Paris – Francis Bacon: Books and Painting at the Pompidou Centre
After an absence of 23 years, Francis Bacon once again tops the bill at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. New convert or enlightened amateur, this time, you can admire his works produced between 1971, the terrible year that his partner died, and 1992, the year that the artist himself died. The exhibition offers a never-before-seen retrospective of the painter's later works: the lines are more refined and the colours more intense with the use of a relatively new palette ranging from yellow to orange to pink.
Through six rooms, the strong ties between Bacon and literature are explored with both a visual and audio representation. You move through the exhibition listening to texts read by Mathieu Almaric and Jean-Marc Barr (among others), embodying the symbiosis between Bacon and literature. The words of Nietzsche, Conrad, Eliot and Aeschylus, taken from books in Bacon's personal library, echo the works of art on display. Of the sixty paintings on show, take time to linger in front of In Memory of George Dyer (1971), Triptych–August (1972) and Triptych, May–June (1973). These three works known as The Black Triptychs are a posthumous tribute to his much-missed friend. They bear witness to the importance of the symbolic and mythological form of the Furies, which emerge with wrath in the work of the painter, by then deeply affected by sorrow and guilt.
The exhibition has a brilliant bias running through it: we are encouraged to find the crossroads between several arts, such as painting, literature, philosophy and story-telling, and to blur the limits between the abstract and figurative, concept and illustration, sound and vision. It is being heralded as one of the cultural events of autumn 2019, so make sure you reserve your tickets on line and go on a weekday if you can.
Francis Bacon: Books and Painting
From 11 September 2019 to 20 January 2020
Georges Pompidou Centre
Place Georges Pompidou
+33 (0)1 44 78 12 33
London – William Blake: The Artist at Tate Britain
Tate Britain in London offers a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to step inside the universe of William Blake, one of the greatest names of the Romantic Age of the 18th century and a seminal figure in British culture thereafter. Over 300 water colours, paintings and prints are brought together to illustrate the profuse and powerful work of the man who was equally at home as a painter, engraver and poet.kj
In addition to the traditional exhibition rooms, you can visit a recreation of the small room where Blake showed his work for the first time in 1809. It is quite moving stepping back in time like this, especially as you contemplate the man's power of imagination. Blake was misunderstood by most of his contemporaries, being labelled a madman by many; he built a hallucinatory world, inhabited by mythical, Biblical and Shakespearian figures or characters inspired by Dante and Milton, which still have a strong resonance with us today.
In another room, the painter's modernism becomes a reality: using digital technology, paintings are projected on an enormous scale, covering the walls from top to bottom and affording a most unusual immersive experience. Although Blake is best remembered for his poetry, Tate Britain has chosen to highlight the entire pictorial output of the artist, still a fertile source of inspiration in the 21st century.
William Blake: The Artist
From 11 September 2019 to 2 February 2020
+44 (0)20 7887 8888
New York – Fotografiska inaugural exhibition
Fotografiska was born in Stockholm in 2010. On the back of huge success, this new kind of contemporary photography museum is exporting itself across the Pond. It is all taking place in New York, at 281 Park Avenue South, between Madison Square Park and Union Square.
Fotografiska's new home is in a building dating from 1894, in premises completely renovated under the watchful eye of award-winning architecture and interior design firm CetraRuddy. Six floors have been totally redesigned and redecorated, transforming the place into a must-visit venue for anyone with an interest in photography.
From 5 September to 10 November, you can visit its never-before-seen, inaugural exhibition. It brings together talented photographers working with rich and varied perspectives. Anastasia Taylor-Lind, as a photojournalist, questions the care and education of children in the United States as well as documenting its actresses, paradoxes and injustices. Next to her, Adi Nes, a prominent Israeli photographer, uses a range of shots, imbued with sensuality, to try and fathom out the identity of a country marked by conflict and despair. The exhibition will also show provocative and playful photos of models by Ellen von Unwerth, who has added to her Devotion! collection, a great success in Stockholm, for the occasion. The tormented landscapes of Helene Schmitz will succeed in convincing you that you are in one of the temples to contemporary photography.
From 5 October to 10 November 2019
Fotografiska New York
281 Park Avenue South
New York NY 10010
United States of America
Berlin – Original Bauhaus
It all began at the start of the 20th century with the founding of the revolutionary Bauhaus institute. The school of thought only lasted 14 years, but it had a deep impact for decades to come and still influences artists, designers and architects today. To mark the 100th anniversary of art history's ground-breaking movement, the Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung in Berlin wanted to organise a fitting exhibition event.
Step back to the last century and feel the avant-garde spirit that promoted the functional design of furniture without losing any of its aesthetics. Like witnesses, some 1,000 objects tell the story of Bauhaus: it is a real ode to the materials at work: metal bars, exposed beams and glass sections intermingle as one. To better understand the claimed links between art, technology and industry and the desire to create universal objects that transcend social classes, the exhibition showcases 14 particularly symbolic items. These include Marianne Brandt's tea infuser, made entirely by hand in a very contemporary design. You might try to unravel the mystery of the Woman wearing a theatrical mask by Oskar Schlemmer and seated on Marcel Breuer's tubular steel chair from 1926. The exhibition will fascinate and provoke questions in equal measure.
From 6 September 2019 to 27 January 2020
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128
+49 30 78902600
Rabat – first contemporary art biennial
If you already know Rabat as one of Morocco's four imperial cities, then discover the kingdom's present-day capital in a new light. Visit the first contemporary art biennial which opens its doors in September 2019. The event is set to reflect the country's cultural dynamism and its influence on the international art scene.
As you walk around the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMVI), the Villa des Arts and even the Museum of Oudayas, you will notice that only female artists are exhibited. The event's management wanted this inaugural exhibition to spotlight 60 women from all four corners of the world with the theme Un instant avant le monde (A moment before the world). This first-ever biennial will open with a screening of one of the best concerts of Oum Kalthoum, the ‘Star of the East', which took place in Morocco in 1968. Architects, film-makers, dancers and visual artists will produce works specially commissioned for the occasion. Artist Ghada Amer will create a garden installation in the middle of the Moroccan capital, while the Palestinian group Daar will build a tent to raise questions about the fate of refugees around the world. Do not miss the screening of film-maker Tala Hadid's new film or the suspended choreographed piece Nos solitudes by Julie Nioche. In Rabat, contemporary works sit side by side with much older ones in a rich creative dialogue.
Rabat Contemporary Art Biennial
From 24 September to 18 December 2019