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March 2017 at Proud Galleries includes The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus

Exhibition preview

PROUD Galleries have two new exhibitions opening in March 2017 – The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus and Access All Areas: Photographs by Paul Harries.

The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus will be on display at Proud Chelsea from March 16 to May 14.

Proud Chelsea will showcase a moving documentation of the legendary band’s phenomenal ascent by photographer David Magnus, who bore witness to some of their greatest moments.

This exhibition, featuring many previously unseen photographs, is a fascinating and deeply candid insight into The Beatles during an historic occasion taken at the world famous EMI Studio 1 in Abbey Road.

Magnus’s rare and remarkable collection from this inimitable occasion highlights the band’s domineering presence and influence within the music industry whilst reflecting the recognition, admiration and excitement that sparked the world-over across the last five decades.

Each photograph is limited to 50 and signed by David Magnus.

Access All Areas: Photographs by Paul Harries will be on display at Proud Camden from March 9 to April 23.

Access All Areas: Photographs by Paul Harries is an exhibition showcasing Harries’ iconic collection of rock legends from over two extraordinary decades.

Proud Camden will explore Harries’ distinctive portfolio of celebrated icons including Metallica, Slipknot, Slash and Muse, each injected with his unmistakable style and creativity.

Access All Areas will reveal a memorable collection of Harries’ photographs, from the 1990’s to the present day, revealing a captivating glimpse into all aspects of the Rock ‘n’ Roll lifestyle, including live photographs of Nirvana during sell-out performances, candid shots of Slash and Ozzy Osbourne and a series of photo-manipulated images including an iconic photograph of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson in a replica WW1 plane.

Image: The Beatles on the set at Abbey Road studios with a background of balloons, 1967 © David Magnus. Featured in ‘The Beatles Unseen’. Signed Silver Gelatin. Limited Edition: 50. Print Size: 20×24”. £1400 ex VAT.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 - Barbican Art Gallery

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 will be on display in the Barbican Art Gallery from Thursday, March 23 to Sunday, June 25, 2017.

This is the first major UK exhibition to focus on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of the Second World War to now, a field which has consistently produced some of the most influential and extraordinary examples of modern and contemporary design.

In the wake of the war, the widespread devastation of Tokyo and other cities in Japan brought an urgent need for new housing, and the single family house quickly became the foremost site for architectural experimentation and debate. In the years following, Japanese architects have consistently used their designs to propose radical critiques of society and innovative solutions to changing lifestyles.

Considering developments in residential architecture in the light of important shifts in the Japanese economy, urban landscape, and family structure, The Japanese House presents some of the most exciting architectural projects of the last 70 years, many of which have never before been exhibited in the UK.

As well as architectural projects, the exhibition incorporates cinema, photography and art in order to cast new light on the role of the house in Japanese culture.

Architects include: Takefumi Aida, Atelier Bow-Wow, Takamitsu Azuma, dot architects, Go Hasegawa, Itsuko Hasegawa, Hiromi Fujii, Terunobu Fujimori, Sou Fujimoto, Ikimono Architects, Kumiko Inui, Osamu Ishiyama, Toyo Ito, Yuusuke Karasawa, Kiyonori Kikutake, Chie Konno, Kisho Kurokawa, Kiko Mozuna, Hideyuki Nakayama…

…Kazuhiko Namba, Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA), Keisuke Oka, onishimaki + hyakudayuki architects, Antonin Raymond, Junzo Sakakura,Kazunari Sakamoto, Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA), Kazuo Shinohara, Seiichi Shirai, Kenzo Tange, Tezuka Architects, Riken Yamamoto, Junzo Yoshumira,Takamasa Yoshizaka and others.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 is curated by Florence Ostende (Barbican Centre, London), in collaboration with Kenjiro Hosaka (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) and Pippo Ciorra (MAXXI, National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome). The Chief Advisor is Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Atelier Bow-Wow). The exhibition is designed by Lucy Styles.

Events include a lecture from Ryue Nishizawa, on March 26 in the Barbican Hall.

Also at the Barbican: Into the Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction, a genre-defining exploration of one of popular culture’s most celebrated realms (Saturday, June 3 to Friday, September 1, 2017).

LGBTQ histories at the British Museum

Exhibition preview

THIS year, 2017, is the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in July 1967. This legislation partially decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales and marks an important milestone in the campaign for equality.

To celebrate this anniversary, the British Museum will host two displays and a public programme relating to LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer) histories. There will also be an accompanying trail through the permanent galleries.

David Hockney: Fourteen Poems from C P Cavafy – March – May 2017. Room 90a. Free.

In 1966, David Hockney produced a series of etchings inspired by the work of the Greek poet C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933). Cavafy’s poetry reflects his personal experience as a Greek raised in Alexandria and his knowledge of the ancient Mediterranean world. Same-sex love and desire is a central theme in Cavafy’s work.

In making the Cavafy etchings, Hockney drew upon his own experiences as an openly gay artist. The publication of Fourteen Poems from C.P. Cavafy reflects changing attitudes to same sex-relationships in England and Wales during the 1960s culminating in the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967.

Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories – May 11 to October 15, 2017. Room 69a. Free.

The display Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories provides glimpses into LGBTQ experience across time and around the world through the British Museum’s collection. The earliest object dates from around 9000BC. Some objects relate to named individuals; others offer glimpses into what the novelist EM Forster memorably described as a ‘great unrecorded history.’

Ranging chronologically from ancient history to the present day, the objects often prompt questions, challenging the contemporary viewer to consider the assumptions that they may bring to objects from other cultures, traditions or the more distant past.

The display draws on material from across the breadth of the Museum’s collection including coins, medals, and prints. As well as highlighting famous figures such as the poetess Sappho, and the Roman emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous, the display looks beyond Europe’s classical past to explore less familiar themes and stories.

This display will include modern and contemporary works (such as Otsuka Takashi’s Drag Queen Deck) and a selection of LGBTQ campaign badges from the 1970s to the present day.

The British Museum has longstanding relationships with LGBTQ organisations, and many individuals shared their expertise and experiences to help shape the final display.

LGBTQ Trail

A significant number of objects related to LGBTQ histories are currently on display in the British Museum’s permanent galleries. A trail will be developed to help visitors easily identify these objects and explore LGBQT histories in the Museum’s collection in more depth.

The trail will be based around a core of 10-15 key objects in the permanent galleries, allowing the LGBTQ aspects of these artefacts to be explored in their particular historical and cultural context.

The trail will include collection highlights, objects such as the remarkable Warren Cup, a Roman silver drinking cup dating to the 1st century AD decorated with scenes showing two pairs of male lovers. The Warren Cup was acquired by the Museum in 1999; its history provides a powerful illustration of changing attitudes to homosexuality.

Additional interpretation will be added to key objects where this is needed to fully explore each artefact’s individual story. When the exhibition ends, temporary trail interpretation will be removed, but new permanent labels will be installed to ensure that the LGBTQ significance of the object is captured, creating a lasting legacy.

Public programme: lectures and events

Hidden in plain sight: finding LGBTQ histories at the British Museum – in Room 61 on February 14, 2017 (1:15pm to 2pm).

A gallery talk by Laura Phillips, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories, on LGBTQ objects in the permanent collection.

Exploring LGBTQ histories at the British Museum – February 19, 2017 (10.30am to 4pm).

This all day event is part of the OUTing the Past National Festival of LGBT History in collaboration with LGBT History Month. The programme will include talks and creative family activities focused on objects with LGBTQ stories in the British Museum’s collection.

Free talks will run in the BP Lecture Theatre from 10.30am to 2.40pm. These talks range from Philip Attwood, Keeper of Coins and Medals, discussing LGBTQ badges to Stuart Frost and Laura Phillips, from the British Museum, discussing the forthcoming display on LGBTQ histories.

LGBTQ: our family – 11am to 4pm, Great Court. Free, just drop in.

The British Museum will host a family craft activity inspired by LGBTQ History Month that explores how families are unique. Visitors can work with an artist to create a family portrait inspired by works in the collection and make a love token to take home.

LGBTQ: digital rethink – February 19, 2017, 11am to 12 noon, 1pm to 2pm and 3pm to 4pm, Rooms 51, 69 and 70. Free, just drop in.

Visitors can use digital tablets to make posters inspired by the relationships depicted on Museum objects. Visitors are encouraged to rethink who made the objects, who they were for and what their impact is.

Suitable for ages 7+.

Activity supported by Samsung as part of the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre.

LGBTQ Objects of desire tour with Babs Guthrie – Saturday, March 11 from 3.30pm to 4.30pm.

David Hockney’s Fourteen Poems from C P Cavafy – Room 90a on Thursday, April 6 from 1.15pm to 2pm.

A gallery talk by Stuart Frost, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories.

David Hockney: from poetry to print – Room 90a on Wednesday, May 3 from 1.15pm to 2pm.

A gallery talk by Jennifer Ramkalawon, curator of Western Modern and Contemporary Graphic Works.

Desire Love Identity – Room 69a on Tuesday, May 16 from 1.15pm to 2pm.

A gallery talk by Stuart Frost, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories.

LGBTQ Objects of desire tour with Babs Guthrie – Friday, May 19 from 7pm to 8pm.

Desire Love Identity – Room 69a on Thursday, July 27 from 1.15pm to 2pm.

A gallery talk by Laura Phillips, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories.

Image: David Hockney, “In the Dull Village” 1966, Ink on paper, 12 3/8 × 9 7/8” © David Hockney.

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

The LEGO Batman Movie® installation - Southbank

Event preview

THE LEGO Batman Movie® installation is due to land on the south bank of the Thames on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, to mark the release of The LEGO® Batman Movie on February 10.

The ground-breaking installation will be the biggest ever LEGO® Batarang and will consist of 35,000 LEGO® pieces and stand three metres tall, creating the illusion Batman’s famous utility has crash-landed onto Observation Point.

It will be unveiled by Duncan Titmarch (The official LEGO Master Builder) at 8.30am and he will be joined by costume characters of Batman, Robin and Batgirl from the movie.

A dynamic scene will be created using a huge section of broken ground, burning rubble and lighting effects, making it an incredibly dynamic piece of art by day and night.

The installation, which will be in place for two days and nights, has been crafted by Duncan Titmarsh (Britain’s only official professional LEGO builder) and his team at Bright Bricks.

View pictures and find out more

Image: Britain’s celebrated ‘Legography’ photographer Andrew Whyte teamed up with The LEGO® Batman Movie with a little help from its star Will Arnett to create a spectacular and humorous set of perspective shots of a LEGO® Batman Minifigure’s day out in London. This is one of them.

The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes - London’s South Bank

The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes - Batman

Exhibition preview

FOLLOWING a successful run in Madrid, The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes makes its London debut on March 1, 2017.

The contemporary art exhibition will be shown in an exclusively built space on London’s South Bank, home to the capital’s cultural quarter.

Together with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, the well-known and celebrated artist Nathan Sawaya has created the world’s largest collection of artwork inspired by DC’s Justice League, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, alongside DC Super-Villains the Joker, Harley Quinn and more.

Through a series of immersive galleries, The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes showcases Sawaya’s interpretations on characters, vehicles, environments and themes found throughout DC Super Heroes mythology including transformation and reinvention, strength and weakness, as well as good vs. evil.

To kids and adults who love LEGO, Sawaya is a bit of a super hero. For the last decade, the former lawyer-turned-artist has elevated the simple toy to highly sought-after artwork, and has inspired countless kids to think outside of the box. Sawaya has turned to the stories of super heroes for his own inspiration in this exhibition — The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes – that features LEGO sculptures that emulate DC’s legendary characters, vehicles, surroundings and themes that are present in the DC mythology.

The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes exhibition includes more than 120 original pieces, created exclusively from LEGO bricks, including a life-size Batmobile (5.5 meters) and built from half a million standard pieces. Sawaya has captured on a real scale some of the most iconic Super Heroes and Super-Villains from DC, exploring more than 80 years of history.

“Just like Superman, we all have our own story. This art collection is based on the elements of the journey of a super hero, including the moment in which we are all called to the adventure,” explains Sawaya. “I can’t wait to return to London with The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes following the warmth of the welcome The Art of the Brick received in 2014.”

“As a kid I spent Saturday mornings sitting on the floor playing with LEGO and watching the DC Super Friends cartoons. I would imagine the people in my LEGO city would have super powers and could defeat any evil nemesis – which usually meant my sister’s dolls. So this new collection of artwork is a dream come true for me. It is an honour to re-imagine these seminal characters and stories in a new way, through my medium of choice,” Sawaya said.

The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes - Superman

“We are incredibly excited to continue our partnership with Nathan on this unique and fascinating global touring exhibition, that combines DC icons with LEGO, in an immersive entertainment experience,” said Peter van Roden, Senior Vice President, Global Themed Entertainment, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Whether you’re a comic fan, a LEGO fan, or an art fan, there is something for everyone in this signature exhibition.”

“Kuma is excited to be bringing Nathan Sawaya’s work back to the UK, and many of our team were also part of the promotional team that brought The Art of the Brick here in 2014. We know first-hand how his art inspires and engages the visitor, and are looking forward to bringing the experience of The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes to London,” said Kuma CEO Paul Gregg.

The Art of the Brick DC Super Heroes is in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment. The exhibition holds true to the creative disciplines of Sawaya’s original touring exhibition, The Art of the Brick, which encourage inspiration, education and participation and has been seen by millions of people in more than 75 cities across six continents. Award-winning and record-breaking, CNN rated it as one of the world’s “Must See Exhibitions.”

To watch trailer visit vimeo.com/.

Tickets: Adult: £16.50, Child (4 – 16): £11. Under 4: Free. Concessions available. To book, call 0333 247 0620 or visit www.aotbdc.co.uk/.

NB: Special opening week offer, all single tickets £10 from March 1 until March 6.

Times: Sunday to Wednesday: 10am to 6pm; Thursday: 10am to 8pm; Friday and Saturday: 10am to 7pm. Last admission one hour before closing.

London’s South Bank, Doon Street Car Park, Upper Ground, London, SE1 2PP

A new art fair comes to London in March 2017

Event news

TALENTED Art Fair is the latest addition to London’s growing art fair scene, with its inaugural edition taking place at the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch from March 17 to March 19, 2017.

Founded by the team behind the now well-established New Artist Fair, Talented offers a new physical platform for some of today’s most exciting and talented British and international artists to exhibit and sell their work directly to the public.

While The New Artist Fair’s primary aim, as its name rightly suggests, is to introduce the work of new artists, Talented will complement its sister-fair by taking it to the next level and focusing on more established artists.

Having skillfully curated and run art exhibitions and fairs since 2011, the organisers recognised a gap in the market for artists with a successful track record in selling their work who also want to present their art directly to the general buying public.

Talented Director and Founder Oliver Norris said: “We wanted to create an art fair for all art lovers, seasoned collectors or first-time buyers; a place where they can confidently buy an artwork in the full knowledge that they are making a solid investment”.

And in a bid to also make buying and collecting art properly accessible, the Talented Art Fair team have carefully selected over 100 highly talented artists, including painters, sculptors, print makers and ceramicists, who will be offering original art from as little as £100 to a maximum of £4,000, making it a truly affordable art fair.

For more information visit www.talentedartfair.com/.

Private View: Friday, March 17 from 6pm to 9pm.

Public Opening: Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19 from 12pm to 6pm.

Talented Art Fair, The Old Truman Brewery, London, E1

Women's History Month 2017

Event preview

FROM March 1 to March 31, 2017, women’s groups, artists, activists, performers, writers, arts, media and community organisations are celebrating Women’s History Month in East London, with a powerful range of events and exhibitions demonstrating female diversity.

Art Exhibitions and Events include:-

Sonia Gomez and Steakhouse Live at Toynbee Studios, Ingrid Pollard at Autograph ABP, Tschabala Self at Parasol Unit, Terrains of the Body: Photography from the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington USA) at the Whitechapel Gallery, Alina Kisina at Chisenhale Arts Place, Vanessa Bell at Dulwich Picture Gallery, Threads 50 women artists at the Espacio Gallery, Glad to be Gay: The Struggle for Legal Equality at the LSE Library.

Performances include a programme at the Rich Mix with Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN), a festival of theatre, visual arts, music, film and discussions by female artists from across the Middle East and North Africa; 8Eyes-# Female Takeover hosted by Flower Child with Shauna Sundae, Ka’Reema and Sharna Cane; Foreign Body solo show by Imogen Butler-Cole; Woman and Revolution in the Black Arts Movement with the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC); a showing of a remarkable video recording of four women who witnessed the Battle of Cable Street in 1936 and are still alive will be at the Idea Store, Watney Street; and the Women’s Voices Now Online Film Festival focuses on the worldwide struggle for women’s rights.

History is explored in a fascinating all day workshop From Suffragettes to Feminists with Michelle Johansen at the Bishopsgate Institute and Nostalgia is not Enough – an exhibition about the Brady Girls Club founded by Miriam Moses in 1921 at the Cass Foyer Gallery. There will the opportunity to explore the archives at the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and find out about Women in the East End Yiddish Theatre and The First Woman Mayor of Bethnal Green, and Eastside Community Heritage are planning to exhibit Women’s Football: The East London Story.

Women’s groups and community organisations from all over the East End are putting on special events to celebrate International Women’s Week from March 4-11. This year they will be following the theme of Women in Public Life.

Women’s History Month is co-ordinated by Alternative Arts and supported by Tower Hamlets Council and the many artists and venues participating.

To find out more visit www.alternativearts.co.uk/.

Into the Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction - Barbican

The Martian

Exhibition preview

ON DISPLAY from Saturday, June 3 to Friday, September 1, 2017, major Barbican exhibition Into the Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction is a genre-defining exploration of one of popular culture’s most celebrated realms.

This unprecedented show takes place all over the Centre, encompassing literature, contemporary art, film, music, comic books and video games to present a new, global perspective on Science Fiction.

Curated by Swiss historian and writer Patrick Gyger, this festival-style exhibition explores Science Fiction as an experimental genre, delving into its storytelling roots to discover how its visionary creators captured imaginations around the world to become one of the most popular and enjoyable narratives today.

Featuring work never before shown in the UK, the show places rare and iconic pieces alongside familiar, well-loved classics, next to new contemporary art commissions, hoping to surprise and challenge visitors’ perception of the genre.

The exhibition includes over 200 books from around the world, including original manuscripts and typescripts, contemporary art commissions and existing art works, over 60 film and TV clips, featuring some of the most memorable cinematic moments in Science Fiction as well as rare, unseen footage, pulp magazines, adverts, concept art, film props, comics, video games and robots.

Into the Unknown will showcase works from major collections, national archives, film studios and private collections around the world. On display at the Barbican for the first time are works from philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder, Paul G. Allen. Other lenders include The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive and the personal archives of SFX artist Patrick Tatopoulos. It will be brought to life with an immersive exhibition design by Ab Rogers (ARD).

Neil McConnon, Head of Barbican International Enterprises, said: ‘Science Fiction has enjoyed a fascinating transition from niche to pop culture in recent years but still evokes strong emotions in many. We were keen to develop an exhibition that presents a new take on this broad genre by encompassing a variety of art forms. We hope it will appeal to everyone from Science Fiction aficionados to sceptics and all those in between.’

Patrick Gyger, Curator, said: ‘Science Fiction is responsible for some of the world’s most iconic film, music, literature and art. Today, the interaction between digital, virtual and physical spheres further blurs the boundaries between it and our current reality. From 19th century cabinets of curiosities to cyberpunk, Into the Unknown takes a fresh and, at times, subversive look at the new territories, lost worlds, cosmic possibilities and virtual universes that traverse the broadest parameters of human imagination and yet are often instantly relatable.’

Alongside the main display in the Curve Gallery, the exhibition continues all over the building, in the foyers and in the Pit Theatre. There will be film screenings in the cinema, a pop up outdoor cinema on the Barbican’s sculpture court, music performances in the Barbican Hall, as well as a public programme of talks and events in partnership with New Scientist and Penguin Classics.

In the Curve Gallery, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey through strange lands, dystopian worlds, and virtual universes in four chapters:

Extraordinary Voyages explores man’s fascination with the undiscovered, unknown and inaccessible areas of planet Earth, where Science Fiction narratives first took root, looking at mysterious islands, lost worlds, voyages under the sea and in the air.

A cabinet of curiosities ill contain original manuscripts and drawings from Jules Vernes, alongside James Gurney’s Dinotopia series, and dinosaur models by Ray Harryhausen.

This section also includes original models and props from films including Godzilla and Jurassic Park, concept art from One Million Years BC, and some of the most influential literature of the time, including Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland, H Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, Allan Quatermain and She, Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail, Thomas More’s Utopia, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan and the Lost Empire.

Film clips include 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Thunderbirds and The Lost World.

Space Odysseys, the largest section of the show, looks at the narratives most commonly associated with Science Fiction, space travel, the moon, alien contact, foreign planets and other worlds.

Motion graphics and VFX specialists Territory Studio will produce a new interactive commission based on their work on Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning film The Martian, recreating a sequence from the film’s NASA Mission Control set.

Australian duo Soda_Jerk’s Astro Black is a two-channel video installation which looks at cosmic Jazz musician Sun Ra’s theories of Afrofuturism. Splicing film, music and archival footage, this speculative history draws out the nexus of Science Fiction and social politics in Black Atlantic sonic culture.

A gallery of aliens features heads, masks, skulls, models and props from films including Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Aliens, including items from The Paul G. Allen Family Collection.

The original spacesuits worn by John Hurt in Alien, Sam Rockwell in Moon, Cillian Murphy in Sunshine and Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek will be on display, alongside original Darth Vader and Stormtrooper helmets from Star Wars™, as well as concept art from Doug Chiang and Ralph McQuarrie.

There will also be props and models from Stargate, Star Trek, Interstellar, Independence Day and concept art from District 9, Alien and First Men in the Moon.

Space Odysseys includes illustrator and graphic novelist Martin Panchaud’s alternative adaptation of Star Wars Episode IV, SWANH.NET as an interactive work. His huge 123 metre infographic charts the entire episode in meticulous detail, including every line of dialogue, every character’s precise movements and exact dimensions of the starship’s fleet.

The exhibition will also feature artwork from some of the most influential artists in Science Fiction, including Frank R. Paul, whose 1920s magazine covers were a major influence on the genre and surrealist artist HR Giger, who realised the concept of the Alien in the 1979 Ridley Scott film, as well as vintage postcards and adverts promoting Soviet visions of space.

There will be literature from Arthur C Clarke’s Rendezvous With Rama and Prelude to Space, Robert Heinlein’s Rocketship Gallileo, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Left Hand Of Darkness, Stanislav Lem’s Solaris, CS Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet, Naomi Mitchison’s Memoirs of a Spacewoman and Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy’s Aelita and film clips from Aelita: Queen of Mars, Dune, Frau in Mond, Interstellar, Space is the Place, Star Trek and War of the Worlds.

The third section of the show, Brave New Worlds explores spaces and societies that mankind has created for itself, from future cities with gigantic skyscrapers, vast underground networks and the highly organised spaces of dystopian worlds to disasters, wars, the apocalypse and the end of the world as we know it.

This section includes some of Science Fiction’s most enduring texts, including Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, JG Ballard’s Vermillion Sands, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, William Burroughs’s Nova Express, Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, Doris Lessing’s Memoirs of a Survivor, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s Roadside Picnic, Ahmed Khaled Towfik’s Utopia and Yevgeny Zamiatin’s We.

With concept art from the Japanese landmark anime film Akira, architectural plans and designs from Ben Wheatley’s recent film High Rise, other film and television clips in this chapter include 28 Days Later, Black Mirror, Brazil, Dark City, Metropolis and The Prisoner.

Brave New Worlds also includes a selection of Soviet-era postcards depicting modernist utopian cities of the future on loan from the Moscow Design Museum.

As the boundaries of science and technology are pushed further, the final chapter, Final Frontiers looks at inner realms to question our own existence in the universe. This section explores identity, the transformation, augmentation and mutation of the body, including cyborgs, mutants, clones and robots; Artificial Intelligence and dimensional rifts including time travel, parallel worlds and alternate dimensions.

The Barbican is working with the multi-award-winning team at VFX company Double Negative to create an installation around the android Ava, star of the 2015 film Ex Machina, for which they won the Oscar for Best VFX.

Pioneering multi-media artist Dara Birnbaum’s seminal video Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, appropriates imagery from the 1970s TV series to radically deconstruct the female pop icon for today’s audience. Dara Birnbaum was one of the first artists to subvert and critique the language of television and her provocative analysis of mass culture went on to influence generations of artists.

An autoencoded version of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, using artificial neural networks to reconstruct the film will be on display, along with Sunspring – a short Science Fiction film, written entirely by an artificial intelligence bot for SciFi London’s 48-hour film challenge.

This section includes literature from Mikhaíl Bulgakov’s Heart of a Dog, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Robert Louis Stephenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, as well as a selection of rare superhero comics from around the world.

Film and television clips in this chapter include Back to the Future, Doctor Who, Donnie Darko, ExistenZ, The Fly, Ghost in the Shell, The Iron Giant, The Matrix, The Terminator and Total Recall.

This section includes TARS from Interstellar, Robot B-9 from 1960s television series Lost in and a 3D model of Sonny from I-Robot as well as selection of robots from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and China from the Mint Museum of Toys in Singapore.

Contemporary Art in the Foyers

Alongside film clips, books, pulps, adverts, comics, posters and games, the Barbican presents both newly commissioned and existing contemporary artworks.

A new commission by British artist Conrad Shawcross uses light, movement and sound to create an installation that will take over The Pit theatre space.

Shawcross’s work is often informed by theories of scientific rationality, exploring subjects that lie on the borders of geometry and philosophy, physics and metaphysics. Recent work in 2016 includes Monolith (Optic), which was installed in Regent’s Park as part of Frieze Sculpture Park, 2016; Paradigm, one of London’s tallest public sculptures outside the Crick Institute; and The Optic Cloak, a large scale architectural intervention, at Greenwich Peninsula.

During 2015, The Dappled Light of The Sun, a major courtyard commission at the Royal Academy opened during the Summer Exhibition, and solo exhibitions at the New Art Centre, Roche Court and Victoria Miro Gallery were also undertaken.

His work has also been exhibited internationally at institutions including Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; CorpArtes, Chile; ArtScience Museum, Singapore; IMMA, Dublin; Aukland Art Gallery, New Zealand; MONA, Tasmania; the Hayward Gallery, London; Tate Britain, London and Musee d’art Contemporain, Lyon.

The Barbican has also commissioned US Artist Trevor Paglen. His kinetic sculpture Prototype for a Nonfunctional Satellite is a prototype for an actual spacecraft that could be launched into low earth orbit and will hang prominently in the entrance to the Barbican foyers.

Crafted from reflective Mylar and aluminum, the spacecraft/sculpture is capable of collapsing into a small, lightweight canister that could be placed onboard a space-bound rocket to journey into space. If the sculpture was launched into orbit, the spacecraft would expand to become a large sail-like sculpture and would be visible to the unaided eye as a flickering, slow-moving, star-like object in the night sky, before burning up in the atmosphere without a trace.

Paglen spent years in consultation with leading philosophers, scientists, engineers, artists, and historians to create an artifact that would serve as a poetic meditation on the legacy of our civilization.

As an experimental geographer and photographer, Paglen blurs the lines between science, journalism and art. Paglen’s visual work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the 2008 Taipei Biennial; the 2009 Istanbul Biennial; the 2012 Liverpool Biennial, and numerous other solo and group exhibitions.

Other contemporary artworks include Palestinian video artist Larissa Sansour’s film In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain, which fuses Science Fiction, archaeology and politics to explore the role of myth in history, fact and national identity.

Three short films will be screened in the foyers:

Afronauts by New York writer Frances Bodomo, inspired by the true story of the short-lived Zambia space programme in an imagined alternative history of the 1960s Space Race.

Pumzi (Breath in Swahili) by Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu. An Afrofuturist short film, set in a post-apocalyptic world where water is scarce, it follows one scientist’s quest to find life and grow seeds beyond the confines of her repressive subterranean Nairobi community.

Invisible Cities #Part 4 #Stations by Pierre-Jean Giloux, which reconstructs some of the architectural projects of the Japanese Metabolism movement, which aimed to revolutionise the cities of the future along the lines of organic growth.

The foyers will also host a jukebox of Science Fiction- inspired music, with three listening booths and a free interactive section of Science Fiction video games.

The show is created and produced by Barbican International Enterprises – the team behind the Barbican’s successful Digital Revolution (2014) which attracted 93,000 visitors to the Centre before embarking on an international tour. Co-produced by Brandts – Museum of Art & Visual Culture, Denmark and Onassis Cultural Centre, Greece (where Digital Revolution was their most successful show to date), the exhibition will subsequently be staged at both venues, before embarking on an international tour.

Into the Unknown is part of the Barbican’s 2017 Film in Focus programme – a year celebrating the power of the moving image and its influence across the arts.

To book tickets visit www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/.

Places of the Mind: British watercolour landscapes 1850–1950 - British Museum

Exhibition preview

A NEW exhibition entitled Places of the Mind: British watercolour landscapes 1850–1950 will be on display at the British Museum (Room 90) from February 23 to August 27, 2017.

Places of the Mind: British watercolour landscapes 1850–1950 will display a selection of stunning works from the rich collection of the British Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings to examine the ways artists interpreted landscape on paper during the Victorian and early Modern period. It is the first exhibition to focus on landscape drawing during this era and challenges the perception that the ‘Great Age of British Watercolours’ ended with the death of Turner in 1851.

Over half of the 125 works on display have never been published or exhibited before. They range from highly coloured, detailed Pre-Raphaelite attempts by George Price Boyce and Alfred William Hunt to follow John Ruskin’s precepts to ‘go to nature’, to sweeping wash sketches painted on the spot by James McNeill Whistler and Philip Wilson Steer, to the abstractions from reality of artists like Graham Sutherland and Henry Moore who followed a different aesthetic.

These watercolours, drawings and sketchbooks reveal technically brilliant, virtuoso and imaginative responses to the artistic, cultural and social upheavals of the time. The borrowing for the title of this exhibition of the poet and critic Geoffrey Grigson’s 1949 collection of essays, Places of the Mind, acknowledges how every landscape drawing is a construct of the mind and imagination of its creator – an attempt to convey not merely the physical properties of a landscape but its sense of place.

The exhibition brings a fresh new perspective on the period by exploring landscape not only through the development of techniques and styles but also through the effects of tourism at home and abroad, the role of artists’ colonies, contemporary writing, urban landscapes and above all, through changing perceptions of the English countryside and way of life.

What makes this period particularly fascinating is how artists as different as Hubert von Herkomer and Anna Airy responded to the challenge when Britain’s landscape, and its people’s relationship to the land, was in flux as the population became ever more urbanised and mobile.

The emerging sense during these years that Shakespeare’s ‘other Eden’ was under threat was quickened by the growing destructiveness of war. The very geography of landscape, not to mention centuries of human shaping of it by fields and hedgerows, was now at risk, as Muirhead Bone and other official war artists chronicled in Flanders during the 1914-18 conflict.

From the Crimean War to the aftermath of World War II, artists were affected by what was lost and what they witnessed. After World War I, Paul Nash and his contemporaries like William Russell Flint spoke of capturing the essence of the landscape in terms of an almost spiritual quest. Nash described some of his works as ‘a curious record of a psychological state of mind’.

The works of Nash and his contemporaries employed new forms of realism, abstraction and metaphor to create emotional views of British landscape that were not necessarily scenic yet still representational.

Highlights include John Singer Sargent and Ben Nicholson’s contrasting views of harbours from the comfort of their windowsills: a joyous, carefree and colourful view from a hotel in Genoa in 1911 and a more sober, pensive pencil view of Newlyn from 1950. John Minton and Peter Lanyon took their imaginations to the sky to express their respective visions: a swirling pen and watercolour drawing of a bombed London house in March 1941 and a black chalk hymn to Portreath and the realities of the Cornish way of life in 1949.

A fully illustrated book edited by the curator of the exhibition, Kim Sloan, has been published by Thames and Hudson with the British Museum to coincide with the exhibition. The evocative essays by Sloan and four acknowledged scholars in the field, Jessica Feather, Anna Gruetzner Robins, Sam Smiles and Frances Carey, share their deep understanding of these drawings and watercolours by exploring them through the main themes of the exhibition. The publication is supported by a grant from the Dr Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation, awarded to the American Friends of the British Museum.

Image: John William North (1841-1924), The Old Bowling Green, Halsway Court, Somerset, 1865, watercolour with bodycolour, 330 × 450 mm. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Admission: Free.

Times: 10am to 5.30pm, Saturday to Thursday and 10am to 8.30pm, Fridays.

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

Also at the British Museum: The American Dream: pop to the present (March 9 to June 18, 2017) and Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave (May 25 to August 13, 2017).

John Baldessari pop-up shop to open this February at Marian Goodman Gallery London

Event preview

FOR A limited time only, a John Baldessari pop-up shop will open at Marian Goodman Gallery London selling a variety of products related to the celebrated American conceptual artist John Baldessari, with prices starting from £1.

The shop will open for six days from Saturday, February 18 to Saturday, February 25, 2017 (not February 19 and 20), and will be Marian Goodman Gallery London’s first ever pop-up shop.

The pop-up shop will sell an assortment of books, limited edition prints, mugs, postcards, posters, t-shirts, sunglasses, tote bags, umbrellas, erasers, pencils, and other ephemera created by the artist, including the first three volumes of Baldessari’s Catalogue Raisonné.

A selection of objects, including a limited edition ‘Reliable’ tote bag and umbrella, have been custom made for the Marian Goodman Gallery pop-up shop.

The pop-up coincides with Baldessari’s new solo exhibition, Miró and Life in General, running at Marian Goodman Gallery London until February 25, 2017.

Times: 10am to 6pm, Tuesday to Saturday only.

Marian Goodman Gallery London, 5-8 Lower John Street, Soho, London, W1F 9DY