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Wim Delvoye is second artist to create a new, monumental sculpture for the Louvre
Belgian artist Wim Delvoye poses next to "Suppo" in the Louvre museum, on May 30, 2012 in Paris, as part of his exhibition of contemporary art, "Wim Delvoye at the Louvre", running from May 31 to September 17, 2012. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR.

PARIS.- 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.

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May 31, 2012

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