Beaubourg-Metz To Show Works outside Exhibitions

Pablo Picasso
Curtain for the ballet « Mercure », 1924
392 x 501 cm
Paris, Musée national d’art moderne
Photo : RMN-GP
© Succession Picasso

24/9/13 - Museum - Centre Pompidou Metz - The announcement might have appeared to be hastily made but the idea had been in the pipeline for some time : the Centre Pompidou Metz will present works from the Parisian collection, outside of formal exhibitions, for at least two years (and no doubt longer, in terms which are still to be defined). This might be seen as similar to what is being done at the Louvre-Lens but, in this case, it is significantly different.

Unlike the Louvre (and we have repeated this more than once), the works in storage at Beaubourg are very extensive. This will therefore not deprive Parisians or visiting tourists from enjoying works normally hanging on the walls of the Musée national d’art moderne, but rather present a hang of about twenty large formats [1], some of which cannot be displayed in the capital due to lack of space. Readers might remember that during the "1917" retrospective, the stage curtain for Parade, by Picasso, was on view, whereas in Paris we had never been able to see it. At the time, we had suggested it hang permanently in Metz rather than being sent back into storage. In a way, this is the principle at play here, and in fact Picasso will be represented with another stage curtain, that for the "Mercury" ballet, painted in 1924, which had not been displayed since 2001 after it was restored. Among the other works, museum goers will discover notably a large Léger and a Miro. This hang will begin in 2014, without interrupting the temporary exhibitions program.
We had severely criticized Alain Seban’s report (in French) about the circulation of works, one of the French Cultural Minister’s big projects, which may turn out to be a serious threat to the collections. This is not the case here.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mardi 24 septembre 2013


[1] The number has not been confirmed, but was mentioned in passing by Laurent Le Bon at a press conference organized at the French Ministry of Culture.

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