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DE GOUVION SAINT-CYR, Agnès

PORTRAIT-GOUVION-ST-CYRBorn in 1945. Lives and works in Paris. 


Agnès de Gouvion Saint-Cyr soon seized an opportunity to work with photography’s crème de la crème, collaborating with the Festival d’Arles in 1969 and then, together with Lucien Clergue, Michel Tournier and Jean-Maurice Rouquette, founding the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie.

In 1976 she joined the Ministry of Culture, where she was tasked with devising a policy for photography; she became curator of the contemporary photography collections at the National Collection of Contemporary Art (FNAC) in 1989.

Her work has led her to organise many exhibitions in France and abroad. The most noteworthy include: Paris Magnum at the Musée du Luxembourg; Man Ray, a travelling exhibition in Italy in 1989; De Brancusi à Boltanski at the Museums of Contemporary Art in Turin and Athens, in 1993; Dix ans d’acquisition at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, in 1996… More recently, she has produced the exhibitions Jeux et simulacres in Madrid; Histoire de modes at the Petit Manège in Moscow; and, nearer to the present day, Dans le champ des étoiles at the Musée d’Orsay, which enjoyed great success. Les Métamorphoses du modèle was staged in Moscow in 2001 and then in Seoul, South Korea, in 2002.

Agnès de Gouvion Saint-Cyr has produced numerous public commissions, such as Françoise Huguier’s Regards sur l’Afrique fantôme (1989), which has since been regularly requested; Les voyages parallèles by Alain Fleischer at Juvisy rail station, near Paris; Les banlieues, which brought together Yan Morvan, Jane Atwood, Marc Pataut and Louis Jammes; and, latterly, La jeunesse en l’an 2000, for which 40 photographers from France and elsewhere produced a collection of images representative of young French people today. In 2008 she initiated Mosaïque, a commission of photography about cultural diversity.

She has authored many monographs including ones on Izis, Doisneau, Cecavicius and Shoji Ueda; and catalogues (Art or Nature, De Brancusi à Boltanski, Dans le champ des étoiles). In addition, she is a member of many juries and bodies in the field of photography.



Agnès de Gouvion Saint-Cyr was a curator for the Rencontres d’Arles in 2007 for the exhibitions: Walter Roil’s Patagonia and in 2008 for the exhibition Variations on the model. She has nominated Raed Bawayah 2009 Discovery Award of the Rencontres d’Arles.