The Chronicles of New York City, Domino Park, USA, 2020 (3).jpg
London

JR

Eye to the World

On View
Jun 4–Jul 3, 2021

Bringing together photographs from several significant bodies of work, JR: Eye to the World explores JR’s unique view of humanity as he transcends borders, politics, and cultural identity through the camera lens.

Exhibition Details

JR
Eye to the World
June 4 – July 3, 2021

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On View in New York

JR: Tehachapi
June 4 – August 21, 2021
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Gallery

6 Burlington Gardens
London

Above: JR, The Chronicles of New York City, Domino Park, USA, 2020 © JR, Courtesy of the Artist and Perrotin, Photographer: Claire Dorn

JR’s practice is rooted in his deep commitment to collaborating with individuals and communities alike. His work is characterised by large-scale photographic interventions in urban environments that address cultural and political issues, often with an emphasis on social justice. Each portrait holds a multitude of stories as JR expertly balances the macroscopic with the microscopic, the individual experience with the universal. JR: Eye to the World brings together artworks from several significant bodies of work, and explores JR’s unique view of humanity as he transcends borders, politics, and cultural identity through the camera lens. This exhibition coincides with the artist’s largest solo museum show to date, JR: Chronicles, opening this June at Saatchi Gallery, London.

In parallel with the exhibition in London, Pace in New York will also display work from JR’s recent project in Tehachapi, California. An installation from JR’s Tehachapi series including photographic works, a wall pasting, and a video will be presented in the Library at 540 West 25th Street.

JR, Tehachapi, Daytime, Triptych, U.S.A., 2019, color print, mounted on dibond, mat plexiglas, american flushed walnut frame, 63" × 104-1/8" × 3-5/8" (160 cm × 264.5 cm × 9.2 cm) unbreakable triptych, Edition of 3 + 2 AP, Courtesy of the Artist and Perrotin, Photographer: Claire Dorn

Tehachapi

In 2019 JR began a series of projects with inmates at the maximum-security prison in the Californian mountains. One aspect of the project included JR photographing the inmates, recording their stories, and collaborating with them to paste their portraits in the prison yard, which resulted in the triptych Tehachapi, Daytime, Triptych, U.S.A. (2019), on view in New York.

JR, Tehachapi, Mountain, February 7, 2020, 10:10a.m., U.S.A., 2020, color print, mounted on dibond, glass, oak wood frame, 41-3/8" × 63" (105.1 cm × 160 cm) unique
JR, Tehachapi, Mountain, February 7, 2020, 6.48p.m., U.S.A., 2020, color print, mounted on dibond, glass, oak wood frame, 105 cm × 160 cm (41-5/16" × 63")

Click play to watch the story behind the Tehachapi project.

In 2020 he returned to the prison to enlist the inmates in a new project: to wheat paste a black and white photograph of the bottom half of the Tehachapi Mountains on the inside of the prison’s high walls. In Tehachapi, Mountain, February 7, 2020, 6.48p.m., U.S.A. (2020), on view in London, JR captures where the mountain top perfectly aligns with the pasted image in a fleeting moment of calm as the sun sets behind the mountains and a prisoner runs across a deserted basketball court. Here, JR’s signature anamorphosis technique explores the interplay of reality and illusion, expansion and confinement.

JR, The Gun Chronicles: A Story of America, Work in Progress #2, USA, 2018, relief ink jet print, laser cut cardboard, vinyl, and printed duraclear, overall, 28 3/8 x 60 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches (72 x 153 x 7 cm) 76 lbs.

Click play to see behind the scenes of The Gun Chronicles.

The Gun Chronicles

TIME and JR partnered on a special issue, published on November 5, 2018, which explored the wide range of views surrounding the gun debate in the United States.

To move beyond the familiar, TIME and JR traveled to three U.S. cities profoundly affected by guns—Dallas, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.—to invite people to share their views, describe their experiences and search for common ground. They met hunters and activists, teachers and police officers, parents and children. JR photographed 245 people to create a mural for the cover of TIME, giving a face to the full and complex spectrum of views on guns in America.

JR, The Chronicles of San Francisco, Glass #3, USA, 2018, floated glass, 8mm opti white, engraved, stainless steel fixing shoes, matt brushed, 61" (154.9 cm) diameter

The Chronicles
of San Francisco

Long-inspired by the work of Mexican painter Diego Rivera (1886-1957), who completed three murals in San Francisco beginning in 1931, JR has begun to imagine how a whole city and its diversity of residents can be represented through art. After his first mural of Les Bosquets, a neighborhood near Paris where he has worked for many years, JR chose San Francisco for his next urban mural subject and the first that strives to represent an entire city. San Francisco’s long muralist tradition and its stark contrasts—featuring both immense innovation and wealth as well as one of the country’s highest rates of child homelessness—has made it a vibrant and complex site for the artist to explore and capture.

Click play to see behind the scenes of The Chronicles of San Francisco.

The project began in January of 2018 when JR and his team roamed San Francisco, parking their 53' trailer truck, with a photo-studio installed inside, in more than 22 different locations around the city to capture portraits of anyone passing by who wished to participate. Over the course of the project, nearly 1,200 people were filmed, photographed and interviewed; each person choosing the way they were to be represented in the mural, which is ultimately a portrait of San Francisco and its people.

JR, The Chronicles of New York City, Domino Park, USA, 2020, color print, dibond, matt Plexiglas, American flushed wooden black frame, 100 cm × 150 cm (39-3/8" × 59-1/16"), image; 103 cm × 153 cm × 6.5 cm (40-9/16" × 60-1/4" × 2-9/16"), frame, Edition of 3 + 2 AP, Courtesy of the Artist and Perrotin, Photographer: Claire Dorn

The Chronicles
of New York City

In May and June 2018, JR's mobile studio was parked at fifteen different locations around the five boroughs of New York City, chosen for being specific crossroads of the city. JR and his team photographed 1,128 New Yorkers, from all walks of life, in their own neighborhoods. The aim was to tell a story of New York City today through art: its energy, its feats, its issues, its people. The result is a monumental mural presented at the Brooklyn Museum from October 2019.

Click play see behind the scenes of The Chronicles of New York City.

After first being presented during Chronicles at the Brooklyn Museum in 2019, The Chronicles of New York City was installed at Domino Park, in Williamsburg, from January to August 2020, on a wall made of 18 containers created with LOT-EK.

JR, JR au Louvre et le Secret de la Grande Pyramide, 30 Mars 2019, 11H06 © Pyramide, architecte I. M. Pei, musée du Louvre, Paris, France, 2019, 4 color print on paper, mounted on a cotton canvas, aluminum frame, offset plate, silkscreen printing, light oak frame, 185.5 cm × 272 cm × 6.5 cm (73-1/16" × 8' 11-1/16" × 2-9/16"), Courtesy of the Artist and Perrotin, Photographer: Claire Dorn

Click play to see behind the scenes of JR au Louvre.

JR au Louvre

The use of everyday papier-mâché materials and techniques borrowed from commercial billboard practices is emblematic of JR’s egalitarian approach to art making. In 2019, JR and 400 volunteers descended upon the Louvre’s courtyard to create JR au Louvre et le Secret de la Grande Pyramide. Made of 2000 strips of paper at 10 meters each, this major work created the illusion of an underground cave beneath the iconic glass pyramid built by IM Pei. Over the ensuing days and weeks, the fragile paper shredded under foot and took on new meaning. Provoking ingrained expectations is paramount to JR’s practice, as he states, ‘You come to the Louvre expecting a work of art to be hanging on a wall and it’s not, it’s on the ground and it blows away.’

JR, Migrants, Coeur, Quadrichromie, Jordanie, 2018, four color print on paper, mounted on a cotton canvas, wood frame, offset printing plate, 62-3/16" × 92-1/8" (158 cm × 234 cm) framed, Edition of 4

Migrants

JR’s photographic work gives voice and visibility to forgotten or erased communities. His interest in the relationship between public and private spaces informs his ideas surrounding walls and borders, examining their impact on access and control. The ongoing migrant crisis has been a driving influence for JR. Migrants, Coeur, Quadrichromie, Jordanie (2018), captures an aerial image of Syrian refugee children gathered in a loose heart shaped formation in a camp in Jordan: a poetic reminder of the humanity of individuals no matter how far away.

JR, 28 Millimètres, Face 2 Face, Separation wall, security fence, Israeli side, Abu Dis, Jerusalem, 2007, color print, mounted on aluminum, Plexiglas, 70 cm × 105.5 cm × 3 cm (27-9/16" × 41-9/16" × 1-3/16"), single print + 2 AP

Face2Face

In 2007, artists JR and Marco started the Face2Face project: a large-scale illegal photography exhibition in which portraits of Israelis and Palestinians doing the same job were pasted face to face, in monumental formats, on both sides of the border wall and in several Palestinian and Israeli cities.

Click play to see behind the scenes of Face2Face.

In JR's words: "We want, at last, everyone to laugh and to think by seeing the portrait of the other and his own portrait. In a very sensitive context, we have to be clear. We are in favour of a solution in which two countries, Israel and Palestine would live peacefully within safe and internationally recognized borders. All the bilateral peace projects (Clinton/Taba, Ayalon/Nusseibeh, Geneva Agreements) are converging into the same direction. We can be optimistic."

JR, 28 Millimètres, Portrait d'une génération, B11, Destruction #9, Montfermeil, France, 2013, color print, mounted on dibond, matt Plexiglas, flushed wooden black frame, 70" × 49" × 2-5/8" (177.8 cm × 124.5 cm × 6.7 cm)

Portrait of a Generation

In 2004, JR held his first exhibition on the wall of Les Bosquets, the 'ghetto' of Montfermeil, a suburb of Paris. In November 2005, in a climate of social discontent triggered by the deaths of two teenage boys who were hiding from police in an electricity substation, riots broke out in Les Bosquets and quickly spread through the city. Rather than only disrupting other neighbourhoods of Paris, the rioters also destroyed their own environment. The media portrayed out-of-control kids throwing Molotov cocktails, attacking cops and firemen and looting anything they could. In reaction to the media treatment of people who had become his friends, in 2006, JR returned to the heart of the district and, with his friend Ladj Ly, a local artist, began a project with the young people of Les Bosquets. Using a 28 mm lens, he shot full-frame portraits of young people pulling scary faces to caricature themselves and pasted the enlarged posters onto the walls of both Les Bosquets and ‘bobo’ (bourgeois bohemian) districts of the city.

Click play to see behind the scenes of Portrait of a Generation.

In 2013, JR learned that the buildings that featured the original pastings in Les Bosquets were soon to be demolished, so he revisited the Portrait of a Generation project. Using the photographs from the original series, JR and his team secretly pasted two-storey-high portraits in the buildings before they were knocked down. During the demolition, the portraits were exposed, creating a new dialogue between the recent history of Paris, its suburbs and their inhabitants.

JR, The Wrinkles of the City, Action in Shanghai, Wu Zheng Zhu, Chine, 2010, color print, mounted on dibond, matt Plexiglas, flushed wooden black frame, 125 cm × 188 cm × 7 cm (49-3/16" × 74" × 2-3/4")

The Wrinkles of the City: Action in Shanghai

JR’s ongoing global project, The Wrinkles of the City, shines a spotlight on the overlooked, be it a crumbling building or an elderly person. His interest is in the marks left behind by lived experience. Presented in dialogue with one another, the portraits that make up The Wrinkles of the City, despite disparate countries and stories, pay tribute to the communities that shape their cities.

JR, The Wrinkles of the City, Los Angeles, Carl in Silverlake, Vertical, USA, 2011, color print, mounted on dibond, matt Plexiglas, flushed wooden black frame, 180 cm × 123.5 cm × 7 cm (70-7/8" × 48-5/8" × 2-3/4"), Edition of 3 + 2 AP

The Wrinkles of the City: Los Angeles

Following The Wrinkles of the City in Cartagena and Shanghai, JR brought the project to Los Angeles in 2011. Los Angeles is the place of origin of the Hollywood myth, with glamour and beauty being part of the identity of the city. For this project, instead of meeting witnesses of the changes that had occurred in the city, JR wanted to juxtapose the wrinkles of the older population of LA with the image of perfection or regenerated beauty in the 21st century.

JR, The Wrinkles of the city, Los Angeles, Jim Budman, Venice, USA, 2011, color print mounted on dibond, 48-7/8" × 74" (124.1 cm × 188 cm)
JR, The Wrinkles of the City, Los Angeles, Tuangpet and her sunglasses, USA, 2012, color print, mounted on dibond, matt Plexiglas, flushed wooden black frame, 125 cm × 187 cm × 7 cm (49-3/16" × 73-5/8" × 2-3/4"), Edition of 3
JR, The Wrinkles of the City, La Havana, Man with Jerry Can, (collaboration between JR & José Parlá) Cuba, 2012, color print, mounted on dibond, matt Plexiglas, flushed wooden black frame, 125 cm × 187.5 cm × 7 cm (49-3/16" × 73-13/16" × 2-3/4")
JR, The Wrinkles of the City, La Havana, Mercedes Décalo Rodríguez, (artwork by JR, project by JR & José Parlá) Cuba, 2012, color print, mounted on dibond, mat plexiglas, flushed wooden black frame, 49-3/16" × 61-5/8" × 2-3/4" (124.9 cm × 156.5 cm × 7 cm), Edition of 3
JR, The Wrinkles of The City, La Havana, Onelia López Ruiz, (artwork by JR, project between JR & José Parlá), ink on wood, Cuba, 2017, ink on wood, black american frame, 104 cm × 104 cm (40-15/16" × 40-15/16")

The Wrinkles of the City: Havana

In May 2012, JR collaborated with Cuban-American artist José Parlá on an iteration of The Wrinkles of the City: a huge mural installation in Havana, undertaken for the Havana Biennale, for which JR and Parlá photographed and recorded 25 senior citizens who had lived through the Cuban revolution, creating portraits which Parlá, who is of Cuban descent, interlaced with palimpsestic calligraphic writings and paintings.

Click play to hear JR talk about The Wrinkles of the City in Havana.

Parlá’s markings echo the distressed surfaces of the walls he inscribes, and offer commentary on the lives of Cuba’s elders; together, JR and Parlá’s murals marvellously animate a city whose walls are otherwise adorned only by images of its leaders.

JR, The Wrinkles of the City, Istanbul, Ali Kamil & Sukran Kadakal, Pasted palimpsest, Turkey, 2015, B&W print on paper, pasted on artwork (color print, mounted on dibond, matt Plexiglas, flushed wooden black frame), matt varnish, wood frame, 123 cm × 183 cm (48-7/16" × 72-1/16"), unique
JR, The Wrinkles of the city, Istanbul, Mubeccel Ruta, Pasted palimpsest, Turkey, 2015, B&W print on paper, pasted on artwork (color print, mounted on dibond, matt Plexiglas, flushed wooden black frame), matt varnish, wood frame, 160 cm × 128 cm × 7 cm (63" × 50-3/8" × 2-3/4")

The Wrinkles of the City: Istanbul

For the most recent chapter of The Wrinkles in the City, JR travelled to Istanbul, a city seen as a link between Europe and Asia, and not far from new conflict zones. JR portrayed older people who have lived through the changes and upheavals of their city—especially the secularization of Istanbul after 1924—and enlarged their portraits to reflect the changes in the architecture of various areas of the city.

Click play to see behind the scenes of The Wrinkles of the City in Istanbul.

To inquire about the works featured in this exhibition or other works by JR, please email inquiries@pacegallery.com.
JR portrait 2019 - 01-037_R2_HD.jpg

© JR

JR

JR (b. 1983, France) exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. He creates “Pervasive Art” that spreads uninvited on the buildings of Paris, the favelas in Rio, the separation wall in the Middle-East or the border between the US and Mexico. JR received the TED Prize in 2011, after which he launched his Inside Out project, an international participatory art project that allows people worldwide to get their picture taken and paste it in public spaces to support an idea and share their experience. In 2013, JR presented his first museum retrospective in the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and the Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati, followed by Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden in 2014 and the HOCA Foundation in Hong-Kong in 2015. In 2016, he was invited by the Louvre to create a site-specific artwork where he made the famous Louvre pyramid disappear through a surprising anamorphosis. He has additionally directed short movies including Les Bosquets, 2014 and ELLIS, 2015 starring Robert De Niro as well as feature documentaries including Faces, Places, 2017 co-directed with the French filmmaker Agnès Varda and nominated for the Academy Awards in 2018. In fall 2018, JR partnered with TIME to photograph and film 245 Americans in an effort to capture the full scope of the nation’s gun debate in one mural. In 2018, JR held his first major solo exhibition in a French institution at Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, France. A landmark survey exhibition, JR: Chronicles was held at the Brooklyn Museum, New York in 2019-2020, which will now open in London’s Saatchi Gallery on 4 June – 3 October, 2021.

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London — JR, Eye to the World, Jun 4–Jul 3, 2021