Damien Hirst’s bisected pig, a five-metre-high teapot and a giant cigarette packet which ‘collided’ with a wooden chair are just some of the prestigious artworks currently on display at Waddesdon Manor.
The House of Cards exhibition features 33 works, some valued at $12 million, which are
either inspired or chosen in response to a 1735 painting by Jean-Simeon Chardin.
Inside the manor there are a number of works by Chardin which have been loaned by the Louvre in Paris, The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and the National Gallery in London.
Outside, the manor’s grounds are filled with sculptures from internationally renowned artists including Anthony Gormley, the man behind the Angel Of The North statue, who put 31 life-sized male replicas on various buildings across London in 2007.
A highlight of the exhibition is two works by Damien Hirst, including his infamous This Little Piggy Went To Market, This Little Piggy Stayed At Home which consists of a bisected pig within two glass and steel tanks.
Lord Rothschild said: “Contemporary sculpture is my personal passion and I have been a collector myself for 50 years.
“Seeing the works in the landscape has given me and those who live and work at Waddesdon the chance to look at the grounds with a fresh eye.
“I thought that the project would be a really interesting thing to do, particularly because of our Chardin show.”
Francis Outred, of auction house Christie’s which is involved with the exhibition, said: “Chardin was an extraordinary painter, perfectly capturing and distilling onto canvas the very nature of contemporary life.
“In his paintings depicting a boy building a house of cards, he offers a beautifully elaborated metaphor for childhood and the construction of life.
“For the first time at Waddesdon Manor, Christie’s is delighted to be staging an original and curatorially conceived project.
“House of Cards, in dialogue with Chardin’s paintings, is uniting some of the greatest contemporary artists working with sculpture today.
“Sculpture practice has gone through remarkable evolutions since the Second World War.
“Where bronze, plaster and stone was previously the preserves of artists, today the proliferation of new ideas, theories and materials has had a liberating effect on cultural production.
“In this exhibition one encounters corten steel, plastic, glass, aluminium, formaldehyde, flourescent tubing as well as other materials rendered in all shapes and sizes – indoor and outdoor, some serene, some fantastical, some disorientating, some enchanting.”
Other highlights of the exhibition include Tony Smith’s 1960s work Moonpig. The five-metre tall sculpture features 15 extended octahedrons and 10 tetrahedrons – which appears to tilt forwards and shows the ‘instability innate to a stacked house of cards’.
Other artists whose work is displayed include Anish Kapoor, Eva Rothschild and Thomas Schutte.
> The House of Cards exhibition runs until October 28.