Jean-Michel Alberola marks his return to the City of Light with a protean exhibition that takes us on different journeys with its combination of newly painted walls, canvases, and works on paper.

We encounter the irresistible Rois de Rien [Kings of Nothing, Émeutes de Watts [Watts Riots], Tatlin, and other abstraction works, which adorn the walls of the ground floor, plunging the visitor headfirst into the artist’s poetic, engaged, and humorous universe. Hanging side by side, Alberola’s works form a series of philosophical puzzles questioning the perspective of artists and their role in society.

The basement continues the exploration the artist initiated in Brussels in March 2023 with 1965-1966-1967. The artist explains:

A turning point heralding the explosiveness of politics in the 1970s. Those three years still had a sense of freedom, before money began to infiltrate the artistic domains of the music and film industries in the late 1960s. People realised that counter-culture could be sold. That’s when everything changed.

Alberola has spent around two years gathering, annotating, rubbing out, and re-writing in charcoal or blue and ochre pastel a multitude of information about this era. These drawings, hang shoulder to shoulder and build bridges with the present.

Born in 1953 in Saïda, Algeria, Jean-Michel Alberola lives and works in Paris. He made a name for himself in the early 1980s with a practice combining conceptual art and figurative painting. He has been represented by gallery Templon since 1982. His work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Louvre (2005), Bibliothèque Nationale de France (2009), Maison Hermès de Tokyo (2009), Frac Picardie in Amiens (2012), Palais de Tokyo (2016) and the Louvre's Centre Dominique-Vivant Denon (2018).

It has also featured in several group exhibitions, such as Light House at the Fondation Boghossian in Brussels (2021) and Ex Africa at Paris' Musée du Quai Branly (2021). In September 2021, the Institut Mémoires de l’Edition Contemporaine (IMEC) gave the artist carte blanche and presented the results, centring on Franz Kafka, at the Abbaye d’Ardenne in Caen. Since January 2024, Centre Pompidou-Metz has presented his work in the group exhibition Lacan, l’Exposition, Quand l’Art Rencontre la Psychanalyse.