Curator Emma Lavigne leaves the Palais de Tokyo for the Pinault collection

The news surprised more than one: Emma Lavigne is leaving the Palais de Tokyo to take charge of the Pinault collection, from 1er November. That is to say two years just after his arrival at the head of the Parisian art center. The billionaire François Pinault himself has just announced it: she will ensure with him “The development of the collection to which [il se] dedicates with passion. It will also ensure that the network of museums in the collection which is now deployed in Venice and Paris, as well as actions outside the walls, allow an increasingly large public to meet the creation of our time, in its diversity and perpetual renewal. “

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So here she is, general manager of the collection, which now includes the Bourse de commerce entity, whose success has not been denied since it opened with fanfare in the spring. Emma Lavigne will also have, alongside Bruno Racine, the mission of “Contribute to the influence of the collection” as part of the Venetian exhibitions at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana.

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Born in Versailles in 1968, this seasoned curator also fulfills the missions attributed to Martin Bethenod, who had announced her departure at the end of the summer following her unsuccessful candidacy for the presidency of the Center Pompidou, and succeeds Jean-Jacques Aillagon who provided the interim. It is the unexpected culmination of a flawless career: promoted curator at the Cité de la musique in 2000, she moved to the Center Pompidou in 2008, before taking the head of Pompidou-Metz in 2015, while orchestrating in 2017 the Biennale de Lyon. Ardent advocate of public institutions, Emma Lavigne therefore operates an unexpected switch in the private sphere.

Ecological transition

How to understand her quick visit to the Palais de Tokyo, a position for which she had fought for many months? The brilliant intellectual got tired of the financial difficulties inherent in this liner of 10,000 m2, forced to be more than 60% self-financing? In times of health crisis, the mission was more difficult than ever. She had admitted half-heartedly since her arrival that this perpetual quest for new patrons cut her off from the heart of her vocation: to support creation, and to dust off our gaze on the history of art.

She is indeed the author of landmark exhibitions: at Pompidou, we owe her in particular Dance your life, orchestrated in collaboration with Christine Macel, then the remarkable Pierre Huyghe retrospective; at Pompidou-Metz, it launched a cycle of high-level thematic exhibitions, such as Gorgeous Where Infinite garden. Particularly valuable for the mega-collector who has just poached her, her intense capacity for dialogue with creators, all generations combined, is unanimously recognized. His carte blanche to Anne Imhof at the Palais de Tokyo offered the most recent proof of this.

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