Ernest Pignon-Ernest - Je Est Un Autre

Hors Les Murs

© Ernest Pignon-Ernest / Adagp, Paris 2024 Photo credits: © Daniele Nalesso / Louis Vuitton

Date
From 20.04.2024 to 24.11.2024
Place
Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia
Calle del Ridotto, 1353 30124
Venise – Italie
Phone
Tél. +39 041 8844318

À l’occasion de la 60e Exposition internationale d’art – La Biennale di Venezia, la Fondation invite l’artiste français Ernest Pignon-Ernest à présenter "Je Est Un Autre", une exposition inédite spécialement conçue pour l’Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia.

For the 60th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, the Fondation Louis Vuitton has invited French artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest to present Je Est Un Autre, a unique exhibition conceived especially for the Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia.

Espace Louis Vuitton Venise

The notion of “the foreigner” has been an inherent element in Ernest Pignon-Ernest’s work since he began his career in the 1960s. For this exhibition, his repertoire of migrants, itinerants, and poets has been enriched by the creation of two new faces, those of major poets, the Russian Anna Akhmatova and the Iranian Forough Farrokhzad, who together with Pier Paolo Pasolini, Arthur Rimbaud, Antonin Artaud, Jean Genet, among others form the heart of the exhibition.

Since the 1960s, and several decades before the emergence of the artforms now termed “street art”, Pignon-Ernest was already paving a singularly adventurous path, combining technical mastery, existential probity, and the ability to “poetically inhabit the world” – and doing so with exceptional openness. Throughout his career, he has accomplished the rare miracle of reconciling uncompromising ethical commitment with exacting, innovative artistic expression to the point that some of his works – such as the representation of those shot dead in La Commune and his vagabond Rimbaud – have been reproduced in hundreds of thousands of copies and have become icons of modern times. His image of the French 19th-century poet Arthur Rimbaud has, for example, in many cases, replaced the standard photograph that was previously used on covers of the poet’s works.

Everywhere and on every continent, including on the beach of Ostia where Pasolini was assassinated, Pignon-Ernest explores the destinies of individuals who break with convention or who are as myths to be revived. In doing so, the artist takes an unprecedented risk each time; the very risk that haunted Rimbaud when he persisted in “finding the place and the formula”.

The artist creates his life size images in selected sites and projects in everyday environments in a meaningful way, a living human presence through a strategic combination of image and site. His work is always conceived based on the potential of its interaction with a place, whose historical, mythical, or political resonances he strives to explore. He allows traces of time to meld with his work to the point of dissolving it.

To this day, Pignon-Ernest’s Parisian studio is in La Ruche, the artists’ residency founded in the early 20th century to welcome foreign artists from around the world, including Akhmatova in 1910-1911. His oeuvre has attracted the interest of artists ranging from Francis Bacon – who began compiling a file on the artist’s work in 1976, to Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Barthélémy Toguo who has introduced his oeuvre throughout Africa through exhibitions organised by his foundation. JR, French photographer and street artist, considers Pignon-Ernest as “[his] inspiration.”

The exhibition, curated by Suzanne Pagé and Hans Ulrich Obrist, in dialogue with Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, is accompanied by a publication bringing together numerous reproductions, comments by the artist, “Notes for Ernest” by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and a conversation between the artist, Suzanne Pagé and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

ÉTUDE POUR PIER PAOLO PASOLINI

© Ernest Pignon-Ernest / Adagp, Paris 2024 Photo credits: © Daniele Nalesso / Louis Vuitton

La démarche artistique d'Ernest Pignon-Ernest était, à ses débuts, singulière dans le monde de l'art de l'époque. Aujourd’hui encore, son atelier parisien est à La Ruche, cette cité d’artistes créée au début du XXe siècle pour accueillir les artistes étrangers du monde entier dont, en 1910-1911, Akhmatova elle-même. Le propre d’une grande œuvre est d’être revisitée en permanence. L’écho du travail d’Ernest Pignon-Ernest s’étend de la sphère occidentale au Global South. Son œuvre a suscité aussi bien l’intérêt de Francis Bacon – qui avait constitué un dossier sur les travaux de l’artiste depuis 1976 – que, aujourd’hui, celui de Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster ou encore de Barthélémy Toguo, introduisant cette œuvre un peu partout en Afrique au gré des expositions qu’il organise à travers sa fondation. Sans parler de J. R. qui voit en lui « [s]on inspirateur ». En France, Ernest Pignon-Ernest est en effet le premier à avoir investi les murs des villes et à mêler le dessin et la photo, trente ans avant le déferlement du street art.

L’exposition s’accompagne d’une publication réunissant de nombreuses reproductions des œuvres présentées, une « note » de Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster et une conversation croisée entre l’artiste, Suzanne Pagé et Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Ernest Pignon-Ernest

Ernest Pignon-Ernest (b. 1942, Nice) lives and works in Paris.

Since his first personal exhibition in 1979 at the ARC – Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Pignon-Ernest’s works have been displayed in museums and institutions including the Palais des Papes, Avignon; La Biennale di Venezia, Italy; the National Art Museum of China (Beijing); Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille; MAMAC, Nice; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; and the Fonds H & E Leclerc, Landerneau, France.

Among Pignon-Ernest’s best known urban interventions are: La Commune, Paris,1971; Maïakovski, Avignon, 1972; Rimbaud, de Paris in Charleville-Mézières, 1978; Pablo Neruda, Chili, 1980-1981; Naples, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995; Derrière la vitre, Lyon-Paris, 1996; Antonin Artaud, Hôpital Charles Foix, Ivry-sur-Seine, 1997; Robert Desnos / Louise Lame / Gérard de Nerval, Paris, 2001-2002; Durban, Soweto, South Africa, 2001-2002; Maurice Audin, Alger, 2003; Jean Genet, Brest, 2006; Les Mystiques, Avignon, 2007; Prison Saint-Paul, Lyon, 2012; Pasolini, Rome, Matera, Ostia, 2015; Victor Segalen, Fonds H & E Leclerc pour la culture, Landerneau, 2022. Pignon-Ernest has also created significant stage designs for theatre and ballet productions. He was officially admitted to France’s Académie des Beaux-Arts in 2021.