On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Louvre Pyramid, JR created a collaborative piece of art on the scale of the Napoleon Court. Three years after having made the Pyramid disappear, the artist brought a new light to the famed monument by realizing a gigantic collage, thanks to the help of 400 volunteers.
Each day hundreds of volunteers came to help cut and paste the 2000 strips of paper, making it the biggest pasting ever done by the artist.
The images, like life, are ephemeral. Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own. The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers. This project is also about presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence.
Completed in 1989, I.M. Pei’s renovation redesigned Cour Napoleon, the main court of the Louvre, in order to alleviate the congestion from the thousands of daily visitors. A new grand entrance provided a convenient, central lobby space separate from the galleries, which provided focal point for the cyclical process of one’s experience through the museum.
In addition to providing a new entrance to the Louvre, Pei’s design featured a new underground system of galleries, storage, and preservation laboratories, as well as a connection between the wings of the museum. The addition and relocation of the supporting spaces of the museum allowed for the Louvre to expand its collection and place more work on exhibit.
Pei’s design of the Louvre addition implemented a large glass and steel pyramid that is surrounded by three smaller triangles that provide light to the space below Cour Napoleon. For Pei, the glass pyramid provided a symbolic entry that had historical and figural importance that reinforced the main entry.
News courtesy of JR-Art