press release

Any biography is a construction. In some 60 works of every type (painting, photograph, sculpture, drawing, film, assemblage…), the exhibition looks into biography as a constructive model as it is brought to bear in artistic activity through (documentary and/or fictitious) elements.

Biography is generally viewed as an individual's personal history: it tells their story. The artist's biography has been a form inherent in the history of art since Vasari. But biography is also a material crafted by artists themselves: either because their artistic activity is part of a biographical construction, or when their work elaborates on biographical elements. Personal mythology is a productive register for biographical invention, first practised by Gérard de Nerval in his extraordinary graphic fabulations Généalogie fantastique of 1841 and "Je suis l'autre" (I am the other) in 1854.

Whether involved in the search for historical truth or invention, biography is a construction. Biographical elements have a discontinuous, fragmentary quality to match that typical process of modern art, the collage, with its alternative, the montage, and its extensions, the assemblage, the environment (or decor).

The first part of the exhibition went on show in 2013–2014 at the Queen Sofía Modern Art Museum in Madrid. The Carré d'Art-Musée d'art contemporain exhibition focusses on the current period, bringing together works mostly produced since the late fifties. A large proportion of these works are on show for the first time, or have not been seen before in France.

Artists: Chantal Akerman, Carl Andre, Madeleine Bernadin Sabri, Laure Bréaud, Marcel Broodthaers, Lygia Clark, André du Colombier, Étienne-Martin, VALIE EXPORT, Robert Filliou, Florian Fouché, Peter Friedl, Philip Guston/Clark Coolidge, Martin Honert, Edward Krasinski/Eustachy Kossakowski, David Lamelas, Antonios Loupassis, Kerry James Marshall, Santu Mofokeng, Gérard de Nerval, Henrik Olesen, Marc Pataut, Sigmar Polke, Dieter Roth, Ahlam Shibli, Anne-Marie Schneider, Thomas Schütte, Claire Tenu

Curator: Jean-François Chevrier, assisted by Élia Pijollet