From Art Deco to modernist photography, Expressionism to privatization, Europe's museums are marking the coming of spring with an inspiring palette of art.
de Lempicka's Portrait of Ira P.
The Queen of Art Deco
Royal Academy of Arts, London
Tamara de Lempicka: Perspective, 1923
In a retrospective dedicated to Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980) gallery visitors have the chance to see for themselves how the Polish-born artist achieved iconic status in the Art Deco movement. Having spent much of her early life in Russia, she fled the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, landing in Paris a couple of years later. With a penniless husband and one-year-old daughter in tow, she resolved to make her name as an artist. The exhibition, which boasts a collection of 55 paintings, some of which have never been shown before, is testimony to the strength behind her conviction. Most of the work on show, which includes portraits, still lifes and female nudes, was created between 1922 and 1940, when the artist was at her most productive.
Tamara de Lempicka: Art Deco Icon runs to 30 August, and is open daily from 10.00 to 18.00, and to 22.00 on Friday.
Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona
Within the framework of the Universal Forum of Cultures 2004, the Miró Foundation is about to turn its attention to failed utopias. These great dreams, so perfect in the abstract, never survive in reality because they presuppose an entirely new, ideal society which can't exist. Starting with nineteenth century anarchism, the exhibition pays homage to the great utopias of the modern world and contrasts it with present generation artists who mistrust the very notion of utopia. The show will highlight the contradiction between utopian vision and free expression on such issues as multiculturalism, globalization, the arrogance of the Western powers, the radicalism of Islam, and the economic, political and military ambitions of China, all of which condition life as it is today.
The Beauty of Failure/The Failure of Beauty runs from 28 May to 24 October, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10.00 to 20.00, Thursday to 21.30, and Sunday and holidays 14.30.
SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne
Jim Dine: Self Portraits
Photographer Jim Dine, who has been attracting attention in the New York art world since the fifties, is showing his first major exhibition in Cologne. In a collection of more than a hundred large-scale photographs, Dine opens his world to the public and demonstrates his versatility within the photographic medium. Much of his work relates either to his own person or to the fundamental issues of life, and his ideas are often drawn from his intense confrontation with classic Modernism and poetry. Contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t see himself as a protagonist of the American pop art movement, but as an 'art worker'.
Jim Dine: The Photographs, so far runs through to 1 August, and is open daily from 14.00 to 19.00, except Wednesday.
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
Never shy of a challenge, Berlin's Institute for Contemporary Art has taken on a new project, based on the artistic techniques of appropriation. In an exhibition of video and installation art, contemporary artists become acquainted with the anonymous, collective, state-run cultural production techniques of the socialist era and strive to create their own artistic worlds and develop artistic identities for themselves. The exhibition concentrates in particular on the importance of video film as a new media of post-communist art, and contains modern artistic interpretations from Russia, Poland, Romania, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Ukraine.
Privatizations - Contemporary Art from Eastern Europe runs through to 26 June, and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 12 noon to 18.00.
Groningen Museum, Groningen, Netherlands
Gustave de Smet, The rifle gallery, 1923
To mark the start of a series of exhibitions on Expressionism, the Gronigen museum is showing work by pioneers in the movement. The exhibition includes 80 percent of the most important works by Frits van den Berghe, Gustave de Smet and Constant Permeke, who developed their style between 1914 and 1918. The Dutch town is planning further Expressionist exhibitions in the coming years, featuring artists from other countries including Germany.
Flemish Expressionists runs to 22 August, and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 17.00