A STORY OF STILL LIFE
at the Louvre Paris
EN VILLE - In TOWN
Although Christo is missing, "Les Choses" presented at the Louvre this winter, is an exciting exhibition!
by Philippe Renaud*
Things, "which say a lot when they say something else (Michaux)" hold their revenge until January 23, 2023 in a basement crowded with visitors delighted to discover nature in its simplicity these everyday or transformed and industrial objects that encourage meditation and, more or less loaded with symbolism over time esoteric, moral or Freudian to express wealth, power, restrained and outrageous consumption the overflow of garbage cans when it is not the slow disaster of decay and the destruction of things. The vanity of beings before the fascinating mystery of eternity which is present as the favorite cousin of the theme of inner lives.
With brilliance and culture, this exhibition recounts the passing of time on things, nature and men and asks with a somewhat fabricated modernity the question of the poet of yesteryear: Do inanimate things have a soul? …..
The theme of these still lifes, silent lives, "Natures Mortes" has been so fruitful in the history of art that it is easy to get lost in the opulence of the subject, and the forest of symbols that are hidden there and in the charms that these things offer to our personal memories.
The art of the curators was to play on the echoes between the periods which inspired these works of which they are notorious scholars, to stuff their words with provocations found in the all-round inspiration (cinema, video, installation, etc.) of 20th century artists through the movements that shaped art at that time. We remain unsatisfied (during my visit, the heap of sweets in Gonzales Torres' installation had melted like greedy snow in the sun...) because the uncurious choices concerning art in the making are almost an admission of incomprehension by the continuity of the theme.
Zabriskie Point d'Antonioni's quote ends besides by serving stupidly, like a , lively and hectic wallpaper mural in the overly large Salle des Pas Perdus at the end of the hanging when it should have asserted itself as a strong questioning “because things and being have a great dialogue (Victor Hugo)” which is still alive.
Small nuance, The Louvre in Paris remains The Louvre even when it pretends to be in on it. The prestige of the place has certainly facilitated the quality of the loans of the works presented, we are pleased about this, but we regret that an even more informed and disturbing breath on the contemporary part did not come to disturb this brilliant pileup….
* Philippe Renaud is director-artist, scenographer, author. He created the Galerie Travers with William Wheeler and "Lieux" furniture publishing house in the 90s with Patrice Gruffaz.
PHOTO CREDITS ©estheteplace
1- Att to Hieronymus Francken II The riches of the Miser and his death, circa 1600
2- View of the exhibition
3- Édouard Manet, asparagus
4- Anne Vallayer-Coster Sea plumes, 1769
5- Frans Snyders, Still Life with Vegetables, circa 1610
6- Louise Moillon Cup of cherries, plums, melon, circa 1933
7- Daniel SPOERRI, the Hungarian meal, trap painting, 1963
8- Adriaen Coorte, six shells on a stone table, 1696
9- François Desportes, Still life of game ready to put on a spit, 1716
10- Erró, food landscape, 1964
11- Christian Boltanski The clothes of François C, 1971-1972
12- François Desportes, Still life of game ready to be put on a spit, 1716
13 - Jake and Dinos Chapman Bronze Skull (yellow and worm-eaten), 2004
14 - Sébastien Bonnecroy Vanity, around 1650
15- Gerhard Richter, Skull, 1983
17- Jean Simeon Chardin
18- Pompeii, mosaic
19- Andres Serrano
20- Francisco de Goya, Still Life with Sheep's Head, 1808-1812
21- The Monogrammist JVR, around 1630
22- Joel Peter Witkin, Harvest 1983
23- “Autumn” (1573) by Giuseppe Arcimboldo
24 - Att to Juan de Arellano Garland of flowers, birds and butterfly, circa 1650-1670
25- Andrei Tartkovshi Stalker, 1979
26- “Study of Severed Arms and Legs” (1818-1819) by Théodore Géricault
27- Rembrandt, "The Skinned Ox", 1655, Paris, Louvre Museum, Department of Paintings © RMN - Grand Palais (Louvre Museum) / Tony Querrec
28- Ron Mueck, Still Life, 2009
29- Barthélémy Toguo The ilier of missing migrants, 2022