PARIS, FRANCE.- The Centre Pompidou, Musée National dArt Moderne and the Musée du Louvre have come together to present Comme le rêve le dessin, an innovative juxtaposition of more than 80 works from the two collections. As a rule, art history's attempts to provide a specific status for the sketch have typically been governed by notions of purpose: the sketch is seen as a rough draft, a preparation pointing to a finished work painting, sculpture or autonomous drawing, in the light of which the sketch becomes intelligible.
Comme le rêve le dessin takes for its point of departure the idea that the sketch is a conclusion, rather than a starting point, and creates a parallel between contemporary drawings from the Centre Pompidous collection and 16th and 17th-century Italian studies and sketches from the Musée du Louvre Because the preparatory stage in the academic sense, at least has vanished from contemporary drawing, we can now look at early drawings in a purpose-free light. When we give up interpreting the sketch retroactively in terms of some preliminary function we begin to view it as evidence of transformation, and its unfinished character not as a shortcoming, but as a return to an unstable, and not fixed state of representation. In the light of Beuys' seismographic drawings, Gerhardt Richter's effacings, Robert Morris' eyes-closed works and Fontana's perforations and scribbles, unexpected aspects of the old sketches literally surface. Changes of emphasis (Fra Bartolomeo), loss of correlation (Casolani), decentralization (Cigoli, Cecco Bravo), and residual figuration (Federico Zuccaro, Barocci) are identical with those to be observed in dreams. Both sections of the exhibition include old master and contemporary drawings. The Musée National dArt Moderne will also present moving images, while the Louvre will be offering an installation by Jean-Luc Vilmouth From 14 February 23 May 2005, Comme le rêve le dessin will be complemented by lectures, two readings and a series of films.