It may not be possible to import to New York City the feast for the senses of magic and romance that is April in Paris. Even so, the Parisians’ particular style of sophistication and savoir faire will certainly flavor the French Embassy’s month-long arts festival in New York this April.

Presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, “Art²: An International Platform on Contemporary Art” will be presented at various venues all over the city from April 1 to 28, 2014. The festival presents 35 events in 27 venues plus exhibitions that resulted from partnerships by 40 museums, galleries, universities and non-profit art spaces.

According to a release from the embassy, the comprehensive program “will explore seven areas of investigation in today’s global art world through exhibitions, public lectures, workshops and conferences by French and American art experts.” The goal is to encourage “intellectual discourse between institutions, artists, scholars, students and the public.”

Different curators were responsible for each area of investigation. Topics include "A History of Exhibitions by Artists", "Art & Value", "Museums Today", "Art & Society", "Composing Differences", "The New Existentialism" and "Art Criticism on the Radio".

The Exhibition Machine, (A History of Exhibitions by Artists)” was curated by Florence Ostende, a curator, writer and art historian in collaboration with additional curators. Exhibitions are presented at The Artist’s Institute; CUNY - James Gallery; The Drawing Center and the New Museum.

The area of  "The Exhibition Machine" "...looks at s at artists who are using the exhibition as both a medium and source material to create various occupations of space, temporality, and organizing principles, in order to challenge the spectacularization of experience and conventions of the event," according to the French Embassy. For details on this area, click here.


Plan Drawing THE NEW ALPHABET, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Centro de Arte Moderna, Lisbon 2003. Exhibited under "The Exhibition Machine."


Plan Drawing ACTION SPACE, Exhibition SPACES, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1969-1970. Exhibited under "The Exhibition Machine."


Art & Value” was curated by writer and curator Fionn Meade. Exhibitions and events will be presented at TWAAS; Artists Space Books and Talks; Columbia Maison Française and Danspace Project. The "Art & Value" area puts forth "...a series of provocations and re-castings of the space between materialism, idealism, and ways of working that are identifiable but not easily consumable," according to the French Embassy. For details on this segment, click here.


"La Reprise" by Janette Laverrière, 2011, Silberkuppe, Berlin. Bibliotheque tournante, 1950/2011, Chapeau chinois 1952/2011. Photo: Silberkuppe. Exhibited under "Art & Value."


"La Commune, hommage à Louise Michel" by Janette Laverrière, 2001. Exhibited under "Art & Value."


The large curatorial team responsible for investigating the topic of “Museums Today” includes: Glenn D. Lowry (MoMA); Richard Armstrong (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum); Adam Weinberg and his curatorial team (Whitney Museum of American Art); Thomas P. Campbell (Metropolitan Museum of Art); Michael Govan (LACMA); Martin Bethenod (Punta della Dogana–Palazzo Grassi–Fondation Pinault); Yasmil Raymond (Dia Art Foundation); and Alain Seban (Centre Pompidou).

Also on the team are: Jean-Luc Martinez (Musée du Louvre); Xavier Douroux (Le Consortium); Peter Reed (senior deputy director for curatorial affairs, MoMA); András Szántó (writer, researcher and advisor to cultural and philanthropic organizations); and Sophie Claudel (Cultural Attaché and head of the arts department at the French Embassy in New York).

The result is a series of talks held on April 23 and 24 at Judd Foundation; French Embassy; Guggenheim and MoMA.  Several topics will be presented through the French-American exchange of perspectives. They include exhibiting collections, presenting new perspectives on art history, offering an artistic yet pedagogic program, producing new works and supporting the creation of contemporary art, and opening international axis museums in an effort to globalize a museum’s presence.

For details on this area, click here.


Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2010. © Shigeru Ban Architects Europe et Jean de Gastines Architectes, avec Philip Gumuchdjian pour la conception du projet lauréat du concours / Metz Métropole / Centre Pompidou-Metz / Photo Philippe Gisselbrecht.


© SANAA / K. Sejima & R. Nishizawa - IMREY CULBERT / Celia Imrey & Tim Culbert - MOSBACH PAYSAGISTE / Catherine Mosbach - Photo Hisao Suzuki.


Curators for “Art & Society” are Alexander Nagel (Institute of Fine Arts/ New York University) and Thomas Crow (Institute of Fine Arts/New York University); along with Tom Eccles (CCS Bard College) and Fionn Meade (Bard College and Columbia University).

This area will present talks and workshops on April 23 and 28 at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU and CCS Bard. Workshops will introduce the role of mediator within the New Protocol context and consider its significance to the larger curatorial and commissioning field.For details, click here.


Actions of the Nouveaux commanditaires. © fabien rigobert.


Opéra Noir de Berdaguer Péjus. © Philippe Groscaux.


Composing Differences” will be curated by writer and curator Virginie Bobin. Programs will be held from April 21 to 27 at various venues. This area will bring together artists, curators, researchers and arts professionals from France and the United States who establish new art platforms and experiment with art as an agent of social change, according to the French Embassy. For details, click here.


"A man is sweeping out a classroom" by Sauve ans Faivre after A. Thierry. Lithograph. Exhibited under "Composing Differences."

The New Existentialism” will be curated by Tim Griffin (director of The Kitchen) with the event held there on April 26. “Art Criticism on the Radio” will presented at the French Embassy on April 24. The topic will be addressed by Arnaud Laporte (journalist, La Dispute/France Culture), Sandrine Treiner (deputy director, France Culture) and guests.


"Ichthyosaurs attending a lecture on fossilised human remains" by Sir Henry de la BeEche (after his drawing), 1830. Lithograph.


A complete schedule of programs, performances and exhibitions is available at Selected highlights include the following:

Opening: April 1, 6-8 p.m.

EXHIBITION: "Pierre Huyghe +/-"

On View: April 1 - May 11
Curators: Jenny Jaskey & Florence Ostende
Venue: The Artist’s Institute
163 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002


Opening: April 2, 6-8 p.m.

EXHIBITION: "Janette Laverrière, Bibliothèque tournante"

On View: April 2-24
Venue: TWAAS
114 Greene St, New York, NY 10012


Opening: April 4, 6–8 p.m.

EXHIBITION: "A Story of Two Museums: An Ethnographic Exhibition"

On View: April 3 - June 7
With The Museum of American Art, Berlin and The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles
Curators: Walter Benjamin, Katherine Carl & Florence Ostende.

Venue: The Graduate Center, CUNY - James Gallery

365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016


April 23, 12pm

TALK: Alternative Models: Art Institutions with Collections

With Yasmil Raymond (DIA Foundation) and Martin Bethenod (Punta della Dogana–Palazzo Grassi–Fondation Pinault).
Venue: Judd Foundation
 101 Spring St, New York, NY 10012


April 23, 5:30pm

TALK: The Encyclopedic Museum of the 21st Century

With Tom Campbell (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Jean-Luc Martinez (Le Louvre) and Michael Govan (LACMA). Moderated by András Szántó.
Venue: French Embassy
972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10075


April 24, 1pm

TALK: Satellite Museums

With Richard Armstrong (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), Jean-Luc Martinez (Le Louvre) and Alain Seban (Centre Pompidou).
Venue: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128
RSVP required.


April 24, 6pm

TALK: Collecting and Displaying Modern Art in the 21st Century

With Glenn Lowry (MoMA) and Alain Seban (Centre Pompidou). Moderated by Peter Reed.
Venue: MoMA
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
RSVP required.


BASIC FACTS: “Art²: An International Platform on Contemporary Art” is presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy from April 1 to 28 at various venues in New York City. For details and information, visit

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