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Culture

What's On at Europe's Museums

Eyeing the Goddess in Denmark; portrait photography in Hamburg; Austrians take a look at Paris; and in Paris, vision itself goes under the lens.

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A troubled state of mind: Louise Bourgeois' "Insomnia" drawings

Identity and Ideal: Portrait Photography from Two Centuries

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe , Hamburg

Now in its last few weeks, a major exhibition in Hamburg shows some 250 photo portraits belonging to the museum’s collections, illustrating various historical approaches to photography. Alongside family portraits from the past 160 years, the museum is showing portraits of prominent figures from politics and the arts, cycles of selected groups of people, personality studies and experimental work.

"Identity and Ideal" runs until Jan. 28, 2004 . Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. , Thursday until 9 p.m. . Closed Mondays.

Paris 1945 to 1965: Art Metropolis

Lentos Museum of Modern Art, Linz, Austria

This comprehensive exhibit shows Paris during its most important phase as an art capital. It brings together 250 paintings, sculptures, drawings, graphic works and photographs to show how the avant-garde confronted the representatives of classical modernity like Picasso, Matisse, Léger, Chagall, and Giacometti.

"Paris 1945 to 1965" runs through March 28. The Lentos Museum of Modern Art is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.. Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and holidays.

Shakti: God is a Woman

Denmark National Museum, Copenhagen

Vorbereitungen zum Navaratri Fest in Indien

Street children look at the idols of Hindu Goddess Durga

The exhibition presents unique photographs and the massive, colorful clay figures used in the festivals celebrating the Hindu goddesses Durga and Kali every year in Calcutta. Millions participate in the festival, probably making the Durga puja the largest annual public celebration in the world. The huge clay goddesses are made especially for the occasion and immersed into the river on the last day of the festival to become clay once again.

“Shakti” runs through January 29, 2004. The Denmark National Museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At the Origins of Abstraction (1800-1914)

Musee d’Orsay, Paris

The question of the sources of abstraction has never been the subject of a major exhibition in France -- until now. The Musee d'Orsay show claims that abstract art came as a result of a progressive change in notions of vision that developed slowly throughout the 19th century. The exhibit opens with a work by contemporary artist Ann-Veronica Janssens that introduces the viewer to color perception. It then unfolds along two main axes: the Solar Eye, which looks at vision and its relationship to light, and the Musical Eye, which explores seeing in connection with sound.

"At the Origins of Abstraction" runs through Feb. 22. The Musee d’Orsay is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.. Closed Mondays.

Louise Bourgeois: Stitches in Time

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

The first large-scale exhibition in Ireland by Louise Bourgeois comprises some 20 works and focuses mainly on her soft sculptures and related drawings. The soft sculptures, "Cells," are a more recent development in Bourgeois’ work and represent a reinterpreting of her famous bronze sculptures. Taken together, the Cells and "The Insomnia Drawings" seek to combine the boldness and physicality of her famous bronze sculpture with an almost incongruous use of tactile materials. The gentle pastel coloring and inviting textures belie the aggressive nature of her self-analysis, the cornerstone of her work.

"Louise Bourgeois: Stiches in Time" runs until Feb. 22. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Sunday and holidays from 12:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Closed Mondays.