December 05, 2020

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Contemporary art: Sugimoto arrives to Versailles

Contemporary art: Sugimoto arrives to Versailles

For its eleventh edition of contemporary art, the Palace of Versailles invites the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto this autumn in a new emblematic place.

The Japanese artist Sugimoto invests the gardens of the estate of Trianon inviting art, architecture and performance.

It all begun with Jeff Koons; later, it was the time of Joana Vasconcelos, Takashi Murakami and Olafur Eliasson among others, and now, Sugimoto takes over.

When Versailles opened his heart to the world of contemporary art, it was severely criticized by some but loved by others.

For the first time, the artist Hiroshi Sugimoto installs his creations within the domain of Trianon, a domain dedicated to the privacy of sovereigns.

Construction on the estate began under Louis XIV, who had the Grand Trianon Palace built at the far end of the northern branch of the Grand Canal. The estate is perhaps most closely associated with Queen Marie- Antoinette.

The wife of Louis XVI regularly sought refuge at the Petit Trianon, where she commissioned marvellous landscaped gardens centred around a hamlet of cottages built in the rustic style then in vogue.


Bringing Hiroshi Sugimoto to Versailles means hosting the eclecticism that defines the uniqueness of this great Japanese artist. Successive residents of the palace, from Louis XIV to Napoleon, from Marie-Antoinette to Louis-Phillippe, all collected works from their own time; by exhibiting at the Trianon estate, Sugimoto is the first artist to impart a modern perspective there. In this year of ” Japonism ” Sugimoto illuminates the cultural ties between France and Japan, ties which Versailles itself has often symbolized

declares Catherine Pégard, Head of the Public Establishment of the palace, the museum and the estate of Versailles.


Image: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Surface of Revolution, 2018, aluminium, acier. Courtesy de l’artiste

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