May 29 -> Nov 22, 2021

Face à Arcimboldo



May 29 -> Nov 22, 2021


Grande Nef

Curated by

Chiara Parisi, director of the Centre Pompidou- Metz, and Anne Horvath, research assistant at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, in a fruitful dialogue with the artist Maurizio Cattelan, the art historians Patricia Falguières and Antonio Pinelli, and the curator Yasha David

Born of a dialogue between the artist Maurizio Cattelan and Chiara Parisi, director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz and curator of the exhibition with Anne Horvath, the exhibition Face à Arcimboldo offers an unprecedented visit, backwards from any chronology, into the meanders of the thought of this mysterious painter of the 16th century, to pierce the actuality of his vocabulary.

Face à Arcimboldo embodies current artistic events through the eyes of 130 artists, whose choice was guided by the influence - assumed, unconscious or fantasized - that the Lombard master exerts on their thought and art. Each of the 250 works in the exhibition bears the imprint of Arcimboldo's creative freedom and follows a red thread that runs through the centuries to the present day.

Designed in cellular concrete, the scenography by architects Berger&Berger suggests the cartography of a citadel in which generations, geographies and media collide.

Upon entering the Grande Nef of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, the visitor is confronted with the experience of Mario Merz's installation, recomposed with its three parts for the first time since 1987 - Homage to Arcimboldo, Cono and the Table of Chagny - where fruits and vegetables follow one another in the rhythm of the day. Francis Bacon's Head VI (1949) is next to Hannah Höch's collages, Wolfgang Tillmans' Anders (Brighton Arcimboldo) (2005) is next to Otto Dix's Study in the Catacombs of Palermo (1924), Cindy Sherman's Untitled (#155) (1985) is in dialogue with Hans Bellmer's The Doll (1935-1936). Elsewhere, frescoes from Pompeii illuminate the masks of the shop where James Ensor spent his life.

With its wide openings, the architectural tour allows us to come across new creations by Fernando and Humberto Campana, the monumental phosphorescent fountain Hills and Clouds (2014) by Lynda Benglis, the impressive Garden Guardian (17th century), the only existing Arcimboldesque sculpture, or the secret Prague cabinet by the legendary contemporary surrealist filmmaker Jan Švankmajer. Further on, Lavinia Fontana's portrait of Antonietta Gonzalez (1594-1595) from the Royal Castle of Blois, Pierre Huyghe's video, Untitled (Human mask) (2014) and Zoe Leonard's portraits of the bearded woman from the Orfila Museum (1991) stand alongside each other.

Just as the Surrealists found Arcimboldo to be an inexhaustible source of inspiration, and who are represented in the exhibition with a selection of masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou's collections, so too is this face-to-face encounter with Arcimboldo carried forward by the contemporary scene. Works by Kerstin Brästch, Felix Gonzàlez-Torres, Rashid Johnson, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Cally Spooner, Hans-Peter Feldmann and Ed Ruscha all bear witness to the importance of Arcimboldo's vision in the formation of generations of artists, past and present.

In the Forum at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, the installation Le désir attraperé par le masque, created especially for the exhibition by Annette Messager, unfolds in the form of a farandole of masked animals that manifests the bizarre and the unknown, the hideous and the seductive, and opens up a reflection on hybridisation.

As the visitor wanders through the unexpected confrontations, he or she is invited to experience, in an intuitive way, the paradoxes between the human being and the animal, the vegetable and the mineral, the natural and the artificial, the brutality and the refinement, the invention and the nostalgia, the rootedness and the desire to leave. Extremes that seem more necessary today than ever, as is the spirit of Arcimboldo, to be able to navigate the complex universe of artistic creation.

With Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Ulisse Aldrovandi, Francis Bacon, Enrico Baj, Hans Bellmer, Lynda Benglis, Cezary Bodzianowski, Alighiero Boetti, Denis Boutemie, René Boyvin, Giovanni Battista Bracelli, Kerstin Brätsch, Victor Brauner Glenn Brown, Cadavres exquis [Yves Tanguy, André Masson] [Yves Tanguy, Marcel Duhamel, Max Morise, André Breton] [Koo Jeong A, Ian Cheng, Philippe Parreno] [Marlene Dumas, Virgil Abloh, Rem Koolhaas] [Alex Israel, Norman M. Klein, Henry Taylor] [Paul McCarthy, Luchita Hurtado, Patrick Staff] [Tobias Rehberger, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Mathias Augustyniak] [Peter Saville, Liam Gillick, Philippe Parreno] [Yu Hong, Liu Xiaodong, Liu Wa], Miriam Cahn, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Maurizio Cattelan, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Giorgio de Chirico, Gregorio Comanini, Gustave Courbet, Roberto Cuoghi, David Czupryn, Daft Punk, Salvador Dalí, Otto Dix, Enrico Donati, Marcel Duchamp, Albrecht Dürer Carl August Ehrensvärd, James Ensor, Max Ernst, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Lavinia Fontana, Llyn Foulkes, Daniel Fröschl, Giambologna, Gilbert & George, Felix Gonzàlez-Torres, Grandville, Francesco Guardi, Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts, Heide Hatry, Robert Heinecken, Hannah Höch, Pierre Huyghe, Rashid Johnson, Christoph Jamnitzer, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Tetsumi Kudo, Claude Lalanne, Nicolas II de Larmessin, Zoe Leonard, Roy Lichtenstein, Giovan Paolo Lomazzo Ghérasim Luca, Master of Bacchus, Lombard Master of the Custody of the Dead, Strasbourg Master of the Four Seasons, Master of the Satyr's Head (Paolo Giovio), René Magritte, Man Ray, Alberto Martini, Matthäus Merian, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Annette Messager, Tomio Miki, Patrick Neu, M/M (Paris), Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Luigi Ontani, Meret Oppenheim, Bernard Palissy, Painter of Herculaneum, Painter of the Bestiary Ceiling, Painter of Pompeii, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Louis Poyet, Markus Raetz, André Raffray, Antonio Rasio, Auguste Rodin, Medardo Rosso, Ed Ruscha, Niki de Saint Phalle, Chéri Samba, Alberto Savinio, Iris Schieferstein, Arnold Schönberg Cindy Sherman, Penny Slinger, Il Sodoma, Daniel Spoerri, Cally Spooner, Jacopo Strada, Jindřich Štyrský, Jan Švankmajer, Alina Szapocznikow, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jean Tinguely, Toyen, Rosemarie Trockel, Francesco Zucchi

*With the complicity of the Château royal de Blois.

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