28 September 2021 to 02 January 2022

Temporary exhibition

The Narcissus Theorem

Jean-Michel Othoniel


Avenue Winston Churchill 75008 Paris

Tel : 01 53 43 40 00

Free entrance

Fridays at 9 p.m.

From September 28, 2021 to January 2, 2022, at the invitation of the Petit Palais, Jean-Michel Othoniel is taking over the museum and its garden. This will be the artist’s biggest solo show in Paris since his retrospective "My Way" at the Centre Pompidou in 2011.

For the occasion, with more than 70 new artworks, Othoniel has invented “The Narcissus Theorem,” about a man-flower who, in reflecting himself, reflects the world around him.  According to Gaston Bachelard “narcissism is not always neurotic. It can also play a positive role in aesthetic work. Sublimation is not always the negation of desire. It can be sublimation for the sake of an ideal”. 

Othoniel weaves a web of unreality, enchantment, illusion and liberation of the imagination. Rivers of blue bricks, Lotus, Necklaces, Crown of the Night, Wild Knots, and Precious Stonewall are hidden in the architecture, placed on the water mirrors of the pools, hanging from trees; new works dialogue with the architecture of the Petit Palais and the golds go its garden.

This exhibition is a message of opening, freely given to the public. Placed under the sign of re-enchantment and the theory of reflections that the artist has been developing for going on ten years in a dialogue with the Mexican mathematician Aubin Arroyo, this exhibition is an occasion to dream and, as long as it lasts, to resist the disillusionment of the world.

Curation: Christophe Leribault, director of the Petit Palais; Juliette Singer, chief curator of heritage, responsible for contemporary art projects at the Petit Palais

Exhibition organized with the support of Perrotin and sponsored by Christian Dior Parfums as part of its Cultural Gardens initiative. On this occasion, Actes Sud is producing a book to be co-published by Perrotin at the time of the exhibition.