he first major exhibition on Tudor and Jacobean portrait miniatures in the UK for over 35 years, Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver will bring together key works from the National Portrait Gallery and major loans from public and private collections to showcase the careers of the most skilled artists of the period, Nicholas Hilliard (1547? – 1619) and Isaac Oliver (c.1565 – 1617). In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, miniature painting was regarded as an art form at which the English excelled above all others, and Hilliard and Oliver gained international fame and admiration. The exhibition will explore what these exquisite images reveal about identity, society and visual culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Highlights include Hilliard and Oliver’s portraits of Elizabeth I, as well as images of James I, his wife Anne of Denmark and his three children Henry, Elizabeth and Charles (later Charles I), and miniatures of some of the most famous figures of the day, such as Sir Walter Ralegh and Sir Francis Drake.

Inspired by the figure of Tethys – a sea goddess in Greek mythology, the daughter of the sky (Ouranos) and of the earth (Gaia) – Julius von Bismarck has conceived the original project “Die Mimik der Tethys” (the expressions of Tethys), for which he has moved the oceans. That is at least the sensation produced by the presence of a buoy hung over the Palais de Tokyo’s Palier d’honneur, corroded by sea salt and covered by dry seaweed. In perpetual motion, the buoy reproduces the movements of its original setting, off the Atlantic coast. It is in this way that the visitors find themselves metaphorically under the ocean, and can directly perceive the sway of its waves, which can be either gentle, or wild. The artist works on the human perception of natural phenomena, either by using highly technical approaches, or by simple site specific gestures. As he puts it: “it’s about the perfect image we have of nature. In reality, it doesn’t look like we imagine it does in a Caspar David Friedrich pastoral painting.” The astonishing sensation created by his moving buoy does indeed depict a misappropriated or modified vision of nature, transforming the building into a submarine […]

With this original project, Franck Scurti is extending his stroll through art history and the signs of daily life. After approaching the social and economic crisis in a series of sculptures alluding to Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters (2018), creating a remake with scraps from Edvard Munch’s famous Scream (Le Cri, 2011), the artist is here going back over Paul Gauguin’s Yellow Christ. The interest that Franck Scurti has for such figures is that, in their time, they set out to replace the cold positivism of impressionism by a new humanism. This is a transition that the artist finds to be salutary and active in the current world. The environment he has produced for the Païpe, conceived as a picture in three dimensions which the visitors are asked to walk around, is organised around a chair leg, rotated through 90°, with a Christ-like look. On the floor, his dismembered corpse produces a shock wave that reverberates across the entire space. The curved rear wall will be totally covered by a silk-printed pattern produced from a bag of baguettes found by the artist. This highly connotated pattern – a multiplication of bread – will then fade out progressively until its almost […]

“It’s strange, I must have been away too long, the faraway, my home, is in my dark dreams. It’s strange, with strangled words, while drowning. I screamed alone in the water, in a fever (…) Such will be the title of Julien Creuzet’s show; or not” “It’s strange, I must have been away too long, the faraway, my home, is in my dark dreams. It’s strange, with strangled words, while drowning. I screamed alone in the water, in a fever (…) Such will be the title of Julien Creuzet’s show; or not” is the beginning of a poem, a first-person litany, of a voice that soon doubles up and multiplies. It’s also the title of Julien Creuzet’s solo show at the Palais de Tokyo, or not. This exhibition will come alive in the form of secular pop songs. A deep-sea landscape in a plastic pool. An unaccentuated rhyme illuminated by a bluish light, turning around on itself. A parrot glitching with a guitar on its foot. A melodic meandering along jagged shores. An array of ragmen’s stalls at the Croix-de-Chavaux market. A breath and a riff. A choreographic score derived from a Dogon ceremony. Sirius B rotating to the beats […]

The Middle East, unrecognised countries, radioactive or forbidden zones seen as “unintentional natural parks” are all territories that Louis-Cyprien Rials has explored or inhabited. From these zones marked by violence or whipped up by great conflicts, the artist delivers a silent, sometimes mystical image, using video and photography. His moving pictures made up of still shots, which are often long and devoid of human presence, talk of the impossibility to grasp such abandoned, transformed spaces, filled with beliefs and run through with stigmata. Louis-Cyprien Rials is presenting at the Palais de Tokyo a film and a series of objects made with Ramon Film Productions. This production company, set up by Isaac Nabwana I.G.G., brings together Ugandans from various origins in a studio not far from the Wakaliga road, in a ghetto in the suburbs of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Together, they have been writing and producing successful, low-budget films for over ten years. Their feature-length movies are inspired from Chinese Kungfu films and convey the violence of American action movies. With Louis-Cyprien Rials, they produce an adaptation of Rashomon(1950) by the famous Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. The result is hybrid: it mingles filmic and cultural references, while leaving open the […]

Some utterances are the very act that they describe. The philosopher of language J.L. Austin called them “performative” during a series of lectures in the 1950s – published posthumously as “How to Do Things with Words” and translated into French as “Quand dire c’est faire” (when saying is doing) – thus upturning linguistics by opening out a new field based on a theory of acts of language. As for Angelica Mesiti, for several years she has been developing research into non-verbal communication. Her ambitious video installations, both the fruition of long-term explorations and chance encounters, explore the potentialities of language which, beyond speech or writing, are contrary to any explicit expression, but still remain possible as a means of communication. As the artist says, “words are not my tool; all my training is about expression in a different way.” Her solo show at the Palais de Tokyo, the first in a French institution, is entitled “Quand faire c’est dire” (when doing is saying), a symbolic reversal of a performative utterance. Covering the 2012-2017 period, the exhibition highlights an iconic selection of Angelica Mesiti’s works, most of which having never been displayed in France. Deployed over a broader extent in the […]

For his first solo show in France, Theaster Gates has initiated a new project, pursuing the exploration of social histories of migration and inter-racial relations. He thus deals more exactly with questions of black subjugation and the resulting imperial sexual domination and racial mixing, while concentrating on an episode in American history. These themes allow Gates to explore new cinematographic, sculptural and musical futures while examining the history of land ownership and race relations in North Eastern, United States. The starting point of this exhibition, entitled “Amalgam”, is the story of Malaga Island, a small isle in the state of Maine, in the USA: In 1912, the governor of the state of Maine had all of its inhabitants expelled. This poor population, made up of an interracial, mixed community of about 45 people, considered to be “indolent” by many of the local inhabitants, was forced to spread out through the region, some of them even being condemned to psychiatric institutions. The term “Amalgam”, which currently seems outdated in English-speaking culture, was used to describe a racial, ethnic and religious mingling. It has acquired for Theaster Gates a “loaded” significance, calling for a new series of works made up of videos, […]

Franz West (1947–2012) brought a punk aesthetic into the pristine spaces of art galleries. His abstract sculptures, furniture, collages and large-scale works are direct, crude and unpretentious. Visitors to this major retrospective will be able to handle replicas of his Passstücke (Adaptives) – papier-mâché pieces made to be picked up and moved. They were a turning point in the relationship between art and its audience. He also created playful sculptures incorporating objects from everyday life such as a hat, a broom, or even a whisky bottle. In his final years he produced large, brightly coloured and absurd sculptures both for galleries and public spaces. Born and based in Vienna, West collaborated with numerous artists, musicians, writers and photographers. He has been a vast influence on younger artists – his friend and collaborator Sarah Lucas has contributed to design of the exhibition.

This is the first retrospective in the UK of the Egyptian-Canadian artist of Armenian origin, Anna Boghiguian (Cairo, 1946). Informed by her interest in philosophy and her continuous travels, Boghiguian’s work comments on the human condition through the perspectives of global trade, mass migration, colonialism and war. The exhibition will feature large-scale installations of cut-out paper figures, alongside paintings, collages and books, as well as components of the artist’s studio brought to St Ives. While addressing current global concerns, the exhibition resonates with the local context of St Ives as an artists’ community, and Cornwall’s industrial history in terms of seafaring and trade.

This exhibition showcases some of the most impactful photographs captured over the last 60 years. It includes many of his iconic war photographs – including images from Vietnam, Northern Ireland and more recently Syria. But it also focuses on the work he did at home in England, recording scenes of poverty and working class life in London’s East End and the industrial north, as well as meditative landscapes of his beloved Somerset, where he lives.​ Sir Don McCullin was born in 1935 and grew up in a deprived area of north London. He got his first break when a newspaper published his photograph of friends who were in a local gang. From the 1960s he forged a career as probably the UK’s foremost war photographer, primarily working for the Sunday Times Magazine. His unforgettable and sometimes harrowing images are accompanied in the show with his brutally honest commentaries. With over 250 photographs, all printed by McCullin himself in his own darkroom, this exhibition will be a unique opportunity to appreciate the scope and achievements of his entire career.