Temporary exhibit: "Crystals" by Milène Guermont

from January 19 to March 19, 2016


Opening ceremony on January 19, 2016 at 6pm with the artist Milène Guermont.


A dialog between contemporary artwork and minerals, within a 19th century decor


The museum of mineralogy, a unique setting overviewing the Luxembourg gardens, holds one of the world's greatest collections of minerals. Today, it dares to become the scene of an unusual dialog between its collection and Milène Guermont’s concrete artworks.

Through historic connections, scientific analogies, casual interactions or poetic affinities, around 30 artworks interact with the minerals creating sentiments of rationality and sensibility.

The sculptures made out of concrete - the chosen material of an artist who invented new ways to synthesize it - keep on their surface the scars of their creation: rough or smooth, dark or colored. Milène Guermont is interested in dazzling, creative, unique works, which stay attentive to transition states. In her workshop or in a urban context, she continues to shape matter into informal forms that are only configured to find their balance and meaning at the end of the artistic process.

The artworks exhibited tell the story of geological formations, of natural phenomena,  of the history of our planet, of STARS, of WILD CLOUDS, of MIRAGES, of “CONTREPEAUX”. A system of analogies is developed, which invites us to get closer to the perception of the constructed, and ellucidates the constructed by its perception and nature.

Great sculptors of modernity explored the possibilities of using concrete material in order to create new relationships with the environment. Milène Guermont makes this material resonate with our inner selves and within the life cycle. This sensory experience is not only confined to the sight. It also seeks, simultaneously or unilaterally, touch and hearing, thanks to a numeric design located within the sculptures.

Milène Guermont has a demanding relationship with concrete, submitting it to extreme situations, such as extreme thinness or light overlays, blends, transparencies. The inert matter becomes conductive of memorial transports; the artist states that “she stimulates a swing between space and time”, connecting the mineral to our own lives.

Four concepts are called: reference, matter, transparency, reminiscence. Most of the artworks refer to an experience of the artist (feelings linked to a place, to words, to smell, to sound ...). This past experience is at the origin of the act that transforms matter via an artefact. Memory is reactivated to each situation through magnetic field detection.

Thus, this exposition questions our abilities to interact – innate or learnt, instinctive or cultural.

Milène Guermont’s artworks are strongly related to urbanism. The artist proved it once again with PHARES (headlights), a monumental combination of aluminum triangles shaping a truncated pyramid of 29m. The pyramid was installed on the Place de la Concorde in the heart of Paris in November 2015. This architecture of fine mesh air interacts with the Obélisque, amplifying the greatness of the Egyptian monument. By touching the artwork, one can light it up at the rhythm of his heart beat.

The artist chose the same pure shapes to create CRISTAL A. This artwork is at the heart of the exhibition, exemplifying the artists’ interest for the processes of mineral crystallization, and its slow transformation into supporting desire and transfer. 

Installed in the prestigious collection of the museum where the stones erects as metaphors of the energy and the time necessary for the formation of the lithosphere, the artworks are of various consistencies and formats.

The common thread of this exhibition offers several readings of the concept of crystallization from the scientific phenomenon to the love attachment idealized by Stendhal.

 By Anne-Marie Morice, Exhibition Curator.



About the artist


Artiste and engineer, Milène Guermont, born in 1981, occupies an unusual place at the intersection of art and innovation. Her polysensual artworks weigh up to several tons as seen by her work PHARES at the Place de la Concorde. 

Milène Guermont in front of her exhibit "PHARES", Place de la Concorde, Paris.
Milène Guermont: Crystals - Mines Paris - PSL

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Musée de Minéralogie

Mines Paris - PSL

60 boulevard Saint Michel

75006 Paris





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