Vincent Van Gogh mentioned in one of his 1888 writings: “It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day.” This is exactly the feeling you get after visiting the exhibition “Peindre la nuit” (Painting the night) on show until next April 15th at the Center Pompidou (1, Parvis des Droits de l’Homme) in Metz.
The night is constantly at the center of social debates (Is it right to keep the shops open at night or is it better to sleep at night?), from various points of view ecological (how can we limit light pollution that prevents us from seeing the stars and it disturbs animal life?), scientific (new research on the night always provide new information) and the night is a subject investigated in depth also in the artistic field. Privileging an approach linked to the perception of the night rather than its iconography, the exhibition aims to offer a nocturnal experience, a walk able to transform the visitor into a night owl with the purpose of making him perceive the light-headedness that night communicates: a vertigo of the senses, interior and cosmic.
Although the pictorial works (of modern and contemporary art) have a central role, “Peindre la nuit” also trespasses in other fields of creative expression such as music, literature, video and photography. There are a hundred artists present, including the historical (Winslow Homer, Francis Bacon, Louise Bourgeois, Brassaï, Paul Klee etc) and contemporary ones Etel Adnan, Charbel-joseph H. Boutros, Ann Craven, Gerhard Richter etc). Tomake the route even more fascinating there a series of installations created specifically for the event by artists such as Harold Ancart, Raphaël Dallaporta, Spencer Finch, Daisuke Yokota, Navid Nuur.
Above: Peter Doig, Milky Way, 1989/1990 – Artist’s collection © Peter Doig. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018. Photo : Jochen Littkemann / ADAGP Paris, 2018