Category: ART

LONDON: Immigration and Modern Britain – The Kaleidoscope exhibition at Somerset House

Somerset House Kaleidoscope

There’s a new exhibition that puts Britain’s relationship with the rest of the world and its nationalities on the map, so to speak. It’s going down at Somerset House, right in the heart of London and it’s called Kaleidoscope; exploring the identity of immigration in modern Britain. The exhibition will contain stills and video, showcasing the works of ten photographers born or based in Britain, many with family origins abroad including Hong Kong, India, Jamaica and Russia. It’ll explore what it means and how it feels to live as an immigrant, or a descendent of immigrants, in Britain today. It all stems from personal experiences to evoke some sort of emotion in visitors to the exhibition and tell the story of a nation’s wide and varied multiculturalism. Think stories of the struggles of asylum seekers and stories of second and third generation immigrants in forms that are as moving as they are engaging, all presented in the striking environs of Somerset House. See the Kaleidoscope exhibition from 12 June to 8 September 2019 on Sat – Tues, 10.00 – 18.00, Wed – Fri, 11.00 – 20.00, except for 11 – 21 July and 8 – 21 August, when daily opening hours are 10.00 – 18.00. Get tickets from the Somerset House website.

What to see at Somerset House London: Get Up, Stand Up Now

Somerset House Get Up

Celebrating generations of Black Creative Pioneers, the new exhibition at Somerset House, right in the heart of London, will put on a showcase of art, film and photography. There’ll be 100 artists represented, whose work will be presented to articulate and address the black experience and sensibility from the post-war era to the present day. The whole collection will showcase works and new commissions alongside items from personal archives, much of which has never been seen before. The whole thing has been curated by acclaimed artist Zak Ové, who’s invited each artist to exhibit on account of their significant contribution to shaping the cultural landscape.  You’ll see works from the likes of Zak and Horace Ove, Armet Francis, Charlie Phillips, Sonia Boyce and Steve McQueen and many more. See more of what’s on at the Somerset House website.

The Art of Persuasion at the National Army Museum, London

National Army Museum Abram Games

Abram Games was one clever dude. Talk about a guy that knew the medium, smashed the message and did so with creative, desirable, artistic flair that very few possess. There’s a brand new exhibition of him and the artwork and posters he created while he was a poster artist for the Public Relations Department at the War Office from 1941 until 1945, and it’s seriously good. Thing art deco-like posters done with taste, muted 40s/50s colour palettes and messages delivered so effortlessly, they’re hard to forget despite their nowadays irrelevant message. He was the father of wartime graphic designers and just a straight-up genius. It’s a must-see exhibition – and the National Army Museum in general, as well – that will reinvigorate your appreciation of what a horrid time WWI and II were. At a time of immense social unrest, after the ‘war to end all wars’ had left hundreds of thousands of veterans and civilians on the poverty line, the country was to embark on a second world war with National Service an unthinkable necessity. Games made the message the hero and turned some small part of it around as best he could. See the exhibition at the National Army Museum London until 24 November 2019. Head to National Army Museum,Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT.

See the Chihuly exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens in London

Somerset House London

Over 33 nights this season at sunset, fans of Dale Chihuly – a glass sculptor artist – will be able to view some of his best work at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. Showing the works in a new light, transposed against the illuminated Unesco world heritage site, the Chihuly Nights (13 April – 27 October) event kicks off in August and will kick off with specially curated music that responds to artworks, including improvised live performances from internationally acclaimed artists. It’s all about celebrating the artwork of Chihuly in a completely new light, through an exclusive after-dark experience with food, drink, and music. See more of what’s on specifically at the Kew Gardens website.

Life behind the palace walls: New exhibition tells the story of Queen Victoria

Queens Gallery

Queen Victoria was a boss. She took the throne at age 18 and made it hers from the get-go. A lot of that revolved around her moving into Buckingham Palace right in the middle of London. Three weeks into her reign, she moved into Buckingham Palace, despite the building being incomplete and many of the rooms undecorated and unfurnished. The Palace had been empty for seven years following the death of Victoria’s uncle, George IV, who had commissioned at great expense the conversion of Buckingham House into a Palace to the designs of John Nash. The King never occupied the Palace, and his successor, William IV, preferred to live at Clarence House during his short reign. The Queen’s ministers advised her to stay at Kensington Palace, her childhood home, until Buckingham Palace could be brought up to a suitable standard, but Victoria wanted to move immediately and begin her new life. Artist Thomas Sully then painted Victoria shortly after she moved in. Then after that, a whole bunch of other works were created, items and changes made that typified her reign. To celebrate, Buckingham Palace is putting on an exhibition, Queen Victoria’s Palace, curated by the historian and biographer Dr Amanda Foreman and Lucy Peter, Assistant Curator of Paintings, Royal Collection Trust. It’s all part of a visit to the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, 20 July – 29 September 2019. The exhibition is accompanied by the publication Inside Queen Victoria’s Buckingham Palace by Dr Amanda Foreman and Lucy Peter. It… Read More

There’s a huge Leonardo da Vinci exhibition coming to London

British Library

From June to September this year at the British Library, one of the biggest collections of things to come from the hands of Leonardo da Vinci is going ton display. And you can see it all. Leo died over 500 years ago this year, so to commemorate the man, there’s a bit going on around London to shed some light on the great man and mind. The exhibition, Leonardo da Vinci: A Mind in Motion will reveal how Leonardo believed motion to be the ‘cause of all life’.  Known first and foremost as an artist, Leonardo’s notebooks reveal his close observations, detailed recording and systematic analysis of movement in nature, with a particular emphasis on water in motion and the exhibition will explore how this relates to his work as an artist and inventor. It’ll be one hell of a coming together of work by the man, renowned for so much, hailed by so many and honoured by even more for so much of what we understand and appreciate today. See the exhibition from 7 June to 8 September at the British Library, 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB.

Imaginary Cities: The new exhibition at the British Library

Imaginary Cities

There’s a new, free exhibition open at the British Library in London that’s all about four fantastical, technology-based art installations inspired by historic urban maps. By artist-in-residence, Michael Takeo Magruder, the work is staged in the Library’s Entrance Hall gallery and explores the creative potential of archives and collections in the digital age.  The works are creative pieces based off four 19th-century maps of London, Paris, New York and Chicago from a collection of 50,000 images found within the British Library’s One Million Images from Scanned Books collection. The whole thing is about the coming together of digital technologies and traditional fine art processes. It also includes a virtual reality cityscape based on New York City which is generated anew each day to reflect the live, ever-changing visitor data. See the exhibition for free from 5 April to 14 July at the British Library, 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB.

A 315 year first: The National Gallery London brings Titian’s work back together

National Gallery London Titian

The National Gallery in London is doing something that hasn’t been done in a very, very, very long time. They’re bringing five works by Titian back together for their latest exhibition, Titian: Love, Desire, Death from 16 March to 14 June next year. MORE: The National Gallery’s celebrating Artemisia Gentileschi What does it mean? Well, five of Titian’s greatest works – he was regarded as the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school – of large-scale mythological paintings, known as the poesie, will be brought together for the first time since 1704 at the National Gallery, which for fans of the period is quite the thing. The pieces were painted between around 1551 to 1562 and are amongst the most original visual interpretations of Classical myth of the early modern era and are touchstone works in the history of European painting for their rich, expressive rendering. The paintings that’re being brought together are: Danaë (1551–3, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House) Venus and Adonis (1554, Prado, Madrid) Diana and Actaeon (1556-9) Diana and Callisto (1556-9) Rape of Europa (1562) from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.   The National Gallery’s own Death of Actaeon (1559-75), originally conceived as part of the series, but only executed much later and never delivered, will also be included in London. See more about the exhibition to come and plan your visit to the Gallery at their website. Feature image credit: Apollo

Chinese Terracotta Warriors on display with Cai Guo-Qiang’s ‘The Transient Landscape’ at Melbourne’s NGV


It was back in December that news the Chinese Terracotta Warriors were coming to Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria and now, the time’s come. Presented alongside of one of the most exciting Chinese contemporary artists of our time, Cai Guo-Qiang, the Terracotta Warriors are back at the NGV for the second time in history, for the enjoyment of art lovers who’re after a journey through history and a celebration of contemporary Chinese art. Cai Guo-Qiang’s exhibition, The Transient Landscape, is a presentation of all new art works inspired by his home country’s culture and its enduring philosophical traditions, including a monumental installation of 10,000 suspended porcelain birds. It’s quite epic to see. Exclusive to Melbourne and presenting nearly 170 works, the exhibition will offer a new perspective on Chinese culture, past and present and features 8 life-size Terracotta Warriors and monumental new works by Cai Guo-Qiang including, Murmuration (Landscape) 2019. See the exhibition at the NGV International from 24 May 2019 – 13 October 2019. Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality | Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape from NGV on Vimeo.

National Gallery London presents Leonardo’s Legacy: Francesco Melzi and the Leonardeschi

National Gallery Leonardeschi 1

It’s been a hot minute since Leonardo da Vinci died (500 years), so the National Gallery London is doing something to commemorate him. They’re presenting a bunch of work from artists called the Leonardeschi, who’re basically disciples of the famed artist. On loan, the Gallery has secured the work Flora by Francesco Melzi from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, which it’ll display close to The Virgin of the Rocks and The Burlington House Cartoon, both by Leonardo, that can be seen in Gallery 66 of the National Gallery. “We are excited to have loaned Flora by Francesco Melzi to the National Gallery and to see her as the central focus of this fascinating display which explores the work of Leonardo’s closest friends and disciples. This represents the first time that Flora has been seen outside of Russia since it was restored by Maria Shulepova, revealing details and rich colouring which had been lost for decades under layers of old varnish,” said professor Piotrovsky, director of the State Hermitage Museum. The painting is being displayed alongside ten other key works by the so-called ‘Leonardeschi’ from the National Gallery Collection in a free, month-long display in Room 12. This is the first time the painting has been seen in the UK and the first time it has been seen outside of Russia since its restoration. Its restoration was just what the work needed. Undertaken in Russia, it uncovered the picture’s true colours of ultramarine blue and hidden details like flowers growing from the walls of the dimly lit… Read More