From 19 June to 29 September 2019

"Collection of Fondation Louis Vuitton: Selected Works" at The Pushkin Museum


“Collection of Fondation Louis Vuitton: Selected Works” at The Pushkin Museum


Paris, 27th May 2019
Collection of Fondation Louis Vuitton: Selected Works
19th June –29th September 2019
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow


Fondation Louis Vuitton is presenting for the first time, a significant selection of works from its Collection at The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. This exhibition, which represents the Fondation’s commitment of showcasing works by some of the world’s greatest modern and contemporary artists, is one of its most important “off-site” presentations since it opened in October 2014. The exhibition features a variety of artworks in a range of media, demonstrating the breadth of the Collection and bringing it to the widest audience.
The exhibition primarily features monographic series and powerful works, from different media: painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation.
The exhibition focusses on the main thematic strands that comprise the Collection. These include:  
Subjective expressionism with artists who examine universal themes such as life, death, love, anxiety and solitude:  Alberto Giacometti, Yves Klein, Annette Messager, Isa Genzken, Maurizio Cattelan, Mark Bradford, Wolfgang Tillmans, Mona Hatoum
 – A “pop-” line, bringing together works committed to current expressions of contemporary life: Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andreas Gursky, Bertrand Lavier
 – Music/sound stands as an original direction to which the Fondation is especially attached. It is present here in two large installations by Pierre Huyghe and Marina Abramovic
– The “contemplative” line highlights an emotional relationship with the world and nature: Dan Flavin, Tacita Dean, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Christian Boltanski
While being in a state of continual elaboration, the Collection intends to be connected to both national and international topicality while also taking in reference works going back to the 1950s. By not aiming at the exhaustivity of a public collection, it has been assembled by adopting affirmed choices, based around selected figures and significant series. For this reason, its prospection is extremely open, both in generational and geographical terms, via various modes of expression.
The curatorial choices for the exhibition have taken into account the exact nature of the Pushkin State Museum, which is very different to the Fondation’s Frank Gehry-designed building in Paris.
The exhibition will take place over the entirety of Gallery of 19th and 20th Century European and American Art and unites sixty pieces, by over twenty international artists, produced between 1947 and 2018. It favours the Collection’s “flagship” artists, and also includes artists are less familiar on the Moscow scene.
As the very first commitment of Fondation Louis Vuitton, the architecture conceived by Frank Gehry can be seen in two dedicated spaces, showing models, drawings, videos and panoramic photos, allowing the Russian public to picture the Fondation as an architectural entity, in its Parisian environment, at the heart of the Bois de Boulogne.
The exhibition Collection of Fondation Louis Vuitton: Selected Works is being presented alongside another show devoted to the Shchukin Collection, the first version of which was held at the Fondation Louis Vuitton from 22nd October 2016 to 5th March 2017.
The Pushkin State Museum is a museum complex that owns one of the largest collections of foreign art in Russia. The Museum displays artifacts created by masters of various time periods, from Ancient Egypt and Greece until our time. The museum holdings currently include around 700,000 artworks. Our collection of impressionists and post-impressionists is recognized globally as one of the most famous collections of French art.



Collection of Fondation Louis Vuitton: Selected Works
19th June –29th September 2019
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow





On entering, Giacometti’s hieratic sculpture Tall Woman II (1960), originally conceived to be shown in front of the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, contrasts with the anthropometry of Yves Klein, ANT 104 (1960), depicting bodily traces like living brushes soaked in a single blue pigment: IKB.
  • Alberto Giacometti: Tall Woman II, 1961
Yves Klein: ANT 104, Untitled Anthropometry, 1960; Blue monochrome (IKB 81), 1957.


  • Gallery 1:
The first room has been devoted to Frank Gehry’s architecture with a model, photographs and sketches of the building, depicting the entire conceptual process for a building which has already become an established landmark in Paris.
Four screens are on show providing an overviewof the Fondation’s programming since its opening: with temporary, historic and contemporary exhibitions, the Collection, and the musical programme in the auditorium.
  • Gallery 2:
Seven sculptures by Giacometti, produced between 1947 and 1965, which stand as a major series by the artist. Just after the war, the artist adopted a humanist view of mankind which had become permanently diminished. The body became an obsessive subject affirming a genuine presence, in its very economy, while taking on a precise optical role of focusing in space.
  • Alberto Giacometti: Head on a Rod (1947); Three Men Walking I (1948); Falling Man, 1950; Woman of Venice III (1956-57); Head of Man (Lotar I), 1964-65; Head of Man (Lotar II), 1964-1965; Head of Man (Lothar III), c.1965.
  • Gallery 3:
A major presence in the collection, Gerhard Richter produces paintings in which colour, which was initially discreet, became, from 1979, generous and brilliant, in gestural abstractions in which the landscape constitutes a latent presence. Here, the artist has used a variety of tools: scrapers, paintbrushes, spatulas and scrubbing brushes so as to treat each chromatic zone by material effects, oscillating between abstraction and figuration.
  • Gerhard Richter: Lilak, 1982; Möhre, 1984; Gudrun, 1987
  • Gallery 4:
Using collage and recycling, Jean-Michel Basquiat transcends the most varied cultural sources, in a feverish style overflowing with energy.
Grillo (1984) is made up of four monumental panels, arranged as a single work. The first and third panels depict two monumental figures, one topped by a piece of black wood peppered with nails, the other with a gilded crown, standing out from a white background covered by a collage of signs, drawings and fragmentary phrases. The fourth, more abstract, panel mingles yellows and greens and is bordered by a vertical bar covered with nails. The work alludes to the world of graffiti but, in its use of nails and texts, also refers to the power attributed to the intercession statues and fetishes typical of African and Caribbean traditions.
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat: Napoleonic Stereotype circa 44, 1983; Grillo, 1984; Negro Period, 1986
  • Gallery 5:
Self-portraits are emblematic works which punctuate the life of Andy Warhol. As early as 1963, he started to produce self-portraits directly in photobooths using a tight framing. As the first in a series of four poses, Self-Portrait 1963-1964, whose background colour varies from one version to another, presents the image of a young man whose eyes are hidden behind large dark glasses. The 1967 self-portrait shows the artist face on, his traits consumed by the red colour, which conceals him just as much as it reveals him.  Also produced in several colours, the spectral and mind-bending self-portrait in a wig, painted a year before his death, has acquired the status of an icon. This apparition, which is spectacular thanks to its size, forms a contrast between the face and the background, the messy hair, the stare which is both intense and absent, imposing an irreducible presence on the spectator.
  • Andy Warhol: Self- Portrait, 1967; Self-Portrait, 1963-1964; Self-Portrait, 1977; Self-Portraits, 1977-1986; Self-Portraits in Drag, 1980-1982; Self-Portrait in Fright Wig, 1986; Self-Portrait, 1986.
  • Gallery 6:
As a major French artist, Christian Boltanski constantly examines transversal memories, be they individual or collective. Initially produced as an installation in the Atacama desert in Chile, Animitas alludes to the memorial altars that dot its pathways. Filmed as a single still frame, from dawn to dusk, extended across the floor by a spread of fresh flowers, the work broadcasts the sound of 800 Japanese bells, swung by the wind. Fixed on the floor, they draw out the celestial map of the day of the artist’s birth. Their tinkling evokes “the music of the stars and the voice of floating souls” (C. Boltanksi). identical installations have been produced on the island of Teshima in Japan (La Forêt des murmures, 2016), the Île d’Orléans in Quebec (Blanc, 2017) and near the Dead Sea (2017). The Fondation owns the entire corpus.
  • Christian Boltanski: Animitas, Talabre, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, 2014; After, 2010; Après, 2010
  • Gallery 7:
Since the early 1960s, Maurizio Cattelan has grown to prominence thanks to an autobiographical work which is both dark and melancholic. Charlie Don’t Surf, 1997, depicts a boy sitting at a small desk, his hands palm down, pinned to this table by pencils stuck through them. It echoes the artist’s testimony concerning his dreamy yet restrictive experience of school. Spermini, 1997, brings together 150 masks, like a series of grimacing self-portraits of the artist.
  • Maurizio Cattelan: Charlie Don’t Surf, 1997; Spermini, 1997.
  • Gallery 8:
From his collage-paintings, Mark Bradford brings out compositions that might evoke an urban landscape, or aerial views crossed through by insidiously contaminated networks, such as OK, Now we’re cooking with gas. Reports of the Rain stands out in the artist’s production thanks to its more lyrical nature.
Sigmar Polke explores the potential of various materials, reinvented thanks to an “alchemical” protocol and the use of the most diverse techniques. The characteristic Nachtkappe 1 is a mixture of painting, indigo juice and spirit varnish, applied on canvas according to an evolving process.
  • Mark Bradford: Reports of the Rain, 2014; Ok, Now we’re cooking with gas, 2018; Sigmar Polke: Nachtkappe 1, 1986
  • Gallery 9:
Wolfgang Tillmans’ work, which is especially important in the Collection, is here represented by a series of autobiographical photographs. Some allude to his entourage, as shots of the body’s vulnerability and frontality. These images alternate with “still lifes” and landscapes taken from his studio, as well as abstract photographs produced in a darkroom.
Isa Genzken creates assemblages, fragile signs of daily life, made up of heterogeneous materials with a great emotional dimension. For example, Bouquet (2004) is a spray-painted column acting as a prop for trinkets and flashy festoons. Zwei Bügelbretter (2008) confronts two ironing boards, decked with a garland of flowers and a strip of material, referring ironically to women’s well-known “battle” when it comes to the domestic use of this tool.
  • Wolfgang Tillmans: Installation Uno, 1986-2004; Still Life, Bourne Estate II, 2002; Einzelgänger II, 2003; Zimmerlinde (Michel), 2006; haircut, 2007; Adalbert Garden, Winter, 2009; Ushuaia Lupine (a), 2010; Wet Room, Gloves, 2010; Plant life, b, 2011; Torso, 2013; Shoe (grounded), 2014.
Isa Genzken : Bouquet, 2004; Zwei Bügelbretter, 2008
  • Gallery 10:
The effects of time lie at the heart of Tacita Dean’s work especially in such natural elements as alabaster (Presentation Windows, 2005), in her drawings, photographs and films. In 2008, she produced a series of photographs of megaliths (Hünengrab, 2008). Sensitive to their isolation in the middle of the countryside, she sees them as reflections of a monument set in a timeless nature. Like lightning bolts zigzagging through the night sky, the Lightning Series derived from a long work of cutting into a sheet of carbon paper, just like flashes crossing the darkness of the heavens.
  • Tacita Dean: Presentation Windows, 2005; Lightning Series I-VII, 2007; Hünengrab, 2008
  • Gallery 11:
Since 1963, Dan Flavin has been building up a body of work around light, by using fluorescent strips in the four sizes and ten colours which are readily on sale. Untitled is a single green strip light placed vertically on the wall, giving off a light with a totally interiorised spiritual gleam.
  • Dan Flavin: Untitled, 1963
  • Gallery 12:
Because of her particular status as a Palestinian, since the early 1980s Mona Hatoum has been creating a body of work dealing with alienation and constraint. In this case, two straw hats have been placed on a bench, their rims woven together poetically suggesting the difficulty of living as a community.
  • Mona Hatoum: Capello per due V, 2013
  • Gallery 13:
Since the early 1970s, Annette Messager has been proclaiming her twofold identity as a woman and as an artist through a large number of characters: the “Collector”, the “Cheater”, the “Lover”, or the “Practical Woman”. The use of cuddly toys and puppets focuses an emotional charge mingling the derisory with the grotesque.
  • Annette Messager: Le masque rouge, 2011; La petite ballerine, 2011; Mes transports, 2012-2013
  • Gallery 14:
Since the early 1990s, Pierre Huyghe has been exploring the frontiers between reality and fiction in installations, films, objects and photographs. Plunging the spectators into a visual, sonic odyssey, the film which is being presented here, A Journey That Wasn’t, was produced in two phases. The first was during an expedition to Antarctica, where the thawing of the ice sheet has revealed new islands. The artist has converted the shape of one of these islands into an amplitude of sound and light, giving rise to a score performed by a symphony orchestra, on the skating rink of Central Park, in New York.
  • Pierre Huyghe: A Journey That Wasn’t, 2005
  • Gallery 15:
One of the first artists to use IT in the early 1990s, Andreas Gursky manipulates his shots retrospectively, with no hesitation about deleting, duplicating or highlighting entire parts of the original images. Produced during grand-prix car races (in Shanghai, Monaco, Istanbul, Sao Paulo), the images of F1 Boxenstopp I-IV–Pit Stop Series (2007) focus on the cars’ pit stops, which are absolutely vital and where the mechanics’ efficiency often determines victory. With their rigorous composition and monumental format, these pieces stand as photographic canvases freezing time, in which the clarity of the details paradoxically approach abstraction.
  • Andreas Gursky: F1 Boxenstopp I-IV, 2007
  • Gallery 16:
A blend of genres and materials, a hybridisation and “grafts”, allows Bertrand Lavier to produce works which bring out new forms and defy expectations. In Empress of India II, he transposes a painting of the same name by Frank Stella, dating back to 1967, into coloured strip lights.
  • Bertrand Lavier: Empress of India II, 2005
  • Gallery 17:
As a pioneer of body art, Marina Abramovic rose to prominence in the 1970s thanks to radical actions exploring and pushing back the body’s limitations. As a fresh development of this work, the installation Rejuvenator of the Astral Balance (2000) is made up of metronomes and chaises longues. It invites the visitors to a meditation aimed at re-establishing a contact with cosmic energies.
  • Marina Abramovic: Rejuvenator of the Astral Balance, 2000


The discovery of Fondation Louis Vuitton’s building continues with Richard Copans’s film, which offers a visual experience providing a comprehension of the building in all its power and beauty.
All the publications produced by the Fondation are being offered to the visitors so that they can pursue their discovery of its programming.