Manga at Versailles: the Murakami exhibition

After the Jeff Koons exhibition in 2008, it seems that the Grands Appartements at Versailles are destined to showcase contemporary art.

This fall, starting September 14, it will be the turn of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to exhibit there. Mr. Murakami’s art, with which I was not heretofore familiar, is strongly influenced by manga and anime.

Thought-provoking and provocative, the show has already stirred much controversy. But, as one commenter noted, Marie-Antoinette herself was not adverse to colorful, flowery patterns, as evidenced by the silk hangings she ordered for the Queen’s Bedchamber.

As for Jean-Jacques Aillagon, President of the Château de Versailles, he told Agence France Presse: “They want to turn Versailles into a relic case of nostalgia for Ancien Régime France, a France enclosed onto itself and hostile to modernity.” They, however, remain unpersuaded and plan a demonstration at Versailles on September 14, opening day of the show.

I will go visit one of these days, and duly report my impressions here…


Murakami at Versailles: the Salon of Hercule

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13 Comments to “Manga at Versailles: the Murakami exhibition”

  1. George says:

    That is absolutely disgusting. I would only visit the versailes, to celebrate riches, elites and divine architecture and france.

    I would not go to the versailes to see this modern crap. The whole reason I like versailes is because I can not stand modern art, modern furniture… it’s all too ugly and depresses me.

    So if I had paid to go to france, in order to visit the palace of versailes and saw this… I would probably smash it in anger.

  2. Eli Estela says:

    Murakami´s work is gorgeous. The Versailles art is gorgeous too. I think it is an interesting mix of contemporary and baroque, because that’s what we all are nowadays… not “historically corect” and neither “totally contemporary”. Plus the point of Murakami’s work at Versailles is NOT using a place like the Pompadour Centre! Don’t you think there are tons of places like that in Tokyo?
    I believe we should just be open to the chances of approach art in different ways, the mixes of places and situations… Thing to which Murakami Takashi is an expert (remember his revamped Louis Vuitton bags? The ones that now are the most sold ever?)

  3. Penny Klein says:

    please disregard previous post. I have mixed feelings about this as a room, maybe without that centerpiece it would work or maybe if they just stick to originals I do not know why they have to have all these other artists displaying things that seem to clash but then again I am not there and my computer crashed several times trying to look at this before.

  4. Penny Klein says:

    It is gorgeous. Makes any of my bedrooms from dorm life to adult life look so paltry in comparison and I love colors too. I have been collecting some of the artwork from this blog and it pales in comparison to this room. I would be too distracted to sleep even after years I would still be staring at the art.

  5. Michele says:

    This is truly disappointing for me to hear as I was at Versailles for the Jeff Koons display which was to be kind…bizaare! Now I am going to Paris again and will go back to Versailles only to see another artist attempting to impose his strange works on a visiting public who would be quite satisfied with all the original beauty that Versailles has to offer. To see this in person is like walking into the White House and having a statue of Porky Pig greet you!

  6. trish says:

    Takashi Murakami is a great artist and his works are amazing. But in my opinion the venue of his exhibit is just plain wrong. His art pieces stand out but (in my opinion) in a wrong way

  7. Madeleine says:

    I’m tempted to chastise myself for narrow-mindedness, but this seems like a sacrilege! I agree with Andrew!

  8. Yes, Jen, Pompidou would have been a great setting. Even Versailles itself has plenty of exhibition space outside the Grands Appartements. But then you don’t get the shock value… or the exposure either. The Koons show set a precedent.

  9. Jen says:

    Takashi Murakami’s work looks incredibly interesting, but wouldn’t it be better at the Centre Pompidou, where it would fit in with the existing collections? This just looks so wrong in that space and detracts from an already beautiful room with plenty to admire artistically.

  10. Ah, yes, Richard, but Versailles survived all of those ordeals. It will weather this trial as well…

  11. Richard says:

    The Sun king has rolled over in his grave but once again. First it was the revolution, (which he would never have allowed), then it was the Ogre, next the boche annoouncing the empire, The abomnible treaty after the great war, and now comic book art in the most magnificent masterpiece on earth. When, Oh lord will it end. Richard

  12. Certainly the wisdom of exhibiting contemporary art in the Grands Appartements is questionable. Interesting to note that exhibitions of 18th century artifacts (the wonderful Court Costume show, for instance) are not held there, but in a dedicated space…

  13. Andrew says:

    Versailles should be a relic case of nostalgia for Ancien Régime France! If I was in France I would protest to not have this kind of stuff exhibited at Versailles.

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