Image: Ron Mueck’s Paris show captures the beauty and mess of humanity
Installation View ‘Ron Mueck’ à la Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. Photo © Marc Domage for the Fondation Cartier
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Ron Mueck’s Paris show captures the beauty and mess of humanity

5 June 2023
Fondation Cartier, Paris

Ron Mueck’s Paris show will capture the beauty and mess of humanity

Australian artist Ron Mueck’s forthcoming show at Fondation Cartier, Paris (8 June-5 November) will be a physical and psychological journey through the human experience

By Harriet Lloyd-Smith

Anyone who’s been in a room with a Ron Mueck sculpture has probably felt a few, often conflicting, sensations. The Australian artist is a master of both anatomy and the human experience, from birth to death, and all the beauty and mess in between. (...)

A new show at Fondation Cartier (8 June-  to 5 November) will embody the arc of Mueck’s practice, from iconic works to a newly-created piece specifically for the show. 

Among them are Mass, 2017, the show’s centrepiece. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, it comprises one hundred colossal human skulls stacked in a stifling ritualistic tower of mortality and intrigue. ‘The human skull is a complex object. A potent, graphic icon we recognise immediately. At once familiar and exotic, it repels and attracts simultaneously. It is impossible to ignore, demanding our attention at a subconscious level,’ Mueck said of the work. (...)

The exhibition will also debut a new work created especially for the exhibition, a sinister pack of large dogs, for which the artist had begun planning ahead of his 2013 solo show at the Fondation Cartier. ‘Ron Mueck’s sculptures have never felt like snapshots of movement frozen in time; they are moments of stillness drawn out for us to dwell on long enough to plumb their depths’ says [Charlie Clark, associate curator of the show and director of Ron Mueck studio.] Clark. ‘Untitled (Three Dogs), despite the threat of impending action, is no exception. A focussed tension and anticipation of what might be about to happen is created by the skilful rendering of musculature and anatomy, and communicated, as ever, by the play of light on sculpted form.’

Mueck’s sculptures induce a hyper-awareness of our own bodies through the meticulous attention he offers his. The resulting sensations are a jarring, visceral sense of unease, but also of awe, in their beauty and surreal reality. 


Ron Mueck's exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain runs from 8 June - 5 November 2023.

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