Last year saw the opening of a contemporary art foundation on the island of Porquerolles, a nature reserve off the coast of Hyères, the brainchild of Parisian financier Edouard Carmignac whom we met last year (cf report)
Sea of desire
Marked by several spectacular permanent projects, like the huge billboard with the words “Sea of desire” written across it made by Californian Pop artist Ed Ruscha, or the fountain with one hundred fish by another famous American artist, Bruce Nauman, it inaugurated across 2000m2 and also in a vast park area a new venue for art in the south of France.
With an annual program, that of 2019 should reveal whether the success of the project has been confirmed. And it has, without a doubt. Not limiting itself to the 3000 artworks in the collection, the Fondation Carmignac is presenting, with the addition of certain loans and under the direction of guest curator Chiara Parisi, a sensual stroll entitled “La source” (The Source). Despite her aversion to the camera, the curator has made the effort to describe the idea behind the exhibition in a few words whilst reflecting in a piece by DeWain Valentine:
The eco fresco by French artist Fabrice Hybert, which takes a print by Max Ernst as its starting point, was the first work the young Edouard ever acquired, and is thus the source of his collection.
It’s useless to comment on the symbol of abstract painting all in aqueous blue by the giant of German contemporary art Sigmar Polke, due to the pure Lapis Lazuli pigment spread across the canvas.
Elmgreen & Dragset
The Scandinavians Elmgreen & Dragset have conceived an installation composed of a young boy looking at himself in the mirror wearing his mother’s high heels. The source of early memories of homosexuality…
Certain works have a mischievous quality. This is the case for the star of the exhibition, a sculpture all in white by the enfant terrible of Italian art, Maurizio Cattelan, made specially for the occasion. It’s an oversized self-portrait on the source of his inspiration. Into the skull of this plaster cast version of Maurizio he has literally stuck all the works that he has dreamt up, from the pope struck by a meteorite, to the horse leaping into a wall. Cattelan, contrary to what some might think, is a rare artist. He hadn’t shown any new pieces since 2016 when he exhibited his massive gold toilets entitled “America” at the Guggenheim.
Mischievous again, there’s “Cocacollage”, the outdoor installation by Bertrand Lavier of two dots of vivid colour on the lawn, which are in fact two advertising parasols, alluding among things to the stereotypes of pop culture. The artist discusses his work:
The Korean artist Koo Jeong-A has created an installation within the wall of one of the terraces using embedded crystals that lend a magical air to the surroundings, distorting the light and making the wall face glow. The light sources are explained by the artist:
An entire floor is devoted to the former Young British Artist Sarah Lucas.
No one talks better about male chauvinism and the abuse women are subjected to than this provocateur, who has recently had great success with her exhibition at the New Museum in New York before her retrospective at the Hammer in Los Angeles next June.
In France, you’ll have to visit Porquerolles to see an ensemble of her installations for the first time.
Until 3 November. www.fondationcarmignac.com.
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