Musée d'art moderne et contemporain de Saint-EtienneSaint-Etienne Méetropole
Accueil / December 2018 - April 2019 programme / Archaeology of the present, museum collection
Restez connectés !
Newsletter :
Abonnez-vous à la lettre d'information

Rechercher dans le site :


Archeology of the present

Archaeology of the present (Museum collection). Visual communication. © klar agency, 2015.

Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger

From left to right: Alexander Calder, "6-5-1-4", 1950. Fernand Léger, "L'acrobate" (The acrobat), circa 1951. Photo: Yves Bresson/MAMC. © ADAGP, Paris, 2016.

View of the exhibition. Photo: Yves Bresson/MAMC 2016.

Martial Raysse, Tom Wesselmann

From left to right:  Martial Raysse, "Proposition to escape : Heart Garden", 1966. Tom Wesselmann, "Illuminated Still Life", 1964. Photo : Yves Bresson/MAMC. © ADAGP, Paris 2016.


Archaeology of the present, museum collection

MARCH 5TH 2016 - SEPTEMBER 17TH 2017

A reinvented presentation of our collections.
This exhibition which involves more than 150 works of art, including some prestigious loans, displays the Musee D’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint Étienne’s collections in a brilliant new way. The public will have the opportunity to admire several masterpieces: Pablo Picasso, Willi Baumeister, Marcel Duchamp, Yves Tanguy, Alexander Calder, Victor Brauner, Fernand Léger, Yves Klein, Louise Nevelson, Lucio Fontana, Raoul Hausman, Piet Zwart, Jacques Villeglé, César, Piero Gilardi, Martial Raysse, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Christian Boltanski, Robert Adams, Richard Prince,  Anne and Patrick Poirier, Absalon, Walid Raad, Zarina... and a brand new installation by Claude Lévêque entitled ‘la Tempête’ (The Storm).

This presentation of the collections was designed to reflect the powerful themes of our 2016 programme: Jacques Villeglé and Anne and Patrick Poirier. Archaeology of the present is a dual homage to these artists:  there are paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, photographs, films, and videos...all designed to take you on a journey of the discovery of the object through the great artistic influences of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

After painting, which was considered to be too bourgeois, was challenged by creating collages, so surrealism was to challenge the limits of sculpture by using the object. The Picasso cubists converse with a dozen or so centre pieces from a collection of African art while the object in turn becomes ready-made or takes on a symbolic purpose.

After the Second World War many artists became interested in Found Object art: creating is equal to combining, assembling or integrating. A presentation involving a Nouveau Realism group combining thirty or so major pieces will call to mind art which celebrates modernity, in particular art which integrates consumer objects. Among the artists creating these ‘action performances’ are Arman, César, Spoerri, Klein and Saint Phalle...

The reduction of the power of the object is also a core concept of Pop Art: Warhol, Dine, Oldenburg, Raysse, Wesselman... At the end of the 1960’s modern mythologies were clarified paving the way for new individual mythologies. In 1957, Roland Barthes celebrated this societal change in his essay entitled ‘Mythologies’. Social sciences gradually became part of the artistic world, blurring the lines between art and life.

Visitors to the exhibition will experience a host of surprises, they will see how the artists have become engaged in developing the idea of a modern myth. The museum serve as a tour guide to the public as they re-learn the art of seeing.

Curator: Sébastien Delot, Ph. D, Curator in charge of the collection department.


Absalon, Robert Adams, Arman, Willi Baumeister, Christian Boltanski, Victor Brauner, Robert Breer, Marcel Broodthaers, René Burri, Alexander Calder, Cesar, Niki de Saint Phalle, Tacita Dean, Jim Dine, Marcel Duchamp, Raoul Dufy, Lucio Fontana, Fritz Lang, Piero Gilardi, Albert Gleizes, Raymond Hains, Raoul Hausmann, Alain Jacquet, Yves Klein, Jean Le Gac, Fernand Léger, Claude Levêque, Roy Lichtenstein, Adrian Maben, Mathieu Mercier, Annette Messager, Louise Nevelson, Amédée Ozenfant, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Anne et Patrick Poirier, Richard Prince, Walid Raad, Martial Raysse, René-Jacques, Vivien Roubaud, Kurt Schwitters, Gino Severini, Daniel Spoerri, Yves Tanguy, Jean Tinguely, Bernar Venet, Jacques Villeglé, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Zarina, Piet Zwart...


Appointed as new curator for the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Étienne Métropole in march 2015, Sébastien Delot presents his first exhibition dedicated to the collection. After MACVAL and the New Museum of New York, he worked as curator for Louvre Abu Dhabi before joining Saint-Etienne. 

Adresse postale : Musée d'art moderne et contemporain - La Terrasse - CS 10241 - 42 006 Saint-Étienne cedex 1 - Adresse GPS : Rue Fernand Léger - 42270 Saint-Priest-en-Jarez