Bronze triptych with white gold patina by the American artist (1958-1990). This sculpture was created shortly before his death and was donated by his foundation to the City of Paris in 2003. One recognizes his naive style and the humour that animates the composition.
It is set out in the Saint Vincent de Paul Chapel.
These two panels are on display in the Chapel of Butchers, formerly the Chapel of Saint Andrew.
"The butchers' chapel has been occupied since the 17th century by the guild of butchers. Following a fire that destroyed the entire lower part of the place, the Association of the Remembrance of French Charcuterie, chaired by Mr Hilaire Bégat and accompanied by Father Gérard Bénéteau, wished to reactivate the history and memory of the chapel by calling upon a contemporary artist.
Inaugurated in 2000, the work of John Armleder consists of a set of removable elements that respect the principles of historic buildings. Two paintings, Pour Paintings, were created in the church and placed under the two murals attributed to the painter Theodore Pils. A glass table, placed under the central stained glass window, supports a glass urn. On the floor, a grid of polished brass nails placed in a regular pattern on the wooden floor extends the walkway, taking up the grid of marble slabs. A blue projection of a cross surmounts the table.
... During the day, natural light, filtered by the colours of the stained glass, circulates and reflects on the various elements present in the chapel.
During the annual mass of the butchers, a sheet with the names of the butchers who died during the year is placed in the glass urn. Participating in the ceremony, the work acquires all its symbolic dimension by keeping and making visible the memory of this corporation. Over the years, the leaves accumulate in the urn which bears witness to an open and constantly evolving work."
“I have tried with this sculpture to recreate, to the best of my ability, this dazzling vision. My work will obviously be a poor substitute for my emotion in front of the superb display. I hope at least that it will speak clearly enough to the spectator who reads its title: the departure of the fruits and vegetables from the heart of Paris to announce this other departure, no less definitive, of these men and women symbolized in my procession and of whom I spoke above. A moment of silence. It is the man of the Middle Ages who is leaving. The "little vegetable" of our species; he was coming out of the earth and taking on a shape of some kind. But he was a natural man and he was always growing. We will never see such a head again. We will never see his like again.
And then there is the church, one of the most remarkable in the world, the only witness to the centuries that have now passed. Witness? Actor herself, and no doubt the lead actor. From all its height, it drew on these thousand activities and goods, giving them a grandiose expanse, the essential and spiritual dimension - that felt, if only deafly, by each member of a confused and swarming congregation at its feet.
If you don't believe me, there's still a fruit and vegetable vendor leaning against the wall at St. Eustatius Point. Ask her if she would have liked to lean on something other than these big stones during all her years of cold nights. At Les Halles we were much closer to Notre Dame de Paris than to the Belly of Paris."