The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco entrusts German artist Thomas Demand with a role of guest curator for the opening exhibition of Villa Paloma
. The NMNM is now a whole, with two Villas, Villa Sauber and Villa Paloma.
“Monaco! Surrealism! Nature? There’s not much nature to be seen, even though the whole country of Monaco sits on a rough rock riddled by caves that were inhabited by homini grimaldi even before anyone painted animals on the walls in Lascaux. There are traffic islands, well-tended hydrocultures, and small parks, but there is nothing here that could cater to my inborn Teutonic yearning for the wild. However, there is a lifestyle that would have appealed to the Surrealists (and, in fact, did): fabulous botanical gardens, which provided the basis for the image for the show’s invitation card, and, next to the Villa Paloma, an almost vacant anthropological museum that gave us the showcase for Chris Garofalo’s porcelain models. So, I thought to myself, if there is any talk of nature here, it has to be of domesticated nature – that is, potted plants, gardens, theme parks and models of wild growth. Transformations, every kind of presentation, interpretation and, finally, symbolic representation.”
It’s in these words that Thomas Demand introduces his text in the catalogue of the exhibition, explaining why he agreed to get involved in the adventure.
The concept of the exhibition refers to Magritte’s short-lived magazine, “La Carte d’après Nature”
. From 1952 on, and for only fourteen issues, he encompasses poetry, illustrations, short stories and other contributions, and sends them out as postcards. In a similar way, the artist Thomas Demand has selected artworks for the exhibition, which are interconnected in a poetic, associative and elegant manner from artists who all have their lines of thinking about Nature and her representations.
Two ideas dictated the combination of the works by the selected artists: forms of a tamed nature and the abrupt dialect of Surrealism fashioned by Magritte, which subsequently became a source of inspiration. Just as Magritte himself always related works to virulent ideas of diverse origins, works of a wider generational span have been included in Demand’s selection which includes amongst others Kudjoe Affutu, Saâdane Afif, Becky Beasley, Martin Boyce, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Chris Garofalo, Luigi Ghirri, Leon Gimpel, Rodney Graham, Henrik Håkansson, Anne Holtrop, August Kotzsch, René Magritte, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Jan and Joël Martel and Ger Van Elk
This exhibition is organised with the support of the René Magritte Foundation – Brussels.
It is accompanied by a catalogue in English and French published by MACK with a complete photographic documentation, essays by Thomas Demand, Christy Lange, Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham, Luigi Ghirri and René Magritte.
* La carte d’après nature, based on an original concept by René Magritte (1952)- © Charly Herscovici – Bruxelles
Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – Villa Paloma
56 boulevard du Jardin Exotique
MC – 98000 Principality of Monaco
+377 98 98 19 62
Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm from 18 September 2010 until 22 February 2011
Combined ticket with Looking up…™ Yinka Shonibare, MBE
at Villa Sauber until 16 January 2011
Ongoing exhibition at Villa Sauber until 16 January 2011: Looking up… Yinka Shonibare, MBE
The Art and Performance collections of the NMNM seen through the eyes of Yinka Shonibare, MBE
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