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IMPRESSIONISTS BY THE SEA. ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS LONDON. Eugène Louis Boudin, L'impératrice Eugénie sur la plage à Trouville, 1863. Oil on panel, 34.3 x 57.8 cm. Glasgow City Council (Museums). Photo © Glasgow City Council (Museums) www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/Visitors/MuseumsGalleries/photolibrary.htm

From Spain to Germany, in Italy and Austria, our traditional Summer travels are an opportunity for a crash review in art history. From the Primitive masters to the Situationist International, this is our selection.



VIENNA – Greek collector Dakis Joannou is an important actor on the contemporary scene with Deste, his Athenian foundation. In 2005, he had loaned part of his collection to the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He is doing that again, to two Austrian museums in Vienna this time, on a themed framework. The selected pieces broach the universe of dreams and their corollary, trauma, the psychic wound that hides in our subconscious. This can be done literally with the mutilated corpses of Paul McCarthy and Cindy Sherman. Or in a more allusive manner, with drawings and ornamented portraits by young artists such as Paul Chan, Dorotha Jurczak or Dimitris Protopapas. The Mumok becomes the domain of the large installations: Amazing Grace by Nari Ward, with 280 children's games, among them compressed watering pumps from the firemen's trucks, and Your Strange Certainty Still Kept, a wall of water illuminated by Olafur Eliasson.

  • Kunsthalle Wien and MUMOK, until October 4
    The website of the Kunsthalle Wien www.kunsthallewien.at


    VIENNA - At the beginning of expressionism, a group founded in Dresden in 1905 would play a very important role. Grouped together under the name Die Brücke (The Bridge), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff rebeled against academic painting. They used colors almost excessively and wanted simple forms (it is rather significant that they were all actually architecture students). Like many other experimental groups, theirs did not last very long but they did have time before separating in 1913, to fashion talents such as that of Max Pechstein, Otto Mueller or Norwegian artist Emil Nolde. In order to demonstrate the group's influence, the exhibition at the Albertina presents nearly 250 works, produced until the end of the twenties. They come from various collections but above all from that of Hermann Gerlinger. It started in the fifties, and focused on sheding light on the unknown elements of the movement.

  • Albertina, until September 2
    The website of the Albertina www.albertina.at


    VIENNA – He personifies the vitality of the Vienese artistic scene, the Vienna of the end of the century of so highly refined it became a symbol of European civilization. Koloman Moser (1868-1918) was remarkably eclectic, and he drew furniture as well as coffee pots, tinted glass windows for churches as well as materials, magazine covers as well as bank notes. The exhibition shows his role in the genesis of the movement of the Viennese Secession (by recreating in particular his workshop, furnished by his friend Josef Hoffmann). Moser drifted away from this version of Art nouveau and put all of his energy into giving life to the Wiener Werkstätte, workshops of applied arts founded in 1903 with Hoffman, while, simultaneously, his work became increasingly geometric. His paintings and drawings, an aspect much less known to the public and marked by the influence of Hodler and Klimt, are largely exhibited.

  • Leopold Museum, until September 10
    The website of the Leopold Museum www.leopoldmuseum.org


    The factories of Charles of Lorraine

    BRUSSELS - Like all other enlightened princes of his time Charles of Lorraine (1712-1780), the general governor of the Austrian Netherlands, had a passion for the sciences, unusual objects and inventions, and he arranged cabinets of curiosities especially for them. One of the greater events of the XVIIIth century was the publication in Paris by Diderot and d'Alembert of the Encyclopaedia, the Dictionnary raisonné of sciences, the arts and trades, that explained in particular, based on illustrations, manufacturing techniques and their applications. The fashion of these novelties had a considerable influence on the taste of princes who took a liking for them and integrated workshops into their domains. At the end of the 1750s, Charles of Lorraine had a big building built in the park or Tervueren to install factories that were extremely active.

  • Royal Museums of Art and History, until December 2
    Read the article art-of-the-day.info



    LONDON – Dali and cinema? One thinks immediately of his two most famous successes: his collaboration with Buñuel in Un chien andalou and L’Age d’or. The second caused such a scandal that it endangered his principle sponsor, the viscount of Noailles… A donkey in a piano, a razor blade slicing an eye: the images that inspired the world of dreams have become icons of surrealism. But, as the exhibition at the Tate Modern demonstrates- through one hundred works of which sixty paintings- Dali's relations with the world of movies were not limited to these two experimental films. His universe attracted offers from Hitchcock to collaborate in the scene of the dream in The house of doctor Edwards in 1945 with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman, as well as from Walt Disney (the short Destino was finished in 2003, long after the two men died). On the other hand, Dali employs a way of writing or an atmosphere one could qualify as being «cinematographic» in some of his paintings such as Ossification matinale du cyprès (Morning ossification of a cyprus tree).

  • Tate Modern, until September 9
    The website of the Tate Modern www.tate.org.uk


    LONDON – Two names alone are enough to symbolise the grandeur of Dutch painting in the XVIIth century: Rembrandt and Frans Hals. They are obviously present in the exhibition the National Gallery (in collaboration with the Mauritshuis where it will head for after London) dedicates to Dutch portrait artists. Sixty works by some thirty artists show how the emergence of a new business bourgeoisie, following Spain's independance, was accompanied by new artistic expressions. Proud of their success, and concerned with a trace for posterity or of showing their work in front of the citizens they administered, these enlightened bourgeois put in a commission for various portraits: posing, in full activity (the famous Lesson of anatomy by doctor Tulp by Rembrandt, (that will be present), with their families(The twins Clara and Aelbert by Salomon de Bray), or with their peers. In the span of time chosen, from 1599 (middle of the reign of Maurice of Orange, three years prior to the foundation of the East India Company) in 1683, numerous other less known painters officiated. It will be a perfect opportunity to discover some of them.

  • National Gallery, until September 16
    The website of the National Gallery www.nationalgallery.org.uk


    LONDON - The exhibition, which consists of some sixty paintings, explores the origins and development of the scenes of the newly fashionable seaside from the early 1860s to the early 1870s, in the work of Monet, Manet, Courbet and Whistler. It looks at beach scenes of the 1880s, in which the Impressionists, notably Monet, turned their backs on the depictions of people and used their new painting techniques to capture the effects of weather and light on the coastline.

  • Royal Academy of Arts, until September 30
    Read the article art-of-the-day.info



    Frankfurt -A.R. Penck is at the forefront in reviving painting in contemporary German art. He has created a visual universe that has become widely reproduced, mixing pictorial signs and abstracted figures, at a crossroads between prehistoric painting and modern scientific iconography, adressing questions such as the Cold War, violence, art and science. In the first large survey held in Germany in the last twenty years, about 130 large-format paintings will be exhibited, along with objects and sculptures while a full section will be dedicated to a less-known aspect of his work: the artist books.

  • Schirn Kunsthalle, until September 16
    Read the article art-of-the-day.info


    KASSEL – Set up in a small German town, it is the least-known point of the trilogy. Yet it is here, through the long period of thought and preparation, that the deep movements that work at contemporary art can be identified. Each edition is entrusted to a new team (Roger Buergel and Ruth Noack in 2007) and the art is presented as projects. To further distinguish itself from other events, Documenta does not organise an opening cocktail for a «happy few» but rather a huge party in the town's park (Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe) to which all the residents are invited. Documenta, founded in 1955, draws its originality from its limits (a town that is not very touristy, small exhibit areas, a budget of 19 million euros of which only 10% are dedicated to the exhibitions), that really give it the aspect of a high mass of art, that of a group of art lovers rather than a social gathering. And the lovers are many: there were 650 000 at Documenta 11 !

  • Kassel, until September 23
    The website of the Documenta 12 www.documenta12.de


    MUNICH – Jan Krugier, based in Geneva, is known as one of the greatest gallery owners of our time. His reputation as a collector is also well founded but not as easy to confirm… The Hypo Kunsthalle now offers us the opportunity by showing one of the largest selections seen to date, with nearly 250 works. Born in 1928 inm a Jewish family in Poland of which he was the sole survivor from the concentration camps, young Jan settled in Switzerland at the end of the war. He had decided to become an artist and befriended Alberto Giacometti whom he traveled to Paris with in 1947. It was there that he abandoned his first love and decided to become an art dealer. Jan Krugeier's first purchae, together with his wife, was a drawing by Seurat in 1968. After that they gathered a collection that goes through time and space. From the masters of the Renaissance of Ferrara (Cosmè Tura)to Robert Rauschenberg, from a anatomy study by Rubens to a still life by Cezanne, from a work in pastels by Manet to a watercolor by Klee, without omitting "primitive" art, the spectrum of this dialogue of cultures is very wide.

  • Hypo Kunsthalle, until October 7
    The website of the Hypo Kunsthalle www.hypo-kunsthalle.de



    VENICE – The "in" thing to do is to say one is disappointed by each edition. But how can draw a conclusion when the offer is so varied? The Biennale of Venice attracts participants from numerous countries and offers an unequaled panorama on contemporary creation. It is the Queen mother of all biennial art events, far ahead of the current throngs that fill the air, and the one that continues to set the tone. Whether in the former Italian pavilion, inaugurated in 1895 for the first edition, in the national pavilions, designed by such distinguished architects as Josef Hoffman, Alvar Aalto, Carlo Scarpa, or, for the past few years, in other locations such as the Arsenale, the Biennale is also the opportunity for an architectural promenade. For the 2007 edition, we can note the presence of Sophie Calle at the French pavilion, Eric Duyckaert at the Belgian one, two among the 77 national representations (a record). The director of the event, Robert Storr, has chosen one hundred artists for the international section, at the Arsenale. At the heart of this selection, the Artiglierie show an anthology of African art, around the Angolese collection of Sindika Dokolo. The Gold Lion reward given for the first time to an African artist (photographer Malick Sidibé) is a true symbol.

  • Various locations, until September 21
    The website of the Biennale of Venice www.labiennale.org


    VENICE - This exhibition which had its premiere in 2006 at the Deutsche Guggenheim, the unique joint venture between Deutsche Bank and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in Berlin, examines affinities between the two artists, who, though separated by generation and geography, share certain key aesthetic and conceptual concerns. Drawn largely from the Guggenheim Museum’s in-depth holdings of works by Barney and Beuys, the exhibition examines the metaphoric use of materials, the focus on metamorphosis, and the relationship between action and its documentation in their respective practices. It also reveals fundamental, philosophical differences between Barney and Beuys -fueled by the divide between modern and postmodernist thought - that, in turn, further enhances our understanding of each artist's work.

  • Peggy Guggenheim Collection, until September 2
    Read the article art-of-the-day.info


    NAPLES – In a way, he is Yves Klein's cousin. They have the same preference for monochronism (in his case The Achromes rather than the Klein blue), they both like to be provocative (not a fall into empty space but the famous Merda d'artista kept in a can) and also had the same meteoric itinerary. Piero Manzoni was active for less than a decade, as his career started in the mid-fifties and ended upon his death in 1963. He was barely 30 years old. Yves Klein died the following year, at the age of 34. One is therefore not surprised to see among the 200 works selected by Germano Celant, the pope of Arte povera, including his Lines and his Imprints,some of Klein's in counterpoint. As well as others by creators close to him like Burri, Castellani, Fautrier or Fontana. Naples was for a longtime external to the circle of contemporary art, in spite of some galleries such as that of Lucio Amelio. But the scene has been revitalized since the opening a year ago of Madre (an amusing but convoluted acronym of museum of contemporary art Donnaregina). This is excellent news!

  • MADRE, until September 24
    The website of the Museo MADRE www.museomadre.it



    DUBLIN – The grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis who was born in Berlin in 1922 but emigrated to England with his family when Hitler came to power, is considered the greatest living British artist. The Irish Museum of Modern Art presents all of his works, from the forties, with choices that aim at underlining his relationship with Dublin and Eire. From the rooster heads seen on butchers' stalls in Dublin – Dead Cock’s Head (1951) - to the portrait of a modern businessman - The Donegal Man (2006), representing today's Ireland, the wealthiest country in Europe - his local interests also include the world of horse races and the popular districts of the capital. There are numerous selfportraits and large nudes, that make up most of his production since the eighties, including in particular Leigh under the skylight (1994 or the recent Irishwoman on a Bed (2004). One can take advantage of the trip to Dublin to see the workshop of his contemporary artist, Francis Bacon, recently rebuilt in the superb Hugh Lane Gallery.

  • Irish Museum of Modern Art, until September 2
    The website of the Irish Museum of Modern Art www.modernart.ie



    EDIMBURGH – He is one of the best known exhibiting artists from the Land Art. His installations are less spectacular than those by Robert Smithson or Christo, less colorful than those of Nuls-Udo, but they have something more «vital». They are simple stone circles, that remind us of the shapes at Stonehenge or other similar constructions in the Orkneys. These are paths that have been treaded. These are walls that are covered with mud. These are roads marked by blocks of granite. The art of Richard Long (born in 1945) is above all the art of deambulating, of the eye set on the world, throughout the five continents. Four decades of work, induced by ritual walks, are being shown in Scotland(among them the Stone Line from 1980, that belongs to the museum). New creations are also presented: large drawings of earth walls and a sculpture in the form of a cross, using slate from Cornwall, will remain in the museum after the exhibition.

  • Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, until October 21
    The website of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art www.nationalgalleries.org



    BILBAO - To mark its tenth anniversary, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao dedicates a major exhibition to Anselm Kiefer, offering over a hundred monumental works from the last ten years coming from the artist's personal holdings, as well as from private and public collections, including its own.

  • Museo Guggenheim, until September 3
    Read the article art-of-the-day.info


    MADRID - Flemish painter Patinir, active at the beginning of the XVIth century, is considered the forerunner of landscape painting. The Prado owns a very rich collection of Flemish painting. Through this retrospective it will help shed some light on this artist who still remains mysterious. Out of the forty-eight paintings shown, twenty-two are by Patinir himself, while the rest are from his most important precursors or disciples. We are given the opportunity to discover unique compositions that never cease to surprise us by the marriage between fiction and reality, as well as by the lyrical reference to the grandeur of Nature.

  • Museo Nacional del Prado, until October 7
    Read the article art-of-the-day.info


    Prints and drawings

    VEVEY - In the landscape of contemporary prints, Erik Desmazières' prints are remarkable for their unusual iconography, out of our era, capable of fascinating the person who can follow its meanders. Following the recent exhibition on the views of Paris at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris, the 113 works selected by the Musée Jenisch cover some forty years of creation and focus on the places born from his imagination. Strange towns, exotic explorations, cabinets de curiosités -sort of antrum -filled with artificialia and naturalia and other labyrinthine libraries offer many other detours through the main references of Erik Desmazières' univers.

  • Musée Jenisch, Cabinet cantonal des estampes, until September 9
    Read the article art-of-the-day.info


    LAUSANNE - For the first time in Switzerland the Fondation de l’Hermitage will be highlighting the French painter Henri Fantin-Latour, surely among the most talented artists of the latter half of the 19th century, between the traditional and the modern. With such a clearly independent style, Fantin-Latour is difficult to classify in the artistic panorama of his day. Although disassociating himself from the realistic painting popular with mid-century artists, such as Courbet in particular whose student he was for a time, he eventually aspired to the same goal as his contemporaries the Impressionists, striving to create a way of “painting light”, atmospherically, where the formal aspect played a more important role than the motif. However, he did not find inspiration for his compositions in natural surroundings, outdoors, but preferred working in the intimacy of his Parisian studio.

  • Fondation de l’Hermitage, until October 28
    Read the article art-of-the-day.info

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

    BASEL - The Situationist International can be considered as the last avant-garde movement of the XXth century. Its revolutionary programme aimed at undermining the symbols of power and at fighting the expropriation of everyday life by the consumer society. Operating at the frontier of art and politics, situationism had a strong impact on the student uprisings of the 60s but its influence goes far beyond. It can be found in the punk culture or, today, in those who oppose globalism. The exhibition covers the 15 years of the movement, from its founding in 1957 to its dissolution in 1972, around the biography of its leading figure, Guy Debord, whose mythical and later film « In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni » (1978), works as a guideline.

  • Museum Tinguely, until August 5
    Read the article art-of-the-day.info