The Source

Affiche de l'exposition La Source à la Fondation Carmignac, par Maurizio Cattelan
Courtesy: TOILETPAPER Magazine

13 April - 03 November 2019

For the Villa Carmignac’s second year of existence, the Fondation Carmignac has invited Chiara Parisi as a guest curator. Both the architecture of the Villa and the island itself have provided inspiration for La Source (The Source), the resulting show. Emerging from the woods, visitors are invited to take off their shoes before plunging beneath the surface of the Provençal farmhouse, where they can discover over sixty artworks from the collection, as well as important loans and new productions.

Alice aux Pays des Merveilles (Alice in Wonderland) – a lithograph by Max Ernst and Édouard Carmignac’s first acquisition – is the starting point of a wall drawing by Fabrice Hyber, which immerses the viewers upon entering the exhibition. Their underground journey through a succession of rooms flooded with sunlight is a metaphor for the regenerative, vital force of a source.

When visitors stand under the water ceiling’s light well, the pivotal point of the show, they can contemplate the cross-shaped disposition of the exhibition spaces freed from cymae, and gaze over all the artworks from the most meditative to the most engaged.

The Carmignac collection is revisited exploring two main axes: the female body (Egon Schiele, Roy Lichtenstein, Thomas Ruff…) and abstraction, which can be expressionist at times (Gerhard Richter, Theaster Gates, Susan Rothenberg…). While viewers can both observe and feel observed within this unique architecture, the selection of emblematic artworks from the collection is also juxtaposed with new paintings, sculptures and installations: their presence seems either pure (De Wain Valentine’s black totem), radiant (Cyprien Gaillard’s iron hand), transformative (Forrest Bess’s mutation of matters) or simply troubling (Elmgreen & Dragset’s ambiguous mirror play).

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Maurizio Cattelan, as for him, mischievously condenses his most iconic works into a single new sculpture.

Next to new ephemeral productions by Bertrand Lavier and Koo Jeong-A, further spaces loom outside.

On the ground floor, the British artist Sarah Lucas’s sharp humour fills the house with chimeras for her first solo show in France, which includes a significant ensemble of over fifteen artworks.

In the gardens, new works feature alongside a dozen permanent instalments, including sculptures by Jeppe Hein, Ugo Rondinone, and Ed Ruscha.

This year, the program of performances includes the birth of a sound by Pauline Sikirdji, a vision by Barbara Carlotti, as well as a gesture by Yoann Bourgeois. Starting in June on full-moon nights, visitors will also be invited to immerse themselves into the sculpture gardens and the seascape of the island, guided by the voices of Patti Smith and Charlotte Gainsbourg through a special production of the collective Soundwalk.

Warning : This exhibition contains some works that may offend the sensitivity of visitors, especially young audiences. Mediators are here to help you find more information.

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Artists of the exhibition

Francis Alÿs – El Anatsui – Micol Assaël – John Baldessari – Rosa Barba – Miquel Barceló – Valérie Belin – Forrest Bess – Olaf Breuning – Louis Cane – Rosemarie Castoro – Maurizio Cattelan – George Condo – Gino De DominicisElmgreen & Dragset – Max Ernst – Liam Everett – Cyprien Gaillard – Theaster Gates – Rebecca Horn – R.B. Kitaj – Pierre Klossowski – Koo Jeong A – David Horvitz – Fabrice Hyber – Bertrand Lavier – Roy Lichtenstein – Sarah Lucas – Cildo Meireles – Annette Messager – Bruce Nauman – Albert Oehlen – Sigmar Polke – Martial Raysse – Gerhard Richter – Susan Rothenberg – Sterling Ruby – Thomas Ruff – Ed Ruscha – Egon SchieleSoundwalk Collective – Günther Uecker – De Wain Valentine

Permanent artworks : Miquel Barceló – Jean Denant – Tom Friedman – Jeppe Hein – Wang Keping – Gonzalo Lebrija – Tony Matelli – Janaina Mello Landini – Bruce NaumanNils-Udo – Jaume Plensa – Ugo Rondinone – Ed Ruscha – Tom Sachs – Stéphane Thidet Vhils

Pictures of the exhibition

The catalogue of the exhibition


A true extension of the exhibition, the catalogue is a treasure trove for the visitor’s memory. Echoing the works, the book is also an unprecedented literary space that emerged from the dialogue between the artists and Chiara Parisi, around the question: “Where is the source”?

Catalogue La Source Jean Boîte Editions, David Desrimais Editeur
Catalogue The Source David Desrimais Editor

Curator: Chiara Parisi
Editorial direction: David Desrimais Éditeur
Graphic design: Agnès Dahan Studio
Photography: Luc Boegly
ISBN 978-2-36568-033-2
240 pages / hard cover – 18×24 cm 
Bilingual French/ English
35 €


The Source