On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, in 2020, the congress and cultural center of the Principality of Monaco has broadcast a video series focused on the great summer exhibitions that have marked its history. A serie of 20 episodes, to be discovered every week on the social networks and website of the Grimaldi Forum Monaco. It will make you live or relive 20 years of demanding and varied programme, for all audiences, that contributes to the cultural richness of Monaco and its international influence.
As an introduction to this series, the Grimaldi Forum Monaco invites you to watch an interview of Catherine Alestchenkoff, Cultural events’Director of the Grimaldi Forum Monaco:
On July 20th 2000, the Grimaldi Forum, new cultural and congress center of the Principality of Monaco, inaugurates, on the occasion of its opening to the public, an international exhibition dedicated to inflatables : « Air-Air ». This first-hand encounter with the public is the starting point of the cultural policy of the Grimaldi Forum Monaco : « surprising without shocking », according to the words pronounced by Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
To watch the video (2mn 20s.), click on the player hereunder
High point of the cultural exchanges set up by Monaco and China further to the trip of H.S.H Prince Hereditary Albert in this country in 1999, « China, the First Emperor’s Century » is the first museum exhibition of the Grimaldi Forum. It was conceived by the scenographer Massimo Quendolo. The selection of nearly 120 pieces, some of them displayed for the very first time such as the loan of more than 20 life-size terra-cotta warriors from the tomb of the first emperor, bears witness to the sumptuous reign of Qin Shihuangdi, who made China compete with the Roman Empire in terms of size, population and influence. The exhibition catalogue, led by Jean-Paul Desroches, National Museum of Asian Arts - Guimet’ s Chief curator and curator of the exhibition, is the starting point of an editorial line dedicated to the great summer exhibitions of the Grimaldi Forum Monaco.
To watch the video (2mn 20s.), click on the player hereunder
“Days of circus” is an exhibition dedicated to the epic of the most famous big tops, to the buckles of these big vessels of entertainment, to the daily exploits of the persons born in the profession and to the trail of dream and light left by the convoy of the stars of the track, when spotlights went out. “Days of Circus” proposes through posters, tanks of parades, French, German and American circuses, caravans, costumes of the most famous artists, the accessories, a twelve meter model livened up by hundred characters, built by Georges Berger from 1917 till 1937, to rediscover and often to discover this grand and moving universe of the circus, since its creation in the 18th century in England, by Philip Astley, until our days. Journey where the child become adult will find his memories and will have access back to front of the set, caravans, wings, in this incredible flight mechanics that is the circus. Through also works of art of Picasso, Toulouse Lautrec, Seurat, Cocteau, Léger, Pregreen, Rouault, Zadkine, Chagall, Manet, Calder and others else, until modest sisters Vesque who transmitted us their fascination for this universe. Universe becomes an art, a major subject just like the landscape, like the portrait and like the still life. Through the photos of Izis, Bovis, Poldge, Tuefferd finally, are fixed these moments of exception which our memory sometimes forgot.
To watch the video (3mn 10s.), click on the player hereunder
The exhibition aims to spotlight the chronological development of Andy Warhol's imaginative process, with a special focus on the monumental aspect of his artistic output and his largest works. Celant's aim is to show an ensemble of spectacular pictures through which Warhol turned huge surfaces and spaces into a material on which he could project or spread out the world of popular icons he had treated and highlighted individually during the 60s. In his creative universe of a few years later, these icons have turned into huge wallpapers, totally superficial, polished entities devoid of any spiritual or dramatic content, now purely decorative. The exhibition therefore focuses on a totally new synthesis of Warhol's approach, first looking at traditional oil painting techniques, then at the mechanised silkscreen process that produced the consumer images of Coca-Cola and Campbell's soup as well as the faces of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, before continuing through the proliferation of industrial flowers and the car crashes to the abstract qualities of images such as Eggs and Diamond Shoes, the ubiquitous presence of Dollar Signs and the new cultural myths of Ladies and Gentlemen and Kings and Queens. All this was expressed with spectacular, worldly elation in the most varied languages – Interview magazine, cinema, advertising, television (Andy Warhol's TV) –, a rich multiplicity that centred on Warhol, the originator of The Factory myth.
To watch the video (3mn 54s.), click on the player hereunder
The exhibition "Imperial Saint Petersburg, from Peter the Great to Catherine II" evokes the first century of the city's existence, from the decision of Peter the Great to build a port on the banks of the Neva in 1703, until on the death of Catherine II in 1796. More than 600 works are brought together - religious art, paintings, tapestries, coaches, furniture, ceremonial clothes, goldsmith's work, crockery - mainly from the collections of the Hermitage Museum and the Academy of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg. Spectacularly-sized 18th-century scale models reproducing the Smolny Monastery by Rastrelli and St. Isaac's Church by Italian architect Rinaldi are also on display. A real alchemy operates between the curator, Brigitte de Montclos, chief heritage curator, specialist in Russia, and François Payet, scenographer, who recreates a magical and grandiose universe. The staging makes it possible to realize the spectacular dimension of the city of Saint Petersburg, which appeared out of nowhere according to the will of the tsar, and to recreate the atmosphere and the splendor of court life under the reign of Catherine II, great collector and enlightened art lover.
To watch the video (3mn 47s.), click on the player hereunder
For the first time, an exhibition retraces, through masterpieces, 6,000 years of Art History in Africa, from Antiquity to the present day, from Traditional Arts to Contemporary Art. It also discusses the relationship of this art with the great masters of the twentieth century such as Picasso, Derain, Léger ...This artistic and historical fresco showcases the talent and creativity of artists from this continent, and in particular from Nigeria, Benin, Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Sudan. A single skill would not have been enough to cover such a broad topic. This is why the choice of the Grimaldi Forum Monaco fell on two commissioners who are benchmarks on the world level when it comes to African art:
For the “Traditional Arts” part, Ezio Bassani in collaboration with Artificio Skira who produced in 2004, the great Turin exhibition entitled “Africa, masterpieces of a continent” that the international press considered as one of the most extensive and in-depth globally.
For the “Contemporary Art” part, André Magnin, deputy curator of the reference exhibition of the Center Pompidou and the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris “Magiciens de la Terre” (1987-1989) and - artistic director and curator - of the Contemporary African Art Collection, better known as the Pigozzi Collection, the richest artistic endowment in the world entirely dedicated to artists of all generations who live and work in Black Africa.
The knowledge of these two curators therefore combined to assert, within the framework of the Grimaldi Forum Monaco, the creative omnipotence of Art in black Africa, in all its forms: drawing, painting, sculpture, installations, photography.
To watch the video (3mn 12s.), Click on the player below
From Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art, from Minimalism to Conceptual Art and Post-Modernism, the exhibition pays homage to New York’s artistic creativity from 1945 to the 2000s, examining the major artistic movements through the works of the most representative artists. This exhibition has been the first in Europe to explore this topic, and brought together 500 works from 200 artists on more than 4000m2. Iconic works of art from painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, video, cinema, performances and installations illustrate the dynamism of the American artistic landscape. Thanks to its spectacular visual layout, the scenography of this exhibition manages to bring together large-format paintings, monumental sculptures…This ambitious project has benefited from the scientific backup of experts in the various fields. Only the duo of experts Lisa Dennison and Germano Celant (who recently passed away) is capable of contributing to a subject of this magnitude.
To watch the video (4mn 07.), click on the player hereunder
In the summer of 2007, excitement reached a new peak. For the first time in Monaco, an exhibit of international dimensions paid tribute to Princess Grace. In close collaboration with the Prince's Palace, which unveiled items never seen before –dresses, jewellery, accessories, files–, this exhibit retraced every aspect of Grace Kelly's life, from Hollywood actress to Princess of Monaco, constantly involved in the international outreach of a Principality that adopted and loved her from her first appearance on the Rock in 1956.
With this exhibition, the Grimaldi Forum reached its all-time attendance record of more than 135,000 visitors for any exhibition held there.
The narrative, written with Frédéric Mitterrand's talent and modesty, as well as the remarkable scenography by Nathalie Crinière, give meaning to a moving journey of personal items dotted with films and photographs covering the life of the princely family, the education of children and trips, as no illustrated story could have presented it.
In 2008, at the request of HSH Prince Albert II, the “Grace Kelly” travelling exhibit visited 14 cities around the world where, at each step, it experienced unparalleled success, since the iconic image of the Princess remains fervent and intact.
To watch the video (5mn39), click on the player hereunder