Paris Art Guide

28 august, 2020
Photo: PxHere

One of the most popular travel directions "for everyone" — Paris — city of tales, city of dreams. In addition to croissants at the tower, selfies with Mona Lisa and coffee in the Latin Quarter, Paris can offer leisure for any mood or selection of interests. If you would like to tick a box in the imaginary checklist of travel interests opposite the column "contemporary art", then it makes sense to continue reading this article further. We have compiled a guide for you on not the most obvious art locations of the French capital.

Palais de Tokyo (Tokyo Palace)
Palais de Tokyo. Photo: Kseniya Ulyanova

A well-known, but not a very popular place among tourists, which nevertheless, deserves mandatory attention and should be included in the bucket list for all lovers of modern and contemporary art.
At least three or four exhibitions at a time in a huge, cool and logically organized space of a historic building.
The Tokyo Palace was built for the 1937 World's Fair and during its existence managed to host a lot of quality art in its concrete walls. Before the construction of the Pompidou Center, it served as a museum of modern art, and today, without a permanent exhibition, it presents a variety of projects by French and foreign artists. 
If none of the exhibitions pleases you, then you can enjoy the skate spot on the plates in front of the Tokyo Palace.

Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art
While walking in the Montparnasse area, it is impossible not to notice the glass building, designed by the architect Jean Nouvel. The Center for Contemporary Art on Raspail Boulevard was founded in 1994 and since then has been actively supporting international and local art projects, organizing exhibitions and buying up works of young artists. The collection of the foundation includes paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations and design objects created mainly after the 1980s. If you plan your visit in advance, you can get to Soirées Nomades — evenings when the entire territory of the foundation is given over to artists and their creative laboratories.

Louis Vuitton Fondation
Louis Vuitton Fondation. Photo: Kseniya Ulyanova
Louis Vuitton Fondation. Photo: Kseniya Ulyanova

The deconstructivist masterpiece of architecture by the great Frank Gary and huge retrospective exhibitions in the Forest of Boulogne are an absolute must visit at any time of the year.
The LV Foundation is one of the newest highlights in Paris. In just 6 years of its existence, it has become a venue for such large-scale exhibitions as the retrospective of Charlotte Perriand and the current exhibition of works by Cindy Sherman.
The collection of the fondation includes about 300 works and consists of four sections "Contemplative Art", "Pop Art", "Music and Sound" and "Expressionism". Among the artists: Alberto Giacometti, Yayoi Kusama, Nam June Paik, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gerhard Richter and dozens of other big names.
Recommendation: After running through the five exhibition floors, enjoy coffee on the rooftop of the foundation overlooking Boulogne and the La Defense business district.
Louis Vuitton Fondation. Photo: Kseniya Ulyanova

Gallery Zwirner
Brexit brought one of the most influential people in the art world to Paris. David Zwirner¹ began his Paris career with the loud opening of an exhibition by the American minimalist artist Dan Flavin. The format and scale are obvious.
Walking around the Marais district take a look into a cozy courtyard at 108 rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 — it is mandatory — all the loudest Opening Thursdays are here now. 

Open Day at the workshop in Belleville
The workshops of Belleville, a 70s gentrified area in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, are the birthplace of Parisian art throughout the late 20th century. Feminist video art, bold performative and pictorial experiments were born here. Almost all the players in the Parisian art scene thought it was a great idea to rent a workshop in Belleville.
Many contemporary artists stick to the tradition and continue to rent workshops on Picabia Street.
Fortunately for us, once a month the workshops open their doors to visitors and everyone can see the holy of holies — the studio where art is born.
You can find out about open days in advance on the website.

Art fairs 
Seasonal art tourism is perhaps one of the best ideas for visiting Paris. Spring and especially autumn is the time when contemporary art fairs replace one another and Parisians take overtime weekends to take a break from the permanent presence at the openings.

The most ambitious events of autumn and spring:

FIAC — October
One of the most important European contemporary art fairs.

Paris photo — November
A high-profile event for the world of photography with hundreds of participants from all over the world.

Art Paris — April (this year postponed to September)
An event that brings together 150 European galleries every year, focusing on art from the post-war period to the present day.

PAD art + design — April
Spring Fair for Contemporary Art and Design, which has been gathering thousands of visitors for 24 years and is setting current trends.

FIAC. Photo: PxHere

Suburb of Paris:
France is synonymous with cultural decentralization. Even the most inconspicuous town in the middle of the nulle part will surely meet the traveler with a big bright signpost to the turn to the local museum, which collection, most likely can turn out to be huge and completely amazing. Needless to say about the suburbs of Paris, where centers and museums of contemporary art grow like mushrooms in ex-industrial zones.

Contemporary Art Centre of Ivry — Crédac
Walking distance from the metro, the nearest suburb of Paris, a large bright space, a garden and frequently changing exhibitions of young French artists. Bonus: free admission.

Centre Tignous d'Art Contemporain
Montreuil is considered to be a new-fashioned gentrified suburb, where artistic life is in full swing with several galleries per square kilometer. Street art is thriving and top comic book artists rent an atelier there.
It has its own center for contemporary art. Modern, interactive and positioning itself as a place where art enters into dialogue with the public.

La Gare 
The place is rather not about visual culture, but an absolute top for fans of unexpected eclectic solutions: a half-abandoned suburban train station, converted into a jazz club, will surprise you not only with a mind-blowing selection of musicians, but also with a good visual environment. The walls are covered with numerous graffiti and the mural on the facade of the building changes every year.
An excellent place for an evening after an art run through the streets and galleries of Paris — a glass of dry red in the company of high-quality experimental jazz.

In addition to the above-mentioned places, Paris is ready to meet with small local exhibitions of contemporary art literally at every turn and in the most unexpected places. Therefore, using the list, do not miss the opportunity to take extended walks in this motley city, because you never know in which nook and cranny you will find the beauty.Share: