The Louvre invites Wim Delvoye to intervene at various
locations within the museum and nearby: under the Pyramid, in
the Napoleon III apartments, in the Gothic galleries of the
Department of Decorative Arts, and in the Tuileries gardens.
Wim Delvoye is the second artist, after Tony Cragg in 2011, to
create a new, monumental sculpture to be installed at the central
column supporting the Pyramid’s entry platform or belvedere: a
huge Gothic corkscrew-shaped tower made of stainless steel,
titled Suppo. Another imposing Corten steel sculpture will take
up residence in the Tuileries in July and remain at this venue
through the autumn, when it will be joined by other works
featured in FIAC’s outdoor sculpture exhibition.
Within the museum’s walls, some fifteen recent works in stained
glass, porcelain, and bronze, revealing the artist’s current fascination
with nineteenth-century sculpture and his experimentation with
computerized reproduction techniques, are juxtaposed with objects
from the collections of the Department of Decorative Arts.
Delvoye’s sculptures rest on furniture, are installed in display cases,
and some even line the ceremonial staircase leading to the former
private apartments of the Minister of State. A large stained-glass
window presented in the Lefuel staircase enters into dialogue with
those installed in 2009 by François Morellet, while a Gothic chapel
resonates with the tapestries and liturgical objects exhibited in the
Anne de Bretagne room.
From the down-to-earth redeployment of Gothic motifs to contorted
and twisted crucifixes, Delvoye’s popular and decorative art, which
has its roots in subversive and ironic reinterpretations of past styles,
finds a particularly trenchant echo in the Louvre’s collections.
Born in 1965, the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye works in varied
mediums and is perhaps best known for his “Cloaca” series which,
with a seriousness reminiscent of scientists’ laboratory experiments,
sheds light on the digestive process. In 2009, Delvoye was invited to
create a monumental work for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
during the 53rd Venice Biennale and solo shows were held in 2010 at
the Musée Rodin in Paris and in 2011 at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in
Brussels. With each of these exhibitions, he has erected an ever
taller tower, a series that reaches its pinnacle to date with the
spectacular Suppo at the Louvre, a full 11 meters high.
Exhibition curator: Marie-Laure Bernadac, Curator in Charge,
Special Advisor on Contemporary Art, Musée du Louvre, assisted
by Aurélie Tiffreau.
From May 12 to June 16, Galerie Perrotin hosts “Rorschach”, a solo
show by Wim Delvoye, featuring other new works by the artist
informed by some of the same preoccupations as those addressed in
the “At the Louvre” exhibition.
Wim Delvoye, Introspective
Produced in collaboration with Adrian Dannatt, Olivier
Duquenne, Bernard Marcadé, Dirk Snauwaert and Bart
The unique perspective of this leading figure on the
contemporary art scene gives shape to a monograph bringing
together astonishing extremes, jubilantly and unabashedly
combining the trivial with the sublime to offer a
comprehensive critical outline of Delvoye’s body of work.
The monograph’s cover design was conceived and created by
the artist especially for this publication.
84 pages, €69.95, Fonds Mercator
Wim Delvoye “At the Louvre”
Edited by Marie-Laure Bernadac
The catalogue accompanying the Louvre exhibition captures
the essence of this unprecedented encounter between the
museum’s collections and the universe of Wim Delvoye.
An essay by Jean-Pierre Criqui analyzes Delvoye’s
relationship with museums and with the history of art. An
interview with the artist by Marie-Laure Bernadac explores
Delvoye’s most recent works in more detail and delves into
the multiple facets of the Louvre exhibition.
From the conception of the works to their installation in situ,
this amply illustrated volume pays tribute to the full extent of
Delvoye’s creative audacity, in both its stylistic and technical
dimensions. Foreword by Henri Loyrette, President and
Director, Musée du Louvre.
96 pages, €25, co-published by Fonds Mercator and Musée
du Louvre Editions
In the Auditorium
“Face to Face” with Wim Delvoye
Friday, June 8 at 8 p.m.
Wim Delvoye spent much of his childhood in museums,
where he became acquainted with the works of the artists that
would make up his personal pantheon (Bosch, Bruegel,
Duchamp, Warhol). Delvoye is also a huge admirer of Walt
Disney, of brand logos and the image world of Z-grade
movies, an avid collector of La Vache Qui Rit (The Laughing
Cow) cheese labels, and an expert on the art of tattooing and
its iconography, which he has reinvented to adorn the pigs
raised on his Chinese farm as well as a living, breathing work
of art he calls TIM, the tattooed back of Tim Steiner he
sometimes presents in his exhibitions. What kind of
relationship might this artist have with today’s museums?
In the audiovisual room
Fridays and Sundays in June and July /
Napoleon Hall, under the Pyramid / Free admission
A film by Guido de Bruyn, Belg., 2011, 52 min.
“Goudvis” series, VRT.