For the past decade, Arts at CERN has fostered the dialogue between art and physics through art residencies, commissions and exhibitions. Artists across all creative disciplines have been invited to CERN to experience how the big questions about our universe are pursued by fundamental science.
Since its foundation in 1954, CERN has been a place of inspiration to many artists. Before the arts programme was officially launched, several highly regarded artists visited the Laboratory, drawn to physics and fundamental science. As early as 1972, James Lee Byars was the first artist to visit the Laboratory and the only one, so far, to feature on the cover of the CERN Courier. Mariko Mori, Gianni Motti, Cerith Wyn Evans, John Berger and Anselm Kiefer are among the artists who came to CERN in the following years.
In 2022 we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first art residency organised by Arts at CERN and the beginning of the programme’s activities. More than 200 artists have participated in the residencies, benefiting from the involvement of 400 scientists. Around 600 applications from 80 different countries are received every year. Over 20 new artworks have been commissioned since the residency programme began, and numerous education and outreach events take place every year.