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Linda McCartney’s photos on display at London gallery May 2, 2008

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An exhibition of Linda McCartney’s photographs, hand-picked by her husband, will be put on display as of April 25 at the James Hyman Gallery in west London.

The prints show the range of the late photographer’s career, which was overshadowed by the fame of her husband, former Beatle Paul McCartney. Featured photos include iconic portraits of John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. But the display also intends to show her range, with family photos of Paul McCartney and their children, as well as landscapes and interiors. Reporters were given a preview of the collection on April 22.

Linda McCartney was a professional photographer before she met Paul McCartney, but her career changed once she settled down, gallery owner James Hyman said. “I’d say she was a very strong photographer, and part of what we’ve done here is we’ve tried to show the range of her work – that it’s not just pictures of rock stars in the ’60s, which she’s most famous for,” Hyman said.

One of the most poignant images exhibited is a self-portrait she took in painter Francis Bacon’s studio when she was receiving chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, Hyman said. The photograph reflects death, showing an empty couch, a bust of British poet William Blake and McCartney’s reflection in a broken mirror. “We tried to be as true to what she wanted as possible,” Hyman said. “That it’s the paper that she liked, the platinum which she liked and the print studio that she used.”

The display has taken three years to come together since Hyman approached Paul McCartney with the idea. There are 25 prints of 28 photographs on sale. Prices start at 4,800 pounds ($9,500; 6,000 euros) each. The exhibition coincides with the 10-year anniversary of McCartney’s death in 1998 at the age of 56. The McCartney family held a private opening at the gallery on the evening of April 23. The exhibition opens to the public on April 25.


Prado opens ‘disturbing’ Goya show May 2, 2008

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It’s not a show for the squeamish or faint-hearted. In its main spring event, Spain’s Prado Museum unveiled an exhibition on April 14 featuring some 200 paintings and drawings by Spanish master Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes, including many depicting in unnerving detail the horrors man is capable of unleashing.

“It’s an exhibition to be seen, but it’s not one to have a good time at,” said Jose Manuel Mantilla, the museum’s drawings and engravings chief. “One comes away from it distressed.” Titled Goya in Times of War, the exhibit includes 90 paintings and more than 100 drawings and engravings from a 25-year period that spanned the changeover from the 18th to the 19th century.

The show is part of Spain’s 200th anniversary commemorations of the country’s war of independence following an invasion by Napoleon’s troops. “Art ought to show beauty, but it should also make us reflect,” said Mantilla.

The centrepiece of the exhibition features two large-scale masterworks, the second and third of May 1808 paintings, specially restored for the show. They depict a gruesome revolt against French forces in Madrid and the chilling reprisal by Napoleon’s troops the day after.

“It’s a disturbing exhibition that leaves little room for optimism,” said the show’s curator, Manuela Mena. The show concentrates on Goya’s work after 1793, when a near-fatal illness left the artist deaf. “He came out of the sickness renewed and started to painting differently. He was searching for independence and liberty,” she said.

During this time he evolves from official Spanish court painter to an independent artist blessed with a critical eye and an exceptional talent for realism, offering an intense insight into the nature of man. In it, he alternates from exuberant portraits of royalty in all their finery – such as the family portrait of Carlos IV – to dozens of paperback-book-size drawings and etchings of Disasters of War, Bullfighting and Follies, series with ironic captions depicting the cruelty, stupidities and vices of Goya’s contemporaries. Many of the works show scenes of bloody and torturous beatings and slayings, bodies piled up in heaps and people fleeing in terror.

The exhibit displays works from the troubled decades covering the French revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and the ensuing treaties that brought an end to the Ancien Regime in France and ushered in modern Europe. Organisers point out that in many ways Goya was a privileged witness, something of a pictorial war reporter. But he broke with a style fashionable up to his time of eulogising war and instead highlighted its barbarity.

“It is the artistic diary of Goya in one of the most turbulent periods of Spanish history,” said Prado director Miguel Zugaza. For curator Mena, the show should help put an end to the myth that Goya was mad. “The work we have before us could not come from a person not in possession of all his faculties,” she said. “The madness was not inside Goya, but outside him.”

Da Vinci’s works on exhibit March 13, 2008

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A Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition focusing on his fascination with machines opens in the Museum of Industry in the German city of Saxony.

The exhibition which opened on Sunday includes more than 40 wooden models of his inventions, including Archimedes screws, lifting devices, pulleys and flywheels. The exhibition will be open until June 15.

One of the advantages of this particular exhibition is that the visitors are permitted to touch many of the exhibits and try them out for themselves, DPA reported.

Da Vinci was a superb painter as well as designer of buildings and machinery and produced studies on subjects from flying machines to weapons. When he died in 1519, he left behind more than 6,000 manuscripts containing details of his life’s work.

100000 Years of Sex exhibition opens in Germany March 1, 2008

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Erotic carvings and excavated Roman artefacts connected to sex will go on display on Saturday in Germany’s best-preserved ancient Roman city, Trier. The temporary exhibition, 100000 Years of Sex, comprises of 250 items, mainly archaeological.

They date back to the Stone Age and show how our ancestors experienced lust and procreation, said Mechthild Neyses-Eiden, deputy director of the museum.

Devised in the Netherlands and first mounted in 2003 in another museum, the exhibition is being supplemented at the Rhenish Museum in Trier with about 50 local Roman-period artefacts recovered by archaeologists.

Trier – called Treveris by the Romans – has several well-preserved buildings, such as a town gate, an arena and a church, from the time when it was a principal northern city of the late Roman empire.

The original exhibition includes primitive objects representing feminine charms, explicit pictures on Greek vases, a medieval chastity belt and an 1813 item described as the world’s oldest condom. The show, inaugurated with a party on Thursday evening, runs from Saturday till June 22. It will be repeated for the last time in the German city of Heilbronn in July 2009.

Neyses-Eiden said it was important to study past attitudes to sex in a neutral way. She said the show illustrated how different historical periods had differing attitudes. “Things we regard as normal now were regarded as revolting in medieval times,” she said. Referring to child sex, she noted that some things allowed among the Greeks were taboo or illegal nowadays.

Tate Britain exhibits work of Pre-Raphaelite expert October 16, 2007

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Event: Millais exhibition at Tate Britain
Date: September 26th 2007 – January 13th 2008

London’s Tate Britain is currently hosting an exhibition focussing on the work of an artist many believe to be one of the greatest Pre-Raphaelite painters to have lived.

Situated close to luxury London hotel 41, Tate Britain is paying homage to John Everett Millais in the first exhibition to examine the entirety of his career for more than 100 years.

According to the Museum’s website, Millais’s work from the 19th century has formed our “vision of Victorian womanhood”, as well as presenting numerous depictions of Shakespearian females such as Ophelia. Ophelia and Mariana, both existing parts of the Tate collection, are joined by pieces lent to the gallery specifically for the exhibition to provide a strong insight into the working mind of the Pre-Raphaelite artist.

Millais is also recognised as one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of artists, critics and poets active in the 19th century.

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