How to make art in times of war? This is the question posed by this exhibition to be discovered from June 23 to December 31, 2022 at the Verdun Memorial. It will present 52 works from a collection of the memorial and 150 others from institutional and private loans.
Verdun. The evocation of this single word is synonymous with horror and annihilation. At the heart of this chaos, painters, writers, sculptors and musicians have carved the history of war in stone through authentic and powerful works.
Through this exhibition, history buffs and the curious will have the opportunity to discover creations that, even today, send shivers down your spine. They are a reflection of the reality of the battlefield, a reflection of destruction, suffering and death. Moreover Verdun still bears the traces of the craters caused by the artillery.
Thus the visit route will be divided into three spaces.
The first will be dedicated to the works of amateur artists engaged in battle. Armed with their pencils, some immortalize the reality of the front line and their daily lives, while others, on the other hand, find an outlet in creation and turn away resolutely of this reality.
The second will be devoted to renowned artists also engaged in the Battle of Verdun. Among them we can cite Fernand Léger, Luc-Albert Moreaux, Henri Marret and many others. Here again, some represent chaos while others refuse it.
And finally, the third and last room will showcase the works of artists who stood in the rear during the war, nevertheless, some spent a few days at the front and reported on what they witnessed. Among the creations on display, we can cite the preparatory study of Verdun by Félix Vallotton, loaned by the Musée d'Orsay for this occasion.
This exhibition finds a particular echo in these times troubled by the war in Ukraine, which the artists will not fail to immortalize.
ART/HELL — CREATING IN VERDUN 1914-1918
JUNE 23 - DECEMBER 31, 2022
Visuals ©: Verdun Memorial Collection, La Contemporaine Collections (Nanterre)