Francis Alÿs  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Francis Alÿs (b. 1959, Antwerp, Belgium) is an artist who works across media and lives and works in Mexico City. He is represented by David Zwirner, New York, and Peter Kilchmann, Zurich.


Alÿs attended the Institute of Architecture in Tournai and the Istituto di Architettura in Venice before moving to Mexico City in 1986 where he started practicing as a visual artist. His work encompasses many media often involving the participation and presence of the artist. These performed events are documented in video, photographs, writing, painting, and animation.

In his best-known work, When Faith Moves Mountains (2002), Alÿs recruited 500 volunteers outside of Lima, Peru. Each person moved a shovel full of sand one step at a time from one side of a dune to the other, and together they moved the entire geographical location of the dune by a few inches. Art critic Jean Fisher writes that "the radical event of art precipitates a crisis of meaning or, rather, it exposes the void of meaning at the core of a given social situation, which is its truth."


Alÿs' work has been shown in many international institutions, including The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2008), the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles(2007), Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany, MALBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2006); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany; Musée d'Art Contemporain, Avignon, France (2004); Centro nazionale per le arti contemporanee, Rome, Italy [traveled to Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain] (all 2003); and Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2002); and Or Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (1998). His traveling show of portraits of the Saint Fabiola has traveled to London, New York, LAMCA

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Francis Alÿs" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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