Musée Maillol, the Paris museum dedicated to the work of the late French sculptor Aristide Maillol. This extensive exhibition, which runs through January 15, 2017, devoted to the work of the Italian-born French artist, performer, organizer, and inventor Ben Vautier, better known simply as Ben.
Born in 1935 in Naples to an Irish and Provençal mother and a French-Swiss father, Ben was one of the pioneers of Fluxus in Europe, founder of the journal “Ben Dieu,” one of the leading figures of the Nice School, and one of the first artists to take art to the streets with his “street actions.” Since 1975, he has worked and lived in the hills above Saint-Pancrace, on the outskirts of Nice.
“Is Everything Art?” is the first large-scale exhibition of Ben’s work in Paris. The retrospective brings together more than 200 artworks drawn mainly from the artist’s own collection, as well as from private collections. They provide a fascinating insight into the complex and multifaceted practice of one of the most innovative, enigmatic, prolific, and avant-garde artists of the 20th century.
Ben is perhaps best known for his actions and his text-based paintings of single words or short sentences. He is also famous for his 1950s declaration “I sign everything,” which he took literally, signing everything from his own body to the work of other artists, in the process expressing his beliefs that “everything is art” and “in art everything is possible.”