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Ernest Pignon-Ernest

"I work on cities, on what they hide, their past, and the memories that haunt them."


Notes of biography

Ernest Pignon-Ernest was born in Nice in 1942. He studied in his hometown and first worked in architecture. From a very young age he regularly has solo exhibitions. Very quickly, the artist becomes interested in the city and produces, over a course of time, numerous urban interventions that bring him notoriety.
Pignon-Ernest commits himself, he chooses the city, out of challenge or necessity, permeates all aspects to the extreme (drawing, photography, etc) will immerge into history and the legend. It will be Le Cap in Nice in 1974 at the occasion of the of twinning of the city that he rejects Rimbaud in 1978 and it will be Naples in 1988 that will offer him its brutal light and its stubborn past, Soweto, its engagement against apartheid. He founds Artists of the World Against Apartheid with Antonio Saura and Jacques Derrida. Outside of the merchant circles, Pignon-Ernest glues large silk-screen paintings on the walls of the cities that he intervenes where the telephone cabins of Paris as these are places that reflect the city. Fascinated by the first gestures of prehistoric Man, he produces Les Arbrorigenes (The Aborigines trees) in 1984.
The artist likes to mix on paper the portraits of famous musicians, writers (Tte a Tte in 1997 with Antonin Artaud) or poets. Pignon-Ernest pays tribute. Will he intervene in New York or in India or elsewhere? Always wanting to open the eyes of the spectator tolook at misery, poverty, immigration, racism, epidemics (South Africa again in 2001-2002 with Aids). His art, often ephemeral, has meaning.
Ernest Pignon-Ernest has never understood art, his art, encorporates a total engagement: political, poetic, plastic. His work is found in numerous international museums.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
Non ralis ce jour All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • Ernest Pignon Ernest : Rimbaud Regards , par A. Avila, Ed Ara, 1986
  • Ernest Pignon Ernest , P. Jung, Ville de Belfort, 1988
  • Ernest Pignon Ernest , Muse dEvreux, 1994
  • Ernest Pignon Ernest , MAMAC, Nice, 1995
  • Ernest Pignon-Ernest, la monographie, A. Velter, Ed. Galerie Lelong, Paris, 2007
  • Le Tao du torero, Andr Velter, Ed. Actes Sud, 2014
  • Pignon-Ernest, Prisons, G. Mordillat, Ed. Galerie Lelong, Paris, 2014
  • Pour lamour de l'amour. Figures de lextase, Andr Velter, Ed. Gallimard, 2015
  • Pignon-Ernest, De traits en empreintes, M.-J. Mondzain, S. Longh, Ed. Gallimard, 2016
  • Ceux de la posie vcue, A. Velter, Ed. Actes Sud, 2017
To read from the artist :
  • Ernest Pignon Ernest : propos recueillis , E. Couturier, Herscher, Paris, 199
  • Interview d'Ernest Pignon-Ernest, C. Gerini, in Street Art Magazine N4, 2016
Website :

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Art movements

+ ARTISTS OF TODAY / XXth century /
+ PHOTOGRAPHY PERIOD 1975 / 1975- / John Divolo, Lucas Samaras, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover