Star power

Weekend Combo: Steve McQueen, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and Moroni’s Masterpieces
Art | 7 November 2014
Text Thomas Davis


This article is part of Weekend Combo – What to do this weekend

We bring you our guide to living well in the world’s capitals, from exhibitions to cinema, food, drink, fashion, music and beyond. Just call it culture and take it, it’s yours.


Space, Man
With time on our fragile Earth seemingly coming to a seemingly catastrophic end, a team of explorers undertake the most important mission in human history. Quite the big hitter for this week’s filmic suggestion, Interstellar. The 49 reels of 70mm film that make up Christopher Nolan’s latest IMAX  blockbuster really pull you into the beauty of every single frame from the start as you see in startlingly crisp detail the journeys of travelling beyond our galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars. Or not.

Enthrallingly played out by stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, the plot’s thrillingly thought-provoking – and cleverly portrays more of the philosophical genres within filmmaking which moviegoers have come to expect from a writer-director who isn’t afraid to hold his mirror up to the darker side of humanity. Not as depressing as it sounds and visually bloody stunning.

Interstellar, 2 hr. 49 min, in cinemas now.

From Ashes to Raking Light
Onto a couple of equally astonishing filmic installations now from two British artists, Steve McQueen and James Richards, who are known for their ability to beguile even the staunchest of art critics with their highly sensory works.

It has been 10 years since Steve McQueen first showed at the Thomas Dane Gallery on Mayfairs’s Duke Street and since then he’s steadily became a national treasure himself – representing Britain at the Venice Biennale, receiving a CBE for his service to the arts in 2011 and enlightening the masses to the horror of colonialism with his film 12 Years A Slave, which took the Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. Casual.

Upon his return to Thomas Dane we see a new film awash with themes of intensity, intimacy, violence and sensuality named Ashes. To be shown alongside other works from the artist’s prestigious career, Ashes explores self-revelation in the extreme but that’s all we’re giving away. Don’t miss it.

Steve McQueen: Ashes, Thomas Dane Gallery, 11 Duke Street St James’s, London, SW1Y 6BN
Until 15th Nov 2014

James Richards
Over at the Cabinet Gallery is an artist nominated for the Turner Prize this year going by the name of James Richards. If you haven’t heard of him, you’re seriously out of the loop: he’s brilliant.

Raking Light, Cabinet, London, © Mark Blower

Spindly, silhouetted trees shiver from the explosive downpour of firework born gunpowder in his newest visual feast Raking Light which, if nothing else, will provide the perfect ‘palate-cleanser’ after the excesses of the working week and cancel out your stresses with some soothing negative treatment.

James Richards: Raking Light, Cabinet Gallery, 49-59 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HX
Until 6th December 2014

“A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts.”
Whether it’s the opulent garb, immaculate brushwork, the beautifully buxom and dashingly powerful sitters or just the sheer immersive scale of his works, it goes without mention that Giovanni Battista Moroni’s 16th Century portraits are amongst the greatest in art history. We, the British public, can now be transfixed by their psychological depth and immediacy in the first full exhibition of his work.

What is a weekend? Detail from a portrait by Giovanni Battista Moroni, c.1560-65

What would the weekend of the thinking gent be without soaking up some of the killer looks and rich European history of these Renaissance masterpieces, freshly hung at the Royal Academy? A sorry one.

Giovanni Battista Moroni, The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
Until 25th Jan 2015

Mayfair’s boozer since 1750
Once the haunt of an endless stream of A list celebs, West-End caners and tabloid snappers during Guy Ritchie’s residency as owner and publican, The Punch Bowl in one of Mayfair’s finest residential streets has been serving up the best grub and ale to those in the know since 1750. Proper British it is.

Reopen this month, it’s had a major refurb and menu revamp. With three course lunches at £26, who wouldn’t want to idle away Sunday afternoon in a seat where the flush and famous have most probably been paralytic of an afternoon.

The Punchbowl, 41 Farm St, Mayfair, London, W1J 5RP

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