PRINT September 1996


Civic Art

JAN DIBBETS’ HOMMAGE À ARAGO (Homage to Arago, 1994) provides a striking corrective to the prevailing if outmoded assumption that public art is synonymous with statues, frescoes, fountains, and bad taste. One hundred thirty-five bronze medallions—identically stamped with the name Arago and the directional markers North and South—are embedded along the axis of Paris’ ten-kilometer meridian. Besides honoring the 19th-century French scientist and political reformer François Arago, the “longest sculpture in Paris,” as Dibbets calls it, offers those armed with the list of medallion locations a magnificent pretext for walking through six of the city’s arrondissements and centuries of its history.

Hommage à Arago is just one of over seventy works featured in two exhibitions on French public art recently held in Paris under the joint title of “Monument et modernité” (Monument and modernity): “État

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.