Yan Pei-Ming's double exhibition in the Grand Chapel of the Palais des Papes and at the Collection Lambert is part of the long history of exhibitions organised with the Papal Palace. Many of the artist's projects in recent years have been closely associated with an emblematic place: at the Villa Medici, the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Musée Courbet and the Musée du Petit Palais.
Once again, through this new exhibition, Yan Pei-Ming reveals the full ambition of a body of work that is fully rooted in the contemporary world, but whose very essence is revealed through a very broad apprehension of space and time, which today mobilises the past so that we look at the present with a renewed awareness, constantly put to the test.
At the Collection, nearly 40 of the artist's works from almost 40 years of artistic practice will be on display. The figures of Innocent X, Paul III, Bruce Lee, Marilyn, Martin Luther King, Lee Harvey Oswald, John F. Kennedy and Mao share the ground floor of the mansions with portraits of men and women - American soldiers, Sudanese illegal immigrants and children, prostitutes, unknown faces, the artist's father and mother - as well as imaginary landscapes of exodus and representations of wild animals.
All of them tell us about the power of Yan Pei-Ming's painting to embrace centuries of history in a single stroke and to embark, alongside the figures that have shaped the world, on the unknown destinies of those who make up the peoples that history "looks at directly", to use Georges Didi-Huberman's phrase. All of them tell us about the artist's capacity to invest the world of images with heroism; those that tell us, all of us, one by one.
Curators: Henri Loyrette, Dominique Vingtain, Stéphane Ibars