Galleries - December 2012

PUBLIC EYE – on London As the pace quickens in the hectic run-up to the Christmas festivities, the public museums and galleries offer a measure of respite and a top-up of cultural sustenance. For those unable to pause in the quest for presents they also have extensive retail opportunities and a broad span of things suitable for the artistically inclined. For sculpture enthusiasts – indeed for anyone at all keen on art – ‘Bronze’ at the Royal Academy is an absolute must see – but be quick as it finishes on Dec 9. It scans almost 5,000 years with around 150 works and certainly lives up to its billingas a landmark show. The catalogue makes an ideal gift in itself. There’s a spate of photographic exhibitions at the moment. The Barbican Art Gallery has 400 works from a dozen key figures of the 1960s and 70s in ‘EverythingWas Moving’ (until Jan 13). Tate Modern is showingurban life through the lens of William Klein and Daido Moriyama (until Jan 20) and the V&A presents the first major show of contemporary photography from around the Middle East (until Apr 7). Another ‘first’ is ‘Seduced by Art’ at the National Gallery , which juxtaposes period and contemporary photographs with celebrated paintings (to Jan 20). Renowned painters can of course also be found at Tate Britain, where ‘Pre- Raphaelites: Victorian Avant Garde’ is on until Jan 13. Alongside this until Jan 6 is the latest incarnation of the Turner Prize exhibition. Fashion fans are offered a double treat at the V&A with ‘Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950’ which promises “beautiful ballgowns, red carpet eveningdresses and catwalk showstoppers” (until Jan 6); this is complemented by ‘Hollywood Costume – over 100 costumes from cinema history, until Jan 27. a Ronnie Wood paintingor drawingfrom Castle Galleries for Christmas. I’m passionate about art and my partner is a guitarist so a Ronnie Wood self portrait or a paintingof himself with his iconic RollingStones’ band mates, combines our love for art and music.” Guy Peploe The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh “The good thing about giving somethingspecial to family is that you get to enjoy it yourself! Either way I would choose an item that came up in an Edinburgh Bonhams’ sale recently from the contents of Hensol House, ‘Property of a Gentleman’. There was a Roman alabaster carvingin the form of a lion’s head from around the third century. It almost glows in the dark – it really caught my eye.” clockwise from top: Ted Few, greenstone tribal art. Helen Thorpe, ‘Big Bertha’. Austin Osman Spare, ‘Reclining Nude’, watercolour & pencil. R oss Loveday, ‘Dark Shadows’, drypoint. R onnie Wood, ‘Self Portrait’. K en Howard, ‘Grand Canal’, oil on board. R oman alabaster carving. 13. GALLERIES DECEMBER 12