Annette Messager

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Annette Messager is a French artist who was born on 30 November 1943 in Berck. Messager is known mainly for her installation work which often incorporates photographs, prints and drawings, and various materials.[1] Messager has exhibited and published her work extensively. She is the partner of artist Christian Boltanski.

Messager attended the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France but was eventually asked to leave because she spent her time at museums and movie theaters instead of going to class.[2]

In 2005, her work was featured in the French Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, where she won the Golden Lion for her Pinocchio-inspired installation that transformed the French pavilion into a casino. One of her most famous pieces is her exhibition The Messengers (Mori Art Museum in Tokyo), which showcases a series of toy-like, hand knit animals in costumes. For example, some of the animals' heads were replaced by heads of other stuffed animals to reflect the ways in which humans disguise themselves or transform their identities with costume.[3] She had a solo exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 2007.

Her work is held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.[4]

In 2006, a book under the title Word for Word: Texts, Writings and Interviews (1971–2005) was published. It explores the writing in Annette Messager's artworks, and gathers numerous related texts published in magazines or catalogues, as well as unpublished notes on Messager's work and her personal reflections on art and life. All her interviews from 1974 to the present are also included.

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • Musee d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, 1974.
  • Galerie Isy Brachot, Brussels, 1977.
  • Galerie Gillespie-Laage, Paris, 1979, 1980.
  • St. Louis Art Museum, 1980.
  • St. Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1981.
  • Musee de Beaux-Arts, Calais, 1983.
  • Musee d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, 1984.
  • Gallerie d'Art contemporaine, Nice, 1986.
  • Musee de Grenoble, 1989.
  • Musee Departmentale, Chateau de Rochechouart, 1990.
  • Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, 1992.
  • Arnolfini, Bristol, 1992.
  • FRAC Picardie, 1993.
  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1995.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1995.
  • Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2007.
  • Mori Art Museum, Tokyo 2008.
  • The Hayward Gallery, London 2009.
  • Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (MARCO), Monterrey 2010.
  • Zachęta National Gallery, Warsaw 2010.
  • Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City 2011.

Selected group exhibitions[edit]

  • Couples. PS1, New York, 1978.
  • Photography as Art. ICA, London, 1979.
  • Today's Art and Erotism. Kunstverein, Bonn, 1982.
  • Images in Transition. National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. 1990.
  • Parallel Visions. Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, 1992.
  • A visage decouvert. Fondation cartier, Paris, 1992.
  • Arrested Childhood. Center of Contemporary Art, North Miami, 1994.
  • New Works for a New Space. ArtPace, San Antonio, Texas, 1995.
  • elles@centrepompidou, The Pompidou Centre, 2010).


  1. ^ Uta Grosenick, Women Artists in the 20th and 21st Century, Taschen, 2001, p354. ISBN 3-8228-5854-4
  2. ^ "Annette Messager". Christie. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  3. ^ Magdalene Perez (March 3, 2006). Caught On Video: Annette Messager Star of New Artist Bio-Pic?. ARTINFO. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  4. ^ MoMA online catalogue


  • Fabian Stech, J'ai parlé avec Lavier, Annette Messager, Sylvie Fleury, Hirschhorn, Pierre Huyghe, Delvoye, D.F.G. Hou Hanru, Sophie Calle, Ming, Sans et Bourriaud. Presses du réel Dijon, 2007.
  • Sheryl Conkelton and Carol Eliel, Annette Messager. Los Angeles County Museum of Art & The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1995.

External links[edit]