Somuk, the exhibition at Paris Musée du Quai Branly, our pictures

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Published by Laurent P. · Photos by Laurent P. · Updated on 25 November 2019 at 12h27 · Published on 19 November 2019 at 11h39
From November 19, 2019 to March 8, 2020 the Musée du Quai Branly invites modern art enthusiasts to discover an exhibition about an artist from New Caledonia, Somuk. The occasion to learn more about the universe of this political leader and modern artist with works each more peculiar than the last.

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”.

Somuk, l'exposition au Musée du Quai Branly, nos photosSomuk, l'exposition au Musée du Quai Branly, nos photosSomuk, l'exposition au Musée du Quai Branly, nos photosSomuk, l'exposition au Musée du Quai Branly, nos photos

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?

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From 19 November 2019 to 8 March 2020



    Quai Branly
    75007 Paris 7

    Métro ligne 9 station "Iéna", RER C station "Pont de l'Alma"

    Tarif réduit: €7
    Plein tarif: €10

    Official website

    More informations
    Ouvert les mardis, mercredis, vendredis, samedis et dimanches de 10h30 à 19h, les jeudis de 10h30 à 22h. Fermé le lundi.

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