During the spring and summer seasons of 2023, the Frac MÉCA is devoting an important exhibition to Pierre Molinier (1900-1976) embracing all aspects of his work, which has long been controversial but is indeed incredibly contemporary. This exhibition will explore his direct sources of inspiration and affiliation (e.g., surrealism, fetishism, tantrism) and reveal unpublished archives and testimonies. It will also highlights connections with contemporary artists (including Cindy Sherman, Luciano Castelli, and Camille Vivier among others) and artistic affinities with more historical figures (such as, Hans Bellmer, Claude Cahun, Clovis Trouille etc).
With this event, the Frac MÉCA pays tribute to a ‘local kid’ born with the 20th century (in 1900 in Agen), in the midst of the development of the photographic processes, and who died in 1976 in Bordeaux, at the advent of disco music. It took Pierre Molinier over 50 years to formally break with the moral and aesthetic values of academism and thus proudly move to the other side. In 1951, at the 30th Salon des Indépendants in Bordeaux, Molinier presented
Le Grand Combat, an ambiguous painting, neither entirely abstract nor entirely figurative, representing intertwined bodies caught in an energetic and erotic whirlwind.
Considered indecent, the work was subsequently covered with a veil and became the reason for a shocking and highly publicised break with Bordeaux’s ‘good society’ (including even with artists)—a rupture that was as much institutional as it was social and aesthetic. With this event, Pierre Molinier definitively switched areas of representation and reached maturity. His bedroom-boudoir-studio, located at 7 rue des Faussets in Bordeaux, became a place of work and mysticism where he shared friendships, love affairs, solitary pleasures, and gender performances. It was there that he rediscovered the unity of his being and developed his project of intensification of reality and pleasure.
With Molinier, the bedroom becomes a place of politics, intimacy, and radical de-identification. Often considered to be marginal, relegated to the aesthetic sidelines of art history, today Molinier is recognised as an emblematic figure of art, in France and abroad.
This exhibition celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Fracs and the acquisition of some thirty pieces by Molinier 40 years ago by the Frac MÉCA, which constituted a first step in the formal cataloguing of his body of work. This exhibition is intended for an adult audience and prohibited for minors (under 18). The Frac MÉCA will propose a kid-friendly space every Saturday afternoon, and a room in the Molinier exhibition will be designed to welcome young visitors and schools.
Marie Canet, Emmanuelle Debur, Claire Jacquet
Molinier rose saumon
« Nous sommes tous des menteurs »
From March 31 to September 17, 2023
Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA · Bordeaux
5 parvis Corto Maltese
33 800 Bordeaux
A publication dedicated to Pierre Molinier will accompany this major exhibition, with contributions from Marie Canet, Claire Jacquet, Emmanuelle Debur, and Géraldine Gourbe.
Co-published by Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA and Dilecta, 120 pages.
Graphic design: Fanette Mellier. Release date: Spring 2023.
Cost : 28 €
With the support of the Fondation Antoine de Galbert