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Culture

What's on at Europe's Museums

Beaton's portraits of the rich and famous in London; actionist garbage sculptures in Vienna; and modernist masters Mendelsohn, Man Ray and Miro in Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris are all on show this week.

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Joan Miró's "La sieste" from 1925 is on show in Paris

Catalonian Primitive

Centre Pompidou, Paris

Joan Miró created an entirely new language with his work, which he called "Beischlaf" with the "Absoluten der Natur." Around 120 of the Catalan's paintings, collages and drawings are on show in Paris in the first exhibition devoted to the years 1917 to 1934, when Miró developed his free, spontaneous automatic paint strokes that led to the creation of his unique and playful world of images. The show also examines the influence that Miró's contemporaries, friends and neighbors had on him, from dada poet Tristan Tzara to studio-mate Alexander Calder and painter Vassily Kandinsky.

The exhibition "Joan Miró 1917-1934" starts on March 3 and continues until June 28. It is open to the public everyday, except Tuesdays, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. , Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Beatification

National Portrait Gallery, London

Not only was Cecil Beaton (1908-1980), one of the most important photographers of his day but the Englishman had a profound influence on magazine photography that lives on. Beaton filled the glossy pages with glamour, romanticism, high society and fashion. Now the National Portrait Gallery is celebrating the photographer's work with a retrospective made up of around 150 of his portraits. The exhibition shows well- and lesser-known images, many of which have become photographic icons, such as Beaton's picture of Marilyn Monroe in a white gown gazing up from a bed with a rose in her hand. The show includes photos that have never before been exhibited publicly, such as wedding photos of King Edward and the woman he gave up the crown for, Wallis Simpson. Beaton took pictures of almost all the important personalities in culture and society during his lifetime, from author Truman Capote to the Rolling Stones.

"Cecil Beaton: Portraits" runs until May 31. The National Portrait Gallery is open Saturday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. , Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Man and his Muse

Foam Photography Museum , Amsterdam

Man Ray vor einem Foto seiner frühen Werke Ausstellungstipps v. 26.02.2004

American painter, photographer and filmmaker Man Ray in 1966

In an homage to photographers Man Ray (1890-1976) and Lee Miller (1907-1977), Foam presents 150 pictures from the ground-breaking artist and his muse and partner. The exhibition focuses on works created between 1929 and 1933, when the couple experimented with new photography techniques to recreate their surrealistic views of the world. The prints in the show stem from the Man Ray Museum in Paris and the Lee Miller Collection in London and were brought together exclusively for the current exhibition.

"Man Ray en Lee Miller" runs until June 2. The exhibition is open Saturday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Architect, Visionary, Cosmopolitan

Akademie der Künste, Berlin

An Academy of Arts exhibition aims to shed light on Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953), a lesser-known master of modern architecture. The show highlights Mendelsohn's most important work, which was created between 1914 to 1933, when Mendelsohn and his muse and later wife, cellist Luise Maas, lived in Berlin. Mendelsohn's designs were shaped by continual flux, as the architect and his wife emigrated from country to country, finally settling in the United States. Models, sketches, plans and photographs are on exhibit in the show, which also examines the problems involved in preserving modernist buildings, such as Mendelsohn's well-known Einstein Tower in Potsdam near Berlin.

"Erich Mendelsohn: Dynamik und Funktion" shows through May 2. The Akademie der Künste is open Monday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. , Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Viennese Actionism

MAK (Museum für Angewandte Kunst), Vienna

Actionist and commune leader Otto Muehl is being honored with his first major retrospective, and the controversy still hasn't died down. The exhibition showcases Muehl's work from collages, material pictures and actions, including his garbage sculptures, in the 1960s to recent paintings from the artist's new home in Portugal. It delves into Muehl's actions in the commune he established that was meant to change the world through art, where private property and relationships between two people were banned. Muehl and his fellow actionists, Hermann Nitsch, Günter Brus, Alfons Schilling and Rudolf Schwarzkogler have continually riled the Viennese with their antics and have only in recent years been lauded by the Austrian establishment, long after they were recognized elsewhere as the country's greatest post-war contribution to contemporary art.

"Otto Muehl: Life - Art - Work. Action Utopia Painting 1960-2004" starts on March 3 and runs until May 31. The museum is open Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Father of Modern Swiss Painting

Kunsthaus Zurich

Kunsthaus Zürich Ferdinand Hodler, Die Jungfrau über dem Nebelmeer, 1908 Ausstellungstipps v. 26.02.2004

Ferdinand Hodler, "Die Jungfrau über dem Nebelmeer," 1908

Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918) is considered the father of modern Swiss painting. Though his oeuvre was not limited to landscape painting, it is his most admired and valued work. Now a Kunsthaus Zurich exhibition is the first to focus on Hodler's landscapes since the 1960s. The show encompasses around 70 pieces and illustrates Hodler's artistic development, progressing from the influence of Late Romanticism to French landscape painting and looks at the impact he had on Symbolism.

"Ferdinand Hodler -- Landscapes" opens on March 5 and runs until June 6. The exhibition is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. , Friday though Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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