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      Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre? in Camden Town


      • Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre? Photo #1
      1 of 1
      November 8, 2019 - March 1, 2020

       

      129-131 Albert Street
      Camden Town, Greater London NW1 7NB

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      EVENT DETAILS
      Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre?

      The Jewish Museum London is pleased to present one of the most powerful artworks of the 20th century - the complex masterpiece Life? or Theatre? by German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon (born Berlin 1917 - died Auschwitz 1943). This major exhibition features over 230 gouaches from her celebrated work, Life? or Theatre? created by Salomon in an extraordinary burst of creative activity in the early 1940s, when in hiding in the South of France. Fifty of the works to be shown at Jewish Museum London have never previously been exhibited in the UK; the last major UK show of her work was at the Royal Academy of Arts, twenty years ago, after the work resurfaced in the early 1960s. Life? or Theatre? combines creative force with personal narrative. Divided into three sections, the remarkable gouaches unveil a vivid self-portrait spanning across all facets of Salomon's existence: from a complicated family life, marked by the suicides of nearly all female relatives; growing up in Berlin, her training at the art academy in Berlin (one of a tiny number of Jewish students admitted), her close relation to singing teacher Alfred Wolfsohn; the rise of the Nazis; to her exile to France. Throughout, the artist challenges the destructive forces of these external events as well as the gendered traumas of the domestic everyday by deploying playful pseudonyms and fantastical elements alongside emotional candour, remarkable observation, and a meticulous visual memory. The work has extraordinary emotional depth, with joy, hope and determination surfacing alongside the pain, confusion and sadness of an abusive and difficult family life, failed love affairs and political machinations affecting her and her family. Charlotte Salomon's paintings are a triumph of personal truth and individual expression - an unrivalled opus magnum from a talented and ambitious artist, dark with her early death, but luminous with her precision, her lyricism, and her courage. Salomon's life's work unfailingly arouses intense reactions, and it has inspired artists, filmmakers, writers and choreographers to make creations of their own. "It was summer. There were trees and sky and sea. I saw nothing else. Only colours, paintbrush and you, and this. People, everyone, became too much for me. I had to go further into solitude, completely away from all humanity. Then maybe I could find what I had to find - namely myself: a name for me + this is how I began Life and Theatre".' Charlotte Salomon

      Cost: £3.50-£7.50, family £18

      Categories: Museums & Attractions

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