With Flags, the Boghossian Foundation explores the question of territory, multiple identities and intercultural dialogue. Flags hold a constant place in art, from classical historical painting to contemporary installations. It is conceived by Alfred Pacquement, curator of Mappa mundi, Contemporary cartographies, at the Villa Empain in 2020.
With the juxtaposition of their strips of coloured fabrics, flags have stimulated painters with their qualities for abstraction, well before abstract art preferred chromatic fields to the representation of reality. Tricolour or monochrome, each colour or combination of colours immediately evokes references that we find repeatedly in artistic creation.
Their political and symbolic resonance has been the primary pretext for including flags in works of art. A flag can serve to represent a nation, to celebrate a victory or the conquest of a territory, but also to symbolize and defend a cause. La liberté guidant le peuple or the flagged streets dear to Impressionist and Fauvist painters are outstanding examples, as are the more contemporary works of Gérard Fromanger and Mounir Fatmi.
A flag being a sacred object, the voluntary destruction of a country’s flag is seen as a highly subversive act punishable by law, while the pattern of its colours is recorded in national constitutions. But a flag is also an object, a frontal icon for Jasper Johns, a module for filling space in Daniel Buren’s installations, an image with multiple meanings for Marcel Broodthaers, etc. It is these and many other uses of flags in modern and contemporary art that this exhibition seeks to bring together in a transnational course of exchanges and confrontations.
Marina Abramovic, Saâdane Afif, Gordana Andjelic-Galic, Diane Arbus, Micha Bar-Am, Bruno Barbey, Nú Barretto, Pierre Bismuth, Alighiero Boetti, Marcel Broodthaers, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Daniel Buren, René Burri, Mircea Cantor, Léon Cogniet, Roger de La Fresnaye, Wim Delvoye, Edith Dekyndt, Gustave de Smet, Raoul Dufy, Mounir Fatmi, Michel François, Stuart Franklin, Gérard Fromanger, John Gerrard, Gilbert & George, David Hammons, Keith Haring, Childe Hassam, Thomas Hoepker, Jonathan Horowitz, Jasper Johns, Nikita Kadan, Evgueni Khaldeï, Kimsooja, Robert Longo, George Maciunias, Peter Marlow, Susan Meiselas, Jonathan Monk, Adolphe Mouilleron, Claes Oldenburg, Martin Parr, Peybak, Pablo Picasso, Sara Rahbar, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Marc Riboud, Faith Ringgold, Joe Rosenthal, Yara Said, Franck Scurti, Thomas Schütte, Andres Serrano, Sturtevant, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Larry Towell, Danh Vo, Gustave Wappers, Andy Warhol.
About Alfred Pacquement
Alfred Pacquement is an art historian and museum curator born in 1948, now an independent cultural consultant and curator. He was the director of the Musée national d’art moderne at the Centre Pompidou from 2000 to 2013. Prior to that, he was a curator in that same museum, then director of the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Delegate for Fine Arts at the Ministry of Culture and Director of the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Musée Picasso-Paris. He has published numerous books and catalogues on modern and contemporary art and curated many exhibitions. Among the most recent: Giuseppe Penone, Lee Ufan, Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson and Hiroshi Sugimoto at the Château de Versailles; Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, Giuseppe Penone, Jean Dubuffet, Eduardo Chillida, Louise Bourgeois, Ellsworth Kelly at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam; Takis at the Palais de Tokyo; Richard Serra, Promenade, at the Grand Palais and in Doha (Qatar); Soulages at the Louvre; Mappa Mundi, contemporary cartographies at the Boghossian Foundation in 2020. He designed the exhibition Histoires naturelles. Un regard sur la scène française at the Art Paris fair in 2022.
From 29 September 2022 to 15 January 2023
From Tuesday to Sunday, from 11am to 6 pm