Annette Messager

Courtesy: Marian Goodman Gallery Paris / New York - ©Marie Clerin

Annette Messager

Rumor 2000-2004 100x235x43 cm Fabric, stuffed toys, string - Marin Karmitz Collection, Paris - Photo: Marc Domage

The stuffed plush figures look cute at first glance, but they are shaped to spell out the word “RUMEUR” (rumor), as if the toys are trying to warn us that we too are at the mercy of rumor.

Annette Messager

Articulated-Disarticulated 2001-2002 Dimension variable - Computerized fabric automatons, ropes, pulleys, motors, cables, wooden pikes with fabric and plush toys, fabric columns and fence - Collection: Centre Pompidou, Musee national d'art moderne, Paris - Photo: Adam Rzepka

Much acclaimed at Documenta XI in 2002, this installation was a reaction to the slaughter of large numbers of cattle when there was an outbreak of BSE (mad cow disease) in Europe. Incorporating kinetic elements, it questions the relationship between people and domestic animals.

Annette Messager: the messengers


9 AUGUST (Sat) – 3 November (mon), 2008 MORI ART MUSEUM, JAPAN

A "message" that reaches deep into the heart. The first exhibition in Japan by France's leading female artist

“Annette Messager: The Messengers” is the first comprehensive solo exhibition in Japan by one of France's leading artists. Annette Messager uses a wide range of materials to create objects and installations that draw viewers into strange and fantastical worlds. In some ways, her works are incarnations of her family name – messengers on a mission to communicate something directly to the depths of the human mind.

Messager uses many different media and materials, including painting, photography, found objects, words, stuffed toys, fabric, and knitting. From these she creates artwork that convey from an everyday perspective the conflicting sensations that lie deep inside us, such as the sacred and the profane, humor and fear, love and sadness, exterior and interior. While the use of materials such as these have become common in contemporary art since the mid-1990s, Messager has been using them since the 1970s, in works deliberately seeking to draw out narratives found in the individual. Recently, she has produced enormous installations with mechanisms inspired by the complexity of human beings and their puzzling ability to nurture conflicting elements within themselves. These works have been critically acclaimed, and in 2005, Messager won the Golden Lion for her exhibition at the French pavilion at the Venice Biennale – an honor that brought her much media attention as well. Much of Messager's work is on a large scale and is visually stimulating, and appeals strongly to a wide demographic, not just to the younger generations.

“The Messengers” is an internationally touring exhibition, with an itinerary that included the Pompidou Centre in Paris and other institutions in Finland and Korea.


Born in 1943, Messager has been creating art works since the 1960s, and has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the world, being a major figure in the international contemporary art scene. She represented France at the Venice Biennale in 2005, where she was awarded the Golden Lion

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