The sky map - Jean-Pierre Raynaud
Jean-Pierre Raynaud (b. 1939), Carte du ciel [Sky map], 1989
At the top of the Arch, on the slab, the floor of the four patios shows a 360° zodiac divided into 12 astrological signs and 36 decades.
Jean-Pierre Raynaud himself gave the keys to his artwork:
"I wanted to put the Grande Arche in a planetary situation. The 20th Century, too focused on the visible, is not at ease with the invisible parts... it was necessary to find the East, that is to say the zero degree of Aries, on the first day of spring. From this point, we placed the twelve signs of the zodiac. There are four patios, four places where the signs are hidden. Of the eight visible signs, four are full, four are cut off . The sign of Leo does not appear. But it is present in the invisible part. Not everything that exists is visible.»
A word about the artist
Born in Courbevoie, trained as a horticulturist, Raynaud made his first artistic gesture in 1962 by filling a flowerpot with concrete and then painting it red.
His first assemblages, "Les Psycho-Objets", which resembled the New Realism, staged, with exemplary rigour, signs that everyone was led to decode. The industrial ceramic tile, washable and anti-corrosive, made its appearance in 1965 and became one of the artist's favourite materials.
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