This exhibition of the MAMC+ collections reveals the recent exceptional donation – over 180 artworks and fifty publications – from Liliane and Michel Durand-Dessert, gallerists active in Paris from 1975 to 2004 and major collectors in France. Displayed over 1 000 m2, this exhibition brings the majority of these new works into conversation with the museum’s richly diverse collection, corresponding to the exemplary choices of this erudite pair of art dealers and passionate collectors.

A major asset to our collections, this event constitutes an impressive new episode in the history of donations made by collectors to the MAMC+, like Vicky Rémy or Ninon and François Robelin in the 1990s. With this generous gift, the Durand-Dessert affirms its attachment to a museum to which it has already given a painting by Gerhard Richter (Skull, 1983) and a sculpture by Luciano Fabro (The Eye of God, 1969), two masterpieces featuring at the entrance of the exhibition. Attesting to their confidence in the museum, this gift is accompanied by an archive pertaining to the history of their gallery, as well as multiples and artist’s books bearing witness to their early activity as publishers under the name Multiplicata.

With visionary commitment, the Durand-Desserts worked for several decades to defend an essential sector of contemporary creation, focusing above all on the European scene. They thus provided strong and early support to the German (Beuys, Richter, Rückriem, etc.), English (Hilliard, Flanagan, Tremlett, etc.), and Italian art scenes (Boetti, Kounellis, Merz, etc.), without however neglecting the French context (Lavier, Tatah, Garouste, etc.). Their singular, honed perspective on the art of their time enabled them to form a magnificent personal collection that is as open-minded as it is high-calibre. Many artists that they promoted are now conserved at the MAMC+ and some of their works have been regularly acquired from their gallery. Their significant donation now completes these ensembles, concerning Cadere, Burgin, Morellet, Rutault, or Verjux, while also integrating artists that have not yet been represented, including Brauntuch, Hilliard, Paolini, and Wegman.

Spanning nine rooms, each one placed under the auspices of one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology, the exhibition visit provides comparative perspectives on various movements and around fifty artists, from Arte Povera to art photography, Conceptual Art, and radical abstraction. Reflecting multiple disciplines (painting, sculpture, installation, photography, drawings and etchings, books and Mail Art), this selection of artworks, many of which are brought together through the figure of the doppelganger, paints an enlightening picture of creation from the 1960s to 1990s.

At the heart of the exhibition visit, one room is dedicated to the other great passion of the Durand-Desserts: their love of ethnographic objects since the 1980s. The MAMC+ showcases forty-five Pre-Columbian artworks – most of which will be shown here for the first time – in a thematic display paying tribute to the two collectors’ curiosity. Demonstrating impeccable taste and deep knowledge, these artworks are a veritable ode to Olmec art.

Finally, two rooms extend the exhibition around a focus on the museum’s photographic collections. The first looks at the question of anonymous amateur photography, as answered by artists such as Christian Boltanski, Hans-Peter Feldmann, and Sigmar Polke, while the second focuses on the notion of objectivity through a comparison between French artist Patrick Tosani and the representatives of the Düsseldorf school.


Alexandre Quoi
Chief curator of the MAMC+


(Bold: donation)
Carel Balth, Joseph Beuys, Alighiero Boetti, Christian Boltanski, Troy Brauntuch, Marcel Broodthaers, Victor Burgin, André Cadere, Alan Charlton, Gérard Collin-Thiébaut, Hanne Darboven, Luciano Fabro, Helmut Federle, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Barry Flanagan, Gérard Garouste, John Hilliard, Jannis Kounellis, Bertrand Lavier, Lefevre Jean-Claude, Jean Le Gac, Mario Merz, Annette Messager, Jacques Monory, François Morellet, Yves Oppenheim, Giulio Paolini, Michel Parmentier, Pino Pascali, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Bernard Rancillac, Gerhard Richter, Ulrich Rückriem, Claude Rutault, Fred Sandback, Djamel Tatah, Patrick Tosani, David Tremlett, Lee Ufan, Ger van Elk, Michel Verjux, Jan Vercruysse, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, …


Pre-Columbian art, Liliane and Michel Durand-Dessert Collection. 
Since the early 1980s, Liliane and Michel Durand-Dessert have also been discerning and passionate collectors of ethnographic objects, particularly pre-Columbian art. The MAMC+ honours forty-five works in an exhibition that pays tribute to the curiosity of the two collectors. Co-published with Couleurs Contemporaines, French edition. Price: 30 euros.


Double "I". Durand Dessert donation & MAMC+ Collections
The second volume of the "Collection des collections", Double "I". Durand Dessert donation & Collections MAMC+ retraces the adventure of the Durand-Dessert gallery and the importance of the donation made by the collecting couple to the MAMC+. Co-published with Fabelio, French edition. Price: 20 euros.
Publication date: spring 2022.

1000 M2

About 150 artworks

50 issues

50 artists