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Culture

What's on at Europe's Museums

Art lovers in Amsterdam are feelin' groovy; Brussels shows a different view of Vietnam; largest Vuillard retrospective graces Paris; and Barcelona tells you all you ever wanted to know about Catalan art, and more...

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Roy Lichtenstein's pop art is on display in Amsterdam.


Revolution in the Air -- The Sixties and the Stedelijk

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

This exhibition dives deep into the Stedelijk's collections of Pop Art, photography, posters, design and applied art from the 1960s and 70s, with emphasis on the period from 1965 to 1975. Revolution in the Air reveals the élan with which the Stedelijk was collecting in all sorts of experimental fields at the end of the 1960s and in the early 1970s. At the same time it shows how experimentation and engagement sometimes went hand in hand with more traditional collection areas. Strongly represented are reportage photography and political and/or pschedelic posters from revolutionary centers such as Berkeley, Paris and Amsterdam, as well as war zones such as Nicaragua. Also shown: jewellery art that was opening new frontiers, textile art from the 1970s, and the confrontation between Italian, organic design and Northern European functionalism. One cabinet is devoted entirely to the graphic design of Wim Crouwel for the Stedelijk, made in the period.

Open daily from 11:00 to 17:00. Dec. 5 and Dec. 24, from 11:00 until 16:00. Closed Jan. 1

Revolution in the air runs until Dec. 31, 2003. Vietnam: Art and Culture from Prehistory to Present

Musée du Cinquantenaire; Royal Museum of Art and History, Brussels

For many, Vietnam evokes images of war, bombardments, and terrified children. This exhibit looks at Vientam from another angle -- a rumination on 3000 years of history, from the ancient Hung dynasty through up through contemporary Vietnamese lifestyle -- be it in a big citiy, a village or of an ethnic minority living in the mountains. On display are the bronzes from the Dong Son culture, the monumental stone sculpture of the Champa kingdom, Buddhist wooden sculptures and scroll paintings, textiles, traditional popular images, pottery, furniture, jewelry and household objects. The show also reconsitutes a Muong family home, the interior of a Buddhist temple, and segments of typical streets, to give an idea of daily life and "local color." Done in collaboration with the Ethnology Museum in Vienna, the show takes place at the Musée du Cinquantenaire, which is part of the Royal Museum of Art and History in Brussels. There are some 450 works of art and objects on display, 350 of which come directly from Vietnam. Many of the latter are on view for the for the first time outside Vietnam.

Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 until 17:00. Closed Monday, Nov. 1 and 11, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Vietnam: Art and Culture runs until Feb. 29, 2004


Vuillard (1868 – 1940)

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris

The Grand Palais show – which will later travel to London, Montreal and Washington, DC, is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the work of Édouard Vuillard, the quintessential Parisian artist whose work spans the fin-de-siècle through the1930s. It includes 230 works, many of which have never been on public display and many others that have not been seen for decades. In addition to his luminous paintings, the exhibition includes innovative folding screens, theater programs, prints, drawings, photographs, and ceramics. A highlight of the exhibition is the reunion of The Public Gardens (1894), a series of decorative panels not seen together publicly since 1906 and dispersed at auction in 1929. Vuillard’s work straddles two centuries: he was a major post-impressionist in the 1890s, as well as a participant in the renewal of decorative art before and after 1900. Vuillard was one of the central figures of "les Nabis" ("Nabi" means "prophet" in Arabic and Hebrew), a group of Parisian avant-garde artists whose members included Pierre Bonnard and Félix Vallotton, among others. During the Nabi period Vuillard produced some of his best-known work -- provocative paintings of middle-class interiors and contributions to avant-garde theater. Vuillard also worked steadily through his post-Nabi years, from 1900 until his death in 1940. He experimented increasingly with abstraction and powerful color in a manner that bears comparison with Henri Matisse and the Fauves. In the latter decades of his life he expanded his range in natural light, landscape, and portraiture.

Open every day except Tuesday, from 10:00 until 20:00, Wednesday until 22:00. Closed May 1 and Dec. 25. Vuillard (1868—1940) runs until January 5, 2004.

From Fortuny to Tàpies: Aspects of Modern Catalan Painting in the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

National Museum of Catalan Art, Barcelona

There are more than 350 modern Catalan works in the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, which up to now have been shown in groups, related to a specific artist or theme. The current show takes a different approach, featuring all of the Catalan works in the collection in an effort to highlight its diversity. The exhibition is arranged under six headings corresponding to chapters in the history of Catalan painting, from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. It begins with Fortuny, whose painting Bullfight. Wounded Picador will be added to the retrospective exhibition on Fortuny organized by the museum. Naturalistic landscape painting, one of the best-known facets of the collection, is represented by works from Martí Alsina, Galofre and Matilla. The largest section isn the exhibit is devoted to the Modernist renewal, followed by a section on Noucentism (a cultural-political movement in Catalonia at the beginning of the twentieth century). Finally, the exhibition ends with the works of Joan Ponç and Tàpies from the Dau al Set period -- a shining finale for the brief tour of modern Catalan painting.
Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 until 19:00, Sunday and public holidays 10:00 until 14:30. Closed Mondays and Jan. 1, May 1 and Dec. 25. From Fortuny to Tapiès runs through Nov. 2, 2003.






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