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Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand Visits New Museum of Modern Art of Lille Métropole
French Culture minister Frederic Mitterrand visits Lille's new modern art museum in the French northern city of Villeneuve d'Ascq (a Lille suburb), northern France, during its reopening ceremony, on 21 September 2010. The museum will reopen its doors to the public on September 25. EPA/SYLVAIN LEFEVRE.

VILLENEUVE d´ASCQ.- After more than four years of renovation and extension work, the Museum of Modern Art of Lille Métropole (Villeneuve d’Ascq) will be reopening to the public on 25 September 2010 under a new name: the LaM, Lille Métropole Museé d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut (museum of modern, contemporary and outsider art).

Its two fine architectural complexes, surrounded by a sculpture park (Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Eugène Dodeigne, etc.), will henceforth house three prestigious collections of the art of the 20th and 21st centuries, including a unique collection of Outsider Art.

A total of over 4,500 works (some never before presented to the public), 4,000 sq m of exhibition space (not counting the Bibliothèque Dominique Bozo and its Research Centre), as well as an auditorium, a café-restaurant, etc.

At the crossroads between London, Paris and Brussels, and close to Amsterdam and Cologne, the LaM is in direct contact with the other artistic scenes of Europe. Thanks to this ideal geographic situation, it naturally finds its place as one of the great museums of the art of the 20th and 21st centuries in northern Europe.

Two Architectural Complexes in a Sculpture Park
1983 saw the opening of the Museum of Modern Art of Lille Métropole, built in a green setting by the architect Roland Simounet. From the origin of the project, and under the impetus of the donors Geneviève and Jean Masurel, the Museum was designed as the harmonious alliance of a collection of works of art, their architectural setting and an exceptional park.

Winner of the competition launched in 2002 for the restructuring and extension of the Museum, Manuelle Gautrand designed a building with organic volumes embracing the back of the original edifice. This architecture, radically new in its spirit and materials, reveals its smooth and harmonious continuity essentially from the interior in the course of a visit. With these two architectural styles inserted in a sculpture park, the LaM orchestrates a natural dialogue between interior and exterior and allows the works of art to be approached at eye level, thus initiating an intimate rapport between the works and the visitors.

Three Exceptional Collections: Modern Art, Contemporary Art and Art Brut
As the only museum in Europe to present simultaneously the principal movements of the art of the 20th and 21st centuries, the LaM will propose to the public a prestigious collection of modern art, outstanding examples of contemporary art and a collection of Art Brut that has no equal in France. These three collections bring together nearly 4,500 works.

Listed as a historic monument since 2000, the Museum was designed to house the donation made by Geneviève and Jean Masurel to the Lille Métropole conurbation in 1979.

This collection consists of Cubist masterpieces by Georges Braque, Henri Laurens and Pablo Picasso, as well as significant series of works by Fernand Léger, Joan Miró and Amedeo Modigliani. Fauvism, Surrealism, the School of Montparnasse, the School of Paris, Art Naïf and artists from northern France are also represented in it.

The collection of contemporary art, built up over the years, brings together works by French and foreign artists such as Lewis Baltz, Christian Boltanski, Daniel Buren, Allan McCollum, Annette Messager, Dennis Oppenheim, Pierre Soulages and Jacques Villeglé.

In 1999, these collections were enriched with the largest collection of Art Brut in France, thanks to the donation made by the association L’Aracine. The biggest names in Outsider Art are represented in it: Aloïse Corbaz, Fleury Joseph Crépin, Henry Darger, Auguste Forestier, Madge Gill, Jules Leclercq, Augustin Lesage, Adolf Wölfli and Carlo Zinelli. It was because of the size of this donation that the Lille Métropole conurbation decided in 2004 to renovate the Museum and build an extension.

Reopening Exhibition: The World as a Poem
The exhibition The World As a Poem (Habiter poétiquement le monde) highlights the way that artists, as well as writers and film-makers, can dwell poetically in the world. Past, present and future, interior and exterior blend together, and the everyday is no longer separated from the work of art or the gaze it attracts. The frontiers between private and collective life are blurred by casting doubt on everyday life and ordinary sharing. A way of dwelling poetically in the world that gives a subtle twist to the everyday gestures that appear so obvious: sleeping, dressing, moving around, living indoors, and eating.

Conceived as transversal to the collections (particularly Contemporary Art and Art Brut), The World As a Poem takes the form of a promenade through the different spaces of the Museum (exhibition rooms, auditorium, park, website). Contemporary works and performance art are given a predominant place.

Today's News

September 22, 2010

Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand Visits New Museum of Modern Art of Lille Métropole

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