What’s Hot in Paris Arts and Culture: Autumn 2016

What’s Hot in Paris Arts and Culture: Autumn 2016

Art exhibits in Paris
"American Gothic", Grant Wood (1930), to be shown in Europe for the first time. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

With summer in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead to the autumn arts and culture scene in Paris. This season has its fair share of never-before-seen works, new ways to view familiar artists, and multi-media exhibits for the whole family. Here are some of INSPIRELLE‘s top picks of what’s hot as the weather cools down.

The Collectors

art exhibitions in Paris
Henri Matisse, The Dessert: Harmony in Red, 1908 © Adagp, Paris 2016

Icons of Modern Art, the Shchukin Collection
(October 22, 2016 – February 20, 2017)
Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 av du Mahatma Gandhi, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 75016

A rare chance to view the collection Sergei Shchukin, one of greatest patrons of modern French art of the early 20th century. With works on loan from the Russian Hermitage and Pushkin State, the exhibit features paintings by Monet, Cézanne, Gaugin, Rousseau, Derain, Matisse, Picasso, Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh. The exhibit kicks off a cultural program designed around the relationship between France and Russia in the early 20th century.


Fall Culture Roundup 2106
Photo courtesy of Collection agnès b.

Vivre! The agnès b. collection
(October 18, 2016 – January 8, 2017)
Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, Palais de la Porte Dorée, 293 av Daumesnil, Paris 75012

In addition to being a renowned fashion designer, Agnès Troublé, aka agnès b., is also a well-known collector of contemporary art with her own gallery in the Marais. Her private collection will be on display for the first time in Paris at the Museum of the History of Immigration. Featuring over 100 works by artists such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Mona Hatoum, the exhibit is divided into 11 thematic categories, including ‘childhood’, ‘love’, ‘writing’, or ‘identity’. The perfect opportunity to discover the stunning art deco building which houses this multimedia cultural institute, opened in 2007.

 America in Turbulent Times

art exhibitions in Paris

The Color Line, African-American Artists & Segregation
(October 4, 2016 – January 15, 2017)
Musée Quai Branly Jacques Chirac, 37 Quai Branly, Paris 75007

The Quai Branly museum pays tribute to the art and artists who struggled with segregation, a dark chapter in American history which nonetheless fueled 150 years of rich artistic production. Curator Daniel Soutif has organized series of talks, screenings and events to further explore this troubling period and its legacy.


Fall Art Roundup 2016

American Painting in the 1930’s
(October 12, 2016 – January 30, 2017)

Musée de l’Orangerie, Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, Paris 75001

The decade of the 1930’s in America was a difficult time for most, post-Wall Street crash, pre-World War II, the country was gripped by unease and economic depression. Yet it was a particularly rich and diverse time for American painting, when minimalists, realists and surrealists worked side by side. The Orangerie museum pays tribute to this decade with an exhibit of works by a variety of artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper & Grant Woods, whose emblematic “American Gothic” will be on display in Europe for the first time.

From Realism to Symbolism

Fall art Roundup 2106
© musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon / Photo Alain Basset

Fantin-Latour, A fleur de peau
(September 14, 2016 – February 12, 2017)

Musée du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard, Paris 75006

Fantin-Latour’s first retrospective in 30 years, the exhibit brings together 100 of his most emblematic still lifes and group portraits, as well as lesser known works exploring ‘themes of imagination’, revealing a poetic side to this 19th century student of realism.

Fall Culture Roundup 2016
Courtesy of Marmottan Museum

Hodler Monet Munch, Paint the Impossible
(September 15, 2016 – Jan 22, 2017)

Musée Marmottan, 2 rue Louis-Boilly, Paris 75016

Set in one of Paris’ prettiest mansion-museums, this exhibit unites three artists whose styles bridged the 19th and 20th centuries. All three struggled with the question of how to paint the impossible (sunlight, mountains, snow, water), blurring the lines between impressionism, post-impressionism and symbolism. As an added bonus, many of the paintings by Norwegian artist Hodler have never before been seen in Paris.

The Grand Retrospectives

Fall Art Roundup 2016
© ADAGP, Paris 2016

Rene Magritte “The Treachery of Images”
(September 21, 2016 – January 23, 2017)

Centre Pompidou, Rue Saint-Martin, Paris 75004

Bringing together well-known masterpieces and less familiar pieces, this retrospective of the Belgian artist explores his interest in philosophy, offering a fresh approach to the work one of the key figures of Surrealist art.


Fall Art Roundup 2016
© Musée Bernard Buffet © ADAGP, Paris 2016

Bernard Buffet
(October 14, 2016 – February 26, 2017)
Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, 11 av du Président Wilson, Paris 75016

A somewhat divisive figure in 20th century art, Bernard Buffet gets a major exhibit of his work spanning from the 1940s to the 1990s. Organized chronologically, the show highlights recurrent themes in his work like religion, mythology, literature, allegory and the history of painting, as well as his sometimes rocky relationship with critics.

Old and New Masters

art exhibits in Paris
Photo: Musée Picasso

(October 4, 2016 – February 5, 2017)

Musée Picasso Paris, Hôtel Salé, 5 rue de Thorigny, Paris 75003

A collaboration between the Musée Picasso and the Fondation Giacometti, this is the first joint exhibit of these two masters of 20th century art. Reuniting more than 200 paintings, drawings, and sculptures, the exhibit underlines the ongoing dialogue between the two artists and the correspondences between their lives and work.


Flora, Rembrandt
Saskia as Flora, Rembrandt (1634) via Wikimedia Commons

Rembrandt in Confidence

(September 16, 2016 – January 23, 2017)
Musée Jaquemart-André, 158 bd Haussmann, Paris 75008

Through a collection of 50 paintings, drawings and engravings, Rembrandt in Confidence explores both the artistic development and personal life of the 17th century Dutch master, which were inextricably linked.

With the Kids

Paris Art Roundup 2016
© Hergé/Moulinsart 2016

(September 28, 2016 – January 15, 2017)

Grand Palais, 3 av du Général Eisenhower, Paris 75008

The Grand Palais hosts an expansive exhibit dedicated to life and art of Belgian illustrator Georges Rémi (aka Hergé), creator of the world-famous Tintin comics. An ideal cultural outing for the whole family, the exhibit offers audioguides for both adults and children (in French) to help navigate the largest collection of Hergé’s drawings ever assembled. As an added attraction, the exhibit includes a special app which gives you the chance turn one of your own photos into a Tintin comics page.

Fall Art Roundup 2016

The Great Animal Orchestra
(Through January 8, 2017)

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, 261 bd Raspail, Paris 75014

Inspired by the work of American musician and bioacoustician Bernie Krause, this multi-media show brings together artists from all over the world to create an “immersive meditation” on the animal kingdom. In addition, the Foundation is offering creative workshops inspired by the installation pieces and family-oriented tours. For a taste, check out Krause’s soothing soundscapes on his interactive website.

Decorative Arts: Splendor and Precision

Fall Art Roundup 2016
© RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles)

The Spectacular Second Empire, 1852-1870
(September 27, 2016 – January 15, 2017)

Musée D’Orsay, 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris 75007

The Musée d’Orsay turns 30! To celebrate, it has mounted an exhibit celebrating the Second Empire in all its splendor, showcasing the paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, objets d’art and jewelry of the time, created in an atmosphere of economic euphoria and mounting social unrest.

Fall Art Roundup 2016
Marcel Breuer, 1926 Photographie © Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

The Bauhaus Spirit
(October 19, 2016 – February 26, 2017)

Musée des Arts Decoratifs, 107 rue de Rivoli, Paris 75001

The museum pays tribute to the inventive, creative and free-spirited Bauhaus school, established in Germany from 1919 to 1933. Bauhaus brought together painters, architects, artisans, musicians, designers, photographers and more to breathe new life into our living spaces through synthesis of art and craftsmanship. Through its 900 works on display, the exhibit traces the historic influences on Bauhaus and its continuing legacy.

Larger than Life

Fall Art Roundup 2016
Courtesy Petit Palais

Oscar Wilde, Insolence Incarnate
(28 September 2016 – 15 January 2017)

Petit Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris 75008

The charming Petit Palais museum presents France’s first major exhibit on Oscar Wilde, tracing the life and work of this boundary-pushing Irish writer (and Francophile) through more than 200 manuscripts, drawings, photos, paintings and personal effects.


porte denfer rodin
La Porte de l’Enfer © Musée Rodin

Hell According to Rodin
(October 18, 2016 – January 22, 2017)

Musée Rodin, 77 rue de Varenne, Paris 75007

Spotlighting Rodin’s iconic “The Gates of Hell”, this exhibit brings together 200 works that shed light on the origin and history of this influential piece, on which Rodin labored for most of his life.

Elizabeth Brahy
Elizabeth Brahy is a native of Los Angeles, where she worked for many years in film development. After moving to Paris 20 years ago, Elizabeth worked in the film and television industries before becoming a freelance writer and editor. An admitted pop culture nerd, she loves comedy podcasts, YA books and American television (as well as art museums and the ballet). Elizabeth is a board member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators France, and co-hosts the podcast "Alex & Mom vs The World." You can follow her on twitter at @expat_eliz



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