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The Great Tour is still in fashion! An itinerary through Europe should not be limited to touching the beaches, lakes and other natural beauties. Raphaël, Picasso, Friedrich or Kandinsky all await you in the cultural capitals of the Old World. Another advantage not to be underestimated lies under the regular contact with these stars of art: there is no risk of catchng a sunburn!

ALBERTO SAVINIO Savinio, Miss Centaur ,1946, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Udine.


AMSTERDAM – The opening of Japan as of 1868 - the Meiji period - was a new source of inspiration that manifested itself to Western artists, made popular in particular through the prints. Vincent Van Gogh was also conquered, as he wrote to this brother Theo that Japanese art «makes one happier». The collection presented at the Van Gogh Museum, one of the most complete in the world, was brought together by businessman Nasser Khalili, born in Iran in 1945. It includes lacquered pannels, cloisonné enamels, porcelain, objects in metal and a spectacular incense burner four metres tall. Paintings of Van Gogh's are placed along the itinerary and show how the Japanese themes – the iris and other flowers, the birds, the country bridges – all penetrated his work.

  • Wonders of Imperial Japan at the Van Gogh Museum, until October 22
    The website of the Van Gogh Museum


    ANTWERP- The Flemish town has organized a true hymn to Jan Fabre. No less than three hundred exhibitions, not including the adjoining events, such as the one held at the Rode Zeven restaurant-gallery, are going to be held. It is true that the artist has so many facets -visual artist, choreographer, theater writer, movie director -that it is difficult to define him. To make things easier, he has been defined as the homo faber. At the MuHKA, the museum of contemporary art, one can follow his genesis by looking at super-8 movies and photographs of his youth. At the Royal Museum of Fine Arts he emphasizes his own sculptures or films with major works from the past, Jean Fouquet's Virgin, Memling's angel musicians, Cranach's Eve. When the ultra contemporary finds its roots in classic art... Last but not least the municipal library has brought together his manuscripts and some busts of himself he accepted to make in order to accompany Schiller and Goethe.

  • The three exhibitions finish on different dates: 15 August at the MuKHA and the library, 3 September at the museum of Fine Arts
    The website of the museum


    BALE - For years Edgar Varèse was considered an isolated maverick on the contemporary music scene. He did achieve final recognition as such leading postwar avant-garde figures as Pierre Boulez and John Cage discovered his music and drew on his achievements. By the time of his death, on November 6, 1965, he was regaled with honors and awards. He left behind a small but impressive body of works that has challenged artists and scholars time and again in the forty years since his death to come to grips with his art. The Paul Sacher Foundation - an international center for documentation and research on contemporary music – was able to acquire Varèse‘s archives. This joint exhibition, mounted with the Museum Tinguely, which adds to these exceptional documents paintings, drawings, and musical instruments on loan from international collections, offers to the public the first comprehensive glance at the legacy of this path-breaking twentieth-century composer.

  • Edgar Varèse, composer, sound sculptor, visionary, Musée Tinguely, until August 27 2006.
    Read the article on art-of-the-day.info


    BARCELONA - The greatest industrial catastrophy in the history of humankind, the Chernobyl disaster, has never been the subject of an exhibition. Works of photographers or children’s drawings have been shown, but no attempt was made to show this huge event of contemporary history. This exhibition has taken years of patient on-site work, mainly in Ukraine, but also in Belarus and Russia. Its curator, Galia Ackerman, a French historian and journalist of Russian origin, went there to find photographs bearing witness to the catastrophy, archive footage from state television, medals, suits and honorary diplomas of “liquidators”, press cuttings, maps, children’s drawings and many other testimonies that have not yet been collected in museums.

  • Once upon a time Chernobyl Centre de Cultura Contemporania, until October 8 2006.
    Read the article on art-of-the-day.info


    BRUSSELS - Pushed by his passion for the Far East, Léon Verbert (1879 -1941) headed there as soon as he finished his studies. In 1907 he was in China and, in 1908, he made an illustrated report on the Dalaï Lama’s visit to Beijing. Throughout his long stay and his numerous trips in the region, he collected some 600 pieces, and handed it 50 years ago to the Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire (Royal Museums of Art and History ).

  • Art of Tibet the Léon Verbert collection, Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire, until November 15 2006.
    Read the article onart-of-the-day.info


    The Brueghels, the Giacomettis, the Booschaerts: the history of art gives various examples of artists brothers. How did they live through this original situation? BRUSSELS - This is the theme the exhibition explores at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, showing how a desire of uniqueness is born: the last known groups of brothers often try to stick out by using pseudonyms, like De Chirico and Alberto Savinio.

  • Family affairs, brothers and sisters in art Centre for fine arts, until September 10 2006.
    Read the article on art-of-the-day.info


    ESSEN – One of the apostles of Romanticism in painting, known for his wild, deserted landscapes (or contemplated by characters in black, seen from the back) is the object of a retrospective in the heart of the Ruhr region. It wil be significantly inaugurated by the Queen of Sweden. Friedrich, born in 1775 in the town of Greifswald in Pomerania, was indeed a subject of the Swedish crown up to the Convention of Vienna, that is for two thirds of his life (he died in 1840). The exhibition groups together nearly 80 paintings and one hundred drawings, gathered together from fifty different institutions. The exhibition is sponsored by the energetics company E.ON and aims to prove Essen deserves to be the European cultural capital (it is a candidate for 2010), and will be used as the fireworks prior to the complete renovation of the Folkwang museum. Among the works shown, a number of « classics » such as The Glacier, The traveler over a sea of clouds, The Ages of Life, a painting-testament painted in 1835, the Cross in the mountain or the Rügen cliffs. It is deemed his most famous painting and had never been lent by its owner, the Reinhart collection from Winterthur, in Switzerland.

  • Caspar David Frierich until August 20, at the Folkwanf museum.
    Presentation of the exhibition


    FRANCFORT - The city through the lens of French impressionists and German expressionists: such is the confrontation the Schirn Kunsthalle of Francfort offers. The former saw it as a object of admiration with its boulevards, its cafés, its lights, its civilization of leisure. The latter saw it as a monster with tentacles engendering poverty and violence. The truth undoubtedly lies somewhere between the two…

  • The conquest of the street, from Monet to Grosz The Schirn Kunsthall, until September 3 2006 (only in French).
    Read the article (in French) on/artaujourdhui.info


    GENEVA -– For over thirty years the work of American ceramist Betty Woodman has not stopped imposing itself as one of the most remarkable on the international scene for it has not ceased defining itself. In order to pay a homage to this young seventy-five year-old artist, the Ariana museum has associated itself to the Museu Nacional do Azulejo, which presented the exhibition in Lisbon last winter. The Genovese version also has its American correspondant: the Metropolitan Museum of Art from New York has been offering since 24 April a Betty Woodman retrospective.

  • Betty Woodman, Théâtres, Musée Ariana, until October 1 (in French)
    Read the article (in French) onartaujourdhui.info


    LAUSANNE - A major retrospective spanning Georg Baselitz career from 1960 to 2005. With about a hundred oils, drawing, prints and sculptures, mostly from the artist’s personal collection, the exhibition gives a more essential as well as a more intimate vision of the German painter’s intense work now shown on a par with the greatest, from Picasso to Bacon.

  • Baselitz, Fondation de l'Hermitage, until October 29 2006.
    Read the article onart-of-the-day.info


    LJUBLJANA - The exhibition, conceived within the framework of cultural exchanges between Italy and Slovenia attempts to introduce the fascinating history of the region of Siena through works of art – painting, sculpture, biccherne and illuminated codices. A vision of the past which still offers today's "citizens" and travellers crucial elements to ponder the chaos and disorder of the contemporary world.

  • Masterworks from Sienna from Gothic to Renaissance, Narodna Galerija, until October 15 2006.
    Read the article onart-of-the-day.info


    LONDON – No one could render as he did the wet English skies, the low, round clouds, the cows smelling the hay carts, the crystal-clear rivers and the ever green fields: Constable is, together with Turner, the most talented British landscape artist. And he loved above all to work in large formats as this exhibition shows, bringing together his «six-footers», that is paintings 6 feet tall (approximately 1.80 m), something unheard and unseen of even during his day. Each of these nine compositions is accompanied by its preparatory sketch, of the same size, with very vivid and spontaneous drawings. Six pairs refer to his favorite motif, the Stour river (1820-21), with its meanders, its hedges of poplars, the calm village dwellers. The other paintings, from a later period, show the cathedral of Salisbury or the castle of Hadleigh. These ambitious hymns to the landscape were meant to attract the visitor's eye at the exhibitions at the Royal Academy. They succeded, as two centuries later we are still admiring them. They have lost nothing of their immediacy nor of their atmospheric freshness.

  • Constable, the Great Landscapes at the Tate Britain, until August 28
    Presentation of the exhibition


    LONDON-One of the pioneers of abstraction, Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) is the subject of an exhibition at the Tate Modern, which has just proceeded to change the hanging of its collections. The retrospective is focused on the first two decades of the XXth century, a very creative and cosmopolitan era: the artist lived succesfully in Munich and Murnau (where he played an essential part in the movement of the Blue Cavalier), returned to Russia to take up certain responsibilities at the beginning of the Revolution, then left again to Berlin and Weimar, to teach at the Bauhaus. The loans from the Russian museums represent a large part of the fifty paintings and 35 works on paper exhibited a the Tate. They illustrate the evolution of the language from figurative to abstract, done on a stable framework: the game of color.

  • Kandinsky at the Tate Modern, until September 24 2006
    Brief description of the exhibition


    LONDON – It was Romanticism that allowed the image of the accursed artist, on the margin of the society he is fighting against, to assert itself as a sound value (even if it existed before: just remember Borromini who committed suicide by throwing himself on his sword). With Van Gogh, Gauguin, failure, suffering, unhappiness become dazzling signs of talent. This is the «mythology» the National Gallery analyses in its Summer exhibition. It has invited specialists in the field with this aim, as they experienced this in their own flesh and blood or because they personified it perfectly: Courbet, with a self-portrait from his youth whose trace had been lost for nearly thirty years, Delacroix with representations of tutelary divinities such as Tasso or Michel-Angelo, Manet, the Nabis. But not only French artists, even if they excelled in this field: we can also mention Whistler, Munch or Schiele, whose existence was so tragically short. The 70 works presented are put in order in significant themed sections–the heroe, the dandy, the bohème, etc.

  • Rebels and Martyrs at the National Gallery, until 28 August 2006


    MADRID – Two of the major Spanish museums – the Prado and the Reina Sofía – celebrate Picasso once again. And this has a double justification: the 125th anniversary of the painter's birth and, more so, the 25th anniversary of the return of Guernica to Spain, following an exile to the MoMA in New York. At Reina Sofía, this icon of the XXth century is at the center of a group of other paintings of the same period by Picasso, such as l’Ossuaire (1945, MoMA), and a work equally powerful, 3 May 1808 at Madrid: the executions on mount Príncipe Pío by Goya. At the Prado, Picasso is confronted to older masters such as Dürer, Tiziano, Vélasquez, Zurbarán or Caravaggio. Among these paintings, we should mention The ironing maid (1904, Guggenheim), The Woman in blouse (1905, Tate Modern), Small decanter and three bowls (1908, Ermitage) or The rape of the Sabine women (1963, Boston Museum of Fine Arts). In total, some fifty works by the man from Malaga are visible: a worthy effort when one knows their value, the cost of the insurance and how museums dislike being separated from them, be it temporarily.

  • Picasso, tradición y vanguardia, until September 3 2006 at the Prado and Reina Sofía musuems.
    Presentation of the exhibition


    MADRID - The Thyssen-Bornemisza museum dedicates its temporary rooms to the Pérez Simón collection. The European amateurs do not know it, for two reasons. First of all because the owner is Mexican and secondly because he has not yet shown it to the public. But as it is now looking for a home in Mexico, it is no longer the moment to be discreet. Among the one thousand works that it holds - manuscripts, objets d'art, sculptures, paintings - the selection pointed to some sixty paintings that give an idea of the quality of the whole collection. From Bronzino and Cranach to Rubens (aVirgin), from Canaletto (the Palace of the Doges) to Tiepolo, from Fantin-Latour (a beautiful flower composition) to Cézanne, including Gauguin or a View of Antibes by Monet, the history of western art is shown in its ensemble. We will surely not discover absolute masterpieces but rather a very solid base that would make any museum in the province jump for joy. This also proves that in order to follow a traditional Grand Tour, one needs to skip over the oceans…

  • Colección Pérez-Simón, at the Thyssen-Bornemisa museum, until September 10 2006
    The press release and a fex significant paintings


    NEW YORK – The Neue Galerie is presenting a very small but very awaited exhibition. There will only be five paintings, but they are signed by "the most expensive in the world", Gustav Klimt. And among these five paintings there is the now famous Portrait of Adèle Bloch-Bauer, in which the model is all dressed in gold. This is the painting that sold for 135 million dollars just a few weeks ago. The buyer was none other than Ronald Lauder, the founder of the Neue Gallery, dedicated to Austrian and German art. The five works, robbed by the nazis in 1938, were only returned to the legitimate heirs recently and it is not certain there will be many opportunites in the future to see them all together (unless Ronald Lauder slips his hand back into his pocket…) So here we have, to complete the quintet: another portrait of Adèle Bloch-Bauer from 1912, Le Bouleau -The silver birch-(1903), Le Pommier -The apple tree-(1912) and Maisons à Unterach -Houses in Unterach-(1916).

  • Five paintings by Klimt, at the Neue Gallery, until September 18 2006.
    The website of the Neue Galerie


    ROME-The exhibition Raffaello, from Florence to Rome is the first stone of an ambitious project announced by the Borghese Gallery, programmed over a decade. The principle is simple, consisting in setting up monographic retrospectives, triggered off by a masterpiece from their collection. The first of the ten is Raffaello's The Deposition. Some thirty paintings and as may drawings have been brought together, including the Aldobrandi Madonna from the National Gallery in London, the Virgin with the candelabra from the Baltimore museum of Art, the Virgin with Child with Saint Jeremy and Saint Francis from Berlin. The paintings from the museum of Chantilly (among them The Three Graces) will not take part in this event as their status forbid any loan. Obviously, The Deposition will be at the center of the exhibition, with its eventful itinerary. Painted in 1507 in Florence, it was shown for a whole century in a church in Perugia before being stolen by Pope Paul V for his nephew collector. Nepotism in all its glory! The arrival of Napoleon was no blessing as he took the painting off to Paris in 1797 and the Borghese Gallery only got the central part in 1816, while the rest was given to the Vatican.

  • Raffaello, from Florence to Rome, at the Borghese Gallery, until August 27 2006.


    ROME – The Italian capital used to trail behind in so far as the main circuits of contemporary art are concerned, but it is catching up with the time lost. We shall soon see the Maxxi (national center for contemporary arts), drawn by Zaha Hadid, in the place of a former barracks, and the enlargement of the Macro (the museum of contemporary art of Rome), designed by Odile Decq. In the meantime, the Macro already has an overabundant program. This summer we will admire the large installation Exit by Christian Boltanski and a retrospective by Marc Quinn. The artist, in the sphere of the Young British Artists, had people talking quite a bit about him a few years ago. During work done in the home of his number one collector, Charles Saatchi, the plug of the freezer was pulled out and the statue in frozen plasma that represents the bust of Marc Quinn had melted. We can imagine that in order to survive the Roman Summer all the necessary steps will be taken to ensure the preservation of the works (thirty will be exhibited) that use milk, placenta, etc.- as well as marble or simply paper to lie down drawings on - to talk about the frail and perishable nature of the human body.

  • Marc Quinn and Boltanski, at the Macro, until September 2006.
    The website of the MARCO


    STOCKHOLM - The iconoclast Paul McCarthy has landed in Sweden for an exhibition that will undoubtedly make history: it covers 2000 m2, and is the largest ever dedicated to him. It will be anounced at the entrance by his monumental Daddies Ketchup inflatable and 9 metres tall. Sixty films will be presented and the span of his works will be very wide, from sculpture Dead H in 1968 up to the installation Bunker Basement, done between 2003 and 2006. The artist, born in 1945, draws up metaphors on colonialism, on the cult of images, on consumer society, loves to represent body fluids by substitutes such as ketchup or chocolate sauce, and is also fascinated by the world of pirates. He was happy to learn that the Moderna Museet is built on the site of a former naval base and that some of his works will be shown here for the first time in the former prison of the sailors...

  • Paul McCarthy, at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, until September 3
    The presentation of the exhibition on the Museum website