Gus Van Sant, 63, Is Finally Getting A Retrospective In Paris

Photo by Hedi Slimane

Photo by Hedi Slimane

"Gus Van Sant might be the Patron Saint of Portland, but the iconic artist is having a serious moment in Paris. Today, Cinémathèque Française — the storied French organisation home to one of the world's largest film archives — opens a major exhibition and retrospective. The show revisits not just Van Sant's incendiary and impossibly wide-ranging films like My Own Private Idaho and Milk, but also his entire artmaking practice, which spans from photography and painting to original musical compositions and exciting collaborations with multidisciplinary artists, such as writer William S. Burroughs, photographer Bruce Weber, and rock god David Bowie. "With neither a banner nor a manifesto, he secretly, quietly spearheads and upholds a form of artistic freedom that shines outward from the fringes," notes the retrospective's curator, Matthieu Orléan.

This definitive collection of works and scholarship is a remarkable opportunity for those who wish to immerse themselves in Van Sant's complex world. He's an artist who's powerfully probed America's dream of youthful freedom by exploring the gritty facets of its landscape, cultural history, and constructions of masculinity — often confronting connections between sexuality and violence. Van Sant's work is chiefly important to understanding our nation and ourselves." - Emily Manning via i-D