The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco goes Borderline

Philippe Pasqua’s sculptures are a shock to the system

The spectacular exhibition Borderline by French artist Philippe Pasqua was unveiled to the press on May 3, and is now open to the public until September 30, 2017, at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, the century old temple of the sea. What a privilege to be among the first people to discover this unique exhibition, like his paintings Pasqua’s sculptures are a shock to the system!  (In the photo Celina stands by “Who should be scared?”)

Once again this legendary institution, dedicated to the protection of our oceans and our ecosystem, outdid itself by hosting a bespoken monumental exposition of works of art, where the famous instinctive artist probes with the idea of limits. Philippe Pasqua’s sculptures leave nobody untouched, making us question profoundly about our relationship with the marine environment and by extension nature itself in its constant cycle of birth, death and rebirth. A work of art is beautiful thanks to the emotion it creates, a direct blow to the heart.

Bewitched by the Museum’s imposing architecture and sensitive to its mission, Philippe Pasqua proposes an exhibition to his image, raw, frank and multifaceted, with twelve gigantic art pieces, among which seven are exposed for the first time, invading the museum from the square in the front to its panoramic terrace, and the cliff on which the building is lodged. His taste for the monumental goes hand in hand with an attraction towards the most vulnerable, striking the visitor, a painter and sculptor to the service of the environmental cause.

During the inauguration of Borderline, General Director Robert Calcagno, cited the following quotations from Prince Albert I, proving he was a man ahead of his time and concerned by our ecosystem, and whose legacy lives on through Prince Albert II. “’During my career as navigator, I obtained some confessions from the sea about the laws that determine its role among the forces of the world, or those who spread life till the depth of the abysm. And, while my eyes opened in admiration of the fertility without limits, a parcel of mystery that dominates creation, the spaces and times become clear to give me a serein confidence in the destiny that the balance of the universe imposes to its organisms with the eternal cycle of life and death.” Prince Albert I, The Career of a Navigator, 1904.

Who is Philippe Pasqua

Philippe Pasqua (b. Grasse, France 1965) had a passion for painting since his teenage years, working in this medium, learning to tame and reinvent it, while establishing himself as one of the most prominent artists of his generation.

For several years, sculpture has been a major part of Philippe Pasqua’s endeavor, favoring materials that symbolize solidity and strength such as bronze and onyx, or eternity and purity, like marble and silver. His oeuvres sometimes reaching up to 5 meters in height and 25 meters in length echo the monumentality of his paintings and appeal to his audience through their volume and visual strength.

His works have been exhibited at the Cheim and Read Gallery in New York, 2006, the Fondation Ahlers in Hanover, 2009, ArtCurial in Paris, 2009, the MMOMA in Moscow, 2010, and the Musée Maillol in Paris, 2010. Galerie RX in Paris, who is partner of the Borderline Exhibition, represents Philippe Pasqua.

Monaco’s Temple of the Sea

The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, founded by Prince Albert I, great-great grandfather of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, has honored, for over a century, its Founder’s desire to “unite in the same splendor the guiding forces of civilization: Art and Science.” From the ornamentation of the façades to the rooms, everything in the Museum’s architecture evokes the marine world.

Built on the slope of the mythical Rock of Monaco, rising to a height of 85 meters above the waves, it offers a dazzling dive into the discovery of more than 6,000 species and presents itself as a place of exchange and culture. As an internationally renowned location, with over 600,000 visitors per year, the Museum offers an opportunity to learn, to wonder and to marvel, so that visitors can get to know, cherish and protect the oceans, part of humankind’s common heritage.

Renewing its commitment to both scientific knowledge and contemporary creation, the Museum opens its doors to the art of our time to create an active conversation between the artworks, the Museum’s collections and the aquarium, revealing its treasures from a new angle. Since 2010, the Museum has given a new impulse to this program, by inviting renowned contemporary artists to enrich the theme of ocean protection through the originality and uniqueness of their gaze. As a result, Damien Hirst (2010), Huang Yong Ping (2010), Mark Dion (2011), and Marc Quinn (2012), have occupied the space of the Museum, as well as a Chinese artists’ collective show which presented “On Sharks & Humanity” in 2014 in collaboration with Parkview Arts Action, and more recently the Taba Naba exhibition (2016) dedicated to Aboriginal and Oceanic art.

Today’s Quote

“Nature is tough, the cycle of life has nothing of benevolent and swallows man as all the other beings. Is it by vengeance or by defiance, that man today seeds death and breaks the equilibrium of our planet?” Prince Albert I.

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