This thrilling book explores the role of cabarets, clubs, and cafés in modern art.
These creative spaces were incubators of radical thinking, in which artists could exchange provocative ideas. They were welcoming environments for artists, dancers, designers, writers, and musicians pushing the boundaries of cultural and social norms. Spanning the decades from the 1880s to the 1960s, this unique and multi-faceted illustrated history of alternative artistic spaces covers four continents and includes both famed and littleknown sites of the avant-garde. Organized by city, it features painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, film, and archival material emanating from over a dozen cabarets, clubs, and bars that were home to the likes of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Loie Fuller, Josef Hoffmann, Giacomo Balla, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Theo Van Doesburg, Jeanne Mammen, Jacob Lawrence, Ramón Alva de la Canal, and Ibrahim El-Salahi. It includes photographs of the interiors of the Chat Noir in Paris, the Café L’Aubette in Strasbourg and the Mbari Club in Nigeria; a cocktail menu from the Cabaret Fledermaus in Vienna; a 1930s night club map of Harlem; posters and invitations advertising performances at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich and Mexico City’s Café de Nadie; and countless artworks that emerged from these spaces conveying the energy and excitement of the time. A series of enlightening essays explore how each space fostered and stimulated new forms of artistic expression.
Barbican Art Gallery, London
October 4, 2019–January 19, 2020
February 14–June 1, 2020
FLORENCE OSTENDE is Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery in London. Previously she was Adjunct Curator at Dallas Contemporary - and taught art theory at the HEAD-University of Art and Design in Geneva, Switzerland.
LOTTE JOHNSON is Associate Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery in London. Previously she worked at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.