Paris

Cocteau in Orphée (Orpheus), 1927.

Cocteau in Orphée (Orpheus), 1927.

Paris

Jean Cocteau

Centre Pompidou
Place Georges-Pompidou
September 25, 2003–January 5, 2004

Though often dismissed as an erratic flibbertigibbet, Jean Cocteau was one of the twentieth century’s great agents provocateurs. He spanned the worlds of Proust and Picasso, Diaghilev and Warhol, Stravinsky and Piaf, animating them all with his imaginative, insatiably inventive spirit. The ardent avant-gardist who was also a leading proponent of neoclassicism, the onetime revolutionary–cum–Catholic reactionary, Cocteau was the embodiment of the contradictions inherent in French modernism. This retrospective, organized by Pompidou curators Dominique Païni, Isabelle Monod-Fontaine, and François Nemer, examines his career through over 900 drawings, photographs, paintings, ceramics, and manuscripts, as well as a film festival. It promises to return Cocteau to the center-stage position he always craved.