What is Le Grand Assistant?
Le Grand Assistant – The Grand Wizard is a contemporary sculpture representing a humanoid with his arms outstretched.
The little humanoid stands on a rectangular column at nearly 8m above street level.
The German-born artist Max Ernst is the creator of this unusual bronze sculpture.
The plate at the bottom of the column bears the name of the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Georges Pompidou, the owner, the name of the sculpture and that of the artist.
It is also bears the date of creation of the sculptural group (1967-1974) and the date of acquisition by the Centre Pompidou (1975).
Max Ernst (1891-1976) was a talented, prolific and eclectic artist renowned for his many paintings, sculptures, graphics and poems.
He was one of the pioneers of Dadaism and Surrealism artistic movements.
These two artistic movements emerged in the early 20th century.
Max Ernst therefore befriended and worked with the most talented and high profile artists of his time.
He was shortly married (1942–1946) to the American heiress and art patron Peggy Guggenheim.
He bequeathed Le Grand Assistant to the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Georges Pompidou.
This second sculpture was his way to thank the city’s mayor and statesman Michel Debré for his help in obtaining the French citizenship.
Where to find Le Grand Assistant?
Le Grand Assistant is located at the intersection of Rue Brantôme and Rue Rambuteau, on the north side of the Pompidou Centre.
It faces the museum, and was erected on this spot in 1996 when the surrounding area was redeveloped.
However, it’s easy to miss it or just mistake it for a road sign because of its height, so keep looking up!