The Musée de la Vie romantique in Paris explores the heart and its representation in contemporary art.
Ouka Leele: Wound as the fog to the sun, pigment print on paper.
© Galerie VU Paris - Adagp Paris 2019
An equation to make one fear the worst: opening an exhibition entitled "Hearts" on Valentine's Day at the Musée de la Vie Romantique might well cause less than hearty enthusiasm… But prejudice is decidedly soothed by the cast: Niki de Saint Phalle, Jim Dine, Annette Messager, Sophie Calle, Jean-Michel Othoniel and Françoise Pétrovitch. After all, why not? On two floors, thirty star or near-celebrity artists dissect the heart: open, loving, broken, engraved, eternal. A – very – short play in seven acts on a vital organ, through which the museum aims to explore "the extensions of Romanticism in contemporary art, in resonance with its collections". If the argument fails to convince, it is nonetheless a delight to see or rediscover a Pop-style splash by John M. Armleder (A Frog Jumped with a Powder-Brush into the Water, 2014), a love letter carved on a rock by Claude Nori (Napoli, 1982), an idyll of anticipation by Martine Aballéa (Heart of Future, 1988), and a Surrealist archery scene by Ouka Leele (Wound as the fog to the sun, 1987).