using the bodies of naked women, as well as key 60s performances by Yayoi Kusama, Marta Minujín and Niki de Saint Phalle.

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Some of the earliest works in the exhibition look at the way that photography began to used showing famous performers acting out their characters from the stage. Photographs from Nadar’s studio in 19th century Paris show the famous mime artist Charles Deburau acting out poses as the character ‘Pierrot’ and famous actress Sarah Bernhardt in a series of roles.

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Later works drawing on this same idea include Harry Shunk and Janos Kender with their photographs of dancer, Merce Cunningham in 1964. Eikoh Hosoe’s Kamataichi, a collaboration with the choreographer and founder of the Butoh movement Tatsumi Hijikata in 1969 is one of the first to have given equal authorial credit to the performing subject and the photographer.

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Ideas of self-identity are explored through works by Claude Cahun, Man Ray and Cindy Sherman, as well as projects like Samuel Fosso’s African Spirits 2008 where the artist photographs himself in the guise of iconic figures. The exhibition also looks at the ways that portraiture has been used by photographers like Lee Friedlander, Masahisa Fukase and Hannah Wilke.

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Marketing and self promotion have always played a major part in photography and recent masters of the form, artists Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol illustrate how identity can be formed and distorted for a particular event.

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In many ways, most of the exhibition illustrates the photographer and the photographed as two separate entities, however, the modern world of social media and selfies offers the subject as photographer which raises a series of questions about the lines between photography and performance. A recent work staged on Instagram by Amalia Ulman illustrates the ways that people are using their poses for photographs to seemingly find ways of validating their identity.

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Performing for the Camera is an interesting and thought-provoking exhibition that explores the relationship between photography and performance. From the earliest days of photography, there seems to have been an element of performing for the camera. Over the last 150 years, this performance has led to a wide range of applications from serious performances to more informal humour and improvisation. The exhibition provides of plenty of evidence that photography’s influence has grown considerably till it has now become a constant presence in the lives of millions, many now recording their own and others performances each day.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Performing for the Camera

Tate Modern: Exhibition

18 February – 12 June 2016

Adult £16.00 (without donation £14.50)

Concession £14.00 (without donation £12.70)

If you would like further 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.
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Rodin, Brancusi, Moore: Through the Sculptor’s Lens at Waddington Custot Galleries – 22nd May to 11th July 2015

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Henry Moore – Two Seated Figures against Curved Wall (plaster maquette for UNESCO commission 1956- 57) 1957 silver gelatin print (Lidbrooke)

Waddington Custot Galleries, in collaboration with David Grob will be presenting an exhibition which features over fifty vintage photographs from the studios of Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), Constantin Brancusi (1876–1957), and Henry Moore (1898–1986). The exhibition entitled Rodin, Brancusi, Moore: Through the Sculptor’s Lens will focus on the importance and prominence of photography within the practice of each of these pre-eminent sculptors. The photographs dating from the end of the nineteenth- to the late twentieth-century capture a wide-range of sculptures, including works which were never cast, or have since been lost or destroyed.

The three dimensional world of the sculpture and the two-dimensional world of the photograph would seem to have little in common, however it may be a surprise to many that the two different genres have had a long and mutually rewarding relationship.
Many of the early photographers photographed sculpture , many thought that pictures of sculptures would give  the very new technology, a sense of artistic validity to be considered as a new art form. There was another reason that was less about artistic concerns but rather commercial, the early photographers and those that followed realised there was a growing market for these type of photographs both from the general public but also in the expanding Museum and Art Galleries establishments.

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Eugène Druet for Auguste Rodin (Monument to Balzac) c.1897 silver gelatin print

If the early photographers were beginning to understand the commercial and artistic advantages of sculpture, sculptors themselves began to see the potential of photography. Rodin was one of the first major sculptors who understood the commercial benefits of distributing images of his sculptures and using photographs to explore different views, angles and lighting effects of his work in progress. Rodin employed a series of professional photographers including Jacques-Ernest Bulloz, Eugène Druet, and Pierre Choumoff, whose work is shown in the exhibition; subjects include figures from some of  Rodin’s most famous commissions, ‘The Burghers of Calais’ and ‘Monument to Balzac’, ‘The Thinker’ and ‘The Kiss’.

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Constantin Brancusi (Golden Bird) c.1919–22 silver gelatin print

Whilst Rodin employed photographers, Constantin Brancusi took photographs of his sculptures himself. After being introduced to photography by Man Ray, Brancusi also began to develop and print the images using photography as a crucial part of his working process. He was often intrigued by how the light and glare often distorted  reflections and shadows, as seen in his photographs of ‘Fish’ and  ‘Golden Bird’.

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Henry Moore – Mother and Child against Open Wall (plaster maquette for UNESCO commission 1956-57) 1956  gelatin silver print mounted on stock card (c.1956)

Henry Moore’s photographs are rarely exhibited, however his images for a commission for UNESCO in the exhibition show  how he used the photographs of the different arrangements of figures on the maquettes as important part of his preparatory process. Moore’s photographs of his monumental ‘Two Piece Reclining Figure No.2’ show  multiple shots, exploring surface detail and different angles.

It is somewhat surprising that the relationship between photography and sculpture is not widely acknowledged, however as Francis Hodgson points out in her essay in the fully illustrated catalogue for the exhibition, “Photography was obviously a useful ally for any sculptor, but it was  a tough tiger to hold by the tail. All three sculptors here knew the risks they were taking with photography. Misused, it could make them seem over-commercial, cheap.”

This is an important point and probably why many artists did not acknowledge their debt to photography in their working processes, however as this exhibition clearly illustrates photographs have many uses to the sculptor, one important and perhaps unintended use is providing a historical record of great sculptors at work and gives some indication of their particular work processes.

To give more insight into the working practices of Henry Moore, the gallery will be showing a film  on  Moore made by Dudley Shaw Ashton in 1959.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Francis Hodgson, Professor in the Culture of Photography at the University of Brighton

This intriguing free exhibition will run from the 22nd May to 11th July 2015.

Location : Waddington Custot Galleries, 11 Cork Street, London W1S 3LT

Opening Times : Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm – Saturday 10am to 1.30pm

For more information about the exhibition visit the Waddington Custot Galleries 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 , 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

.