En transformation encore et toujours, le Musée rouvre grand ses portes cet automne : réaménagé, il propose une nouvelle librairie, une nouvelle circulation chronologique de l’art moderne vers l’art contemporain, du niveau 5 au niveau 4 par l’intermédiaire d’un escalier flambant neuf, et de la Galerie 0 – espace prospectif. Plus lisible, plus fluide, plus ample, ce parcours dans la collection retrouve toute sa cohérence historique. Il invite le visiteur à cheminer, des maîtres et mouvements fondateurs de l’art moderne aux œuvres et thèmes phares, jusqu’aux figures de l’art contemporain, des plus reconnues jusqu’à celles dont l’œuvre commence à se distinguer.
Robert Delaunay, Manège de cochons, 1922 © Bertrand Prévost - Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI /Dist. RMN-GP
The modern collection consists of over 7 000 works in the field of the visual arts (paintings, sculptures and objects) produced by 1 535 artists born before 1920, together with over 800 anonymous works in the realm of tribal arts.
These works are exhibited on the fifth floor of the permanent collections in rotation, in a circuit that starts chronologically at the beginning of the 20th century with the Fauve revolution.
The modern collection contains groups of major works by all the leading figures in modern art, reflecting the movements that shaped modernity, including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Constantin Brancusi, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Raoul Dufy, Juan Gris, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Laurens, Jean Arp, Wassily Kandinsky and František Kupka. The reconstruction of André Breton's studio – a "collection within a collection" and a place of intellectual inspiration – is a highlight in the museum's Surrealism circuit. The post-war period is also well represented through movements such as Informal Art (Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier and others), Lyric Abstraction and CoBrA.
À l'intérieur du Jardin d'Hiver, 1968-1970, de Jean Dubuffet, Polyuréthane sur époxy, 480 x 960 x550 CM, Photo © Manuel Braun, 2017
The works here, by artists born after 1920, make up a collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and installations integrating new media.
Brought together just when the musée national d'art moderne moved into the Centre Pompidou, the collection contains over 2 000 works by 750 artists, including historical figures like Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko, Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Annette Messager and Bill Viola.
Man Ray, "Le Violon d'Ingres", 1924 © Man Ray Trust / Adagp, Paris © Georges Meguerditchian - Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI /Dist. RMN-GP
The musée national d'art moderne now houses Europe's largest collection of photographs, with 40 000 prints and over 60 000 negatives. It contains several major historic collections, and is now one of the few collections in the world that covers the entire history of modern and contemporary photography in all its diversity. Highlights from the Twenties and Thirties include the work of Man Ray, Brassaï, de Constantin Brancusi and New Vision and Surrealist artists, while recent additions include contemporary photographs from the Eighties to the present day.
The collection can be seen in the Galerie de Photographies, an area of 200 m2, where admission is free. Photography is also well-represented within the museum in the multidisciplinary circuit of modern and contemporary collections, where the disciplines dialogue together.
Alvar Aalto, "Fauteuil Paimio", 1930-1931 © Alvar Aalto Foundation © Jean-Claude Planchet - Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI /Dist. RMN-GP
Design also features in the collections, fostering a constant dialogue with the visual arts and architecture. To date, the design collection contains over 5 000 French and international pieces by nearly 400 designers, around a hundred of whom are French.
Modern pieces (by the Union des Artistes Modernes), and those from Italy and Scandinavia are represented through the fundamental work carried out by Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Chareau, Eileen Gray and Jean Prouvé. Monograph collections, brought together at the Centre Pompidou through major donations, are dedicated to Serge Mouille, Ettore Sottsass Jr., Michele de Lucchi, Richard Sapper, Philippe Starck and Vincent Perrottet.
With a wide variety of prototypes, elements of design and exceptional pieces, the collection provides a constantly-renewed interpretation of the history of design, from the masterpieces of a highly imaginative modernity to works with an eye to the future.
Doug Aitken, "New Skin", 2001 © Doug Aitken, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York © Georges Meguerditchian - Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI /Dist. RMN-GP
The Centre Pompidou houses the world's leading collection of new media works: 160 multimedia installations and nearly 2 000 multiples (video tapes, sound tracks, CR-ROMs and websites) dating from 1963 to the present day. The "new media" field covers not only video works produced on a digital support but also works that come from other media, like the cinema, converted onto digital supports for distribution requirements.
From the first installation that entered the collection in 1976 – Present Continuous Past(s) by Dan Graham – numerous acquisitions have formed a corpus of historical installations unique to the Centre Pompidou, thanks to the institution's forward-looking interest in this type of work. In addition, numerous works have been produced or co-produced by the new media department and acquired through commissions from artists. Iconic works in the collection include New Skin by Doug Aitken, Hors-Champs by Stan Douglas, Corps Etranger by Mona Hatoum and SWITCH by Tony Oursler, together with landmark works like Zapping Zone (Proposals for an Imaginary Television) and Immemory by Chris Marker.
Fernand Léger, "Le Ballet mécanique (version Kiesler)", 1923-1924 © Adagp, Paris © MNAM/Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Dist. RMN-GP
Experimental films, artists' films, film installations, video, HD
The cinema collection consists of works by experimental film directors, and films and installations created by visual artists. In 1976, Pontus Hulten, the first director of the musée national d'art moderne at the Centre Pompidou, commissioned a programme entitled "A history of the cinema" from Peter Kubelka, a key proponent of the experimental school, for which the museum bought the first hundred films making up the core of the collection. It now includes 1 300 works by visual artists and film directors from a wide range of geographic and cultural backgrounds. From Voyage dans la lune by Georges Méliès (1902) to Untitled by Trisha Donnelly (2015), the collection covers over a century of experimental and artistic film practices that have developed on the sidelines of industrial cinema.
Each year, the Centre Pompidou acquires new works, both historic and contemporary, which it preserves in their shooting format. One of its tasks is to carry out constantly-evolving digitisation campaigns in order to safeguard our film heritage. Another is to distribute these films, which it does using all the means provided by today's digital technology.