The Pinault Collection is pleased to contribute, with an exceptional loan of six works, to the first major exhibition dedicated to German artist Anne Imhof at the Palais de Tokyo.
This monographic exhibition was designed by the artist, along with Emma Lavigne and Vittoria Matarrese, and takes over all of the spaces of the Palais de Tokyo. It is part of the “carte blanche” exhibition format, initiated in 2013 with a retrospective by Philippe Parreno, followed by Tino Sehgal (2016), Camille Henrot (2017) and Tomàs Saraceno (2018). Born in 1978 in Gießen, Germany, a graduate of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule in Frankfurt and immersed in the city’s music and night scene, Anne Imhof has made a name for herself through her radical work.
Five works by Anne Imhof, from the collection assembled by François Pinault and exhibited at the 57th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2016, are on loan for this first monographic exhibition. These works are part of an ensemble conceived for the Faust project, a total work combining performance, music, sculpture and painting, which the artist created especially for Venice. Representing Germany in its national pavilion at the Giardini, the artist was awarded the Golden Lion prize for this project.
In addition to this ensemble, Pinault Collection has granted the Palais de Tokyo the exceptional loan of the painted cycle known as Axial Age by Sigmar Polke, a masterful series of nine large-format paintings produced by the artist between 2005 and 2007. This is the first time that Axial Age will be exhibited in France. While preparing her project for the Venice Biennale, Anne Imhof was impressed by Polke’s monument of contemporary painting, which at that time, was exhibited in the atrium of the Palazzo Grassi-Pinault Collection, on the occasion of the retrospective devoted to the German painter. Axial Age is made up of rare materials created by chemical and alchemical weathering processes, photosensitive components, and superpositioned layers of lacquer, varnish, gold pigments, silver, lapis lazuli and malachite. The title of the work refers to the “axial era”, a concept theorized by psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers in The Origin and Goal of History (1949). For Jaspers, the ancient period between 800 and 200 BC heralded an unprecedented upheaval in the history of thought and religion, with the writings of Homer, Elijah, Zarathustra, Confucius, and Buddha. Axial Age is a syncretic homage to those times of spiritual turmoil and elevation.
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