Annette Messager

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Annette Messager
Annette Messager - 2017 (cropped).jpg
Annette Messager in june 2017 during the Festival international du livre d'art et du film
Born (1943-11-30) November 30, 1943 (age 75)
Berck, France
EducationÉcole nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs
Known forVisual art

Annette Messager (born 30 November 1943 in Berck, France) is a French visual artist. In 2005 she won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale for her artwork at the French Pavilion. In 2016, she won the prestigious Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award.[1] She currently lives and works in Malakoff, France.[2]


Annette Messager was born on 30 November 1943 in Berck, France.[3] Between 1962 and 1966, Messager attended the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France.[2] She is the partner of artist Christian Boltanski.[4]


Messager is known mainly for her installation work which often incorporates photographs, prints and drawings, and various materials.[5] Her work rejects traditional methods in visual arts such as painting in favour of "bricolage" works that combine media and subvert value systems, often making experimental use of methods traditionally designated to a "so-called feminine sensibility." [6]

She has exhibited and published her work extensively.

In 2005, she represented France at the Venice Biennale, where she won the Golden Lion for her Pinocchio-inspired installation that transformed the French pavilion into a casino.[7] One of her most famous pieces is her exhibition The Messengers, which showcases an installation of rooms that include a series of photographs and toy-like, hand knit animals in costumes.[4] 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.[8]

Select solo exhibitions[edit]

  • Musée de Peinture et de Sculpture, Grenoble: 1973, 1989-90 (touring retrospective)[9]
  • Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris: 1974, 1984, 1995[9]
  • Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn: 1976, 1978[9]
  • Galerie Isy Brachot, Brussels, 1977
  • Holly Solomon Gallery, New York: 1978[9]
  • Galerie Gillespie-Laage Salomon, Paris: 1979, 1985[9]
  • St. Louis Art Museum: 1980
  • Fine Arts Gallery, University of California, Berkeley: 1981[9]
  • St. Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1981[9]
  • PS 1, Long Island City, NY: 1981[9]
  • Artists' Space, New York: 1981[9]
  • Musée de Beaux-Arts, Calais, 1983[9]
  • Musée 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.
  • Penetration, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1995.[10]
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1995.
  • The Messengers, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2007.[11]
  • Mori Art Museum, Tokyo 2008.
  • The Messenger, Hayward Gallery, London 2009.[12]
  • Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (MARCO), Monterrey 2010.
  • Zachęta National Gallery, Warsaw 2010.
  • Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City 2011
  • Galerie mfc-michèle didier, Paris, 2011. "Mes dessins secrets, Mon guide du tricot, Ma collection de champignons bons et de champignons mortels"
  • Galerie mfc-michèle didier, Paris, November 2012 - January 2013. "Ma collection de proverbes"

Select group exhibitions[edit]

Select books[edit]

  • Mes dessins secrets, Bruxelles, mfc-michèle didier, 2011. Edition of 24 numbered and signed copies and 6 artist's proofs. Voir mfc-michèle didier
  • Ma collection de champignons bons et de champignons mortels, Bruxelles, mfc-michèle didier, 2011. Edition of 24 numbered and signed copies and 6 artist's proofs.
  • Mon guide du tricot, Bruxelles, mfc-michèle didier, 2011. Edition of 24 numbered and signed copies and 6 artist's proofs.

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.

Select editions[edit]

  • Ma collection de proverbes, Bruxelles, mfc-michèle didier, 2012. Edition of 24 numbered and signed copies and 6 artist's proofs. Voir mfc-michèle didier


  • Fabian Stech, J'ai parlé avec Lavier, Annette Messager, Sylvie Fleury, Hirschhorn, Pierre Huyghe, Delvoye, D.F.G. Hou Hanru, Sophie Calle, Minyg, 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.


  1. ^ "Annette Message", Marian Goodman Gallery, Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Annette Messager", Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Annette Messager" Archived 2014-12-25 at the Wayback Machine, Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b Riding, Alan. "Annette Messager: A bold messenger for feminist art", The New York Times, Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  5. ^ Uta Grosenick, Women Artists in the 20th and 21st Century, Taschen, 2001, p354. ISBN 3-8228-5854-4
  6. ^ Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997, p951. ISBN 1-884964-21-4
  7. ^ Wright, Karen. "In the studio: Annette Messager", The Independent, Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  8. ^ Magdalene Perez (March 3, 2006). "Caught On Video: Annette Messager Star of New Artist Bio-Pic?". Louise Blouin Media. Retrieved 2008-05-19. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Dictionary of women artists. Gaze, Delia. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. 1997. p. 951. ISBN 1884964214. OCLC 37693713.CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ "Penetration", Museum of Modern Art, Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Annette Messager: The Messenger", Centre Pompidiou, Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Annette Messager: The Messengers", Southbank Centre, Retrieved 24 December 2014.

External links[edit]