Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art

Prestel. 2019. 344p. ISBN 9783791358888. $60. FINE ARTS
In the modern era, cafés, dance halls, clubs, and cabarets have served as avant-garde spots where artists, performers, and intellectuals mingled in atmospheres of experimentation and exploration. This catalog from the show curated by the Barbican Centre, London, in collaboration with the Belvedere, in Vienna, presents a chronological survey of art and material culture from fin de siècle Paris nightlife at the Chat Noir to the radical Rasht 29 in 1960s Tehran, with coverage of notable hot spots on four continents in between. It’s a dizzying exposition of artwork, photographs, films, ephemera, and archival material reflecting the venues in which inventive synergy thrived. A dozen informative essays offer insight into the birth of Dada at Cabaret Voltaire, revolutionary politics in 1920s Mexico City, bohemian hedonism at the Cave of the Golden Calf in London, and many more scenes pulsing with creative inspiration. This well-designed, wide-ranging span of material animated by a thoughtful choice of artwork and artifacts such as nightclub maps, magazine covers, promotional photographs, memorabilia, and interior designs.
VERDICT A thought-provoking look at modernism through the vivid lens of its nightlife
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