Back to list

Paths of Modernity:French Modern and Contemporary Art Exhibition Valérie Belin Meta-Clichés

Theme

Paths of Modernity:French Modern and Contemporary Art Exhibition Valérie Belin Meta-Clichés

Exhibition Date

September 27 – December 15, 2017

Exhibition Venue

No. 1 Temporary Exhibition Hall, 1F

Carrying out strategic deployment of the Sichuan Provincial Party Committee, the People’s Government of Sichuan Province, the Chengdu Municipal Party Committee and Chengdu Municipal Government on continuing cooperative exhibitions and cultural exchanges with countries along the Belt and Road after the special exhibition Spirit of the Silk Road, offering the public more quality exhibitions and better meeting the public’s cultural needs, the Chengdu Museum and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Etienne Metropole have jointly held Paths of Modernity: French Modern and Contemporary Art Exhibition & Valérie Belin Meta-Clichés in the No.1 Temporary Exhibition Hall of Chengdu Museum from September 27, 2017 to December 15, 2017.

As one of the core members of the European Union, France is one of China’s major supporter in the EU promoting the BRI. At this moment, extensive cultural cooperation and exchanges between France and China have been carried out, including events like Les Années Chine-France and the Croisements Festival. With the support of both the Embassy of France in China and Consulate General of France in Chengdu, Paths of Modernity: French Modern and Contemporary Art Exhibition & Valérie Belin Meta-Clichés, as a key event at the Croisements Festival, has attracted Robert Lacombe, the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in China; Fabienne Mansencal, Consul General of France in Chengdu; Martin, the cultural attaché and Martine Mourès-Dancer, the curator of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Etienne Metropole to Chengdu Museum several times for talks on exhibition cooperation and further cultural exchanges between France and China, which have yielded great results and contributed to this exhibition’s success.

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Etienne Metropole is known around the world for its outstanding exhibitions and rich collections. The total of items in its collection exceeds 29,000, including classics from masters like Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet, making it the second-best museum in France. Its classic collections are often displayed around the world when invited. The museum holds no less than 12 temporary exhibitions annually, which have attracted a bevy of visitors. Presently, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Etienne Metropole has hosted many large world-renowned art exhibitions, including Treasure of a City (1989), Collections/Collection (1996), and Procession of Art (2012/2013).

Paths of Modernity: French Modern and Contemporary Art Exhibition & Valérie Belin Meta-Clichés presents to visitors 51 pieces of magnificent modern and contemporary paintings treasured by the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Etienne Metropole, including authentic works from world-renowned masters Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, and Pierre Soulages. Other masterpieces from artists who have profoundly influenced modern art development, covering all typical schools in the process of developing modern art in France and the west over the past two centuries, are also on display. Aided by plates and multi-media, the exhibition impressed visitors with the styles change in the works, allowing them to better understand art history in terms of Western countries. Monet's Water Lilies is on display in the exhibition and is one of the only four round paintings of the 250-pieces water lilies series, which shows the principles attributed to Monet that refuse perspective but emphasize extending space. It is also one of the museum’s most valuable treasures. Pastoral Symphony by the realism representative painter Gustave Courbet reflects a different approach to landscapes. Fauvism leader Henri Matisse’s work Castle on Beautiful Island in his transitional period highlights the key transformation in his artistic evolution. Painting on June 19, 1979 by Pierre Soulages, a key figure in French abstract art, brings his audience an artistic shock with his massive application of black. In addition, four paintings created at different times by Picasso, the representative of modern western painting, are also exhibited to present his unremitting exploration for art.

To enrich the cultural content of the exhibition in Chengdu, by virtue of recommendation of the French Embassy Cultural Office, 32 photographs of Meta-Clichés by the modern French photographer Valérie Belin were exhibited as well. Valérie Belin, one of the most influential modern photographers in France, was awarded the 6th Prix Pictet, a world environmental photography award. Her works have been collected by major galleries and museums around the world, e.g. Le Centre National d'art et de Culture Georges-Pompidou, French National Library, Fondation Cartier Pour l'Art Contemporain, Museum of Modern Art in New York, National Gallery of Australia, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea. She skillfully employs lighting, details, textures, and hues in her works. By fusing elements of reality and imagination, she explores the “miraculous” materiality with highly complex images and gives expression to contrasting thematic concepts like “existence and nihility” and “vigor and inanition”.

The exhibition received extensive praise and active responses from the public since its opening. It has attracted over 400,000 visitors in less than two months and nearly 160,000 visitors during the National Day golden week alone. Such a spectacular scene of citizens participating in the exhibition was wildly reported on by the major media, newspapers, websites, and apps in over 1,500 articles. About 2.1 million entries popped up when searching the keywords “Chengdu Museum France” on Baidu. To help visitors better understand this French exhibition, Chengdu Museum continually made in-depth interpretation specials on the exhibits and the stories behind them, as well as the artists’ life stories, historical and cultural background of modern France, etc. via we-media. 47 articles were released with over 460,000 views and 8 live broadcasts launched on Netease Live Broadcast, Cover Live Broadcast, Artron Art, and other popular network platforms, attracting over 1.2 million viewers.

During the exhibition, Chengdu Museum set up a variety of supporting events for visitors, including social education activities aimed at visitors of different age groups, like “From Monet to Xiaoming: A Western Art Classroom for Kids” and “Master and His School: A Western Modern Art Classroom”, attracting over 1,200 participants in total. Concurrently, multiple lectures on analyzing French modern and contemporary art from different perspectives were held, among which the most notable is the keynote lecture on the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Etienne Metropole by Mourès-Dancer, the curator of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Etienne Metropole. Her lecture, from the most direct and in-depth perspective, led the audience on a journey through time and space, appreciating the fine collections of Saint-Etienne Metropole Museum, as well as the unique history and culture of France.

By virtue of the recommendation of the Embassy of France in China and promotion from the Consulate General of France in Chengdu, Robert Lacombe, the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in China, Fabienne Mansencal, Consul General of France in Chengdu, cultural attaché Martin; and Martine Mourès-Dancer, the curator of Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Etienne Metropole had visited the Chengdu Museum many times for talks on cultural exchange between France and China and collaborative exhibitions, which yielded positive results. 

 

 

 

 

 

Back