MAC/VAL is opened every day of the week, except on mondays:
tuesday to friday, 10 h to 18 h
week-ends and holidays, 12 h to 19 h.

Closed on january 1st, may 1st and december 25th.

phone: 01 43 91 64 20
fax: 01 79 86 16 57

Access map

Place de la Libération
94400 Vitry-sur-Seine


Jacques Monory


Since the mid-1950s, Jacques Monory has
been deconstructing the image. Closely
linked in the 1960s and 1970s to what was
then known as Figuration Narrative, he has
since been tirelessly – and in spite of
fads and fashions and the ebb-and-flow of
trends – pursuing his own unusual painterly
venture. Alain Jouffroy has described him
as a ‘revolutionary individualist’.
Monory paints in series. Imbued with film
references, his pictures work like enigmas
that cannot be resolved, remaining open to
many interpretations. A veritable inventor
of myths, his pictures function like
narrative primers and shifters of stories.
His work is metaphysical, deeply
autobiographical, and solemn, yet full
of wit; and it is obsessed with death and
disaster. The subjective exploration of
reality is one of its mainsprings.
This world of images – images that are
painted, dissected, fragmented, inlaid,
mounted, assembled, mistreated, manhandled
and battered, and at the same time magnified
and necessary – is filled with signs, motifs
and elements transferred from picture to
picture, which become quasi-characters in
this film noir being enacted before our
eyes. It conducts, head-on, an existential
meditation on, and critical analysis of,
the image, its procedures and its powers.
The images and models of our inner
representations are turn by turn ‘Toxiques’
or else ‘Fragiles’. Tigers are tamed,
reality is a frozen opera, explosions are
colourful and murders amused. The world is
in Technicolor, Monet is dead, images are
The series ‘Hommage à Caspar David
Friedrich’ is built on this essential
melancholy. In it, Monory, following in
the footsteps of the German painter, a key
figure in ontological Romanticism, explores
through paint the place of man in the
contemporary landscape. Aerial images
of catastrophes, bucolic landscapes – all
attest to a way of looking at things that
is disenchanted and uncompromising. The
series opens with Hommage à Caspar David
Friedrich no. 1. This ‘magnificent and
fearsome’ picture, to use Pierre Tilman’s
words, depicts a deserted death camp with
its huts and electric fence. At bottom
left, inset, is the anthropometric profile
of a young Jewish woman taken from Nazi
files. This solemn painting is striking for
its pink and blue colours and its tranquil
silence, tallying in a paradoxical way with
the scale of the catastrophe.