For each of the past three years, the Petit Palais has invited a contemporary artist to dialogue with its celebrated historic collection. This autumn Andres Serrano, a leading and dissident figure on the international art scene, will take up the challenge with a presentation of forty works to be presented among the permanent collections at the Petit Palais.
Having received a classical training, Andres Serrano – “an artist with a camera”, as he likes to describe himself – derives evident inspiration for an aspect of his pictorial eloquence from the Renaissance and Caravaggism, but also from masters of modern art. By dint of this heritage, his works strike up clear relations with the paintings at the Petit Palais and thus offer an instructive comparison between the ancient and contemporary. The public is invited to view the museum’s eclectic collections through the eye of this American artist. “If Serrano’s work is provocative, it’s because he demands that we look, straight in the eye, what today, increasingly commonly, we tend to avoid, what we prefer to ignore and not to contemplate”, wrote Daniel Arasse in Les Transis (1992).