House of Illustration 1

Jo Brocklehurst: Nobodies and Somebodies, House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, London N1, until 14th May 2017

Untitled
credit Estate of Jo Brocklehurst

Jo (Josephine) Blanche Brocklehurst (1935 – 2006) was both an artist and a lecturer at Central Saint Martins fashion school and this exhibition proves exactly how talented she was. Brocklehurst depicted the subculture scene of the 70s through to the 90s drawing live whether in fetish clubs, punk squats – one was near her Hampstead studio – and the performance scene, in Berlin and New York as well as London. Some of her iconic punk images are in the V&A’s collection and her works inspired designers such as Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Die Eingeborene (The Natives) for Berliner Zeitung
credit Estate of Jo Brocklehurst

Many of the works are being shown for the first time and don’t miss the documentary film which features the show’s co-curator Isabelle Bricknall and the artist Howard Tangye. It is a show that should be seen in the flesh – so to speak – because it perfectly recaptures the spirit and place of its time.

Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays.

 

houseofillustration.org.uk

Arthur Rackham

The Works of Arthur Rackham from the Library of an English Bibliophile, Peter Harrington, 43 Dover Street, London W1, until 5th November 2016

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens – the most enduringly popular book Arthur Rackham illustrated. Limited edition numbered copy 157 of 500 copies printed Courtesy of Peter Harrington

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens – the most enduringly popular book Arthur Rackham illustrated.
Limited edition numbered copy 157 of 500 copies printed
Courtesy of Peter Harrington

This is a must for all bibliophiles and is best summed up by Pom Harrington, the owner of Peter Harrington, who wisely says “Arthur Rackham was the dominant figure of the illustrated book in the first half of the 20th century and this fascinating collection of 225 items contains excellent copies of his most important works including illustrated copies of Peter Pan and Rip Van Winkle. I urge you to visit the exhibition and see these important and beautiful illustrations for yourself.”

Rip Van Winkle – the first book wholly illustrated by Arthur Rackham. Limited edition numbered copy 137 of 250 copies printed Courtesy of Peter Harrington

Rip Van Winkle – the first book wholly illustrated by Arthur Rackham. Limited edition numbered copy
137 of 250 copies printed
Courtesy of Peter Harrington

http://www.peterharrington.co.uk

Illumination of the Written and Scientific Kind

COLOUR: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, until 30th December 2016

Historiated initial from an Antiphoner, St Lawrence holding a palm branch, the gridiron and a book (c. 1390) Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci, Niccolo Rosselli, Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni Florence, Italy © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Historiated initial from an Antiphoner, St Lawrence holding a palm branch, the gridiron and a book (c. 1390) Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci, Niccolo Rosselli, Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni Florence, Italy
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

In this the Museum’s bicentenary year visitors have a wonderful opportunity to learn and understand more about the world of Illuminated Manuscripts. The exhibition combines the art of the original creators of these works with up-to-the minute research into the technique and ingredients used. Some one hundred and fifty manuscripts and fragments, with many of the exhibits being drawn from the Museum’s own collection, are displayed and date from the tenth to the sixteenth centuries. Those from the Viscount Fitzwilliam Founder’s bequest cannot be loaned out to other museums.

Book of Hours c. 1480 – c. 1490 Illuminated by Vante di Gabriello di Vante Attavanti (active c. 1480 – 1485) Florence, Italy © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Book of Hours c. 1480 – c. 1490 Illuminated by Vante di Gabriello di Vante Attavanti (active c. 1480 – 1485) Florence, Italy
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Over the last four years research has covered many interesting facts such as the use of smalt (ground blue glass) on a Venetian illumination book indicates that the artist had contact with the nearby glass-makers on the island of Murano and interestingly enough it pre-dates the use of smalt by Venetian artists by fifty years. It has been discovered that egg yolk, more usually associated with artists working on panel who used it as a binder, was also sometimes used in the production of these ravishing manuscripts.

Historiated initial from a Gradual, Louis XII healing the sick (c. 1500) Paris, Northern France © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Historiated initial from a Gradual, Louis XII healing the sick (c. 1500) Paris, Northern France
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

The exhibition takes us to the artistic centres where they were created in Europe and also dispels the belief that most manuscripts were produced by monks since from the eleventh century scribes and professional artists were involved in the production of manuscripts.  It also looks at later alterations to manuscripts and how some have been faked in later times.

The Macclesfield Psalter c. 1330 – 1340 The Anointing of David East Anglia (probably Norwich), England © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

The Macclesfield Psalter c. 1330 – 1340 The Anointing of David East Anglia (probably Norwich), England
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

It is a revealing and fascinating exhibition that draws (no pun intended) the viewer in and allows them to understand the magnificent, rich and colourful world of Illuminated Manuscripts.

Miniature, Pentecost showing the Virgin surrounded by the twelve apostles. Hainaut, Valenciennes, circa 1480-1490. Marmion, Simon (follower or assistant of). © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Miniature, Pentecost showing the Virgin surrounded by the twelve apostles. Hainaut, Valenciennes, circa 1480-1490. Marmion, Simon (follower or assistant of).
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/

Historiated initial mounted within a roundel with medallion scenes, John the Baptist, Hermit Saints and scenes of Christ’s Passion. Bologna, Parma, Italy, 1490-1500. © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Historiated initial mounted within a roundel with medallion scenes, John the Baptist, Hermit Saints and scenes of Christ’s Passion. Bologna, Parma, Italy, 1490-1500.
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

 

 

The Power of Imagery

Kathy Prendergast – Atlas: A Reverie, 12 Star Gallery, 32 Smith Square, London SW1, until 9th September 2016

Installation View: Kathy Prendergast - Atlas: A Reverie Courtesy of 12 Star Gallery.

Installation View: Kathy Prendergast – Atlas: A Reverie
Courtesy of 12 Star Gallery.

This exhibition features thirty-eight wall-hung images and a freestanding work.  Using the AA Road Atlas of Europe the artist has transformed the maps into what may almost be thought to be charts of the stars but in fact using white and grey dots she denotes villages, towns and cities. In doing it in this manner she raises the question of migration and settlement in both a historical and contemporary way.

 

ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/

 

A New Childhood: Picture Books from Soviet Russia, House of Illustration 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1, until 11th September 2016

Image by Galina and Olga Chichagova. Courtesy of Sasha Lurye

Image by Galina and Olga Chichagova.
Courtesy of Sasha Lurye

This is a wonderful voyage of discovery into the world of Russian children’s books in the post-revolutionary period of the 20s and 30s with these works from the Sasha Lurye Collection. Much of the artwork has not been seen before and includes rare early 20th century Jewish books and hand-printed books made by the Segodnya Collective.  It is fascinating to learn that these books which told about contemporary life or traditional folk tales were influential on book design in Europe, including the UK.

www.houseofillustration.org.uk

 

Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings, Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2, until 11th September 2016

Georgiana Houghton (1814 –1884) The Eye of God c. 1862 Watercolour on paper, 54 x 44 cm Victorian Spiritualists' Union Melbourne, Australia (The inscription on the reverse names Correggio as Houghton’s spirit guide)

Georgiana Houghton (1814 –1884)
The Eye of God
c. 1862
Watercolour on paper, 54 x 44 cm
Victorian Spiritualists’ Union
Melbourne, Australia
(The inscription on the reverse names Correggio as Houghton’s spirit guide)

Georgiana Houghton (1814-1884) was a spiritualist and medium whose drawings were part of her communications with the spirit world.  Her colourful, abstract watercolours are now considered to be a precursor of abstract art.  She believed that when executing the drawings she was being guided by spirits, including Titian, Correggio and St Luke and she duly noted on the reverse of the works whose help she had received. An intriguing show indeed.

http://courtauld.ac.uk/gallery

Beguiling Butterflies

Maria Merian’s Butterflies, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London SW1, until 9th October 2016

Branch of West Indian Cherry with Achilles Morpho Butterfly, 1702-03 Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Branch of West Indian Cherry with Achilles Morpho Butterfly, 1702-03
Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

This is an exquisite gem of an exhibition that delights the eye and informs the mind. The German-born Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) was both an artist and entomologist whose enquiring mind took her and her youngest daughter on the challenging two month voyage across the Atlantic to Suriname, a Dutch colony in South America in 1699. No mean feat at the age of fifty-two, especially as she had had to raise the funds to cover the cost herself. Already known for her 1679 tome on butterflies and moths, her purpose was to study its insects in their natural habitat.

Pineapple with cockroaches, 1702-03 Royal Collection Trust / (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Pineapple with cockroaches, 1702-03
Royal Collection Trust / (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

She and her daughter resided in the hot and humid climate of Paramaribo, the Colony’s capital, and went into the surrounding forests to garner specimens.  These they watched transform into butterflies, accurately recording the process in detailed drawings, which also include their host plants.  She also studied the lizards, snakes and crocodiles she came across too.

Cassava with White Peacock Butterfly and young Golden Tegu, 1702-03 Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Cassava with White Peacock Butterfly and young Golden Tegu, 1702-03
Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Illness forced her to return to Amsterdam in 1701, bringing specimens back with her.  Over the next four years she worked to bring her findings to publication with Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium being published in 1705 to great and deserved acclaim. The vellum plates on display – a mixture of printing and hand-painting – were luxury versions of the plates in Metamorphosis and were acquired by George III for his library.

Grape Vine with Vine Sphinx Moth and Satellite Sphinx Moth, 1702-03 Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Grape Vine with Vine Sphinx Moth and Satellite Sphinx Moth, 1702-03
Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk

 

 

REVOLUTIONARY ART

Revolution under a King: French Prints 1789-92, UCL Art Museum, South Cloisters, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, London, WC1, until 10th June 2016

Jean-Michel Moreau after Noël Le Mire, Louis Seize: Bonnet des Jacobins donné au Roi, le 6 Juin 1792, Copper Engraving, UCL Art Museum

Jean-Michel Moreau after Noël Le Mire,
Louis Seize: Bonnet des Jacobins donné au Roi, le 6 Juin 1792, Copper Engraving,
UCL Art Museum

 This is a delightful small exhibition that focuses on the period between the Fall of the Bastille on July 14th 1789 and the end of 1792.  This was a period when Louis XVI was still king but the old order was undergoing radical change that not only affected France but also caused concerns in the rest of Europe.  The prints are a wonderful record of what was happening in France in this short period as they give an easily understandable interpretation of the very complex issues involved.

Louis XVI was executed on 21st January, 1793.

For visitor information please go to 

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/uclart/visit/exhibitions/Revolutionunderaking

 

 

Comix Creatrix: 100 Women Making Comics, House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross London N1, until 15th May 2016

“Genesis 3” Alison Sampson © Alison Sampson Courtesy of the artist

“Genesis 3” Alison Sampson © Alison Sampson Courtesy of the artist

In some ways this exhibition might be described as “revolutionary” as it traces the emergence and work of female comic creators from the 19th century until the present day, but with an emphasis on the 21st century creators. Many of the works are having their first public airing.

“The Collector” Marion Fayolle © Marion Fayolle Courtesy of the artist

“The Collector” Marion Fayolle © Marion Fayolle Courtesy of the artist

houseofillustration.org.uk

100 years of Ladybird Books

Ladybird by Design, House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, London N1, until 27th September 2015

Shopping with Mother, 1958,  Harry Wingfield

Shopping with Mother, 1958,
Harry Wingfield

This is a trip to a world of nostalgia and a facing up to the fact that we have grown up.  The books have lost none of their appeal and in this show of some 120 of their images one can easily see why they remain popular with children of all ages.  Do go and see it – they even have some vintage books on sale.

Exploring Space, 1964, B. Knight

Exploring Space, 1964,
B. Knight

houseofillustration.org.uk