Jacques Charlier – 100 Sexes d’Artistes / Exhibition at the Center of Fine Arts, Brussels





Center of Fine Arts [Palais des Beaux-Arts], Brussels



Jacques Charlier – 100 Sexes d’Artistes
16.06 > 13.09.2009




Censored “100 Sexes d’Artistes” welcomed by BOZAR.

The Venice Biennale and the city of Venice turned down “100 Sexes d’Artistes”, an artistic project by Jacques Charlier. BOZAR is exhibiting all 100 posters this summer.


Jacques Charlier



Jacques Charlier,
Sexe d’artiste N° 84, 1973-2009
© Jacques Charlier





Jacques Charlier’s controversial project 100 Sexes d’Artistes ran into opposition from both the organisers of the Biennale and the city of Venice. The 100 posters – imaginary portraits of the sexual organs of well-known international artists – present a humorous perspective on the art of the20 th century. By censoring the project, the Biennale has denied the public the opportunity to judge for itself; its organisers have demonstrated a patronising attitude to the artists concerned and have interfered with Jacques Charlier’s artistic freedom.

BOZAR is glad to support this artistic project; throughout the summer all 100 posters will be on display in its exhibition spaces and can be seen, free of charge, by all visitors!

Charlier began the series 100 Sexes d’Artistes in 1973, creating imaginary portraits of the sexual organs of artists who had played a leading role in the art of the 20th century since Marcel Duchamp: a humorous and satirical anthology of modern art.

The project developed by Jacques Charlier, a self-taught, multidisciplinary artist from Liège, was turned down by the Venice Biennale for its “off” programme. The posters might offend the artists concerned, according to the director, Daniel Birnbaum, and the chairman, Paolo Baratta. The city of Venice also banned the posters, on the grounds that they “would be offensive to public decency”.

In response, Charlier contacted the artists concerned to ask them whether they did actually feel offended; this turned out not to be the case with the overwhelming majority – quite the contrary. Those in charge of the Biennale, however, stuck to their point of view, thus censuring the project on fallacious grounds.

At the end of the day the posters, along with full documentation of the correspondence with the Biennale, the city, and the artists concerned, were, nevertheless, on display during the Biennale. Charlier moored a boat, which had been transformed into a documentation centre, in the centre of Venice, on the Riva dei Sette Martiri, where the public could find out about the development of the whole project.

The Mayor of the city of Brussels, Freddy Thielemans, has also decides to show the posters in the streets of the city centre on more than25 locations, until the 22nd of November.




Jacques Charlier



Jacques Charlier,
Sexe d’artiste N° 02, 1973-2009
© Jacques Charlier

Jacques Charlier



Leon Vranken, sequency ‘The Travelling Riddle’, 2009, wood, paint, metal, plastic, 245 x 910 x 132
Jacques Charlier,
Sexe d’artiste N° 42, 1973-2009
© Jacques Charlier


Simultaneously with 100 Sexes d’Artistes, until 30 August visitors can still see the double exhibition Disorder, in which Jacques Charlier presents his comic strip La Courbure de l’Art, along with monumental installations by Bernar Venet. The comic strip is about Bernar Venet’s life and the New York art scene





    Courtesy Bozar, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels
    Images © Jacques Charlier


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Stampfli & Turci – Art Dealers


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~ by Stampfli & Turci on June 18, 2009.

One Response to “Jacques Charlier – 100 Sexes d’Artistes / Exhibition at the Center of Fine Arts, Brussels”

  1. Belgian artist Jan Theuninck, the author of Phalluzoïde or “L’Origine du Sexe” renamed his work “Le sexe d’artiste N°101″ as a tribute to Jacques Charlier : http://www.flickr.com/photos/26915283@N07/3551448186/

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