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Culture

What's On at Europe's Museums

Westwood's gowns and Hirst's flies go on show in London, Baselitz is in Bonn whilst Paris and Amsterdam have slightly more traditional artistic fare to exhibit.

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Vivienne Westwood's gowns get the full glow of the spotlight in a London exhibition.

From Corsets to Braces and Beyond

Victoria and Albert Museum , London

For the past three decades, Vivienne Westwood has been wooing fashionistas with her stunning, if unconventional designs. Now a collection of some 150 designs is moving from the catwalk to an exhibition hall in what is the V&A's largest ever exhibition dedicated to a British designer. The show includes outfits worn by the Sex Pistols, extravagantly off-the-wall ball gowns, and examples of Westwood's ongoing love affair with traditional tartan. In a celebration of thirty years of a true fashion icon, the show portrays Westwood as the avant-garde, non-conformist designer she is. The show is accompanied by catwalk footage and a film on Westwood's life and career.

"Vivienne Westwood" is on show from April 1 to July 25 and is open every day from 10.00 to 17.45 and until 22.00 on Wednesdays.

The Photographic Art of Remembrance

Van Gogh Museum , Amsterdam

In an unusual photography exhibition, this show points the lens at 19th century snapshots turned into three dimensional objects. In a collection of some 140 photographs from museums and private collections in North America and Europe, the exhibition exposes the many ways in which early photographs were transformed into something bolder than the frozen monochrome image. Back in the 1800s, the business of enhancing photographs was big, and photographers and their clients added text, flowers, cord, cigar bands, butterfly wings and even human hair to their images in a bid to fill them out. The exhibition presents a wonderful collection of such photographs, as well as shots of families with their deceased loved ones, and even features the only two surviving portraits of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), showing him at the ages of 13 and 19.

"Vergeet me niet!"(Forget Me Not! Photography and Remembrance) is on show until June 6 . The exhibition is open every day from 10.00 to 18.00 and until 22.00 on Fridays.

Head Turners

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle, Bonn

Orangenesser Malerei von Georg Baselitz

"Orange eater III" by German artist Georg Baselitz.

In a comprehensive Georg Baselitz retrospective, this exhibition presents some 130 works from across the German artist's creative spectrum from 1959 to the present day. It includes his early and rarely seen popular hero paintings from the sixties, his finger paintings from the seventies and his 1980's orange eaters. The exhibition also includes his sculptures and even his poetical works inspired by the artist Caspar David Friedrich, which have been the subject of some controversy since they were installed in Berlin's Reichstag in 1999.

"Georg Baselitz: Pictures that Turn Your Head" is on show from April 2 to August 8, and is open from Thursday to Sunday from 10.00 to 19.00, and until 21.00 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Beauty of China

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris

Chinesische Kunst mit Kalligrafie

"Bird and Lotus" painting detail by Li Kuchan.

'Celestial Mountains' beautifully underscores the central theme of mountains (shan) and rivers (shui) in traditional Chinese art. Once considered as powerful Gods, people made sacrifices to both mountains and rivers, and the early pan-Chinese religion considered mountains as the permeable frontier to the Divine world. From the 4th century onwards, this religious vision of nature began to fade, and poets and painters moved in, immortalizing the image of mountain peaks with meandering rivers at their feet. The exhibition presents a stunning panorama of beautiful Chinese landscape painting from the Sung dynasty to the Ch'ing dynasty.

" Celestial Mountains : Treasures from China 's Museums" runs from April 1 to June 28 , and is open from Thursday to Monday from 10.00 to 20.00 and on Wednesday from 10.00 to 22.00.

Contemporary Controversy

Tate Britain , London

Damien Hirst Malerei God

"God" painting by Damien Hirst.

Featuring the work of Angus Fairhurst, Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas, this showcase extravaganza is the first exhibition in which the three, who met at Goldsmiths College in London, have all taken part. Called 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida', which is a mutated reference to the biblical theme of the Garden of Eden, the show explores themes of life, love, sex, death and destruction. It includes such pieces as Lucas's 'Christ You Know it Ain't Easy', which is a sculpture of Jesus made from cigarettes and a series of Hirst's paintings encrusted in thousands of dead flies. Besides their existing works, each artist created new pieces for the show.

"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" runs to May 31 and is open daily from 10.00 to 17.40.

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