Drawings and paintings 1992 – 2002
The work of Francis Alÿs takes many different forms: gentle, poetic, discreet drawings and paintings on an unassuming scale; processions of works for the MOMA in New York when it moved in 2002, and soon for the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris; as well as films and videos. At the Venice Biennale in 2001, the artist chose to be represented by a beautiful, proud and temperamental peacock. More recently in Lima (Peru), Francis Alÿs and 500 others literally moved a mountain for the work entitled ‘Quand la foi déplace les montagnes’ (‘When Faith Moves Mountains’). For another project at the Castello di Rivoli, Turin, he set up an intriguing answering machine.
'Le Prophète et la Mouche' is devoted to paintings and drawings. The life of a work, its inception and fragile construction are revealed in an exhibition carefully designed by the artist himself (Alÿs trained as an architect). The show focuses on paintings and drawings, and behind the traditional façade we perceive a complex process in the radical tradition of conceptual art and fifteenth century primitive art. The pieces on display are the result of a thoughtful exploration of the work and role of the painter; they are presented with great poetic intelligence and generosity, highlighting the artist’s role in both production and presentation.