Artist Joep van Lieshout has slammed a last-minute decision made by the Muse du Louvre to cancel a display of his controversial Domestikator sculpture, which looks like a man penetrating a four-legged animal.
The Atelier van Lieshout founder said the museum was “totally crazy” to scrap plans to install the provocative sculpture in Paris Jardin des Tuileries, and claims that it was due to worries about offending visitors.
“In a very short-sighted way they thought it was explicit or sexual and then they cancelled it,” he said.
“I think that’s a very sad development. I think art should be a place where there are very few limits.”
“It risks being misunderstood.” So said the Paris museum’s director, Jean-Luc Martinez, as the Louvre backpedaled on displaying a 40-foot tall brutalist sculpture that resembles two buildings having sex. Domestikator, designed by the Atelier Van Lieshout collective, was meant to go on display in the Tuileries Garden on Oct. 19 as part of the Fiac contemporary art fair. Some pointed out that the Louvre already displays plenty of nude sculptures and paintings, while the collective’s founder protested that the abstract Domestikator is “pretty innocent.”
The Louvre was planning to exhibit the sculpture in the Jardin des Tuileries, where every year it presents sculptures from leading artists and architects, as part of the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC).
The sculpture was set to go on show from October 16 but, the Louvre cancelled the display at the last minute.
In a statement to Dezeen, the museum claimed it was a mutual decision between the museum and three committees. It suggested that it was dropped because there were already more sculptures planned than previous years.