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The Infinite Woman

Jun 21, 2024

The Fondation Carmignac presents ‘The Infinite Woman’ exhibition at Villa Carmignac on the island of Porquerolles, in the South of France, from April 27, to November 3, 2024, curated by Alona Pardo.

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Text by TLmag

‘The Infinite Woman’, on view in the galleries and outdoor sculpture park of the Fondation Carmignac, brings together work from the Carmignac collection in addition to numerous temporary loans from institutions and private collectors that explores themes around the representation of women throughout art history. The exhibition is organized thematically, including such topics as myths and monsters, goddesses, disruptive ideas of motherhood, women’s desire, the body as vessel, and anti-icons, among others. “Ultimately, the works in the exhibition disrupt conventional ideas of womanhood to reflect on feminine power and how the representation of women has shaped global cultural attitudes”, writes the curator, Alona Pardo. Pardo, who is Head of Programming at the Arts Council Collection, UK, and was most recently curator at the Barbican Art Gallery in London for 15 years, is interested in work that sits at the intersection of gender and social and environmental justice. The exhibition puts contemporary artists in dialogue historical figures as far back as the Renaissance, tracing the ways in which artists have explored questions of representation, identity, sexuality, pleasure and power over the centuries.

Despite its title, the exhibition is not exclusive to work made by women, rather the emphasis is on artists, despite their gender, who have been able to challenge social norms as well as the restrictive categories imposed by the art world, particularly for less represented voices.

Sandro Botticelli’s, Madonna of the Pomegranate, 1445-1510, whose depiction of the Virgin was radically outside the canon of the time, serves as a starting point to trace the shifts across the centuries. Placed in a room opposite ‘Selected Wall Collages’ by 20th century feminist art icon, Mary Beth Edelson, in which dozens of paper cutouts of feminine figures, from across centuries, are installed in a freeform, swirling pattern across the wall, Pardo puts the conversation into play.

The location of Porquerolles was quite fitting as well. As Pardo notes, “Myths and legends surround the island of Porquerolles, whose founding story suggests that it was created when a princess, fleeing a male predator, was transformed or “terraformed” into a geological entity, associating woman and nature into a symbiotic whole. This founding history of the island, anchored in the notion of metamorphosis, is essential to the conceptualization of the exhibition. Here, the artists revisit the mythologies of the virgin mother, the dark mother, the cosmic mother, the witch, the priestess, the seductress, the mermaid and the temptress, among other archetypes, to propose new forms and figures which free themselves from idealized or essentialist clichés”.

The Fondation Carmignac was founded in 2000 by Edouard Carmignac, a French entrepreneur, CEO and Chairman of asset management company Carmignac. Today, it is structured around three main pillars which developed one after the other: The Carmignac Collection, the Carmignac Photojournalism Award and Villa Carmignac in Porquerolles.

‘The Infinite Woman’ is on view through September 27, 2024.



SANDRO BOTTICELLI La Vierge à la Grenade, v. 1487. Collection Carmignac MARY BETH EDELSON. Selected Wall Collages, 1972-2011. Courtesy of David Lewis Gallery, New York and the Estate of Mary Beth Edelson; Photo Nicolas Brasseur/ Fondation Carmignac
T.CHAPOTOT NAUDLINE PIERRE, You Will Understand, 2024. Courtesy James Cohan, New York MARION VERBOOM, Clito, 2022. Courtesy THE PILL® © Marion Verboom, ADAGP, Paris, 2024 GHADA AMER,Your Silence, 2023 Courtesy of Ghada Amer and Goodman Gallery Johannesburg/Cape Town/London © Ghada Amer, ADAGP, Paris, 2024 Photo Thibaut Chapotot / Fondation Carmignac
CAITLIN KEOGH, Interiors, 2016. Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins Collection, Courtesy Bortolami, New York ANNA PERACH, The Hysteric, 2023. Courtesy ADA, Rome Mother of Monsters (White), 2022. Courtesy ADA, Rome and Andrea Boghi Collection, Brescia Photo Nicolas Brasseur / Fondation Carmignac
T.CHAPOTOT OUISE BOURGEOIS, Spider (Araignée). Paris Musées / Musée d’Art moderne © Louise Bourgeois, ADAGP, Paris, 2024 FRANCE-LISE McGURN, I’m at that party right now, 2024. Commissioned by Fondation Carmignac; Photo Thibaut Chapotot / Fondation Carmignac
T.CHAPOTOT HAYV KAHRAMAN, Not Quite Human 4, 2019. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, GHADA AMER, Les Grands Nymphéas, 2018-2022. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York/Aspen and Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg/Cape Town/London © Ghada Amer, ADAGP, Paris, 2024 TSCHABALALA SELF, From Afar, 2019. Courtesy the artist and Pilar Corrias, London Photo Thibaut Chapotot / Fondation Carmignac
T.CHAPOTOT LOIE HOLLOWELL, Colostrum well (Cambria and Loie), 2021. Courtesy Pace Gallery SHAFEI XIA, La montagna, 2023. Courtesy the artist and P420, Bologna SHERRIE LEVINE, Tattooed Body Mask, 2020. Private collection, Belgium, courtesy Xavier Hufkens, Brussels ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, Lampe Bouche, 1966. Fonds de dotation Groupe Elysées Monceau, courtesy The Estate of Alina Szapocznikow, Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris et Hauser & Wirth © Alina Szapocznikow, ADAGP, Paris, 2024. Ventre-coussin, 1968. Courtesy The Estate of Alina Szapocznikow, Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris et Hauser & Wirth © Alina Szapocznikow, ADAGP, Paris, 2024 Photo Thibaut Chapotot / Fondation Carmignac
T.CHAPOTOT MILES ALDRIDGE, Chromo Thriller #3, 2012; New Utopias #2. Collection Carmignac Photo Thibaut Chapotot / Fondation Carmignac
KLARA KRISTALOVA (Czech Republic, 1967) Blackbird, 2010. Courtesy the artist and Perrotin Photo Nicolas Brasseur / Fondation Carmignac

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