Taking up all of the museum’s galleries, the exhibition comprises more than a hundred major works that rank among the most important in the Permanent Collection. While seemingly modest in terms of numbers, relative to the total of over 7,600 pieces listed in the inventory of the Collection, in terms of scale the sélection nevertheless occupies the largest space ever devoted to displaying the Collection.
Laid out in nine distinct segments that fill up the two large blocks of four galleries and the long hallway connecting the building’s north and south wings, the display offers a sélective overview of the Musée’s history by placing some of the works back in the exact settings where they have already been seen, in previous shows: for example, The Sleepers by Bill Viola and Parabole no 9… ainsi soit-il: les usines ferment, les musées ouvrent by Melvin Charney, shown in the inaugural exhibition Pour la suite du monde in May 1992; Pascal Grandmaison’s Solo, from the theme-based exhibition of works from the Collection, Matters of Time and Space, held in summer 2005; Geoffrey Farmer’s Ghost Face, featured in his eponymous exhibition in winter 2008, and so on. It presents, yet again, exceptional, visionary works that have been loaned to leading nstitutions around the world: pieces by Louise Bourgeois, Bill Viola, Gary Hill, Alfredo Jaar and Mario Merz, shown at the Tate Modern in London, Musée national d’art moderne – Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Getty Institute in Los Angeles, Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Whitney Museum of American Art and Guggenheim Museum, both in New York, Seoul National Museum of Modern Art— the list goes on. Finally, this is the first time some major acquisitions have been exhibited at the Musée: among them, works by Fernand Leduc, Alain Paiement, Laurent Grasso, Rodney Graham and Mowry Baden.