With Murakami on Deck, Versailles Announces Plan for Annual Contemporary Shows

With Murakami on Deck, Versailles Announces Plan for Annual Contemporary Shows

Situated outside Paris, the Château de Versailles is a gleaming marmoreal symbol of the ancien regime, a corrupt system on the brink of revolution. Now the director of the historical landmark,Jean-Jacques Aillagon, is seeking to transform it into somethingnew: a place to show contemporary art among the lustrous trappings of French kings.

While Aillagon's plans have with decidedly mixed reviews from French critics and politicians, he has made clear that theyintends to continue the project, making it an annual event and alternating between French and international artists, accordingto the New York Times.

Next up on the exhibition schedule is Superflat superstar TakashiMurakami, who was reportedly told to tone down his sometimes-racy sculptures for the venue. (ARTINFO assumes this means there will be no naked, hairless, life-size models brashly launching semen into theair.) Interestingly, Murakami is also the second artist represented by French dealer EmmanuelPerrotin to fill the space. Perrotin-associated sculptor XavierVeilhan filled the space last year. (Only three artists have been given the honor, meaning that the dealer is batting .666.)

The first artist to be graced with the honor was the fittingly princely American artist Jeff Koons — a decision that did not sit well with many in the French art world. With a touch of sass, the New York Times writes, “We can be pretty sure that neither Mr. Koons nor Mr. Murakami shed any tears on the way to the bank no matter what is said about their work.” Fair enough.