Ever since the first exhibition of emblematic works from its collection, during the 2014 inauguration of the building designed by Frank Gehry, Fondation Louis Vuitton has regularly exhibited different selections of works following the Collection’s four distinct predetermined categories: Contemplative, Expressionist, Pop, Music & Sound (2014/2016), or groups of works from specific events dedicated to China (2016) and Africa (2017).
“In Tune with the World”
April 11 – August 27, 2018
Louis Vuitton Foundation
8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris
More than a simple hanging of works, “In Tune with the World” is intended to be an exhibiti on based on a specific theme. This reflects today’s questions about man’s place in the universe and the bonds that tie him to his surrounding environment and living world, highlighting the interconnections between humans, animals, plants, and even inanimate objects.
Sequence A, located on the 2nd floor of the building (galleries 9, 10 and 11), offers an immersion into the world of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (born in 1962). Drawing on Japan’s political, cultural and social history, Takashi M urakam i cultivates a world apart, both dark and fabulous, which combines Kawaii aesthetics with references to his country’s traumas, such as the atomic bomb or, more recently, the tsunami. Through the multiplicity of forms and materials represented in this exhibition (such as paintings, sculpture and videos), the prolific work of Takashi Murakami gives free rein to an unbridled imagination, saturated with colours and populated by fantastic creatures, half-human- half-animal, mixing popular and scholarly cultures, Buddhist iconography and manga, tradition and modernity, West and East, ancestral techniques and advanced technology.
This display, conceived in strict collaboration with the artist, is organised around three motifs: – Gallery 9 is dedicated to DOB, the first character invented by the artist in 1993 and considered to be his alter ego. He appears both in the guise of a cute rodent in the style of Mickey Mouse and as a malicious, fierce monster, covered in eyes and sharp teeth. – Gallery 10 shows a monumental fresco exhibited in Paris for the first time. Entitled The Octopus eats its own leg (2017); it depicts characters from Chinese mythology surrounded by lavish, marvellous fauna and flora. By borrowing from the traditional iconography of 18th century Japanese painting and combining it with the style of the great historical frescoes, the artist delivers a contemporary version of the Eight Immortals of the Taoist religion. – Gallery 11 features a space of Kawaii (meaning ”cute” in Japanese). The artist reinterprets this Japanese aesthetic through a variety of forms and media: sculpture, wallpapers, flower paintings and animated films inspired by manga.
Sequence B, Man in the living universe, brings together 28 French and international artists from different generations and techniques. It extends over the other three floors of the building and the outside Grotto area. Inspired by the assertion of Roland Barthes in La Chambre claire (Camera Lucida) (1980) “I have determined to be guided by the consciousness of my feelings”, the works are themed around the idea of emotional affinity. The itinerary is structured around three complementary themes, each presented on one floor of the building: Irradiances (1st floor); Là, infiniment… [Here, infinitely…] (Ground floor); L’Homme qui chavire [The man who capsizes] (Pool level).
• Irradiances, on the 1st floor, in galleries 5, 6 and 7, presents works by: Matthew Barney, Mark Bradford, Christian Boltanski, Trisha Donnelly, Dan Flavin, Jacqueline Humphries, Pierre Huyghe, Yves Klein, James Lee Byars, François Morellet, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Shimabuku and Anicka Yi.
The title “Irradiances” refers to the light beam of Dan Flavin and brings together works in a variety of media: paintings, sculptures, videos, installations. Each work is about man’s continuous dialogue with nature, exploring how different materials and their metamorphoses can create a cosmic landscape. Dan Flavin’s Untitled, one of his first fluorescent tube creations, exudes a force from within that gives the sculpture a unique quality. Whilst the dazzling colours are rigorously structured in Lilak (1982) by Gerhard Richter, the two works in his Flow (2013) series refers to the flow of paint spread by the artist’s hand and tamed by a glass panel placed on the surface acting as a mirror. Sigm ar Po lke adopts a secretly alchemical approach in his work Nachtkappe I (1986), born from a unique blend of paint, indigo juice and alcohol varnish.