Diary - October 2012
Safety, Speed, Comfort: Vintage Travel posters 1920-1950
Design gallery Zeitlos, Berlin, 13 October - 9 December, zeitlos-berlin.de
This collection of travel posters from the 1920s to 1950s captures the birth of modern travel, when old barriers fell away to reveal intoxicating new horizons. The new mobility turned zeppelins, aircraft, fast trains, and ocean liners into glittering stages for the wealthy.
4-7 October, Tour & Taxis, Brussels, fotofeverartfair.com
During its four-day run, this photographic art fair hosts 60 galleries from around Europe and covers every genre including video and digital art.
Night of Culture
Copenhagen, 12 October, 6pm-midnight, kulturnatten.dk
More than 600 events take place in one night of cultural hedonism in Copenhagen. Museums, churches, exhibition halls, galleries and political institutions (some never open to the public) are imaginatively transformed into venues.
Katie Paterson: Inside This Desert
Bawag Contemporary, Franz Josefs Kai 3, Vienna, until 11 November, bawagcontemporary.at
Katie Paterson's goal is to translate unimaginably large or distant occurrences in the universe through the medium of everyday objects. An example from this exhibit is Paterson's 100 Billion Suns project, a confetti cannon used to recreate gamma-ray bursts - the brightest explosions in the universe (fired at 4pm daily).
30% off b.light economy fares* Book 1-18 October; travel 19-22 October; promo code MVIEKATI
Allo! David Zwirner, London, 5 October - 17 November, davidzwirner.com
New York gallery David Zwirner is opening its first European gallery with a show by Belgian artist Luc Tuymans. Allo! is Tuyman's first UK show since 2004 and is inspired by the 1942 film The Moon and Sixpence.
30% off b.light economy fares* Book 12-31 October; travel 2-5 November; promo code MLHRALLO
Cecil Beaton: Theatre of War
Imperial War Museum, London, until 1 January 2013, iwm.org.uk
Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) was the leading British portrait and fashion photographer of his day, creating glamorous photographs of royalty and 20th-century celebrities. Less well known is the work he produced when the Second World War enveloped Europe.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Information, Beaton took some 7,000 photographs during the war, creating a body of work that surprised even the photographer himself. As he noted after revisiting his archives in the Imperial War Musuem in 1974: "It was an extraordinary experience to relive those war years; so much of it had been forgotten and most of the people are now dead. It was fascinating to see the scenes in old Imperial Simla, the rickshaws drawn by uniformed servants, the grandeur of the houses, the palaces, the men on leave swigging beer. I had not realised that I had taken so many documentary pictures, some of purely technical interest. Looking at them today, I spotted ideas that are now 'accepted', but which 30 years ago were before their time."
The collection is notable for its composure. The framing, layering, sense of scale and use of lighting are carefully orchestrated, resulting in photographs of directness and intensity. With extracts from Beaton's diaries, the exhibition charts the development in photographic style from the man who, in the pre-war years, was often described as temperamental and self-indulgent.
Eykyn Maclean 23 East 67th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, 30 Oct-8 Dec, eykynmaclean.com
New York gallery Ekyn Maclean presents a survey of Andy Warhol's Flowers paintings (1964-1965) this month. For the series Warhol explored different techniques and media including silkscreen, pencil, handpainted acrylics and day-glo paint. He also strayed from the mass media and commercial images that had been his main source of inspiration.
The new source of inspiration for Warhol almost landed him in court. The editor of Modern Photography magazine, Patricia Caulfield, had taken photographs of seven hibiscus flowers which Warhol used without permission. Caulfield threatened legal action and they ended up settling out of court with Warhol paying $6,000 (€4,580) and royalties on the print edition of Flowers. Warhol subsequently based his art on photographs he had taken himself or received permission to use.
This 'flower' period links Warhol to a canon of artists such as van Gogh, Matisse and Monet who devoted parts of their careers to the subject, but Warhol's flowers had a dark edge. Ronnie Cutrone, Warhol's assistant from 1972 to 1982, thought the early flower paintings were about "life and death":
"A lot of Andy's work revolves around that subject... the first Flowers from 1964 are a bit menacing. Lou Reed, Silver George Milloway, Ondine and me - we all knew the dark side of those Flowers. Don't forget, at that time, there was flower power and the flower children. We were the roots, the dark roots of that whole movement. None of us were hippies or flower children. So when Warhol and that whole scene made Flowers, it reflected the urban, dark, death side of that whole movement. You have this shadowy dark grass, which is not pretty, and then you have these big, wonderful, brightly coloured flowers. It was always that juxtaposition that appears in his art again and again."