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We saw quite a good number of original exhibitions this Spring in Europe. Some of them required years of efforts, such as those dedicated to surrealism in London or to Gentile da Fabriano in his native town. They will still be open for a few days : if you are on vacation, it is high time to run to them!

GÉRARD SCHNEIDER, Sainte-Croix (Suisse), 1896 - Paris, 1986 Opus OP-92-B , 1955. Huile sur toile, 114 x 146 cm
Lorenzelli Arte, Milano © Adagp, Paris 2006 Archivio Lorenzelli Arte Milano


FABRIANO – The town of Fabriano is known worldwide for the quality of its paper. It is equally proud of being the native town of a master of the Renaissance, a representative of the “international gothic”, an amateur of precious decors, and has dedicated to him the first retrospective ever organized. Some thirty altarpieces by Gentile da Fabriano are shown, next to works by his contemporaries such as Masaccio, Ghiberti, Masolino da Panicale or Fra Angelico. Itineraries based on a theme, named “Terre del Gentile”, allow us to discover this beautiful region of the Marches giving to the Adriatic sea.
Gentile da Fabriano e l’altro Rinascimento, Spedale di Santa Maria del Buon Gesù.

  • Gentile da Fabriano, Spedale di Santa Maria del Buon Gesù, until July 23.
    The website (only in italian)


    LONDON- The Hayward Gallery offers a very enticing exhibition. While pushing forward the current argument on surrealism, it looks closely at one of its "internal ennemies", Georges Bataille, and particularly at his magazine Documents, published in 1929-1930 and financially supported by Wildenstein, the famous gallery owner. In its pages he studied primitive art, sculpture, movies, contemporary music (Stravinsky) with the avowed intention of showng that artistic creation has never been the disembodied & automatic process André Breton pretended it to be. Bataille claimed artistic creation was very deeply stimulated by death, blood and sex. The curators took a shot at playing Sherlock Holmes, looking for each of the works that illustrated the magazine. In spite of the difficulty of convincing the lenders about an event that is no simple monographic exhibition, they succeeded in bringing together nearly two hundrerd works: some Miro (of which a Composition from the Grenoble museum), a Picasso collage (Three dancers), photos by Eli Lotar (of the slaughter house of la Villette), a Mustache-head and bottles by Hans Arp, an African mask, etc. All of these works draw up a hollow portrait of surrealism, far from Breton's official line, he who did not enjoy grappling with the darker sides of our minds...

  • Battle of documents, at the Hayward Gallery, until July 30
    The presentation of the exhibition


    MALAGA-Santiago Sierra built his reputation on his installations and provocative performances. They are rarely accepted without causing a stir and the museums that have hosted them never survive the experience without a cold sweat. The Center for Contemporary art of Malaga as accepted the challenge though no one has forgotten the episode of the synagogue in Pulheim, near Köhln. In order to protest against "the banalization of th ememory of the Shoah", Sierra had turned the synagogue into a gaz chamber, fed by exhaust pipes from six cars, while the visitors went through with gaz masks. The exhibition was closed as soon as it opened, on 12 March. In Malaga, Santiago Sierra presents the product of his performance from the Autumn of 2005 in Bucharest, "the Corridor of the House of the People". Photos, videos and large diptychs show hundreds of women begging while repeating mechanically "Give me something". Furthermore, the artist foresees a special intervention completing this project on the ill effects of dictatorships.

  • Santiago Sierra at the CAC Malaga, until August 13 2006.
    The website of CAC Malaga


    PARIS– Cosmopolitan Paris ? We immediately think of the Roaring Twenties or the period between the two wars. Though not as well known, the School of Paris that bloomed after the Liberation was also superbly international. Creators from all over the world rubbed shoulders in Paris under the banner of lyrical abstraction: Chinese Zao Wou-ki, German artists Hans Hartung and Wols, Portuguese Vieira da Silva, Russians Lanskoy and Poliakoff, as well as Atlan, Debré, Soulages, Schneider, the very fiery Mathieu and André Bissière, not sufficiently known. By breaking away from its policy of confirmed values (Raphaël, Botticelli, Gauguin), the Luxembourg Museum dares an exhibition that is more original therefore more "difficult". It merits being said!

  • Musée du Luxembourg, until 6 August 2006
    Read the article (in French) onwww.artaujourdhui.info


    The Musée de la Poste is particularly interested in the place the written word plays in art. In this sense Gaston Chaissac makes an exceptional contribution. By bringing together more than 200 works of art – paintings, collages, letters and drawings often never shown before – the exhibition enhances the value of the letters between Chaissac and his network of correspondents as missives, as well as the letters as components in the writing of his paintings and his collages. This is also the opportunity to talk of nearly twenty of his correspondents, whether famous or anonymous, through a work, a photograph and their missives.

  • Musée de la Poste, until July 22 2006
    Read the article onwww.art-of-the-day.info


    VEVEY - The Cabinet cantonal des estampes holds a collection of over 100 etchings by Rembrandt, one of the most remarkable collections held in a Swiss museum. It was started last century by three enlightened amateurs and has been regularly enriched ever since. An impresive selection is shown for the celebration. for the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth. The exhibition invites us to follow a chronological presentation in which the periods of Rembrandt's life reflect the creation of his engraved master pieces.

  • Cabinet cantonal des estampes, until August 6 2006.
    Read the article onwww.art-of-the-day.info


    VIENNA – When compared to what the Viennese actionnists had the nerve to do in terms of happenings against the bourgeois morals – including blood, excrements, sperm – all other performances after the war remain cold. It happened during the sixties, but, in the midst of the liberalization of moral standards, the interventions by these militants of the extreme did not please everyone. Following the Art and Revolution session at the university of Vienna in 1968, Günther Brus and Otto Muehl, the objects of legal proceedings, had to flee the country. One of the members of the group, Rudolph Schwarzkogler went even further by presenting his own suicide in 1969 as his ultimate performance. The photos, films and works presented here belong to the Julius Hummel gallery, the main collector of the movement.

  • Viennese actionnism, until July 16 2006, at the MUMOK.
    Presentation of the exhibition


    ZURICH-It has taken some time for the embroglio surrounding Giacometti's inheritance to be unravelled. Now we are in for a pleasant surprise. The Kunsthaus in Zurich has unveiled 75 plaster casts by the Swiss artist, which hardly anyone has seen until now. This is understandable as they were in the artist's Parisian workshop rue Hippolyte-Maindron(in the 14th arrondissement) when Giacometti left it in December 1965. Following his death a month later his widow Annette stocked the plaster casts and later they were in the midst of the legal quarrel between the Swiss family and Annette's executors in charge of creating a foundation in France. A decision was only reached in April 2004. We now can see, among others, Reclining woman or Unpleasant object to throw away in their intermediary version: they are no longer the first trial printed in the soft clay and not yet the final bronze version. When one considers Giacometti's hesitations, his reluctance to look at a final work, these pieces take on a special meaning.

  • Plasters by Alberto Giacometti, at the Kusthaus in Zurich, until July 30.