Art is Magic retrospective

Three places to discover the world of Jeremy Deller

From 10 June to 17 September 2023, Rennes will host a retrospective of British artist Jeremy Deller, entitled ‘Art is Magic.’ This is a first for this irreverent artist whose work, tinged with typical British humour, can be enjoyed in three venues: the Museum of Fine Arts, the FRAC Bretagne and La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art.

Jeremy Deller, Valerie’s Snack Bar, 2009, Installation view

The first retrospective of one of the UK’s biggest artists

For the first time in France, a retrospective exhibition will allow visitors to explore the world of Jeremy Deller. This protean British artist, who won the prestigious Turner Prize in 2004, was honoured with an exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in 2008 and more recently, he even represented his country at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia (Venice) in 2013.

Jeremy Deller, Sacrilege, 2012, Installation view, Greenwich. London/UK – Photo by Jeremy Deller courtesy of the artist; The Modern Institute / Toby Webster LTD, Glasgow; Art: Concept, Paris

From redesigning Stonehenge as an inflatable structure to re-enacting a miners’ revolt against Margaret Thatcher’s violent policies, Jeremy Deller is first and foremost a proponent of popular art. At the opposite end of the spectrum from academic art, and with a good dose of British humour, his installations and performances flirt with art and social anthropology. Because his main interest is people and what connects them.

An observer of pop culture

Jeremy Deller, Une Nouvelle Aube (A New Dawn), 2021, from the ensemble Warning Graphic Content, 1993–2021 © Jeremy Deller. Photo credit courtesy of the artist

Jeremy Deller is interested in popular cultures and counter-cultures. Social issues, history, but also music, are at the heart of his investigations. This retrospective is an opportunity to discover different facets of his work in three places in Rennes dedicated to art and contemporary creation: the Museum of Fine Arts, the FRAC Bretagne and La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art. An incredible artistic journey awaits you in these exhibition venues, which can be accessed with the same ticket as the Pinault Collection, Forever Sixties.

A snack bar in the courtyard of the Museum of Fine Arts…

The first things visitors will see at the Museum of Fine Arts is a panorama of Jeremy Deller’s works since the 2000s, with displays that combine performance, video and installation. In particular, the spectacular installation Valerie’s Snack Bar – a real English snack bar where you can have tea – is located in the courtyard of the museum. Other works, among the most political, such as The Battle of Orgreave and Putin’s Happy, invite visitors to question social conflicts, from the Thatcherite era to the more recent debates surrounding Brexit.

Valerie’s Snack Bar and Speak to the Earth and It Will Tell You will explore what cements togetherness and closeness between locals – the so-called ‘social bond.’ Conversely, The Battle of Orgreave and Putin’s Happy will provide investigative tools for questioning political struggles and their treatment in the media, from Thatcherite-era social conflicts to the more recent Brexit debates.

A hundred or so posters and collages at La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art

The journey continues at La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art, which will bring together the artist’s graphic creations from 1993 to 2021. Warning Graphic Content combines around a hundred posters and collages by the artist, who was born in the 1960s and is a worthy heir to pop art.

A great mix of popular culture and British humour at the FRAC Bretagne

At the FRAC Bretagne, Deller’s passion for folk art and leisure activities will be exhibited in the Folk Archive. For years now, he has been collecting remarkable objects from popular culture, including drawings, costumes, banners, slogans, posters and decorative objects: all samples of British identity.

This is an unmissable event which is part of the Exporama contemporary art festival to be celebrated all summer in Rennes!

Practical information

  • Art is Magic, a retrospective by Jeremy Deller, from 10 June to 17 September 2023 in Rennes, at the Museum of Fine Arts, the FRAC Bretagne and La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art.
  • Opening hours:

– Museum of Fine Arts, 20 quai Emile Zola: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm.

– La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art, Place Honoré Commeurec: Tuesday to Sunday, 1 pm to 7 pm.

– FRAC Bretagne, 19 avenue André Mussat: Tuesday to Sunday, 12 pm to 7 pm.

  • Prices: Full price: €12, concessions: €7. Free for people under 26, disabled people and their carers, members of the Sortir ! scheme, people on minimum social benefits and jobseekers.
  • Museum passes also give access to the exhibition Forever Sixties, the 1960s in the Pinault Collection at the Couvent des Jacobins convention centre and give access to discounts in other exhibitions. See the benefits of having a museum pass.
  • Front page photo credit: Jeremy Deller, Valerie’s Snack Bar, 2009, Installation view, Procession:An Exhibition, Manchester International Festival, Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2009 courtesy of the artist and The Modern Institute/ Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow Photo: Brian Slater