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).