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Culture

What's On in Europe's Museums

Patti Smith -- yes, that one -- in Munich; Cologne shows 'cruel' photos; Fragonard's fine hand graces the Louvre; the Prado features Manet. In Luxembourg, 12 1/3 years (and counting) of Solakov

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Manet at the Prado in Madrid

Cruel and Tender: Photography and Reality

Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Reality in the 20th century is the theme of this exhibition on documentary-style photographers. The works, by some of the major names in the history of photography, are descriptive, detached and analytical. A given artist's most important photographs are presented in loose chronological sequence, interrupted by the insertion of contemporary pieces. The exhibition begins with Eugène Atget and Paul Strand and leads on to August Sander and Albert Renger-Patzsch, Walker Evans and Robert Frank. It further includes Diane Arbus, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Hilla and Bernd Becher, Michael Schmidt, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Boris Michailov, Martin Parr, and Rineke Dijkstra. The show present 20 photographers altogether, The show which is organized in conjunction with Tate Modern, London. This will be the first photographic exhibition at Tate Modern.

Cruel and Tender: Photography and Reality runs until Feb. 18. The Museum Ludwig is open Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard: The Louvre Drawings

Louvre Museum, Paris

The Louvre's department of graphic arts presents a selection of its best drawings by 18th century painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard. This balanced sampling of Fragonard's work allows a look into the career, varied techniques, and variety of subjects of one of the most popular – and misunderstood – French artists. In the exhibit, Fragonard is seen from many angles: scrupulous observer of nature, creator of emotional religious compositions, chronicler of frivolous domestic scenes. Also on view are his book illustrations for Cervantes and Arioste.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard: The Louvre Drawings, runs through March 8. The museum is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 9:45 p.m., Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 6.45p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

Drawings by Patti Smith

Haus der Kunst, Munich

Patti Smith im Museum

Patti Smith, rock star.

In the retrospective exhibition Strange Messenger: The Work of Patti Smith, the rock-and-roll poet presents drawings and poems she has made since the early 1960s. The exhibition includes more than 100 works on paper, including a new series of large-scale drawings inspired by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. There are also original manuscripts, recent photographs, and a video clip by photographer Robert Frank. In her drawings Smith combines pictures and words to form an impressive pictorial script. Although she is known mainly for her music and poetry, her drawings are already in many museums, including New York's Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is in cooperation with The Andy Warhol Museum, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Strange Messenger: The Work of Patti Smith runs through Feb. 15. The show at the Haus der Kunst is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Manet at the Prado

Museo del Prado, Madrid

The first exhibition in Spain devoted to Edouard Manet (1832-1883) features more than 100 of the finest paintings, drawings and prints by this French artist and forerunner of Impressionism. The exhibition consists of works from more than 30 institutions and private collections. But because it is held in the Prado, the exhibition highlights Manet's artistic dialogue with Spanish painting, in particularVelázquez and Goya.

Manet at the Prado runs until February 8. The Prado Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and on holidays, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Nedko Solakov: A 12 1/3 (and even more) Year Survey

The Casino Luxembourg Contemporary Art Foundation has joined forces with the Rooseum - Center for Contemporary Art in Malmö, Sweden, and the O.K Center for Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria, to present the first survey of the works of Bulgarian . artist Nedko Solakov. Since the late 1980s Solakov has used storytelling as a specific tool of his artistic expression. Sprung from the artist’s fertile imagination, the stories take shape in a unique artistic universe made of drawings, paintings, installations, videos and performances. He tackles personal as well as universal themes using a strongly poetic yet critical approach often tinged with a fine sense of humor. Conceived as an artistic itinerary leading from one piece to the next, this show will be the first to present side by side most of Nedko Solakov’s major works.

A 12 1/3 (and even more) Year Survey will take place at the Casino Luxembourg - Forum of Contemporary Art through March 7, 2004. The Casino Luxembourg is open Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Thursdays from 11 am to 8 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

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