A true discovery of Melanesian modern art… From November 19, 2019 to March 8, 2020, the Musée du Quai Branly devotes an exhibition to Somuk, an artist from New Caledonia. A painted considered “the most learned man in the community” by Gagan inhabitants, his birthplace set north to Bougainville, the first to have been raised the “Occidental” way.
True model for Dubuffet’s entourage, Somuk is also “one of the only Melanesian artists from the early 20th century of whom we keep a significant number of works”. All in all, about 70 of them are displayed in the museum, also including photographs and objects presented to visitors and giving a context for the artist’s drawings, as well as the interpretations that have been made. The exhibition also presents the many orders placed by missionaries and anthropologists for drawings on which Somuk worked creating “complex scenes”.
An exhibition that is the outcome of fifteen years of research that paints a “double portrait of a Melanesian political leader, a peculiar artist who became the symbol of the recognition of contemporary art in the Pacific”. The display ends with a series of contemporary drawings inspired by his works and focusing on the representation of the Bougainville civil war, asking about “the artist’s actual heritage”.
A retrospective rather short but enabling us to gt an idea of the artist through the many sculptures and drawings as well as his infuence on future generations. Note that this exhibition is associated with the International Year of Indigenous Languages organized by Unesco. Somuk, a true character “whose creations represent a meaningful corpus” that hasn’t been paralleled so far in terms of Melanesian art productions prior to the 70’s. Let’s go, friends, shall we?
Dates and Opening Time
From 19 November 2019 to 8 March 2020
Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac
75007 Paris 7
Métro ligne 9 station "Iéna", RER C station "Pont de l'Alma"
Tarif réduit: €7
Plein tarif: €10
Ouvert les mardis, mercredis, vendredis, samedis et dimanches de 10h30 à 19h, les jeudis de 10h30 à 22h. Fermé le lundi.
Book your tickets