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Basquiat: Boom for Real - Barbican Art Gallery

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Basquiat: Boom for Real will be on display in the Barbican Art Gallery from September 21, 2017 to January 28, 2018.

Basquiat: Boom for Real is the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960­-1988). One of the most significant painters of the 20th century, Basquiat came of age in the late 1970s in the post-punk underground art scene in downtown New York. By 1982, he had gained international recognition and was the youngest ever artist to participate in Documenta 7 in Kassel.

His vibrant, raw imagery, abounding with fragments of bold capitalised text, offers insights into both his encyclopaedic interests and his experience as a young black artist with no formal training. Since his tragic death in 1988, Basquiat has had remarkably little exposure in the UK; not a single work of his is held in a public collection.

Drawing from international museums and private collections, Basquiat: Boom for Real brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works, many never seen before in the UK.

More than any other exhibition to date, Basquiat: Boom for Real focuses on the artist’s relationship to music, writing, performance, film and television, placing him within the wider cultural context of the time. Paintings, drawings, notebooks and objects are presented alongside rare film, photography, music and archival material, capturing the range and dynamism of Basquiat’s practice over the years.

Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts, Barbican, said: “We are truly thrilled to be staging the first show on Basquiat in the UK in over 20 years. The creative brilliance and emotive power of Basquiat continues to have a huge impact and influence. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to see a body of some of his most famous and also little known works in one place, and to see those works in the context of the New York scene of the 1980s.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s sisters, Lisane and Jeanine Basquiat said: “We are delighted to be working with the Barbican on this important exhibition, which is so long overdue.”

Basquiat first came to the media’s attention in 1978, when he teamed up with his classmate Al Diaz to graffiti enigmatic statements across the city under the collective pseudonym SAMO© (a contraction of ‘same old, same old shit’). Soon he was making drawings in his own blood, collaging baseball cards and postcards and painting on clothing, architectural fragments and improvised canvases.

He starred in the film New York Beat with Blondie’s Debbie Harry (written by Glenn O’Brien and produced by Maripol), appeared in nine episodes of O’Brien’s cult cable-television show TV Party, and performed in his experimental band Gray.

He collaborated with other artists, most famously with Andy Warhol, created murals and installations for notorious New York nightclubs including the Mudd Club, Area and Palladium, and in 1983 produced ‘Beat Bop’, a classic hip hop record with K-Rob and Rammellzee.

Highlights of the Barbican’s exhibition include a partial reconstruction of Basquiat’s first body of exhibited work, made for Diego Cortez’s watershed group show New York/New Wave at P.S.1 in February 1981. Fifteen works are brought together for the first time in over 35 years, allowing visitors to understand how Basquiat so quickly won the admiration of fellow artists and critics.

The exhibition continues with an exploration of his energetic, often collaborative work as the prodigy of the downtown scene; from the birth of SAMO© to his relationship with Warhol. In the downstairs spaces, new scholarship sheds light on some of his most acclaimed paintings and drawings. A famously self-taught artist, Basquiat sampled from an extraordinary breadth of source material – from anatomical drawings to bebop jazz to silent film – but many of these reference points have remained relatively opaque until now.

With the support of the Basquiat family, the curators have conducted extensive new research, which will allow these important works to be understood as never before.

Basquiat: Boom for Real is co-curated by Dr Dieter Buchhart and Eleanor Nairne, Curator, Barbican Art Gallery, and organised in collaboration with the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated book published by Prestel and designed by A Practice for Everyday Life. Introductory essays are by the exhibition curators Dieter Buchhart and Eleanor Nairne alongside new thematic texts by poet and cultural critic Christian Campbell on SAMO©; curator and writer Carlo McCormick on the 1981 exhibition New York/New Wave; the late writer Glenn O’Brien on the downtown New York scene; academic Jordana Moore Saggese on Basquiat’s relationship to film and television; and music scholar Francesco Martinelli on King Zulu (1986) and Basquiat’s obsession with jazz.

The publication also features rare photography, previously unpublished archival material and a new chronology. Price: £39.99.

Tickets: Standard: £16; Concessions (OAP and unemployed): £12; Students/14-17: £10; Young Barbican (14 -25s): £5 (no booking fee); Art Fund Members: £12; Membership Plus: Unlimited free entry + guest; Membership: Unlimited free entry. Under 14s Free. Advance booking is essential.

Times: Sunday to Wednesday, 10am – 6pm; Thursday to Saturday, 10am – 10pm (last entry 9.30pm); Bank Holiday Mondays: 12noon – 6pm; Bank Holiday Fridays: 12noon – 10pm. The exhibition is closed on December 24, 25 and 26, 2017. The exhibition will also close at 6pm on Thursday, October 5 for a private event.

Also at the Barbican Art Gallery: the first ever performance exhibition of the New York-based choreographer and dancer Trajal Harrell.

Barbican Art Gallery, London

Tel: Tel: 0845 120 7550


Charles I: King and Collector - Royal Academy of Arts

Exhibition preview

FROM January 27 to April 15, 2018, the Royal Academy of Arts, in partnership with Royal Collection Trust, will present Charles I: King and Collector, a landmark exhibition that will reunite one of the most extraordinary and influential art collections ever assembled.

During his reign, Charles I (1600-1649) acquired and commissioned exceptional masterpieces from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, including works by Van Dyck, Rubens, Holbein, Titian and Mantegna, amongst others.

Charles I was executed in 1649 and just months later the collection was offered for sale and dispersed across Europe. Although many works were retrieved by Charles II during the Restoration, others now form the core of collections such as the Musée du Louvre and the Museo Nacional del Prado.

Charles I: King and Collector will reunite around 150 of the most important works for the first time since the seventeenth century, providing an unprecedented opportunity to experience the collection that changed the appreciation of art in England.

In 1623, two years prior to his ascension to the throne, Prince Charles visited Madrid. The Habsburg collection made a lasting impression on the future king and he returned to England with a number of works, including paintings by Titian and Veronese.

Intent on creating his own collection, he acquired the esteemed Gonzaga collection, which had been accumulated by the Dukes of Mantua. He also commissioned important artists, most notably Anthony van Dyck, who was appointed ‘principalle Paynter in Ordenarie to their Majesties’ in 1632.

In collaboration and competition with other collectors close to the Stuart court, namely Thomas Howard (1586-1646), Earl of Arundel, and George Villiers (1592-1628), Duke of Buckingham, Charles I amassed a collection unrivalled in the history of English taste.

By 1649, the collection of Charles I comprised around 1,500 paintings and 500 sculptures. An inventory compiled by Abraham van der Doort (c.1580-1640), first Surveyor of The King’s Pictures, recorded the contents of the collection, providing a detailed account of the artistic tastes and high level of connoisseurship within the king’s circle.

Charles I: King and Collector will include over 90 works generously lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection. Major lenders will also include The National Gallery, London, the Musée du Louvre, Paris, the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, as well as numerous other public and private collections.

Anthony van Dyck’s monumental portraits of the king and his family will form the core of the exhibition: his first major commission upon his arrival in England, Charles I and Henrietta Maria with Prince Charles and Princess Mary (‘The Greate Peece’), 1632 (The Royal Collection), and his two magnificent equestrian portraits, Charles I on Horseback with M. de St. Antoine, 1633 (The Royal Collection), and Charles I on Horseback, 1637-38 (The National Gallery, London).

They will be shown together with Van Dyck’s most celebrated and moving portrait of the king, Charles I (‘Le Roi à la chasse’), c.1635 (Musée du Louvre, Paris), which will return to England for the first time since the seventeenth century.

Charles I commissioned some of the most important artists of his day, and the exhibition will include Peter Paul Rubens’s Minerva Protects Pax from Mars (‘Peace and War’), 1629-30 (The National Gallery, London) and his Landscape with Saint George and the Dragon, 1630-5 (The Royal Collection) as well as Van Dyck’s spectacular Cupid and Psyche, 1639-40 (The Royal Collection). Particular attention will be given to the patronage of Queen Henrietta Maria, including works by Orazio Gentileschi and Guido Reni.

In addition, the exhibition will present the most important Renaissance paintings from the collection, including Andrea Mantegna’s monumental series, The Triumph of Caesar, c.1484-92 (The Royal Collection), which will command a dedicated gallery within the exhibition, as well as Titian’s Supper at Emmaus, c.1530 (Musée du Louvre, Paris), and Charles V with a Dog, 1533 (Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid).

Other Renaissance artists represented are Correggio, Agnolo Bronzino, Jacopo Bassano, Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese as well as Albrecht Dürer, Jan Gossaert, Hans Holbein the Younger and Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Further highlights will be the celebrated Mortlake tapestries of Raphael’s Acts of the Apostles, c.1631-40 (Mobilier National, Paris), arguably the most spectacular set of tapestries ever produced in England, as well as the precious works formerly kept in the Cabinet at Whitehall Palace, including paintings, statuettes, miniatures and drawings.

Christopher Le Brun, President, Royal Academy of Arts, said: “Charles I is one of history’s greatest collectors, the Royal Collection is one of the world’s greatest collections and the Royal Academy’s galleries are amongst the finest in the world. With such a combination this exhibition provides the perfect launch for our 250th anniversary celebrations in 2018.”

Charles I: King and Collector is organised by the Royal Academy of Arts in partnership with Royal Collection Trust. The exhibition is curated by Per Rumberg, Curator, Royal Academy of Arts, and Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures.

Charles I: King and Collector will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue edited by Per Rumberg and Desmond Shawe-Taylor. Further authors include David Ekserdjian, Barbara Furlotti, Erin Griffey, Gregory Martin, Guido Rebecchini, Vanessa Remington, Karen Serres, Lucy Whitaker and Jeremy Wood.

Tickets: £20 full price (£18 without Gift Aid donation); concessions available; children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free. Tickets are available daily at the RA or online at Group bookings: Groups of 10+ are asked to book in advance. Telephone 020 7300 8027 or email

Times: 10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm); Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

Tel: 020 7300 8090


BLOOD: Life Uncut - Science Gallery London

BLOOD: Life Uncut

Exhibition preview

SCIENCE Gallery at King’s College London is presenting BLOOD: Life Uncut, an exhibition and event series that reveals the captivating, visceral power of blood to expose, shock and save lives.

The season highlights the scientific and symbolic nature of blood by telling personal and provocative stories of this vital, life-affirming fluid that connects us all.

The season launches in late July with a series of participatory events and installations at various venues around London Bridge, and concludes with an exhibition at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham, London, alongside a programme of performances and workshops in September and October.

The season will feature a range of artists from around the world, including Jordan Eagles, Katharine Dowson, Live Art Development Agency, Chris Milk and poet Sabrina Mahfouz who will create a new collection of poetry in response to the season.

New collaborations between artists and scientists tackle issues which are often invisible, offering fresh perspectives on menstruation, Ebola, sickle cell anaemia, blood donation, forensics and blood typing.

BLOOD: Life Uncut will include:

● A series of talks in July, August and October around the Guy’s Campus, King’s College London.

● Pop-up performances and installations across the Guy’s Campus at King’s College London and London Bridge from July 27, including a multimedia installation by Helen Pynor in The Old Operating Theatre (July 27 to August 17) and a multi-site installation by Jordan Eagles (July 27 -30).

● An exhibition at Peckham’s Copeland Gallery from October 12. This will include Personal Protection Equipme by Izabela Żółcińska, an artwork inspired by the Ebola crisis; Illuminations, a projection installation by New York based artist Jordan Eagles exploring the taboos surrounding the donation of blood by gay men; Bad Blood by Casey Jenkins, a large scale knitted work using menstrual blood; and One Drop of Blood by Dan Elborne, an interactive ceramic installation influenced by his mother’s fight with breast cancer.

● Pop up performances and events in October include Blood on the Streets by Jamie Lewis Hadley, a public performance situated within the window of a barbershop exploring the history of bloodletting as a medical practice, and an evening of film, performance and talks curated by Live Art Development Agency.

● A special series of podcasts exploring personal experiences of blood. Highlights include stories that explore the experience of sickle cell patients, gender, women’s health, and the future of artificial blood.

Science Gallery at King’s College London is part of Science Gallery International. Established in 2012, the founding goal was to establish a Global Science Gallery Network by 2020. As a powerful force at the forefront of the STEM to STEAM movement, the network is connected by a shared mission to ignite curiosity and discovery where art and science collide, leading to the emergence of a global, interdisciplinary network of galleries connected to leading universities.

The first cross-network season for Science Gallery, Science Gallery’s BLOOD: Life Uncut is a collaboration between Science Gallery London and Science Gallery Melbourne, with the season running simultaneously across two Science Gallery sites in London and Melbourne. Inspired by the original exhibition BLOOD: Not for the faint-hearted at Science Gallery Dublin in 2015, this series will also include new provocative works and experiences exploring the scientific, symbolic and strange nature of blood.

Science Gallery London is a flagship project for King’s College London, and will be opening in 2018 as a space where science and art collide.

Guy’s Campus at King’s College London and Copeland Gallery, Peckham


RA Schools Show - Royal Academy of Arts

Exhibition preview

THE RA Schools Show is the annual exhibition of works by artists graduating from Britain’s longest established art school, the Royal Academy Schools.

This year’s show, on display from June 22 to July 2, 2017, features 17 contemporary artists exhibiting in the rarely-seen working studios at the heart of the Royal Academy.

Spanning a wide range of media including video, photography, painting and performance, the show explores ideas of self-representation, immersive technology and popular culture. From an Elvis tribute act and moving image installations to virtual reality and 90s-style teen pop videos, the Royal Academy’s artists showcase the results of a three-year artistic exploration.

The following artists are exhibiting: Sam Austen, Josephine Baker-Heaslip, Gabriella Boyd, Jack Burton, Dmitri Galitzine, Martin Gross, Lewis Hammond, Sebastian Jefford, Jessy Jetpacks, Jonathan Kelly, Anikό Kuikka, Katya Lewis, India Mackie, Zsόfia Margit, Richie Moment, Fani Parali and Adam Shield.

Contributors to the RA Schools’ programme are leading figures in the art world, including Royal Academicians Michael Landy (Professor of Drawing), Chantal Joffe (Professor of Painting), Piers Gough (Professor of Architecture), Cathie Pilkington (Professor of Sculpture) and Humphrey Ocean (Professor of Perspective).

Brian Griffiths, Senior Lecturer at the Royal Academy Schools and artist, said: “This is a show that hopes for difference, unforeseen surprises and change; a show that is as beautiful as it is worrying, as funny as it is tragic …evidently this is an extraordinary year.”

Eileen Cooper RA, the outgoing Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts, said: “It has been a huge privilege to lead the RA Schools for the past six years and to support our graduating artists. I can honestly say, that I am always learning new things from our students. Their inventiveness, dedication and pure creative drive, shows just what it takes to develop as an artist.”

Many of the works on display are available for sale to directly support the development of the students and the production of new work.

The show coincides with the 249th Summer Exhibition, which was founded to finance the training of young artists in the Royal Academy Schools. The Summer Exhibition has been held every year without interruption since 1769 and continues to play a significant part in raising funds to finance the current students of the RA Schools. This year the Summer Exhibition is co-ordinated by the Keeper of the Royal Academy Eileen Cooper RA.

Foyles Storybox Festival brings children’s and young adult stories to life

Event preview

THE WORLDS of Cat in the Hat, Alice in Wonderland and The Gruffalo will be brought to life in Foyles Storybox Festival this summer, with free events for all the family from Saturday, July 15 to Sunday, August 13, 2017.

This year’s celebration of stories will also examine the big issues tackled by leading young adult writers and their readers.

Now in its third summer, this three week storytelling celebration sees dozens of events across all Foyles shops in London, Bristol, Chelmsford and Birmingham.

Immersive experiences are at the heart of the programme which includes a unique performance from the stars of acclaimed interactive production Adventures in Wonderland, a special encounter with The Gruffalo and a Cat in The Hat tea party inspired by Dr Seuss’ classic titles.

Then over the closing weekend, older children are invited to tackle some of modern society’s biggest questions including those of identity. A panel of YA authors introduces new anthology A Change is Gonna Come, which features top BAME authors writing on the theme of change, while authors Alwyn Hamilton and Laure Eve discuss the role of feminism in YA writing at Foyles’ flagship Charing Cross Road store in London.

Other highlights include a writing workshop with Bob Man on the Moon author and illustrator Simon Bartram, a storytelling session from Kate Pankhurst, descendent of Emmeline Pankhurst, and a journey down the Amazon River with Stewart Ross, author of the Lonely Planet Kids Unfolding Journeys series.

Andy Quinn, Head of Events at Foyles, comments:

Storybox offers children of all ages the chance to experience stories in new and imaginative ways, all the while being inspired and equipped to create their own. From writing workshops and illustration sessions to live performances and a Dr Seuss-themed tea party, Storybox 2017 caters for the tastes of all children, younger and older, with plenty for their parents too.”

All of the events are free to attend. For more information and to book tickets visit

The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes celebrates UK release of Wonder Woman with new pieces

Goddess of Truth mosaic

Exhibition preview

WITH the summer’s most anticipated release Wonder Woman, in UK cinemas now, The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes steps up it’s homage to one of DC‘s greatest and most beloved Super Heroes with the arrival of two new specially commissioned pieces honoring Wonder Woman by acclaimed artist Nathan Sawaya.

Requiring over 80 hours to forge from a staggering 19,826 bricks, Indestructible honours Wonder Woman’s innate strength and courage, as reflected in her powerful, bulletproof wrist gauntlet.

Indestructible is joined by the Goddess of Truth mosaic (pictured), a spectacular 2D representation of Wonder Woman which was created using 15567 iconic bricks.

The two new pieces will be showcased alongside other Sawaya creations, including the iconic Wonder Woman Bust, Wonder Woman Cover and Themyscira, which have been on display on London’s South Bank since February.

Read more about The Art of the Brick.

The BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia - British Museum

Southern Siberia landscapes with burial mounds © V. Terebenin.

Exhibition preview

AT THE British Museum this autumn, discover an ancient culture that was buried in the Siberian permafrost for thousands of years.

The BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia – on display in the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery from September 14, 2017 to January 14, 2018 – will reveal the history of these powerful nomadic tribes who thrived in a vast landscape stretching from southern Russia to China and the northern Black Sea.

The Scythians were exceptional horsemen and warriors, and feared adversaries and neighbours of the ancient Greeks, Assyrians and Persians between 900 and 200 BC. This exhibition will tell their story through exciting archaeological discoveries and perfectly preserved objects frozen in time.

This will be the first major exhibition to explore the Scythians in the UK in 40 years. Many of the objects on display date back over 2,500 years. They are exceptionally well preserved as they come from burial mounds in the high Altai mountains of southern Siberia, where the frozen ground prevented them from deteriorating.

Over 200 outstanding objects will reveal all aspects of Scythian life, including a major loan in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, and other generous loans from the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Ashmolean Museum and the Royal Collection. Some are star pieces which are displayed in the permanent galleries and Treasury of the State Hermitage Museum and others have never been loaned to the UK before.

Objects preserved by the permafrost include multi-coloured textiles, fur-lined garments and accessories, unique horse headgear and tattooed human remains. Tattooing was common among the Scythians and incredible examples were preserved in the frozen tombs. This art shows natural and mythical animals with heavily contorted bodies, often in close combat. There will also be examples of exceptionally well-preserved early tattooed remains on loan from the State Hermitage Museum.

Life in the Siberian landscape was tough and there was heavy competition for survival. The Scythians developed a fearsome set of weapons: pointed battle-axes and short swords for close combat and powerful bows for long-distance archery. Painted wooden shields, armour and a helmet have survived from the ancient tombs.

The Scythians were skilled horsemen and they took their beloved horses with them to the grave so that they could carry on in the afterlife. Favourite horses were specially adorned for this and wore elaborate costumes, with masks, saddle pendants and covers for the mane and tail, which were intended to transform them into mythical beasts.

This exhibition will explore who the Scythians were, how they appeared, what they wore, who they traded with and what they ate and drank. Perfectly preserved seeds have been found in some tombs and were part of a Scythian ritual involving the deliberate inhalation of the smoke from charred hemp. The fifth century BC Greek historian Herodotus described how Scythians ‘howled with pleasure’ when they inhaled the smoke and how it was employed in cleansing rituals and for pain relief.

Scythian rider

A reconstruction in the exhibition shows an ancient brazier together with the hemp seeds and the felt hood which was put over the top like a miniature tent.

There are stunning pieces of gold jewellery, gold applique to adorn clothes, wooden drinking bowls, and a highly decorated leather bag even containing remarkably well-preserved lumps of cheese that are over 2,000 years old.

There was a two-way influence between the culture of the Scythians and their settled ‘civilised’ neighbours. Many objects in this exhibition show evidence of cultural interaction, from Scythian wine-drinking learnt from the ancient Greeks and Persians, through ancient Greek craftsmen who depicted archers in Scythian dress, and the gold objects in the Achaemenid Oxus Treasure in the British Museum’s collection that are influenced by Scythian art.

In about the second century BC, the Scythians disappeared and were replaced by other nomadic powers. The exhibition concludes with an exploration of what happened afterwards and takes a look at life in southern Siberia in the early centuries AD. These objects are also spectacularly well preserved, but through extreme dryness rather than extreme cold.

Haunting painted clay death masks decorated to resemble the tattooed faces of the deceased are shown alongside beautiful clothing and the reconstructed log-cabin tomb chamber in which they were discovered. The growing application of archaeological science is unlocking clues to the past, and new results from collaborative work by the British Museum and the State Hermitage Museum will be included in the exhibition.

This exhibition will allow visitors to discover the life and legacy of the Scythians, revealing their history like never before.

Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said: “It is hugely exciting to be announcing the British Museum’s autumn exhibition on the ancient Scythians and we look forward to sharing their fascinating story with our visitors. We are grateful to BP for their ongoing support without which enlightening exhibitions such as these would simply not be possible.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with the State Hermitage Museum on such a generous loan of Scythian objects and look forward to welcoming these important loans, and objects from other lenders, to London, to bring the extraordinary history of the Scythians to life.”

The exhibition is supported by BP and organised with the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia.

A beautifully illustrated exhibition catalogue, The BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia, edited by St John Simpson and Svetlana Pankova, will be published by Thames & Hudson in collaboration with the British Museum, hardback £40, paperback £30.

A full public programme of events will also the exhibition.

Image (top): Southern Siberia landscapes with burial mounds © V. Terebenin.

Image (bottom): Scythian rider. A gold plaque depicting a Scythian rider with a spear in his right hand; Gold; Second half of the fourth century BC; Kul’ Oba. © The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, 2017. Photo: V Terebenin.

Tickets: £16.50, children under 16 free, concessions and group rates available. Booking fees apply online and by phone. To book, call +44 (0)20 7323 8181 or visit

Times: Saturday to Thursday, 10am to 5.30pm; Friday, 10am to 8.30pm. Last entry 80 minutes before closing.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Also at the British Museum: Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave (until August 13, 2017).

Royal Academy of Arts and Peyton and Byrne celebrate The Summer of Food

Event preview

THE Royal Academy of Arts and Peyton and Byrne are celebrating The Summer of Food with Courtyard Banquets with Tomos Parry and The Dead Rabbits Chef’s Residency.

Courtyard Banquets with Tomos Parry

This summer, Peyton and Byrne are working with renowned chef Tomos Parry, who will be hosting a series of courtyard banquets, using custom-made grills at the Keeper’s House in the Royal Academy of Arts.

The iconic courtyard will hold three long table banquets, using the very best seasonal produce cooked over fire by award-winning chef Tomos Parry, previously Head Chef of Kitty Fisher’s.

This is a rare occasion to taste Tomos’s food in the open air within one of London’s most beautiful outdoor spaces. The mouth-watering sights and smells of the open-air kitchen, with custom-made grills using a variety of woods, will make this a rare and unforgettable dining experience.

Guests can expect to feast on spider crab steamed over seaweed embers on the courtyard fire pit, slow roasted turbot smouldering over chestnut and apricot wood as well as aged beef rump slow roasted over birch & hay. The communal tables will be adorned with garden flowers to showcase the colourful dishes of fresh and flavoursome food.

Each feast consists of eight dishes and includes an apéritif and digestif cocktail plus access to the Academicians’ Room, the Academy’s private members club and a private view of the Summer Exhibition 2017.

Tomos Parry said: “I am looking forward to cooking outside in the beautiful Courtyard of the RA. I enjoy working with the very best British produce, over open fire, using different varieties of wood from birch to oak which will further enhance the flavours of each dish.”

These exclusive events are ticketed (RRP £95) and have limited availability. For more information and to buy tickets please visit

Dates: Saturday, July 8, Saturday, July 22 and Saturday, August 5, 2017.

Time: 6:30pm till late.

The Dead Rabbits Chef’s Residency

Throughout the summer, the Keeper’s House Restaurant and the Academicians’ Room will also be home to The Dead Rabbits London summer residency, which aims to bring together a collective of chefs, both newcomers and veterans, to create a series of dinners that will be available to the public from June 9. This summer, the esteemed collective includes co-founders Graham Long, Edward Dutton and Greg Clarke.

With years of experience in the country’s top kitchens these chefs will be cooking without restraints or boundaries, while maintaining the refined style and focus on the highest quality ingredients for which they are best known. With a shared philosophy for eating out, the dining experience will centre on amazing cooking, friendly service and a relaxed environment.

The menu will feature a range of sharing plates and snacks, including highlights such as spiced pigs ears with gherkin and lovage mayonnaise, squid ragu with pork fat and nasturtium and braised short rib with miso, pickled shallot and pomme puree.

The summer evening residency will run from June 9 to August 12. Bookings can be made online or by calling 020 7300 5881. The Restaurant is open for dinner Monday – Saturday, 5pm – 10pm.

George Harrison – I Me Mine – Lyrics and Photographs - Free Pop Up Exhibition

Exhibition preview

TO CELEBRATE the launch of the new book I Me Mine, a free pop up exhibition of unseen George Harrison lyrics and photographs will be on display at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms from Friday, June 16 to Sunday, June 18, 2017.

Visitors to the pop-up exhibition will have a rare chance to see reproductions of Harrison’s handwritten lyrics as well as personal photographs and commentary taken from the new book.

The closest to an autobiography of George Harrison that has been published, I Me Mine – The Extended Edition covers – for the first time – the full span of his life and work, with his handwritten lyrics to 141 songs, observations by Harrison himself and photographs from the family albums.

Originally published in 1980, The Extended Edition includes lyrics and photographs discovered recently by his wife Olivia, including a collection of lyrics found in a piano bench at Harrison’s home studio. One such song was Hey Ringo, thought to be from 1970/1971, and previously unseen – including by Ringo Starr himself who first saw the lyrics at the recent Los Angeles exhibition of the book.

Rare limited edition books also on display will include: I Me Mine (original 1980 edition), Songs by George Harrison 1 and 2, Concert for George, Fifty Years Adrift and Live in Japan.

Visitors will also enjoy a preview of the recently announced Revolver 50 Collage series by Klaus Voormann, Love That Burns – A Chronicle of Fleetwood Mac by Mick Fleetwood, Transformer by Lou Reed and Mick Rock, and the Genesis 100 special boxset celebrating 100 editions since 1974.

Also on show will be the full range of Genesis Publications’ limited edition, signed books and prints. Publications and prints by artists such as Jimmy Page, Ronnie Wood, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan, Paul Weller and Jeff Beck will be displayed alongside those featuring the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Traveling Wilburys, The Who as well as the recent Vogue – Voice Of A Century anthology.

Official website.

Opening hours: Friday, June 16, 11am – 7pm; Saturday, June 17, 10am – 6pm; Sunday, June 18, 11am – 4pm.

Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, 1-3-5 Flitcroft Street, London, WC2H 8DH

Franco Grignani: Art as Design 1950-1990 - Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Franco Grignani: Art as Design 1950-1990 will be on display at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art from July 5 to September 10, 2017.

Best known for his swirling ‘Woolmark’ logo, Franco Grignani (1908-1999) was an influential artist and graphic designer whose dazzling works anticipated Op Art. This exhibition features around 130 paintings and works on paper, including his graphic design projects many of which are on loan from private collections and from the Manuela Grignani Sirtoli Archive.

Like many experimental Italian painters, Grignani was briefly affiliated with the Futurist movement. He exhibited as part of the group from the mid-1920s, and in 1933 participated in the huge Great National Futurist Exhibition in Rome; however, most of his works from this period are now lost. After 1935 his work turned toward geometric abstraction, abandoning any lingering figurative elements.

Grignani studied both mathematics and architecture between the late 1920s and the early 1930s, before opening a studio in Milan that specialized in exhibition design and graphics. Over the years he produced advertising campaigns for a variety of high-profile companies, including Pirelli and Alfieri & Lacroix, and designed covers for a number of science fiction novels published by Penguin Books in the late 1960s.

Alongside such commercial work he continued to create paintings which revealed a growing fascination with optical effects. His ideas were initially not understood by the artistic establishment, and he worked largely in isolation. His exploration of perceptual processes, largely inspired by Gestalt Psychology, was undertaken through both painting and photography. The works he made were characterized by their use of blurred forms, and warped and dynamic ‘virtual’ shapes that seem to emerge out of, and recede back into, the surfaces of his compositions.

Grignani’s most famous work was created in 1964, when the International Wool Secretariat (IWS) chose one of his studies as the winner of an international competition for a new logo. As a member of the jury, Grignani was unable to submit a design of his own, but had been so disappointed at the standard of the Italian entries that he submitted one under the pseudonym ‘Francesco Saroglia’.

Acknowledged as one of the most recognizable, elegant and effective trademarks of all time, the design is based on a skein of wool, but its sinuous, twisted form – resembling a Möbius strip – also reflects Grignani’s interest in mathematics.

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London, N1 2AN

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