Editions Centre Pompidou

Why is it famous ? The incredible journey of the Centre Pompidou's masterpieces


At the Centre Pompidou, we sometimes come across visitors who comment on the works, exclaiming: that's very famous! Indeed, this is very famous! With 120,000 works, the Centre Pompidou has the largest art collection in Europe.

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A collection so rich that it allows us to travel through decades of change, to witness the artistic revolutions of the 20th and 21st centuries and to pass through a vertiginous gallery of masterpieces : Man Ray's Violin by Ingres, Brancusi's Sleeping Muse, Calder's mobiles, Duchamp's provocative Fountain, a composition by Mondrian, a powerful portrait of Frida Kahlo, a delirious Dalí - and many other prodigious paintings by Braque, Picasso, Delaunay, Chagall or Dubuffet!
From Fauvism and Cubism, from the Surrealists and the avant-garde, we slide towards the most contemporary where we find a jumble of Warhol, Basquiat, Pollock and Bacon - terrible children of painting -, internationally renowned photographers (Cindy Sherman, Andreas Gursky), a red rhino sculpted by Xavier Veilhan, installations by Boltanski, Anish Kapoor, Anselm Kiefer or Annette Messager... and artists who make headlines (Paul McCarthy)!
There is no recipe for fame. Some works retain a taste of scandal, others have been acclaimed since their creation. To demonstrate this, Why it's famous takes the form of an entertaining investigation: a selection of works, the reasons for their success, amusing anecdotes, commentaries by writers...

Descriptions & Features

Vincent Brocvielle
Éditions du Centre Pompidou
16 cm x 24 cm
Publication year
Number of pages
Number of illustrations
9782844268891 (French)
9782844268907 (English)

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