Antoine de Galbert, an amateur collector who enjoys breaking down barriers and creating a dialogue between contemporary and folk arts, and art brut in his collection. A well-known patron of the arts in France, after creating a foundation in his name, he opened La Maison Rouge in 2004, a private arts centre in Paris whose activities shaped the city’s cultural landscape until it closed in 2018. He continues to work through his foundation to promote different forms of contemporary creation, support research into the history of art, help artists and critics to publish their work and enrich museum collections via donations and purchases.
Guided by the site’s history and original purpose, the theme of the nighttime quickly imposed itself. Built in the early 20th century to supply Lisbon and the surrounding region with electricity, the Central Tejo power station bore witness to the far-reaching changes that took place at the start of the last century as power plants made electricity and lighting increasingly ubiquitous. Alongside the emergence of psychoanalysis, this energy revolution transformed the night and our relationship with it.
Providing an endless source of inspiration for artists, the night continues to permeate and infuse art with the philosophical, political, societal, ecological and scientific questions it raises. The night can evoke both hope and dread, but it is also a time and place for the freedom and transgression that offer such fertile ground for creation and are echoed in Antoine de Galbert’s collection.
Arranged in a way that represents the passage from dawn to dusk, from blindness and disorientation to better days on the horizon, from nocturnal dreams to the cosmic night, the exhibition invites visitors to traverse this nocturnal space, which is so ripe for the imagination, dreams and visions of the future.