Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican Centre

London | 4 October 2019 – 19 January 2020

Tim Marlow, artistic director for London's Royal Academy of Arts, chooses the best exhibitions to see this month, presented by Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

T his month at the Barbican Centre in London, an exhibition opens that looks back at the role of cafes, clubs and cabarets – those electrifying social spaces which served as cultural hubs for artists, writers and creatives between the 1880s and 1960s.

Aaron Douglas, Dance, circa 1930 [© Heirs of Aaron Douglas/VAGA at ARS, NY and DACS, London 2019]

Entitled Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art, the exhibition is the first to explore the intersection of artists, designers, writers, performers and musicians in these avant-garde arenas.

Karl Hofer, Tiller Girls, before 1927 [ © Elke Walford, Fotowerkstatt Hamburg]

The show captures the spirit of collaboration and idea-exchange which thrived during this period, presenting the work and relationships of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Loie Fuller, Josef Hoffman, Giacomo Balla, Theo van Doesburg and Sophie Taeber-Arp, and their artistic hangouts.

Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Réouverture du cabaret du Chat Noir (Reopening of the Chat Noir Cabaret), 1896 [© Victoria and Albert Museum, London]

In addition to a display of 350 individual works rarely seen in the UK, including drawings, prints, photographs, film and archival materials, special scale recreations of specific spaces, including Vienna’s Cabaret Fledermaus, will allow visitors to peer inside these provocative sites.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Miss Loïe Fuller, 1893 [Courtesy Bibliothèque de l'Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, Collections Jacques Doucet]

The show evokes the free expression of life within these sanctuaries of creative activity and the relationships, ideas and art they bore.

Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art opens on 4 October 2019 and runs until 19 January 2020.

More from Sotheby's

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos & news.
Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

Close