Since its creation in 2016, the cycle Art Club cycle has brought together works by international contemporary artists with the secular heritage of the French Academy in Rome. This summer, Villa Medici is welcoming, for its first solo exhibition in Italy, the French artist and sculptor Jean-Marie Appriou and to unveil a series of new pieces that will populate the gardens of Villa Medici.
These recent creations take up the core figures of his practice, whose deeply dreamlike visual universe is imbued with telluric concerns. Through a great technical mastery, Jean-Marie Appriou uses materials—aluminium, bronze, glass, clay, wax—to represent fantastic worlds inhabited byhuman, animal or plant figures.
Horses, snakes, locusts, sharks and seahorses make up a collection of beasts loaded with powerful symbolism, while her figures of sowers, gatherers and beekeepers embody figures of passage and transformation. The transition between the elements—from aquatic to aerial, subterranean to terrestrial—is one of the central themes of the artist’s work. His sculpture combines the allegorical and the sensual; the artist likes to leave the imprint of his fingers on the material visible. He weaves a paradoxical narrative that unites the past and the future in a series of hallucinatory ecstasies. In the gardens of Villa Medici, the presence of Jean-Marie Appriou’s work takes a particular turn.
The visitor will be invited to take a stroll linking the loggias (Loggia Balthus and Loggia de Cleopatra), the Niobides square, the Gypsotheque and the Bird Room, Ferdinand de Medici’s former private study. Between the alcoves, columned arcades and mazes of vegetation, the artist will “sows” his pieces imagined as echoes of the figures and myths that inhabit the gardens of the Villa Medici for centuries.
at Académie de France à Rome–Villa Medici
until September 5, 2022