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Culture

What's On at Europe's Museums

Cartier-Bresson's 20th century; Cy Twombly's works on paper, artistic inspiration from "Ulysses"; Dali in dress form.

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Cy Twombly merges drawing and writing in many of his works on paper.

"Decisive moments" of the 20th century

Henri Cartier-Bresson has been called by many the "photographer of the century." Born in 1908, he became a photographer in 1931 and recorded on film many of the great upheavals, and everyday moments, of the last century. His secret was observing and studying an object or a scene, then waiting for the "decisive moment" to "catch life in the very act," as he once said. On the occasion of the artist's 95th birthday in 2003, the National Library in France honored Cartier-Bresson with a major retrospective, which is now coming to Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau. The exhibition consists of more than 350 works which have never been shown together, including previously unpublished vintage prints, films, books, drawings and personal recollections.

"Henri Cartier-Bresson – Retrospective" runs from May 15 to August 15. The museum is open daily except Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cy Twombly - Works on Paper

Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly Nicola’s Irises, 1990

Considered one of the greatest living American artists, Cy Twombly is being honored on his 75th birthday with a retrospective of his works on paper by London's Serpentine Gallery. Twombly is difficult to categorize, since his works combine elements of gestural abstraction, drawing and writing. The exhibition has gathered some 50 drawings ranging from early drawings from 1953 to recent large, colorful paintings on paper that were executed in Italy, where Twombly works for much of the year. Most of the works have never been exhibited or published before.

"Cy Twombly: Fifty Years of Works on Paper" runs until June 13. The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Inspired by "Ulysses"

Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys found inspiration in Joyce's classic, "Ulysses."

Joseph Beuys, Man Ray and Franz West are just a few of the many artists who have been inspired by James Joyce's legendary and complex masterpiece, "Ulysses." In recognition of the upcoming 100th anniversary of "Bloomsday," that is, June 16, 1904 -- the day that the novel's protagonists take readers on their journeys through Dublin -- Vienna's Atelier Augarten has assembled an exhibition of contemporary visual art that has been influenced by Joyce's then-radical ideas about literature. The show looks at examples of visual artists' interpreting the novel and even picking up where it left off. The curators don't wish to "illustrate" Joyce's work, but to present artists' interpretations of it. The gallery commissioned several pieces especially for the show.

"The Ineluctable Modality of the Visible - James Joyce's Novel in Contemporary Visual Art" runs until August 14. The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., holidays included.

Glacial Retreat

Gepatschferner Gletscher 1904

The Gepatschferner Glacier 1904

The Alpine Museum in Munich takes a photographic trip through time as it documents the retreat of glaciers around the world over the last century. In 60 comparative studies using historical postcards and current photographs, the exhibition looks at how glaciers are faring in the face of the "greenhouse effect." The exhibition looks at how the health of earth's glaciers are indicative of the overall health of the world itself. Drawings, paintings and advertisements show how Europe's mountainous regions have and continue to offer residents visual beauty and respite from their highly industrialized, densely populated continent.

"Glaciers in the Greenhouse" runs until January 26, 2005. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Surrealism on a hangar

Elsa Schiaparelli is probably one of the most copied designers in the world; she is definitely one of the first who successfully married art and fashion. Her circle of renowned friends, including Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau and Man Ray, were often the inspiration for her revolutionary clothing. Her arch-rival Coco Chanel once dismissed her as "that artist who designs clothes." Some 250 of her often fantastical, sometimes shocking, almost always eyebrow-raising pieces, including dresses, drawings and other objects, are now on exhibition at the Museum of Fashion and Textiles in Paris. "Elsa Schiaparelli" runs through August 29. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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