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Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet at the Royal Academy from 30 June to 29 September 2019

In June 2019, the Royal Academy of Arts will present a survey of paintings and prints by the Swiss artist Félix Vallotton (1865–1925). This will be the first exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK since 1976. Greatly admired in his native Switzerland, Vallotton remains relatively little known elsewhere. The exhibition will serve as a rare opportunity to discover the highly original and innovative work of this often overlooked artist.

Comprising around 100 works from public and private collections across Europe and the U.S., the exhibition will demonstrate the intensity of Vallotton’s unique vision by bringing together outstanding examples from every period of the artist’s career.

The exhibition will be organised in thematic sections. The first will present Vallotton’s work from the 1880s, following his arrival in Paris at the age of sixteen. He avoided the contemporary movements such as Impressionism and turned instead to artists of the Northern and Dutch traditions with works like his earliest known self-portrait, Self-portrait at the Age of Twenty, 1885 (Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne) and the linear clarity of the painting The Sick Girl, 1892 (Kunsthaus, Zürich).

The second section will bring together work from a period of radical development for Vallotton. In the early 1890s he formed ties with the Nabis, a group of avant-garde artists including Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. Like them, Vallotton was an attentive observer of contemporary life in Paris, though his unsparing caricatural illustrations and satires of Parisian society set him apart.

Vallotton distinguished himself as one of the great printmakers of his age. Magazine illustrations provided a stable income for the artist and La Revue blanche was a ready vehicle for his prints. Simple in design and bold in their use of black, his woodcuts provide sharply reductive imagery, owing in part to Japanese woodblock printing. Technically daring and bitingly satirical, the series Intimités, 1897–98, best articulates the artist’s unvarnished voyeurism and his exploration of the subtle power struggles and hypocrisies of the Parisian bourgeoisie. These are themes that are echoed in the celebrated paintings of interior scenes, 1898–99, such as The Visit, 1899 (Kunsthaus, Zürich), a masterpiece of enigmatic narrative.

The closing of La Revue blanche coincided with Vallotton’s marriage to the wealthy widow Gabrielle Rodrigues-Henriques in 1899, bringing with it a new financial security that allowed him to concentrate on painting. His early claustrophobic, psychologically charged interiors open up to light-filled rooms of well-appointed apartments, and the synthetic style of the prints is replaced with a broad, painterly realism.

From around 1904 onwards, the female nude became Vallotton’s principal subject. This section of the exhibition will present works such as Nude Holding her Gown, 1904 (Private Collection) and Models Resting, 1905, (Kunst Museum Winterthur). Here the subjects are depicted in a distinctive, hard-edged style, indebted to artists of the Northern tradition such as Cranach and, again, Ingres in the classical coolness and smooth surfaces.

A section will focus on paintings and prints produced during the First World War, an event that profoundly affected the artist. The cover of his portfolio This is War!, 1916 (Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva), Vallotton’s last series of woodcuts, features splattered red ink on the cover, while the six images, in strongly contrasting blacks and whites, capture the danger and terror of the ordinary soldier fighting at the front.

The exhibition will conclude with a survey of Vallotton’s landscapes and still-life paintings. This selection includes the artist’s remarkable paysages composés, landscapes based more on memory and imagination than composed from real life observation.

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

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The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2019 from 10 June to 12 August 2019

Acclaimed British painter, Jock McFadyen has been awarded the role of co-ordinator of the 251st Summer Exhibition. McFadyen with the Summer Exhibition Committee intends to build a unique platform for artists at all stages of their career to present recent work.

Highlights within the Main Galleries will include a ‘menagerie’ in the Central Hall curated by Jock McFadyen RA, with works by artists including Polly Morgan, Charles Avery and Mat Collishaw.,Jane and Louise Wilson RA will organise two gallery spaces, one of which will showcase light and time based work. Spencer de Grey RA will curate the Architecture Gallery, which will explore the theme of sustainability.

The celebrated artist Thomas Houseago will show a group of large-scale sculptural works in the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard that respond to the Academy’s statue of Joshua Reynolds, which has stood in the courtyard since 1931. This will be the first time that the courtyard will be dedicated to an artist that is not a Royal Academician as part of the Summer Exhibition.

Further artists exhibiting in this year’s Summer Exhibition include Jeremy Deller and Marcus Harvey alongside Royal Academicians such as Tracey Emin RA, Gary Hume RA, David Nash RA, Wolfgang Tillmans RA and Honorary Royal Academicians, Anselm Kiefer and James Turrell. The celebrated German filmmaker and photographer Wim Wenders Hon RA will be taking over the free McAulay Gallery, with a series of panoramic photographs.

The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show which has taken place every year without interruption since 1769. The members of the Summer Exhibition Committee serve in rotation, ensuring that every year the exhibition has a distinctive character, with each Royal Academician responsible for a particular gallery space. Works from all over the world are judged democratically on merit and the final selection is made during the eight-day hang in the galleries. This year the Royal Academy received over 16,000 entries. Around 1200 works, in a range of media, will go on display, the majority of which will be for sale offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original work. A significant part of funds raised continue to contribute to financing the postgraduate students at the RA Schools.

For more information and tickets, 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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RA Festival of Ideas at the Royal Academy from 2nd to 6th May 2019

The RA Festival of Ideas returns to the Royal Academy of Arts which brings together a variety of fascinating people in art, literature, film, design, dance and music for five days of discussion, debate and creative thinking in the Royal Academy’s Benjamin West Lecture Theatre.

The festival is rooted in the Royal Academy’s heritage of rigorous debate and will explore culture, creativity and critical thinking through a series of interviews, conversations and panel discussions, as well as classes in the RA’s historic Life Room.

Thursday 2 May

Grayson Perry RA, one of Britain’s best-known contemporary artists, talks art, sex and creativity with psychotherapist Philippa Perry. Chaired by Tim Marlow, Artistic Director, Royal Academy of Arts. Accompanied by British Sign Language interpretation. (7pm)

Friday 3 May

Award-winning director Ken Loach talks to writer and critic Francine Stock about his 50-year career in film and the reactions his work has provoked, particularly in Britain. (12:30pm)

World renowned designer Sir Paul Smith discusses how the world constantly inspires him, leading him to look for ideas in everything from the mundane to the extraordinary. (2.30pm)

Recently appointed Artistic Director of the Young Vic theatre, Kwame Kwei-Armah talks to writer and broadcaster Sarah Crompton about his lifelong passion for theatre and the joys and challenges of opening it up to wider audiences. (6.30pm)

Having composed his first song at the age of 9, Neil Tennant, the singing half of Pet Shop Boys speaks to BBC Radio 4 presenter John Wilson about pop, poetry and the art of song writing. (8.30pm)

Saturday 4 May

In Rewriting the past: Sarah Dunant and Kate Mosse, two of the UK’s best-selling historical novelists, talk to the writer and broadcaster Alex Clark about their different approaches to exploring the past, and what the genre can reveal that eludes historians. Accompanied by British Sign Language and Stagetext interpretation. (1.30pm)

Celebrating the 250th anniversary of the RA Schools, Life drawing at the RA invites participants to follow in the footsteps of generations of artists in a life drawing class in the RA’s historic Life Room, led by an expert tutor. (2.30pm)

Posy Simmonds, one of the UK’s most famous female cartoonist, reveals her penchant for difficult and dangerous women and why she loves poking fun at the middle classes. In conversation with journalist Claire Armitstead. (3.30pm)

The Turner prize nominated artists, identical twin sisters Jane and Louise Wilson RA discuss their fascination with politics, surveillance and conflict and the challenges of working together. Chaired by the Artistic Director of the RA, Tim Marlow. (5.30pm)

Sunday 5 May

In a provocative lecture entitled How the education system is crushing creativity, author, poet and broadcaster Michael Rosen argues that the education system is strangling the arts. Accompanied by British Sign Language and Stagetext interpretation. (12.30pm)

The British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, author of The Bastard of Istanbul and Three Daughters of Eve, talks to BBC presenter Razia Iqbal about gender, politics and identity in her work. (2.30pm)

Future of Feminism: Yomi Adegoke, Laura Bates, Candice Carty-Williams and Natalie Hayne presents a panel discussion with four leading feminists looking at what it means to be a woman in 2019, the era of Trump and #MeToo, and how they see the future of feminism. Chaired by the author and broadcaster Bidisha. (4.30pm)

Monday 6 May

Poet, playwright, broadcaster and educator Lemn Sissay MBE talks to writer and critic Alex Clark about how poetry saved his life and why language has the power to transform society. (11am)

Clio Barnard, the award-winning film maker behind The Arbor, talks to writer and broadcaster Matthew Sweet about the social and political inspiration behind her work. (1pm)

Hofesh Shechter, the internationally-acclaimed dancer, choreographer and composer, reflects on how it feels to be an artist in a highly politicised world, with writer and broadcaster Sarah Crompton. (3pm)

Having made seven films about lesser-known artists for the BBC, Michael Palin, the award-winning actor, writer, comedian and presenter speaks to broadcaster Martha Kearney about falling in love with painting and why he thinks it works so well on the small screen. (5.30pm)

Family Events

Friday 3 May

Dame Jacqueline Wilson, one of Britain’s best-loved children’s authors, reveals the secrets behind creating her most memorable characters and why she’ll never stop writing, in conversation with BBC Arts Correspondent Rebecca Jones. (4.30pm)

Saturday 4 May

In The art of children’s illustration, talented storytellers and illustrators Cressida Cowell and Chris Riddell discuss the art of marrying words and pictures and treat audiences to live drawing on stage. (11am)

In the workshop How to train your dragon, audiences are invited to draw real life chameleons, geckos and bearded dragon lizards, inspired by the fantastical worlds of Chris Riddell and Cressida Cowell, led by Wild Life Drawing. (12.30pm and 3.15pm)

Sunday 5 May

In Designing a best-selling children’s book, author, illustrator and Waterstones Children’s Laureate Lauren Child and designer David Mackintosh reveal how they go about forming their popular creations. (10.30am)

A Family illustration workshop explores the art of illustration, as visitors learn about the techniques of Lauren Child and David Mackintosh, the team who bring Charlie and Lola to life, led by illustrator and educator Julie Vermeille. (12pm and 2.30pm)

Monday 6 May

Professional comic book artist Kev F. Sutherland, who writes and draws for The Beano, Doctor Who and Marvel comics, leads a Comic Art Masterclass, where participants can make a comic of their own (10am and 1.30pm)

For more information and tickets, 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: The Renaissance Nude at the Royal Academy from 3 March to 2 June 2019

The Royal Academy of Arts present a new exhibition entitled The Renaissance Nude which explores how nudes have been used in some of the world’s most renowned masterpieces. The Renaissance Nude exhibition features around 90 works in a variety of media including paintings, sculptures as well as drawings, prints and illuminated manuscripts from different regions of Europe.

The exhibition examines the emergence of the nude visual tradition and how it changed the character and values of European art. The exhibition feature works by artists including Lucas Cranach the Elder, Albrecht Dürer, Jan Gossaert, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.

Although nude sculptures have been common since ancient times, nude paintings have a less obvious history. Religious organisations in particular were keen that nudes should inspire belief and not titillate the congregation. The Renaissance Nude exhibition examines art made in North and Southern Europe and considers some of the contrasts between the two approaches.

The exhibition is organised around five main themes, The Nude and Christian Art focuses on episodes from the Old and New Testament. Humanism and the Expansion of Secular Themes is devoted to mythological stories and classical art. Artistic Theory and Practice explores life drawing and the study of anatomy and proportion. Beyond the Ideal Nude looks at the vulnerability of the human condition. The final section, Personalising the Nude highlights the role of Renaissance patrons.

Even though, the exhibition covers a relatively short period between 1400 and 1530, it quickly becomes apparent that the idea of the ‘Renaissance Nude’ is a little misleading. Many people would consider Titian’s Venus Rising from the Sea (‘Venus Anadyomene’), c. 1520 as representative of this view, however the exhibition provides evidence that nudes were much more diverse and often reflected ideas of beauty within a particular cultural group.

Albrecht Dürer’s engraving Adam and Eve, 1504, Lucas Cranach the Elder’s A Faun and His Family with a Slain Lion, c. 1526 and Jan Gossaert’s Hercules and Deianira, 1517 offers a more medieval view of the nude. The remarkable Jean Bourdichon’s Bathsheba Bathing take from the Hours of Louis XII, 1498/99 illustrates that even in sacred texts, visions of womanly beauty could be included.

It was probably in the depiction of mythological stories and classical art, that the nude was used most extensively and experimentally. Agnolo Bronzino’s Saint Sebastian, c. 1533, Jan Gossaert, Christ on the Cold Stone, c. 1530 and Pietro Perugino, Apollo and Daphnis, c. 1495 offer unusual depictions.

There were a number of artists who wished to go beyond the surfaces both literary and emotionally, the exhibition includes some of Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings and drawings by Raphael and Michelangelo.

This intriguing exhibition gives viewers the opportunity to see the Renaissance Nude in a different light. As the nude became an increasingly dominant role in the visual arts, it was used in a variety of sacred and secular contexts. Whether used in small, intimate objects to large decorative projects that filled church interiors and palaces, the Renaissance Nude led to a series of developments that led to new ideas of humanity and the human form.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, 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 – Phyllida Barlow: cul-de-sac at the Royal Academy from 23 February to 23 June 2019

The Royal Academy presents a new exhibition by acclaimed British artist Phyllida Barlow. The exhibition entitled cul-de-sac fills the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries and is made up of new works. The exhibition is unusual because it has been conceived as a sequential installation running across all three of the interconnected spaces.

Barlow is known in the UK for her Tate Britain Commission 2014, and her installation at the Venice Biennale’s British Pavilion in 2017.

Barlow is known for using everyday materials such as cardboard, fabric, timber, polystyrene, plaster and cement and combining them in unexpected ways. Whilst many artists strive to achieve some balance in their work, Barlow is often attracted by ‘off-balance’ forms.

She plays with height, weight and mass to fill space in often surprising ways. The viewer can by walking backwards and forwards through the galleries can see the works differently and the works challenges the viewer’s physical relationship with the space.

Barlow with her simple use of titles for the works (usually labelled Untitled) gives little clues to her conceptual ideas but rather challenges the viewer to consider some of the contrasts.

The exhibition features materials often seen in an urban environment with industrial qualities. Barlow’s contrasts these elements with the setting in a classical building.

This unusual exhibition takes the often norms of an exhibition and plays with expectations. Barlow uses the spaces in an ambiguous and enigmatic way which allows the viewer to form their own narrative. Phyllida Barlow is one of Britain’s most interesting sculptors of today and this exhibition explores many of her favourites themes like transformation and the ‘experiences’ of everyday life.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, 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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Exhibition Review: Bill Viola / Michelangelo at the Royal Academy – 26th January to 31st March 2019

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Royal Academy of Arts presents the work of the pioneering video artist, Bill Viola, with drawings by Michelangelo (1475 -1564) in an exhibition entitled Bill Viola / Michelangelo : Life, Death, Rebirth.  Both artists share a deep preoccupation with the nature of human experience and existence and the exhibition is  a unique opportunity to see major works from Viola’s career and some of the greatest drawings by Michelangelo, together for the first time. It is the first exhibition at the Royal Academy largely devoted to video art and follows Viola’s visit to the Print Room at Windsor Castle in 2006 to see Michelangelo’s famous drawings. The visit was a catalyst for this exhibition, which examines the affinities between the artists in seeking answers to some fundamental questions about life and death.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition is conceived as an immersive journey through the cycle of life, exploring the transience and tumult of existence and the possibility of rebirth. It opens with a group of works by both artists that reflect life and death,  Michelangelo’s The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John the Baptist, c. 1504-05, known as the ‘Taddei Tondo’ is featured opposite Viola’s Nantes Triptych, 1992 which consists of three screens that individually portray a woman giving birth, a figure floating and Viola’s own mother on her deathbed.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

One of the highlights of the exhibition is Michelangelo’s remarkable ‘Presentation Drawings’ of the 1530s (Royal Collection, London), the drawings were produced for a Roman nobleman and feature personal ideas on the nature of love and life. The drawings feature allegories on the nature of love and life with subjects matters that include the labours of Hercules and the fall of Phaeton.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Playing opposite these drawings is the video of Viola’s Man Searching for Immortality/Woman Searching for Eternity, 2013 . Life-size images of a nude ageing man and woman are projected onto two black granite slabs like elderly Adam and Eve.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Viola’s Sleep of Reason 1988, The Reflecting Pool 1977-79 and Surrender 2001 offer differing views of reality taking the familiar but giving a glimpse of other worlds lurking in the background.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The final galleries include a series of works that consider mortality and the possibility of rebirth. These include Michelangelo’s drawings of the  Crucifixion and Viola’s epic works; the five screen installation Five Angels for the Millennium, 2001 and the large projections Fire Woman, 2005  and Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Waterfall Under a Mountain), 2005.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating and thought-provoking exhibition offers a contrast between Viola’s large installations and Michelangelo’s small and intimate works. In the darkness of the galleries, Michelangelo’s drawings are illuminated which builds on the religious and classical imagery.  In comparison Viola’s large videos seem abstract and less defined, although they do offers some ideas of the nature of reality.  Both artist’s are finally consumed by the idea of the body as a vehicle for that final journey, they depict bodies falling and rising in an endless cycle towards the unknown.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, 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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Bill Viola / Michelangelo at the Royal Academy – 26th January to 31st March 2019

The Royal Academy of Arts brings together the work of the pioneering video artist, Honorary Royal Academician Bill Viola, with drawings by Michelangelo (1475 -1564). Though working five centuries apart and in radically different media, these artists share a deep preoccupation with the nature of human experience and existence. Bill Viola / Michelangelo will create an artistic exchange between these two artists and will be a unique opportunity to see major works from Viola’s long career and some of the greatest drawings by Michelangelo, together for the first time. It will be the first exhibition at the Royal Academy largely devoted to video art and has been organised in partnership with Royal Collection Trust.

The exhibition will comprise 12 major video installations by Viola, from 1977 to 2013, to be shown alongside 15 works by Michelangelo. They include 14 highly finished drawings, considered to be the high point of Renaissance drawing, as well as the Royal Academy’s ‘Taddei Tondo’. It will propose a dialogue between the two artists, considering Viola as an heir to a long tradition of spiritual and affective art, which makes use of emotion as a means of connecting viewers with its subject matter. It also aims to recapture the spiritual and emotional core of Michelangelo, beyond the awesome grandeur of his works.

Viola first encountered the works of the Italian Renaissance in Florence in the 1970s where he spent some of his formative years. A residency at the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, in 1998 renewed his interest in Renaissance art and in the shared affinities with his own practice. In 2006, Viola visited the Print Room at Windsor Castle to see Michelangelo’s exquisite drawings, which he had known in reproduction since his youth. The meeting proved a catalyst for the exhibition, which evolved as a conversation between Viola and Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings at Royal Collection Trust. Rather than setting up direct comparisons between the artists, or suggesting that Michelangelo has been an instrumental influence on Viola’s work, the exhibition will examine the affinities between them, bringing together specific works to explore resonances in their treatment of the fundamental questions.

For more information and tickets, 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