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Culture

What's On at Europe's Museums

Hamburg displays Klee drawings made after he left Germany, a Vienna musem looks at a popular Nazi propaganda photographer, Zurich brings Georgia O'Keeffe to Europe and the CCA in Scotland remixes Christmas carols.

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Austrian photographer Walter Henisch accompanied German Wehrmacht troops.

Klee's German Farewell

Hamburg Kunsthalle, Germany

In 1933, Paul Klee was dismissed by the National Socialists as professor at the State Art Academy in Düsseldorf and left Germany forever with the words, "Gentleman, Europa is beginning to reek of dead bodies." That year, he drew more than 200 pictures in lead pencil and oil-based chalk that follow the events of 1933. The drawings on themes like militarism and anti-Semitism not only show Klee's ironic and humorous take on the course of history, but also the resigned distance he maintained. The collection of the pictures by the well-known German artist are the largest to date. The Kunsthalle is showing 80 pictures in the exhibition.

"Paul Klee - The Contrary Arrow" runs in the Hamburg Kunsthalle from Dec. 12 , 2003 through March 7, 2004 daily except Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Thursday the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Nazi Photographer

Vienna Museum Karlsplatz, Austria

Whether he was shooting propaganda photos for the Nazis during World War Two or for the Soviets following the war, ideology seemed to matter little to Walter Henisch. The Austrian photographer was the prototype of the unfeeling, objective photographer. He made his name following the propaganda company of the Wehrmacht through successful campaigns in the Balkans and Russia. "I saw the war … from the beginning to the end, as a series of photos," he once said. His pictures were popular in the Nazi press. "Brutal Curiosity" is based on a dialogue between Henisch and his son, Peter, who wrote a novel in 1975 in which he confronted his father's work. The photos come from recently discovered photo albums and newspaper archives.

The "Brutal Curiosity" exhibition runs through Jan. 6, 2004. The is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Monday.

Christmas Carols - the Remix

Centre for Contemporary Art, Scotland

In a December-only exhibit at Glasgow's Centre for Contemporary Art, visual and audio artist Christian Marclay turns decades-old Christmas songs on their heads. Marclay, an influential figure in the avant garde music scene, invites guest deejays to remix classic Christmas albums from the likes of Bing Crosby or Johnny Mathis. Marclay once told a reporter that the remixes make the music "more interesting than it is." On Dec. 14, 16 and 18, guest deejays will perform their remixes live. The performances will be recorded and serve as a soundtrack in the gallery as visitors watch videos and thumb through the exhibit's collection of more than 1,200 vinyl LPs covering a span of 50 years.

The "Sounds of Christmas" exhibition runs from Dec. 6 to Dec. 21, 2003, daily.

Georgia on Our Minds

Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland

Up until now, many European art lovers only knew Georgia O'Keeffe from reprints of her work on posters or calendars that made popular gifts around this time of year. With a exhibition of 74 of the American painter's original works, that is about to change. The Kunsthaus Zürich displays the paintings in its newly renovated 1,200 square meter exhibit space. The works hover between picture and abstraction, close-up and monumentality, naturalism and artificiality.

The "Georgia O'Keeffe" exhibit runs through Feb. 4. From Tuesday until Thursday, the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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