The European Heritage Days, which celebrated their 40th birthday this year, took place on September 16th and 17th, 2023. To mark the occasion, the Foundation invited a famous street-artist to give an artistic performance on Bâtiment X.
In the 90s, the now-famous street-artist Jérôme Mesnager came to Île Seguin to paint his iconic "Men in white" (who also turned 40 this year) on the walls of the disused Renault Billancourt factory.
A time he has fond memories of. "I used to go painting during the day, accompanied by musicians. The atmosphere was excellent/great. We had this gigantic space at our disposal, with its test track and paint room".
Last week, on Wednesday September 13th, 2023, he returned to Boulogne-Billancourt, this time to take over the historic Renault building and turn it into a new exploration ground for his "Men in White". White silhouettes now run along the north facade of the headquarters and also occupy the two circular medallions on its west pediment. "The blue of the medallions recalls the workers' "blue overalls", and the limbs of the "men in white" are the imaginary hands of the working time clock", is the artist's interpretation. These medallions will be the two new additions to the Renault Art Collection.
This artistic performance is the symbol of a new chapter opening up between Renault Group and art. A “street art” rooted in popular culture, like the vehicles we design. "Naturally present on the street, Renault shares with street art not only a common space, but also creativity, popularity, technical mastery and a taste for challenges." Catherine Gros, Foundation Director, responsible for Renault Group's major projects around art, heritage and sponsorship.
The next appointment between the Group and street art has already been made, as the Foundation will support the street art exhibition dedicated to Zloty, from September 23rd to October 28th, 2023 in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.
Renault's art collection, which begun in the 1930s, notably with the full time employment of photographer Robert Doisneau (1912-1994), reflects both its era and the company's history. It includes many works by Hungarian-born painter Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) - who redesigned the Renault logo in 1972 - as well as by Nouveaux Réalistes sculptors such as Arman (1928-2005) and Jean Tinguely (1925-1991), who worked directly in the workshops, with the company's teams and materials.
Because a short video is worth a thousand words, (re)discover the unique relationship forged over the years between the Group and the art world viewing these images:
Until September 17th, lucky visitors to Boulogne-Billancourt's rue Pierre Lefaucheux were also able to discover a series of photographs by Hélène Bozzi of the "Men in White" painted by Jérôme Mesnager in the disused buildings on Île Seguin. Or, on the windows of the Kinetik building - located just opposite the Renault building - a monumental vitrophanic display of an image showing the "Man in White" during the demolition of the Île Seguin factories. The man in white is a sign of hope and continuity.