Alfred Jarry: The Carnival of Being and Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect at The Morgan Library & Museum, through May 10, 2020

Alfred Jarry: The Carnival of Being,  January 24 through May 10, 2020

“The Morgan Library & Museum presents the first major U.S. museum exhibition exploring the iconoclastic works and personality of the French writer Alfred Jarry (1873–1907). Alfred Jarry: The Carnival of Being considers the author’s seminal role in the radical upheaval in the arts more than a century ago. An inspiration for Dada and Surrealism and a touchstone for the Theatre of the Absurd, Jarry is best-known today for his revolutionary play Ubu roi (1896) and for his invention of pataphysics—a ‘science of imaginary solutions.’ Jarry was also a puppeteer, a critic, a novelist, an artist, and a bicycle fanatic. His works suggested that technology, popular imagery, and the performance of everyday life could constitute works of art. Jarry’s statement that ‘living is the carnival of being’ embodies his anti-authoritarianism and subversive theatricality, expressed in a life of excess, wordplay, alter egos, and the unfettered imagination. Since his death in 1907, Jarry’s eclectic works and ideas have continued to resonate for figures of the twentieth- and twenty-first century avant-gardes.” —  The Morgan Library & Museum

Le livre d'art : revue artistique et litteraire : illustree de planches originales.  Paris : L'Epreuve, [1896], p. 25, PML 197088

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), “Ubu roi,” in Livre d’Art no. 2 (April 1896). The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman, 2017. PML 197088. Photography by Janny Chiu, 2019.

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Thomas Chimes (1921–2009), Alfred Jarry (Departure from the Present), 1973, oil on panel. The Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman Pataphysics Collection. Courtesy of Locks Gallery.

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Alfred Jarry (at right) fencing with Félix Blaviel in Laval, 1906, photograph. The Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman Pataphysics Collection.

Jarry, Alfred, 1873-1907, Cesar antechrjst / par Alfred Jarry, [Paris] : Editio dv. Mercvre. de Frace. xv. rve. de. líEchavde, M.D. CCC. XCV. [1895], plate [3]r (image), PML 197018

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), César-antechrist (Paris: Mercure de France, 1895). The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman, 2017. PML 197018. Photography by Janny Chiu, 2019.

L'Ymagier.  [Paris : L'Ymagier, 1894-1896], pp. 74-74a unfolded spread, PML 197080 (PML 197080-81)

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), “Les Monstres,” in L’Ymagier no. 2 (January 1895). The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman, 2017. PML 197080. Photography by Janny Chiu, 2019.

Terrasse, Claude, 1867-1923.   Chanson du decervelage (tude) : chantee par Jacotot, au 5e. acte d'Ubu roi /  Paris : Edition du Mercure de France, 1898, front cover, PML 197091

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907) and Claude Terrasse (1867–1923), Répertoire des Pantins: La chanson du décervelage (Paris: Mercure de France, 1898). The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman, 2017. PML 197091. Photography by Janny Chiu, 2019.

Jarry, Alfred, 1873-1907.   Les minutes de sable memorial /  [Paris] : Editio[n] du Mercure de Fra[n]ce, xv, rue de l'Echaude, MDCCCXCIV [1894],  plate [2]r (image), PML 197017

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), Les minutes de sable mémorial (Paris: Mercure de France, 1894). The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman, 2017. PML 197017. Photography by Janny Chiu.

Jarry, Alfred, 1873-1907, Ubu roi : drame en cinq actes en prose restitue. / Paris : Mercure de France, title page,  1896, PML 197019

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), Ubu roi (Paris: Mercure de France, 1896). The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman, 2017. PML 197019. Photography by Janny Chiu, 2019.

 Alfred Jarry: The Carnival of Being is organized by The Morgan Library & Museum and curated by Sheelagh Bevan, Andrew W. Mellon Associate Curator of Printed Books and Bindings. 

Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect. Drawings from the Bibliothèque nationale de FranceJanuary 31 through May 10, 2020

“Six months before he died in poverty and obscurity, architect and draftsman Jean‐Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826) donated one of the most singular and fascinating graphic oeuvres of his time to the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF). The Morgan Library & Museum is proud to be the first institution in New York City to present a selection of these works. Some sixty of Lequeu’s several hundred drawings will be on view in JeanJacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect, the first museum retrospective to bring significant public and scholarly attention to one of the most imaginative architects of the Enlightenment.

Lequeu’s meticulous drawings in pen and wash include highly detailed renderings of buildings and imaginary monuments populating invented landscapes. His mission was to see and describe everything systematically—from the animal to the organic, from erotic fantasy to his own visage. Solitary and obsessive, he created the fantastic worlds shown in his drawings without ever leaving his studio, and enriched them with characters and stories drawn from his library.” —  The Morgan Library & Museum

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Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826), The Great Yawner, 1777-1824. Pen and black ink, brown and gray wash, red chalk. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie.

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Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826), He Sticks Out His Tongue, 1777-1824. Pen and black ink, brown wash. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie.

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Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826), Draftsman’s Tools, from Civil Architecture, 1782. Pen and black ink, brown and gray wash, watercolor. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie.

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Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826), Frontispiece to the New method applied to the elementary principles of drawing, tending to graphically prefect the outline of the human head by means of various geometrical figures, 1792. Pen and black ink, gray wash. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie.

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Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826), Designs for a Temple of the Earth, from Civil Architecture, 1794. Pen and black ink, brown and gray wash, watercolor. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie.

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Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826), He Is Free, 1798 or 1799. Pen and black ink, brown and red wash. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie.

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Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826), Tavern and Hammock of Love, from Civil Architecture. Pen and black ink, gray and brown wash, watercolor. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie.

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Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826), Temple of Divination, from Civil Architecture. Pen and black ink, gray wash, watercolor. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie.

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Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826), Underground of a Gothic House, from Civil Architecture. Pen and brown and black ink, brown and gray wash, watercolor. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie.

 Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum and the Bibiliothèque nationale de France with the cooperation of Paris Musées. 

Exhibition curators at Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris were Corinne Le Bitouzé and Christophe Leribault and scientific collaborators were Laurent Baridon, Jean-Philippe Garric, and Martial Guédron. The curator of the exhibition at the Morgan is Jennifer Tonkovich, Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator of Drawings and Prints.