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Events in Art and Archaeology

Strange Beauty: Masters of the German Renaissance
LONDON  •  The National Gallery  •  19 February - 11 May 2014
 

'Strange: unusual or surprising; difficult to understand or explain'

'Beauty: a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, which please the aesthetic senses, especially the sight'

Oxford English Dictionary, 2013

The German Renaissance was part of the cultural and artistic awakening that spread across Northern Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. German artists such as Dürer developed an international reputation, their fame reaching all parts of Europe, while renowned humanist scholars such as Erasmus of Rotterdam, the patron of Hans Holbein the Younger, played a leading role in reviving the study of classical texts in the service of Christianity.

Paintings such as The Ambassadors by Holbein, Christ taking Leave of his Mother by Albrecht Altdorfer, Cupid complaining to Venus by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Portrait of a Man by Hans Baldung Grien and Saint Jerome by Albrecht Dürer were highly valued in the 16th century for qualities such as expression and inventiveness. However, by the 19th and early 20th centuries German Renaissance art was receiving a very mixed reception. Some viewers admired the artists' technical mastery and their embodiment of a perceived German national identity; others perceived these works of art as excessive or even ugly, particularly when compared to works of the Italian Renaissance.

Lucas Cranach the Elder: Cupid Comlaining to Venus
Lucas Cranach the Elder: Cupid complaining to Venus

Views such as these – alongside the shifting attitudes towards the German nation in the UK following the First and Second World Wars – were to have a direct effect on the formation and growth of the Gallery, and indeed all the UK national collections.

This was strongly evidenced in 1856 when the Trustees of the National Gallery sold the Krüger Collection – the only time in its entire history that the Gallery has had an Act of Parliament passed to de-accession and sell pictures. This group of 64 early Westphalian paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries was acquired for the Gallery by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, William Gladstone, in 1854. However just three years later, 37 works were sold as they did not fit in with the 'present state of the Gallery' (as National Gallery Trustees Minutes noted at the time).

A highlight of the exhibition is, for the first time ever, a reconstruction of the Liesborn altarpiece. This work was created after 1465 and originally formed the high altarpiece in the Benedictine Abbey of Liesborn in Germany. In 1803, on the suppression of the monastery, it was dismembered, sold and scattered across the globe – eight pieces remain at the Gallery as part of the Krüger Collection. Now for the first time, visitors will be able to visualise the completed altarpiece as it might have looked during the 15th century. 



The National Gallery Website


Contact: The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square
London WC2N 5DN

Tel: (44) 020 7747 2885

Jamal Penjweny (b. 1981, Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan): <EM>Saddam is Here</EM>Courtesy the artist and RUYA Foundation
Jamal Penjweny (b. 1981, Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan): Saddam is Here
Courtesy the artist and RUYA Foundation
Welcome to Iraq
LONDON  •  South London Gallery  •  15 March - 1 June 2014
 

The South London Gallery presents a restaging of the group exhibition, Welcome to Iraq, originally shown as part of the National Pavilion of Iraq in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.

Commissioned by Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq (RUYA), established in 2012 to promote culture in Iraq, Welcome to Iraq was curated by Jonathan Watkins, Director of Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.

Welcome to Iraq brings together works in a variety of media by eleven contemporary artists, almost all of whom live and work in Iraq. Works were selected to highlight the depth and breadth of artistic practice in Iraq, but also to expose a shared emphasis on the nature of everyday life there, exemplified by a determination ‘to make do and get by’ and an inventiveness borne out of necessity in extraordinary historical circumstances.

Following extensive studio visits across Iraq, curator Jonathan Watkins selected clusters of works by photographer Jamal Penjweny, political cartoonist Abdul Raheem Yassir, painters Bassim Al-Shaker, Cheeman Ismaeel and Kadhim Nwir, and sculptors Furat al Jamil, WAMI (Yaseen Wami, Hashim Taeeh) and Akeel Khreef. Film and video is also included, with recent works by Ali Samiaa and Hareth Alhomaam both looking in different ways at communications between the sexes.

In both Venice and at the South London Gallery, visitors can sit and drink tea while learning more about Iraqi culture. An extensive array of books and comics are available to read, presented in collaboration with the Iraq National Library and Archive.



South London Gallery Website


Contact: South London Gallery
65-67 Peckham Road
London SE5 8UH
Tel: (44) 020 7703 6120

Wise Men from the East: Zoroastrian Traditions in Persia and Beyond
LONDON  •  British Museum  •  24 October 2013 - 27 April 2014
 

The display features a variety of ancient and modern objects and coins in an attempt to highlight the importance of Zoroastrian traditions in other religions. It touches on the concept and imagery of the Three Kings of the Christian tradition, who are described in the New Testament (Matthew 2.2) as Magi from the east – Zoroastrian priests in the Persian tradition. Magnificent Islamic coins from Mughal India which follow the Iranian Zoroastrian calendar adopted by the emperor Akbar (1556–1605) are also on display. Many characteristics of Sasanian art are consistent with the thought and beliefs of the Zoroastrian religion.

Modern objects show the ongoing legacy of this ancient Iranian religion and its significance as a symbol of national identity for Zoroastrian and non-Zoroastrian Iranians in modern Persia and beyond.



British Museum Website


Contact: British Museum
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
Tel: (44) 020 7 323 82 99

Jamal Penjweny: Saddam is Here
BIRMINGHAM  •  Ikon Gallery  •  19 February - 21 April 2014
 
 

Ikon presents the first solo exhibition of Jamal Penjweny, including photography and video works reflecting on life in Iraq today. Born in Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, in 1981, Penjweny started his artistic career as a sculptor and painter, moving into photography whilst supporting himself by working as a shepherd and, latterly, a café proprietor. His work has been the subject of international attention following its inclusion in Welcome to Iraq, the Iraqi pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale, curated by Ikon Director Jonathan Watkins.

Saddam is Here (2009-10) consists of twelve images of Iraqi people in familiar surroundings, each holding a life-size picture of Saddam Hussein’s face in front of their own. Saddam’s likeness becomes a mask obscuring any expression of emotion, any gaze, or possibility of sure identification and individuality. It is ludicrous, hilarious and at the same time absolutely ominous, pointing up the insidious influence of a dictator. Of the work, Penjweny comments, “Saddam is here. Iraqi society can not forget him even after his death because some of us still love him and the rest are still afraid of him… His shadow is still following Iraqi society everywhere.”

Another photographic series, Without Soul (2011), shows everyday scenes – Iraqis at work and prayer, Western soldiers in ranks and on patrol – each with a single red line drawn across the neck. The mark references the Islamic custom dictating that images of living creatures should be avoided, their creation considered the rightful domain of God rather than that of humanity. By separating body and head, Penjweny ‘invalidates’ the image, disclaiming his role of creator.



Ikon Gallery Website


Contact: Ikon Gallery
1 Oozells Square
Brindleyplace
Birmingham
B1 2HS
England
Tel: (44)121 248 07 08

<P>Oscar Murillo: <EM>Dark Americano</EM>, 2012Oil and dirt on canvas304.8 x 429.3 cm</P>

Oscar Murillo: Dark Americano, 2012
Oil and dirt on canvas
304.8 x 429.3 cm

Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America
LONDON  •  Saatchi Gallery  •  2 April - 31 August 2014
 
 
Taking its title from the prehistoric landmass that conjoined Africa and Latin America, this major survey reunites the two former sister continents by bringing together the work of 16 of their contemporary artists. The exhibition explores the parallels between their distinctly diverse cultures and creative practices, as they begin to receive recognition in the increasingly globalised art world. Years of colonial rule, rapid urban expansion, migration and political and economic unrest remain subjects for many of the artists.

Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America features work by Aboudia, Leonce Agbodjélou, Fredy Alzate, Antonio Malta Campos, Rafael Gómezbarros, David Koloane, José Lerma, Mário Macilau, Ibrahim Mahama, Dillon Marsh, Jose Carlos Martinat, Vincent Michea, Oscar Murillo, Alejandra Prieto, Boris Nzebo, Christian Rosa

Saatchi Gallery Website


Contact: Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York's HQ
King's Road
London
SW3 4RY

John Craxton: <EM>Head of an Aged Cretan</EM>, November 1948Oil on canvas, 45.5 x 35.5 cmPrivate Collection, London
John Craxton: Head of an Aged Cretan, November 1948
Oil on canvas, 45.5 x 35.5 cm
Private Collection, London
A world of private mystery: John Craxton, RA (1922-2009)
CAMBRIDGE  •  The Fitzwilliam Museum  •  3 December 2013 - 21 April 2014
 
 
The Fitzwilliam Museum is presents a retrospective on John Craxton (1922 - 2009) – from his beginnings as a young hope of post-war British art, creating dark, meditative images of the natural world, to works of light and colour from his later life in Crete. Arranged in the Fitzwilliam’s Mellon gallery the show features a carefully chosen selection of over sixty of Craxton's finest pictures illustrating the constant evolution of his painting. The exhibition also features personal photos reflecting Craxton’s many travels and friendships.

Fitzwilliam Museum Website


Contact:

The Fitzwilliam Museum
Trumpington Street,
Cambridge CB2 1RB
England


Tel: (44) 012 23 33 29 00

Jordan McKenzie: Carl An(t)dre + LeWitt Lean
WAKEFIELD  •  Yorkshire Sculpture Park Boat House  •  1 March - 20 April 2014
 
 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents Carl An(t)dre + LeWitt Lean, an exhibition of work by British artist Jordan McKenzie which examines the relationship between sculpture, performance and art history.

The exhibition in YSP’s Boat House shows two new films which feature performances created by McKenzie at the Park in summer 2013. Carl An(t)dre, 2014 presents a performance by 20 young people dressed as ants, promenading through the landscape. The giant ants recreate structures inspired by Minimalist artist Carl Andre's infamous artwork Equivalent VIII, 1966 – an iconic sculpture made of 120 firebricks and arranged in a variety of combinations. The film strips the original performance back by downplaying the pastoral English landscape and repeating elements of the piece, echoing black and white Minimalist performance films of the 1970s.

Jordon McKenzie: Carl An(t)(dre * LeWitt Lean
Jordan McKenzie: Carl An(t)dre + LeWitt Lean
Courtesy the artist

LeWitt Lean, 2014 shows a performance in which McKenzie invited performers to lean on 123454321, 1993, a sculpture by Sol LeWitt – a key figure in Minimalism and conceptual art. The performers are positioned in groups that mimic the mathematical principles that inform the sculpture's construction.

Carl An(t)dre + LeWitt Lean forms part of a wider on-going series, Minimal Interventions, in which McKenzie subverts the status of Minimalist sculptures through physical interactions, exploring themes of authenticity and authorship by momentarily inhabiting the work of another artist for his own purpose. Previous works in the Minimalist Interventions series have seen McKenzie disco dancing on a Carl Andre work at Tate Modern in Andre Dance, 2008, and rubbing himself against a Richard Serra sculpture in Serra Frottage, 2008.



Yorkshire Sculpture Park


Contact: Yorkshire Sculpture Park
West Bretton
Wakefield
WF4 4LG
United Kingdom

Tel: (44) 1924 83 26 31

Virgile Ittah: <EM>Regarding the Pain of the Other</EM>2013Mixed wax, marble powder, antique church chair100 x 130 x 60 cmPhoto: Saatchi Gallery
Virgile Ittah: Regarding the Pain of the Other
2013
Mixed wax, marble powder, antique church chair
100 x 130 x 60 cm
Photo: Saatchi Gallery
New Order II: British Art Today
LONDON  •  Saatchi Gallery  •  24 January - 4 May 2014
 
 
New Order II: British Art Today is the second instalment in the Gallery’s new programme of exhibitions dedicated to emergent British contemporary art. From sculpture and painting, to installation and video, this selection of artists employ a hybrid of traditional and contemporary techniques and materials, which revitalise existing visual languages. fThe show eatures work by Dominic Beattie, Sarah Dwyer, Nick Evans, Tom Gidley, Kate Hawkins, Virgile Ittah, George Little, Oliver Osborne, Hannah Perry, Martine Poppe, Mary Ramsden, Dan Rees and Finbar Ward.


Saatchi Gallery Website


Contact: Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York's HQ
King's Road
London
SW3 4RY

<P>Richard Hamilton: Swingeing London 67 (f) 1968–9Acrylic, collage and aluminium on canvassupport: 673 x 851 mm frame: 848 x 1030 x 100 mmTate. Purchased 1969 © The estate of Richard Hamilton</P> • <P>&nbsp;</P>

Richard Hamilton: Swingeing London 67 (f) 1968–9
Acrylic, collage and aluminium on canvas
support: 673 x 851 mm frame: 848 x 1030 x 100 mm
Tate. Purchased 1969
© The estate of Richard Hamilton

 

Richard Hamilton
LONDON  •  Tate Modern  •  13 February - 26 May 2014
 
 
Tate Modern presents the first retrospective devoted to British artist Richard Hamilton (1922–2011) --- from his early exhibition designs of the 1950s to his final paintings of 2011. This exhibition explores his relationship to design, painting, photography and television, as well as his engagement and collaborations with other artists.

Tate Modern Website


Contact: Tate Modern
Bankside
London SE1 9TG

Tel: (44) 20 78 87 88 88

<P>Yunizar (b. 1971): Untitled, 2013Acrylic on canvas180 x 150 cm; (70 7/8 x 59 1/8 in.)Photo: Ben Brown Fine Arts</P> • <P>&nbsp;</P>

Yunizar (b. 1971): Untitled, 2013
Acrylic on canvas
180 x 150 cm; (70 7/8 x 59 1/8 in.)
Photo: Ben Brown Fine Arts

 

Yunizar
LONDON  •  Ben Brown Fine Arts  •  12 March - 17 April 2014
 
 

Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, presents the first solo exhibition of celebrated Indonesian contemporary artist Yunizar in Europe. This exhibition brings together a group of recent paintings and sculptures directly from the artist’s studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Yunizar is a leading figure of the burgeoning Indonesian art scene and is garnering critical and commercial acclaim on an international level. His works are recognised for their enigmatic pictorial language, organic palette and materials, and idiosyncratic and expressive style.

Yunizar’s large scale canvases teem with miniscule, cryptic text and imagery obsessively scrawled by the artist in a seemingly na ve manner. The vast expanses of these minute renderings collectively create a sense of movement in the canvases, telling a story in a non-narrative manner. Untitled (2014) is populated with these dense, cartoon-like depictions of humans, animals, symbols, text, and inanimate objects, contained by a rhythmic border of red pigment.

While the viewer may search for meaning in these highly personalised pictures and motifs, Yunizar remains characteristically coy about his work and the possibility of any coding, focusing instead on the intuitive process and inspiration drawn from his immediate surroundings and experiences. Of paramount significance is the way in which Yunizar gives precedence to “rasa”, which most accurately translates as the sum of the senses - feeling, taste, flavour, sensation and more.

Yunizar’s paintings are executed in a palette inspired by nature - cream, black, ochre and red - incorporating rocks and earth in the paint to achieve a tactile and organic surface quality. The exhibition also highlights the artist's recent foray into sculpture with two figurative bronze sculptures, Preman Kampungan (Plebeian Gangster) (2014) and Veteran Bintang (One Star General) (2014), three-dimensional manifestations of his richly detailed, often humorous and highly symbolic work.

Yunizar was born in Talawi, West Sumatra, Indonesia, in 1971 and graduated from the prestigious Indonesian Institute for the Arts (ISI) in Yogyakarta in 1999. Yogyakarta is a progressive cultural centre of Indonesia, attracting artists from around the country. Yunizar is a leading member of the Jendela group, Indonesia's most prominent contemporary art collective.



Ben Brown Fine Arts Website


Contact: Ben Brown Fine Arts
52 Brook's Mews
1st Floor
London W1K 4EE
Tel: (44) 20 7734 8888

Events in Classical Music

Christophe Rousset
Christophe Rousset
Les Talens Lyriques: Christophe Rousset: director, harpsichord
LONDON  •  Wigmore Hall  •  28 April 2014
 

Arias For Farinelli

Les Talens Lyriques; Christophe Rousset director, harpsichord; Ann Hallenberg mezzo-soprano



Wigmore Hall Website



Detailed schedule information:
7:30 pm

Contact:

Wigmore Hall
36 Wigmore Street
London
W1U 2BP


Tel: (44) 20 7935 2141

Miklos Perenyi, cello: Andras Schiff, piano
LONDON  •  Wigmore Hall  •  Brahms, Schubert and Kodály
 
Brahms, Schubert, Kodály

Miklos Perenyi, cello
Andras Schiff, piano

Wigmore Hall Website



Detailed schedule information:
7:30 pm

Contact:

Wigmore Hall
36 Wigmore Street
London
W1U 2BP


Tel: (44) 20 7935 2141

Trio Wanderer
LONDON  •  Wigmore Hall  •  21 April 2014
 
 
Schubert, Tchaikovsky

Trio Wanderer

Wigmore Hall Website



Detailed schedule information:

1:00 pm

Contact:

Wigmore Hall
36 Wigmore Street
London
W1U 2BP


Tel: (44) 20 7935 2141

Events in Dance

The Winter's Tale
LONDON  •  Royal Opera House  •  10 April - 8 May 2014
 
 

The Winter's Tale

The world premiere of a new full-length ballet by Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, based on Shakespeare’s enduring tale of love, loss and reconciliation.

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Music: Joby Talbot
Designs: Bob Crowley
Lighting design: Natasha Katz
Silk Effects Designer: Basil Twist

David Briskin. conductor

Cast

Hermione: Lauren Cuthbertson
Leontes: Edward Watson
Perdita: Sarah Lamb
Florizel: Steven McRae
Paulina: Zenaida Yanowsky
Polixenes: Federico Bonelli

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House 



Royal Opera House Website



Detailed schedule information:
7:30 pm

Contact:

Royal Opera House
Covent Garden
London


Tel: (44) 020 7304 40 00

Events in Opera

Faust: By Charles Gounod
LONDON  •  Royal Opera House  •  4 - 25 April 2014
 
 

Charles Gounod: Faust
Librettist: Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
Sung in French with English surtitles

David McVicar, director
Revival Director: Bruno Ravella
Set designs: Charles Edwards
Costume designs: Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting design: Paule Constable
Choreography: Michael Keegan-Dolan
Revival Choreographer: Daphne Strothmann

Maurizio Benini, conductor

Cast

Faust: Joseph Calleja
Marguerite: Sonya Yoncheva
Méphistophélès: Bryn Terfel
Valentin: Simon Keenlyside
Wagner: Jihoon Kim
Siébel: Renata Pokupic
Marthe Schwertlein: Diana Montague
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House 



Royal Opera House Website



Detailed schedule information:
7:00 pm

Contact:

Royal Opera House
Covent Garden
London


Tel: (44) 020 7304 40 00

Diana Damrau
Diana Damrau
La Traviata : By Giuseppe Verdi
LONDON  •  Royal Opera House  •  19 April - 20 May 2014
 
 

Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata 
Opera in three acts, four scenes
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, after Alexandre Dumas fils´s play La Dame aux camélias
Peformed in Italian

Richard Eyre, director
Revival Director: Daniel Dooner
Set designs: Bob Crowley
Lighting design: Jean Kalman
Director of movement: Jane Gibson

Cast

Dan Ettinger, conductor

Violetta Valéry: Diana Damrau
Alfredo Germont: Francesco Demuro
Giorgio Germont: Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Baron Douphol: Michel de Souza
Doctor Grenvil: Jihoon Kim
Flora Bervoix: Nadezhda Karyazina
Marquis D'Obigny: Jeremy White
Gastone de Letorières: Luis Gomes
Annina: Sarah Pring
Giuseppe: Neil Gillespie
Messenger: John Bernays

Royal Opera Chorus
Ochestra of the Royal Opera House



Royal Opera House Website



Detailed schedule information:
7:00 pm

Contact:

Royal Opera House
Covent Garden
London


Tel: (44) 020 7304 40 00



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