I Don’t Kiss

October 27, 2007 – January 20, 2008

Cy Twombly is a victim on two accounts: first, because a vulgar kiss was deliberately placed on one of his paintings that forms part of the collection at our museum in Avignon. Second,  because, as the artist said with irony, his name will now always be known in France, but only as that of a man who made a white canvas that was kissed by a woman who thought she was an artist too, making Twombly the hostage of a media and legal circus.

Major artists whose work we regularly exhibit, along with other equally famous artists, were personally affected by the incident because they see Twombly as an untouchable master, and immediately responded. First there were letters of support, then proposals to exhibit existing works that seemed relevant to the scandal. Finally, they offered to create works specially for the exhibition, which was invented overnight and took form over the following days.

The title comes from a ‘Statement’ by Lawrence Weiner: ‘J’embrasse pas’ (‘I Don’t Kiss’). Miquel Barceló, Bertrand Lavier, Douglas Gordon, Fabrice Hybert, Annette Messager, Pierre et Gilles, Orlan, Anselm Kiefer… the aesthetic reponses of these artists were so powerful that (despite necessary changes to the planned schedule) we decided to organize an exhibition looking back at the incident: an immediate, precise, radical artistic reaction.

The artists:

Vito Acconci, Akira The Hustler, Arakawa, Jean-Michel Basquiat, James Bishop, Raphaël Boccanfuso, Slater Bradley, Brassaï, Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren, Auguste Chabot, François-Xavier Courreges, Baptiste Croze, Jean-Rémy Daumas, Brice Dellsperger, Diller + Scofido, Marcel Duchamp, Eva et Adele, Spencer Finch, Gloria Friedmann, Kendell Geers, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon, Roni Horn, Douglas Huebler, Bethan Huws, Michel Journiac, Anselm Kiefer, Delphine Kreuter, Barbara Kruger,  Bertrand Lavier, Zoe Leonard, Glenn Ligon, Mario Maffei, Christian Marclay, Annette Messager, Scott Myles, Hykaru Miyakawa, Rei Naito, Bruce Nauman, Trine Lise Nedreaas, Ok Girls, Orlan, Gina Pane, Bernard Perris, Pierre et Gilles, Robert Ryman, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Andres Serrano, David Shrigley, Jana Sterbak, Niele Toroni, Cy Twombly, Xavier Veilhan, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner.