For their major summer exhibition of 2013, the Maeght Foundation has given carte blanche to philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Lévy.
French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy (pictured above) has worn many hats during his career: that of a public intellectual, journalist, bestselling author of more than 30 books, filmmaker, political activist… But if that was not enough, he is now just about to embark on a new adventure when the Foundation Maeght’s newest exhibition, “Les Aventures de la Vérité – Peinture et philosophie: un récit” (Adventures in Truth – Painting and Philosophy: a narrative) for which he is serving as the art curator, opens on June 29th.
Run by the Maeght family, the prestigious Saint-Paul-de-Vence based museum has very seldom asked an outsider to set up an exhibit on its premises – the most famous instance that comes to mind in that of André Malraux, who staged his “Musée Imaginaire” (Imaginary Museum) in 1973, which brought together tribal art and the masters of the Renaissance – so this unusual collaboration is bound to be one of the most talked about events of the season.
Through 170 or so artworks from both private and public collections, grouped together into seven “stations” such as The Fate of the Shadows, Philosophy’s Tomb and Revenge of Plato, Bernard-Henri Levy or BHL as he is better known in France, will explore the eternal struggle for truth between art and philosophy, two forms of expression that are “sometimes rivals, sometimes allies.”
And if visitors are used to exhibits dedicated to one specific period or artist, they are in for a big surprise with this ambitious show. Indeed, they will travel back and forth in time as Levy has decided to mingle ancient, modern, and contemporary pieces in order to challenge them. That is how a crucifixion by Bronzino will face another one by Pollock (pictured above) and a St. Veronica from the 15th century will interrogate its reinterpretation by Francis Picabia.
These artworks will be accompanied by a 400-page catalog that explains the complex ideas at play, as well as by black-and-white films from artists such as Jeff Koons, and Anselm Kiefer reading excerpts from works of philosophy including Hegel, Schelling, and also from the Talmud.
Les Aventures de la Vérité runs from Saturday 29th June to Monday 11th November 2013 at the Fondation Maeght. Admission costs €15 for adults, and €10 for groups, students, and under 18s. Children under 10 years of age get in for free. If you wish to film or take photographs, that will cost you an additional €5.
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Other images in order (all courtesy of the fondation Maeght):-
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Crisis X, 1982. Oil, acrylic and pastel on canvas mounted on wooden pallet, 185 x 115 x 17,5 cm. Succession Jan Krugier © Succession Jan Krugier – the estate of Jean- Michel Basquiat / Adagp, Paris 2013.
Jackson Pollock, Crucifixion, 1939-1940. Gouache sur papier, 54,6 x 39,4 cm. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery © Photo Robert McKeever, Courtesy Gagosian Gallery/ Adagp Paris 2013
Bernard Moninot, Réflection n° 1, 1973. Huile sur un assemblage de bois, plexiglas, miroir, 153 x 273 cm. Collection Fondation Maeght. Photo Claude Germain © Archives Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence/Adagp, Paris 2013