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Contemporary artwork exhibition at the Château du Rivau in 2014

A contemporary twist.

Once upon a time in the Loire Valley, between Tours and Chinon, there was an exceptional castle in a landscape listed as a World Heritage Monument by the UNESCO: le Château du Rivau! Le Rivau welcomes you for a tour of its medieval buildings and fourteen amazing gardens: a fairy-tale experience with a contemporary twist.

In 2014, the works from the “Secrets” temporary exhibition initiate a dialogue with the permanent collections of period art from the castle. Will all the secrets hiding behind the Gothic mantelpieces, in the secluded chambers and the secret passages of the medieval castle be revealed?

Katia Bourdael au château du Rivau

Mother knows best de Katia Bourdarel - courtoisie Galerie Eva Hober

Le secret...

State secrets, intimate secrets, secret messages, secret societies, professional secrecy, whispered secrets, court secrets, open secrets, childhood secrets and secret potions... All of those are no secret to some of the most renowned artists of our times such as Wim Delvoye or Joan Fontcuberta.

Open yourself up to the art of secrecy through our selection of eye-opening works of art. Objects of desire, mythical creatures, enigmatic, chimerical beasts, gargoyles, intricate needlework, fantastic vases, metal body armours: all those dream-catchers intend to show the real mission of art in all ages: to re-enchant reality. Our original exhibition, with several pieces being specially made for the occasion, presents a selection of all the media used by today’s artists: photography, large-scale installations, sculptures, video art and textile creations.

Artists’ Secrets...

Joan Fontcuberta’s Deletrix series are shown here for the first time. Her work draws attention to the way ideas can be subjected to violence and censure. Her crossed out, mutilated photographs of major written works (like the original edition of Erasmus’ works) tell us all about the state secrets of their times.

In his Spade series, Wim Delvoye mixes the aristocratic art of heraldry with the more down to earth business of building - cathedrals among other things! The shape of that humble tool provides a bridge between the two.

joan Foncuberta

Joan Foncuberta

Lilian Bourgeat

Ghyslain Bertholon

In the Trophies Room, Julien Salaud created a hybrid stuffed animal, half pheasant, half deer Guerrier Traversière 5 . Is the artist hinting at the secrets of genetic engineering?

Ghyslain Bertholon created his own secret messenger: a strange gargoyle that seems to be spying on the visitors.

Nicolas Dhervillers puts Joan of Arc and her dark secrets into a different perspective. The light-box acts as a modern version of traditional stained-glass windows and gives us a glimpse of Joan’s heroic fate. In his other work, entitled Messenger, he shows us a homing pigeon, video camera in hand, returning to his ancestor’s derelict dovecote.

Nadia Sabourin

Nadia Sabourin

Lilian Bourgeat

Wim Delvoye

Introspection by Eric de Ville is a humorous take on romantic scenes genre painting, reversing the traditional codes of eroticism. In his Homage to Heywood Hardy,

The ingredients in magical potions are always kept secret. In Hervé Le Nost’s work called the Lecturing Bird’s Lantern, a mysterious elixir contained in a flask is guarded by a small glass figure, inspired by Renaissance portraits and armed with a sword.

In the same room, Sweet Hunt by Karine Bonneval is like a shrine to precious secret tales known only to the hunters, full of fantastic beast.

On the sideboard sits a ceramic installation by artist Nadia Sabourin, called “The secret of Terrines .” She made four ceramic figures representing animals that are often killed to be eaten as game: a hare, a deer, a boar, and a duck. The last three she humourously turned into pâtés, while the hare is just sitting next to them, listening to their murmurs. He seems to have got the message and is ready to flee before finding the same fate!

Eric De Ville

Eric De Ville

Nicolas Dhervilliers

Nicolas Dhervilliers

Katia Bourdarel’s installation Mother Knows Best is all about burying the secret of the Rapunzel fairy-tale to preserve its mystery.

Pierre Ardouvin speaks to our inner child and secret fears: in Wolf Head sticking out of a jar, the big bad wolf emerges out of an antique vase like the genie in the tale of Aladdin.

La vidéo d’Antoine Roegiers, l’Académie revisite le tableau des frères Le Nain. Une société secrète trame un crime potentiel. étrange et loufoque …

In the Ladies’ Room, Dominique Bailly’s Secret Chamber draws its inspiration from the tradition of secret compartment furniture and concealed rooms that were used to store precious items in medieval castles.



Karine Bonneval

Karine Bonneval

With Queen, Piet.sO tells us about court secrets: what will the Queen wear for the next ceremony at the Court? Evelyne Chevallier wonders about the Secrets of the Afterlife. Her photomontage images deal with confessions and secrets, with religious rights.

>Lilian Bourgeat

Armelle Blary

Lilian Bourgeat

Evelyne Chevalier