Folon. The ethics of poetry
Folon. The ethics of poetry

Folon. The ethics of poetry

Between civil commitment, protest and hope in humanity


6 May – 27 August 2022
Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, Vatican Museums

This 5 May will see the re-inauguration of the exhibition "Folon. The ethics of poetry. Between civil commitment, condemnation and hope in man", which exactly two years ago – when the display was ready and invitations had already been sent out – was prevented from opening by the sudden and unprecedented lockdown on 9 March 2020.
A more than symbolic rescheduling of an exhibition event that, after months of resilient confidence and waiting, will be revealed to visitors to the Vatican Museums in the new exhibition spaces of the Torre Borgia Rooms which will be open to the public for the first time together with the "Sala della Cicogna" (Stork Room), located in the Tower of Innocent III.

The event – dedicated to the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon (1934-2005) and his multi-faceted activity as an illustrator, painter and sculptor – is the fruit of the good collaboration initiated between the Museums and the Folon Foundation on the occasion of the donation of two works by Folon which, at the end of the exhibition, will return to the Vatican collections: About the Creation, a magnificent series of eight graphic works dedicated to the Book of Genesis, and Guardian Angel, a bronze sculpture among his latest creations.

Already the title, “Folon. The ethics of poetry. Between civil commitment, condemnation and hope in man” indicates the main theme chosen for this extraordinary exhibition that is intended to focus on the artist’s civil commitment, between poetry and ethics. In response to this concept, the exhibition itinerary is divided into five sections, achieved thanks to an evocative layout that places the colours of the setting in close dialogue with the themes treated therein: petrol blue like smog for The Man and the City, bright green for The Man and the Nature, scarlet for The Man and the War, light blue like the horizons of utopia for The Universal Declaration of human Rights, and pearl grey for The Rooms of Hope.
Some of the most famous Posters produced by Folon for important humanitarian campaigns and cultural events are also on display.

The exhibition – whose catalogue is published in collaboration by Edizioni Musei Vaticani and the Folon Foundation – is edited by Stéphanie Angelroth, Director of the Folon Foundation; Micol Forti, Curator of the Vatican Museums Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art; and Marilena Pasquali, art historian and member of the scientific committee of the Folon Foundation.