Edmund de Waal
on an archaic torso of Apollo, 2019
Porcelain, steel, gold, alabaster, aluminum, and plexiglass
© Edmund de Waal. Courtesy the artist and The Frick Collection. Photo: Christopher Burke
So, this is it. I'm finally in the Fragonard Room, which of course is one of the most theatrical places in America. We're in France, and yet we're on 5th Avenue. With Central Park over there, it's an extraordinary mixture of places and histories simultaneously.
And in fact, that's kind of the point of the place: it's about being in one place, and being simultaneously somewhere else. It's about desire.
I mean, we're in France, what can I say? It's completely saturated with desire. Fragonard. Porcelain. Gold, lots of gold. Beholding one thing, revealing, concealing. And so finally here is my piece on this incredible Riesener cabinet, with this head of Apollo, the bay leaves, the sun, love. And my installation has finally settled here, and I'm thrilled beyond measure. I'm absolutely thrilled.
The gilding, the floating, the way the installation actually disappears into the room, which is what it should do, it should be here, and yet completely fugitive.