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Culture

What's on at Europe's Museums

Nuremberg displays design from two worlds, whilst the world of art in Berlin questions possessions and commemorates the 10th anniversary of the departure of Soviet troops.

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Ladislav Sutnar's work has pride of place in Nuremberg

Designer in two worlds

In the year that the Czech Republic joined the European Union, the Neues Museum in Nuremberg is dedicating an exhibition to the work of one of the most influential Czech designers. Prague and New York are considered the two most important places in the life of the late Ladislav Sutnar (1897 - 1976), who has now gone down in history as one of the most influential figures in contemporary design. His work, which is characterized by the use of geometric forms, photomontages, filmic-dynamic compositions and bright colors, includes the design of toys, books, glasses and theatre-sets. Sutnar moved to the United States in 1939, where his visionary graphic design work created the foundation for contemporary visual communication, from corporate imaging to information design.

"Designer in Two Worlds" runs through to Sept. 19 and is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed Monday.

Animals and art

Tote Hühner

Francisco José de Goya's depiction of dead hens

In an unusual exhibition of animals in art, the Kröller-Müller museum in the Dutch town of Otterloo has put together an eclectic mix of work showing artists' relationships with animals over the past five centuries. Whilst Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) saw animals as God's creations and drew them as close to nature as possible, Odilon Redon depicted them as imaginary creatures and Carel Visser made collages from animal materials. The exhibition includes seven graphics from the famous series "Los Caprichos" by Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) and cows in traditional Dutch landscapes by Wouter van Troostwijk (1782-1810).

"Animals on Paper" runs from Sept. 4 through to January 16 and is open daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. , except Monday.

Soviet after effects

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary since the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the former East Germany, German artist Paul Pfarr has opened an exhibition of Red Army artifacts at Berlin's Willy Brandt House. The objects --collected from abandoned barracks, hangars and warehouses -- go some way to depicting the lives of Soviet soldiers in a foreign country. Sculptor and photographer Pfarr showcases rusty tools, military medical supplies and old photographs, which he has reconfigured into collages, sculptures and photo montages. The Berlin-based artist describes his work as material images and insists that the creations and images are purely aesthetic and carry no deeper message.

"The Language of Objects" runs through to Sept. 19 and is open daily from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., except Monday. Visitors must show an ID card or passport.

Nine points of the law

Plakat Nine Points of the Law - Bild Macht Besitz Verhältnisse

Nine Points of the Law exhibition poster

This group exhibition in Berlin's New Society for Visual Art gallery looks at the relationships between the creation, possession and marketing of photographic and filmic images. This collection of artistic work examines images both inside and outside the artistic context and look at organizations which have to answer for the distribution of images. The focus is on the use and control of media images. Who do they belong to? Who has control over them? Who can use them and how? Who can change them? Through the controlled distribution of images, economic strategists and international politicians and their media advisors strengthen their political and economic power. The show is a collection of films and art actions which deal with the subject at hand.

"Nine Points of the Law" runs to Oct. 3 and is open daily from 12 p.m. to 6:30 pm .

Making a point with badges

'Not in my Name' anti-war badge

Badges were first mass-produced in Rome during the 12th century

In essence, badges are nothing more or less than statements worn on the collar, an expression of identity, of belonging, of a belief or personal style. It might be hard to imagine, but badges did not arrive with the Mods, as an exhibition at London's British Museum clearly illustrates. The show, "Badges: Symbols of Identity," is testimony to the fact that badges were already in use in the 12th century, when pilgrims adorned themselves with images of the saints Peter and Paul. As the exhibition shows, times have changed, and religious icons have been swapped for political statements, such as "Cole not Dole," a reference to the closure of numerous coalmines in England during Maggie Thatcher's era.

"Badges: Symbols of Identity" runs through to January 16 and is on from Saturday to Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 17:30 p.m. , and on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. - 20:30 p.m.

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