Water Theater Restoration at the Château de Versailles

illustration of Jean-Michel Othoniel's fountain sculptures of the Water Theater grove, image © Jean-Michel Othoniel
illustration of Jean-Michel Othoniel’s fountain sculptures of the Water Theater grove, image © Jean-Michel Othoniel

This summer, André Le Nôtre’s 17th-century Water Theater grove at Versailles has been restored by the landscape designer Louis Benech with contemporary sculptures by Jean-Michel Othoniel – the first new permanent artworks added the garden in over 300 years.

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Richard Serra and Qatar

Richard Serra, East-West/West-East, Image via Qatar Museum Authority
Richard Serra, East-West/West-East, image via Qatar Museums Authority

This spring, coinciding with his first major exhibition in the Middle East, American sculptor Richard Serra launched a public art commission in Qatar entitled East-West/West-East. Serra’s large-scale assemblies of sheet metal are famously minimal and massive, and this site-specific work in Qatar is absolutely monolithic.

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Le Lustre Gabriel at the Château de Versailles

Le Lustre Gabriel at the Château de Versailles, installation view, image © Studio Bouroullec
Le Lustre Gabriel at the Château de Versailles, installation view, image © Studio Bouroullec

The Gabriel Staircase, at the entrance to the Grand Apartments at the Château de Versailles, was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1772 after the Petit Trianon and the Royal Opera at the palace. Completion of the staircase was delayed from the Revolution – until 1985 – and the monumental space gained a contemporary focal point in 2013.

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Maurizio Cattelan’s La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour)

Maurizio Cattelan (b. 1960), La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), installation view, wax, clothing, polyester resin with metallic powder, volcanic rock, carpet, glass, dimensions variable
Maurizio Cattelan, La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), 1999; wax, clothing, polyester resin with metallic powder, volcanic rock, carpet, glass, dimensions variable; image via Christie’s

Maurizio Cattelan’s installation of La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour) is a life-sized effigy of Pope John Paul II struck down by a meteor. First exhibited in 1999 at the Kunsthalle Basel, La Nona Ora was featured at the Royal Academy in London in 2000, and also at the Zacheta Gallery of Contemporary Art in Warsaw. Christie’s sold the piece in 2001 for $886,000, and a second version was auctioned by Phillips, de Pury & Company in 2004 for $3 million.

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