Jean-Marie Appriou – Art Club #35

25 June to 4 September 2022
Curator : Pier Paolo Pancotto

Since its creation in 2016, the cycle Art Club cycle has brought together works by international contemporary artists with the secular heritage of the French Academy in Rome. This summer, Villa Medici is pleased to welcome, for its first solo exhibition in Italy the French artist and sculptor Jean-Marie Appriou and to unveil a series of new pieces that will populate the gardens of Villa Medici.

These recent creations take up the core figures of his practice, whose deeply dreamlike visual universe is imbued with telluric concerns. Through a great technical mastery, Jean-Marie Appriou uses materials – aluminium, bronze, glass, clay, wax – to represent fantastic worlds inhabited byhuman, animal or plant figures.

Horses, snakes, locusts, sharks and seahorses make up a collection of beasts loaded with powerful symbolism, while her figures of sowers, gatherers and beekeepers embody figures of passage and transformation. The transition between the elements – from aquatic to aerial, subterranean to terrestrial – is one of the central themes of the artist’s work. His sculpture combines the allegorical and the sensual; the artist likes to leave the imprint of his fingers on the material visible. He weaves a paradoxical narrative that unites the past and the future in a series of hallucinatory ecstasies. In the gardens of Villa Medici, the presence of Jean-Marie Appriou’s work takes a particular turn.

The visitor will be invited to take a stroll linking the loggias (Loggia Balthus and Loggia de Cleopatra), the Niobides square, the Gypsotheque and the Bird Room, Ferdinand de Medici’s former private study. Between the alcoves, columned arcades and mazes of vegetation, the artist will “sows” his pieces imagined as echoes of the figures and myths that inhabit the gardens of the Villa Medici for centuries.


Jean-Marie Appriou, born in Brest in 1986, lives and works as a sculptor in Paris.

His work has been exhibited at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, the Fondation Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, the Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles, the Musée des abattoirs, Toulouse, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Consortium Museum, Dijon, and the Biennale de Lyon. He was invited by the Public Art Fund to present a group of sculptures at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, southeast entrance to Central Park, New York, at the Château de Versailles, and at the Vienna Biennale. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in the galleries Jan Kaps, Cologne, Eva Presenhuber, Zurich and New York, Kaikai Kiki, Tokyo, C L E A R I N G, New York and Brussels.


Pier Paolo Pancotto has been the curator of the Art Club exhibition programme at Villa Medici since 2016. Previously, he curated the Fortezzuola series of exhibitions at the Museo Pietro Canonica in Rome in
2016-2018, as well as exhibition projects at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London, Galleria nazionale d’arte in Tirana, Lateral Art Space in Cluj, Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna in Rome, Museo H. C. Andersen, Rome, Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome, Nomas Foundation, Rome, Casa Scatturin, Venice and La Fondazione, Rome. His works include: Artiste a Roma nella prima metà del ‘900 (2006) ; Arte contemporanea: dal minimalismo alle ultime tendenze (2010) ; Arte contemporanea. Il nuovo millennio (2013).

Launched in 2016 under the curatorship of Pier Paolo Pancotto, the Art Club series presents the work of international contemporary artists at Villa Medici in a spirit of openness to the most varied forms of creation. Among the artists recently exhibited: Giuseppe Penone, Katinka Bock, Mircea Cantor, Namsal Siedlecki, Achraf Touloub, Arcangelo Sassolino, Julius von Bismarck, Marinella Senatore, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Cyprien Gaillard…

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With the support of:


Photo credits :

Portrait of Pier Paolo Pancotto : © Daniele Molajoli
Portrait of Jean-Marie Appriou : © Claire Dorn pour la galerie Perrotin