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    Exhibition program at the palace of Versailles

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    De Gaulle in Trianon

    Until 9 November 2016, discover the story of Trianon as a Palace of the Republic.

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    Olafur Eliasson is the Palace of Versailles’ guest artist for the summer of 2016.

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    Catalogue of the publications of the palace of Versailles

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    Reopening on 10 May 2016

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    Restoration and refurnishing works at the palace of Versailles

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    Versailles Festival 2016

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Venet à Versailles

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The exhibition as seen by...


... Bernar Venet

"I was excited when Jean-Jacques Aillagon asked me to take over the Palace of Versailles for two reasons: because it was an amazing backdrop for my sculptures, and because it was an amazing opportunity to capture my conception of space. I found Versailles fascinating even before they started organising contemporary art exhibitions. I made my own photomontages, overlaying my sculptures and the Chateau de Versailles backdrops, long before the Jeff Koons exhibition. I kept that project secret, along with several other “perfect views” for my work. During the Versailles heyday, those projects would have been called “caprices”. The only difference is that, in my case, they were sculptural rather than architectural “caprices”.
Versailles, as I see it, is all about wide open spaces and perspectives that stretch as far as the eye can see. It is the perfect venue for my sculptures – and a real challenge to take on such a sublime, grandiose milieu. My Arcs have to blend in without fading away in the backdrop. So I have to accommodate several variables. That was why I decided to tailor new sculptures to the area’s topology and scale.
It was clear at the start that my sculptures would not be on show inside the Château, as they would unleash their full potential in the paths across Le Notre’s gardens. I am thinking about the sunrises and sunsets, and the golden light that steeps the Corten steel in red and brown hints.
The curves on my sculptures will contrast with the angular geometry in the gardens, and espouse the circular edges around the Basin d’Apollon and Grand Canal."

Bernar Venet


... Jean-Jacques Aillagon

"Bernar Venet is the Palace of Versailles’s guest in 2011.
He is taking over from Takashi Murakami who, as we know, attracted considerable interest and sizeable crowds in 2010.
The Palace of Versailles chose Bernar Venet to showcase a French artist’s meticulous, intense efforts to probe the question about the relationships between art, landscapes and architecture, and therefore between art, time and history. It is also the first time that this institution has decided to display an annual contemporary art exhibition work of art in the Marly Estate, which it is now responsible for.
I am all the more delighted as my friendly respect for Bernar Venet goes back a very long way. He is relentlessly tearing down his own work and starting again. And – something I find absolutely remarkable –, can look at other artists’ works with caring, insightful eyes."

Jean-Jacques Aillagon
Former Minister
Etablissement Public du Musée et du Domaine National de Versailles President

 

... Bernard Marcadé

"When he was doing his military service in Tarascon (in Southern France), in 1961, Bernar Venet delivered a performance lying nestled in refuse. That was the first work he laid claim to. More than 50 years down the road, this artist is taking over the Palace of Versailles court of honour and gardens with his Corten steel Arcs, Lignes Indéterminées and Effondrements (“collapses”). The book published for this exhibition tells this protean artist’s visual story, the story about his path from conceptual art to public art, and the story about how his paintings, installations, performance, monumental sculptures and even writing have made a lasting mark on the contemporary aesthetic landscape.
The essay by artist and art critic Brian O’Doherty in the catalogue published for this exhibition focuses on Bernar Venet’s contribution to the big issues that art and sculpture are grappling with today. Bernard Marcadé’s starlit, polyphonic article provides perspective on a singular artist who is exacting and rigorous, and yet wholeheartedly embraces formal freedom."

Bernard Marcadé
Exhibition curator

More about the gardens

Catalogue of the exhibition atalogue of the Venet exhibition at Versailles

Hardcover with dust jacket, 232 pages, Language : French

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