Past: January 28 → October 1, 2011
As a counterpoint to the presentation at the Louvre of the first retrospective in France devoted to the Bavarian-born Austrian sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736–1783), the museum plays host to a group of sculptures by the leading British contemporary artist Tony Cragg, to be shown in the Cour Marly and the Cour Puget. In addition, the Louvre is pleased to feature a monumental sculpture by the artist, produced especially for the exhibition and displayed under the pyramid.
In 2008, an exhibition at the Belvedere in Vienna also juxtaposed works by these two sculptors. But here the visual dialogue across the centuries between Tony Cragg and Messerschmidt’s “character heads” is limited to a single bronze sculpture by this major contemporary sculptor, Level Head (2005) which, like the masterpieces of his 18th-century predecessor, through its distortions and superimposed layers, depicts a particularly expressive human face, from a very specific viewpoint.
The five other sculptures selected by Cragg to inhabit the space formed by the Cour Marly and the Cour Puget are of varying dimensions, shapes and types, thus reflecting this sculptor’s broad use of materials (bronze, marble, fiberglass, wood), colors (white, red, black) and methods (circumvolutions around a central axis, displacement of oblique and overhanging elements along a lateral plane, accumulation of numerous fine layers, puncturing of surfaces). Sculptures conceived on the same themes, but of different sizes, allow visitors to consider the question of scale, and a sculpture in two parts, Double Zig, resonates with a number of works in the Louvre’s collections.
As part of the invitation extended to Tony Cragg, a new sculpture by the artist, produced especially for this exhibition, is to be installed under I. M. Pei’s pyramid, at the entrance column. Vacant since the inauguration of the pyramid in 1989, this exhibition space was nevertheless intended in the architect’s conception for the presentation of a contemporary work of art.
Event Friday, February 4, 2011 at 8 PM
Special evening event devoted to contemporary art in the “Face to Face” series
Palais royal, musée du Louvre
Every day except Tuesday, 9 AM – 6 PM
Late night on Wednesday, Friday until 9:30 PM
Lundi, jeudi, samedi, dimanche : fermeture des salles à partir de 17h30
Full rate €15.00
D’octobre à mars : le premier dimanche de chaque mois, l’accès aux collections permanentes est gratuit pour tous.