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Exhibits around the world > Russia December 13, 2006

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THE STATE RUSSIAN MUSEUM, BENOIS WING > To Dec. 4: “Alexei Kondratyevich Savrasov, 1830-1897.”
To the works from its own collection, the museum has added loans from the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Savrasov played an important role in the development of landscape painting in Russia.  www.rusmuseum.ru

STATE RUSSIAN MUSEUM, MARBLE PALACE > To Dec. 18: “Fading Reality: Tatyana Nazarenko.” Nazarenko (born 1944) uses a realistic pictorial idiom to reflect on the impact of perestroika on Russians. The 60 paintings in the show, in which the subjects are theatrically arranged, often include metaphors and allegories.  www.rusmuseum.ru


Exhibits around the world > Poland December 13, 2006

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MUZEUM NARODOWE W WARSZAWIE/NATIONAL MUSEUM IN WARSAW > To Dec. 3: “Rembrandt: Prints and Drawings in Polish Collections.”
There is hardly a museum, in this anniversary year of Rembrandt’s birth, that did not go out of its way to mount a show of works by the Dutch painter (1606-1669). This museum has brought together drawings and prints loaned by several Polish institutions. With the present state of research and by eliminating copies and imitations, the museum is satisfied that the selection will not raise any controversy. The 180 works document Rembrandt’s development, wide range of subjects and technical explorations.  www.mnw.art.pl

Exhibits around the world > Philippines December 13, 2006

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AYALA MUSEUM > To Jan. 31: “19th and 20th Century Philippine Treasures.”
The exhibition illustrates the evolution of influences on Philippine art, from the 300-year reign of the Spanish conquistadors to the advent of postcolonial modernism. The display features works by 19th-century artists: “Reclining Nude” and “Seated Lady in White,” by the realist painter Juan Luna; works by the genre painter Fernando Amorsolo and hand- colored lithographs by Justiniano Asunción, as well as 19th-century religious sculptures, costumes and jewelry.  www.ayalamuseum.org.

LOPEZ MUSEUM > To April 5: “Fuzzy Logic: Art & Science.” The exhibition tentatively surveys how Filipino visual art and popular culture have, over time, weighed in on questions of craft, mechanization, industrialization and development, and living in the age of interactive TV and surveillance cameras. A cursory scan through relevant reads reveals that these engagements span ironic extremes, from ultra-nativism/self-exoticization to hybridization and blind appropriation, and yet, Fuzzy Logic plays on the volatility that rings with shifting territories, ever-changing avatars, elastic virtual communities, and multiple versions of the real.  www.lopezmuseum.org.ph

Exhibits around the world > Netherlands December 13, 2006

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RIJKSMUSEUM > To Dec. 31: “The Observer.”
Drawings by Rembrandt documenting how the artist views the world around him and how he records it.  www.rijksmuseum.nl/

VAN GOGH MUSEUM > To March 4: “Vincent van Gogh and Expressionism.” After his death in 1890, van Gogh became popular in German and Austrian artistic circles, with German collectors and curators being among the first to buy his work. Such Expressionist artists as Kirchner and Kandinsky were influenced by his intense colors, while Kokoschka was by his emotional approach and his psychological portraits. About 20 works by van Gogh and 40 by Expressionist artists are in the display, drawn from the museum’s own holdings or on loan from the Neue Galerie in New York.  www.vangoghmuseum.nl

GRONINGER MUSEUM > To Dec. 3: “Miguel Rio Branco: Out of Nowhere.”
The artist (born 1946) began his career in the painting medium which he abandoned to pursue photography and film-making. Although he is mainly known as a photographer, he now creates installations in which he combines his photographic work with painting, film, newspaper cuttings and music. Nine of these installations are in the show.  www.groningermuseum.nl

KUNSTHAL ROTTERDAM > To Jan. 28: “Henry Moore and the Challenge of Architecture.”
The exhibition focuses on the architectural side of the English artist’s sculptures. Having stated that architects usually considered public sculpture as a “mere surface decoration” to adorn their buildings, Moore (1898-1986) attempted to make sculpture an integral part of a building. He also used the abstract concept of “architectural contrasts of masses” to create independent sculptures. Several architectural commissions are documented in the show with drawings and sculptures. www.kunsthal.nl

MAURITSHUIS > To Jan. 28: “Rubens & Brueghel: A Working Friendship”
Few know that many Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th century were painted by more than one artist. The collective paintings of Antwerp artists Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens are some of the best works in this category. While Rubens painted figures, Brueghel worked on landscapes with fauna and flora. The assemblage offers 12 such joint efforts as well as works for which both artists teamed up with other contemporaries (Brueghel with Hendrick de Clerck, Rubens with Frans Snijders).  www.mauritshuis.nl

Exhibits around the world > Japan December 13, 2006

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KAWAMURA MEMORIAL MUSEUM OF ART > To Dec. 3: “Alberto Giacometti and Yanaihara Isaku.”
The exhibition displays about 140 sculptures, paintings and drawings spanning the artist’s (1901-1966) creative career. A section is devoted to the works and documents born from Giacometti’s friendship with the Japanese philosopher Yanaihara who traveled to Paris to model for the sculptor (nine portraits in oil and two sculptures are in the show).  www.dic.co.jp/eng/museum

HYOGO PREFECTURAL MUSEUM OF ART > To Dec. 17: “Ecole de Paris: Primitivism and Nostalgia.”
In the early 20th century, foreign artists converged on Paris, then the dynamic arts center of the world. Modigliani, Kisling, Chagall, Soutine, Fujita and many others joined a mixture of nationalities, talents and styles that became known as l’Ecole de Paris. Their works were shown at “Salons” and in private commercial galleries. The exhibition of 70 works refers to the artists’ expression of nostalgia for their origins, expressed through different but always colorful pictorial idioms.  www.artm.pref.hyogo.jp

KOBE CITY MUSEUM > To Dec. 25: “Times of Harmony: The Artist’s Paradise in the 19th Century.” The works are on loan from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. They focus on depictions of the artists’ private lives, favorite places and lifestyles, in their search for an ideal environment, or paradise. Among the artists on display are Whistler, Manet and Monet. The display will travel to Tokyo.  www.city.kobe.jp/cityoffice/57/museum/ (in Japanese)

MIHO MUSEUM > To Dec. 17: “Aesthetic Eyes of Aoyama Jiro.”
Aoyama (1901-1979), an influential literary and artistic figure during Hiro Hito’s reign (1926-1989), was known as an exceptionally astute collector. The exhibit showcases his collection of artworks, including old Chinese, Korean and Japanese pottery and porcelain, as well as the book covers he designed.  www.miho.or.jp

AICHI PREFECTURAL MUSEUM > To Dec. 10: “The Glory of Persia.”
About 200 artifacts on loan from various museums in Iran, including gold objects, tell the glory of 7,000 years of Persian civilization, from the 5th millennium B.C. to the end of the Sasanian era in the 7th century. The exhibition will travel to three other cities in Japan, and possibly to China and South Korea.  www.art.aac.pref.aichi.jp

NAGOYA-BOSTON MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS > To Feb. 4: “Five Centuries of European Portraiture.” Portraits not only reproduce the physical features of a model, they also attempt to capture the social environment and the model’s personality. More than 70 works by Titian, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Degas, Rodin and Picasso, ranging from life-size to miniatures, from full-length to faces, trace the development of European portrait painting from the 16th through the 20th century. www.nagoya-boston.or.jp

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART > To Dec. 24: “Shinji Ogawa.”
This solo exhibition offers the work of Shinji Ogawa (1959- ), who has forged multilayered worlds with his brilliant painting technique. Using famous Western paintings, picture postcards, photographs and woodblock prints as a base, Ogawa alters these works by erasing, supplementing and/or substituting human figures or scenic elements to give rise to a moire in which multiple worlds collide. Six of Ogawa’s “multi-worlds,” including his “Without You” series, “Moire Landscape” and some of his video works, are on view.  www.nmao.go.jp

EDO-TOKYO MUSEUM > To Dec. 10: “The Allure of Edo: Ukiyo-e Painting From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.”
In the early 20th century, William Bigelow donated thousands of Japanese artworks to the Boston museum, including 700 original ukiyo-e (“floating world” paintings). Ukiyo-e usually brings to mind woodblock printing, but this exhibition of 80 hand-painted screens, scrolls and banners by the main artists of the Edo era, Utamaro, Hokusai and Hiroshige, to name the most famous, shows that the artists’ commissioned works were first done in paint. The exhibition will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, and Toronto before returning to Boston.  www.edo-tokyo-museum.or.jp

MORI ART MUSEUM > To Jan. 8: “Bill Viola: Hatsu-Yume (First Dream).” Viola (born 1951) is an expert practitioner of video as an artistic medium. (One remembers his foray into opera, with his video work used as backdrop to the staging by Peter Sellars for “Tristan und Isolde” in Paris.) This first show in Asia offers 16 works Viola created between 1981 and 2001. They appease, shock, or move the viewers, while consistently addressing the fundamental themes of human condition. The videos will travel to Kobe next year.  www.mori.art.museum

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WESTERN ART > To Dec. 10: “Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium Exhibition.” On loan from the main Brussels museum, a selection of 70 oil paintings and 39 drawings from the 16th to the 20th century, including works by such Flemish classical masters as Brueghel, Rubens, Van Dyke and Jordaens; Symbolist paintings by Knopf and Ensor, and works by the famous Belgian Surrealists, Magritte and Delvaux. The exhibition will travel to Nagasaki and Osaka.  www.nmwa.go.jp

TOKYO METROPOLITAN ART MUSEUM > To Dec. 24: “Our Landscape: 400 Years of European Paintings from the State Hermitage Museum.” On loan from the vast collection of works in the St. Petersburg museum, a selection of about 80 European paintings from Venetian Renaissance to Picasso. The landscapes, portraits and daily scenes by such masters as Veronese, Claude Lorrain, Ruisdael, Monet, Gauguin and many others reflect these artists’ interpretations of man living in a pastoral or urban environment.  www.tobikan.jp (in Japanese)

TOKYO STATION GALLERY > To Dec. 11: “The Modern Paintings of Viet Nam.” Hanoi has become the center of Vietnam’s rapid cultural renaissance. The exhibition covers the period from early western-art studies, a consequence of the 1925 opening of the first art school in Southeast Asia, through the transition from traditional silk and lacquerware techniques to post-modern trends, demonstrating new expressions and developments in Vietnamese art.  www.ejrcf.or.jp