Emigre's impressive body of work

21st February 2003 at 00:00
A German artist who fled the Nazis kicks off this week's arts events round up.

Figurative artist

The German painter Max Beckmann (1884-1950) lived through some of the most turbulent times of the 20th century, and emigrated in 1947 to spend his last three years in the United States. His art moves from a 19th-century style in his early work (some examples of which are shown here) to an acknowledgement of Expressionism and Modernism and, in particular, the influence of French painters such as Picasso, Matisse, Leger and Braque, while always retaining a focus on the human figure. He fled Germany after the opening of the exhibition Entarte Kunst (Degenerate Art) in 1937 to live in occupied Amsterdam, where he painted prolifically, including the first of his 10 mythological triptychs.

The Tate Modern exhibition is broadly chronological and includes 75 paintings as well as drawings and a few sculptures. Among the significant works on show is the brutal Night 1918-19, clearly expressing the psychological agony suffered by Beckmann during his period as a medical orderly in the First World War, and the confidently engaging 1927 Self Portrait in a Tuxedo .

Events include a free discussion, Max Beckmann's World (March 2), a private view for teachers and community groups (March 3), and Beckmann Reconsidered: a symposium (March 7). Booking essential: 020 7887 8888.

Information: www.tate.org.uk.

Trains on the road

Thomas the Tank Engine is taking the Fat Controller and friends on a spectacular tour. When were you last told how much a star weighed? These are proud to be a ton and more. Thomas amp; Friends - the big live tour is at Wembley Arena this weekend before going to suitably extensive spaces in Manchester, Sheffield, London and Cardiff. Tickets: 0870 010 8449.

Information: www.wayahead.com.

Home and away

l Where do you display children's work if they don't go to school? In Bristol the answer is the Guild Gallery at 68-70 Park Street, where artwork and writing by children educated at home is exhibited until March 1 by the Bristol Home Education Group. Paintings, three-dimensional pieces, poetry and projects by home pupils of all ages, from pre-school to 18-year-old students is on show in Home Start. Information: 0117 944 5226.

* The work of young artists from James Allen's girls' school in south London is displayed at the Dulwich Gallery in an exhibition called Dialogues until March 2. The pieces, in a variety of media, including batik, machine embroidery and print as well as painting, drawing and three-dimensional pieces, represent the students' responses to the work of established artists. For information, tel: 020 8693 5254; www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk.

Piano forte

The Piano 2003 festival will take place at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester next month, starting on March 21 with the world premiere of Circuit for Two Pianos by Graham Fitkin performed by Kathryn Stott and Noriko Ogawa. Two more concerts follow. Information: wwwbbc.co.ukorchestrasphilharmonic.

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