The Foundation will be exceptionally closed on the 22nd, 25th, and 26th of July. However, it will be open on the following dates:

  • 23rd July: from 11 am to 8 pm
  • 24th July: from 11 am to 8 pm
  • 27th July: from 10 am to 6 pm
  • 28th July: from 10 am to 8 pm

Empress of India II

  • 2005
  • Bertrand Lavier
  • Neon tubes (211 tubes on 8 wood panels)
  • 196 x 580 x 12 cm
Lavier transposed Stella’s iconic Notched V series of stripe paintings, begun in 1964, into coloured neon. Empress of India II (2005) is the illuminated version of the eponymous work by Frank Stella from 1967 (kept at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). Here, Lavier’s appropriation of the painting does not involve superimposition but rather the transposition of one material to another, provoking a short circuit as violent as the neon glare that neutralises the original piece. While Stella remains a presence, Lavier’s pop-art approach breathes new vitality into the work by appropriating visual techniques from the world of urban advertising.

© Adagp, Paris, 2014. Photographie © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage


Bertrand Lavier

After studying horticulture, a subject that has influenced his outlook, at the Ecole Nationale de Versailles, Bertrand Lavier began his artistic career in the early 1970s. His approach blends the spirit of Duchamp’s readymades with the mass-culture imagery of pop art and the trivial items typical of the New Realism. Lavier transcends traditional categories between painting and sculpture to emphasise hybridisation.

His works, which take the form of objects that are painted, layered, mounted on a plinth, enlarged or simply removed from their original context, are organised into chantiers or “building sites”, as he calls his series, which he deliberately leaves open-ended to allow for the possibility of returning to them. Lavier incorporates everyday objects as well as other art into his work. In 1985 he used his “Van Gogh” technique to repaint a painting by François Morellet in the same colours as the original (Lavier/Morellet, 1975-1995, Paris, MNAM). The result is an ambiguous vision of painting, its abstract nature replaced by an equivocal status hovering between figuration and abstraction. This blending of genres, principles and materials, typical of Lavier’s artistic practice, produces works that destabilise our perception, creating a visual impact through the blindingly obvious.

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