What’s Hot on the Paris Art and Culture Scene – Spring 2016

What’s Hot on the Paris Art and Culture Scene – Spring 2016

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Paris art and culture spring 2016

Ah, spring! When Parisians’ fancies turn to thoughts of… Art. Yes, one of the rituals of springtime in Paris is not only a romantic stroll along the Seine, but checking out the turnover of exhibits in the major museums. Although there are far too many new shows to mention them all, here are some highlights to mark on your cultural calendar:

French Style

Paris art and culture Spring 2016

Fashion Forward, 3 Centuries of Fashion (1715-2016) (April 7 – August 14, 2016)
Musee des Arts Décoratifs, 107 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

The Musée des Arts Decoratifs celebrates the 30th anniversary of its fashion collection by showcasing over 300 items of men’s, women’s and children’s fashion from the 18th century to today.

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Delacroix as a Model (March 16 – August 1, 2016) 
Musée National Eugène-Delacroix, 6, rue de Fürstenberg, 75006 Paris

This collection, presented in the 19th century painter’s private studio, focuses on works for which Delacroix served as a model, including recent acquisition Women of Algiers in their Apartment by Henri Fantin-Latour.

Old Friends

Picasso.SculpturesParis art and culture Spring 2016 (March 8 – August 28, 2016)
Musée Picasso Paris5 rue Thorigny, 75003 Paris

Although less talked about than his paintings, Picasso’s sculptures are just as strange, beautiful and influential in the world of art. The perfect excuse to check out the renovated Picasso Museum if you haven’t had the chance yet.

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Paris art and culture Spring 2016
MONET Claude, Camille sur la plage à Trouville (1870), Photo courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery

The Open-Air Studio: Impressionists in Normandy (March 18 – July 25, 2016)
Musée Jacquemart André158 blvd Haussman, 75008 Paris

Housed in a beautiful 19th century mansion, this exhibit focuses on the at-the-time new and radical trend of open-air painting. Normandy became a favorite spot of artists like Monet, Degas, Renoir, Marisot, Caillebotte and others to develop their talents. Don’t forget to stop by the sumptuous tea room, with its frescoes by Tiepolo.

New Perspectives

Paris art and culture Spring 2016

Le Douanier Rousseau: Archaic Candour
(March 22 – July 17, 2016)
Musée d’Orsay, 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007

Henri Rousseau (nicknamed “le Douanier” because of his job as a toll collector) is a much-discussed figure in art. Was his naïf style a throwback or was he truly “the father of modernity”, as many artists called him? By displaying his work alongside other painters such as Seurat, Delaunay, Kandinsky and Picasso, the exhibit attempts to put his legacy into context.

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Paris art and culture Spring 2016
© la Rmn-Grand Palais, Paris 2016

Carambolages (April 13 – July 4, 2016)
Grand Palais, Galeries Nationales3 ave du General Eisenhower, 75008 Paris

Curator Jean-Hubert Martin shakes up the conventions of traditional exhibits with this artistic treasure hunt. Read Pop Culture Mama’s review of the Carambolages exhibit here.

Crossing Cultures

Matahoata: Arts and Society in the Marquesas Islands (April 12 – July 24, 2016)
Musée du Quai Branly, 37 quai Branly, 75007 Paris

An exhibit of 300 pieces and works that tells the Story of the Marquesas Islands, which inspired many artists and writers in the 19th century, including Gaugin and Melville. Far from tainting their traditions, this contact with Europe allowed the Polynesian artisans to survive and flourish.

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Paris art and culture Spring 2016
Pintura habitada (1976), Helena Almeida.

Hélène Almeida: Corpus (February 9 – May 22, 2016)
Jeu de Paume, 1 place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris

As part of the “Printemps Culturel Portugais” program, the Jeu de Paume has devoted a show to this important conceptual artist, little known in France but a major figure in her home country. Helena Almeida’s work blends together photography, video, drawings and paintings, putting the body – particularly her own – at center stage.

The Genre-Benders

Paris art and culture Spring 2016
© Berne, Zentrum Paul Klee

Paul Klee: Irony at Work (April 1 – August 1, 2016)
Centre Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris

The Swiss-German painter gets a major retrospective of his poetic, playful and powerful works, the first in France since 1969. A wonderful opportunity to enter the world of this prolific and difficult-to-categorize artist.

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Albert Marquet (March 25 – August 21, 2016)
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 11 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris

A survey of 100 works by this post-impressionist, a close friend of Matisse. Although his evolving style made him harder to classify than his contemporaries, it may have also made him the most modern of them all.

En Famille

Paris art and culture spring 2016

Baby Animals (April 19, 2016 – August 20, 2017)
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, 30 avenue Corentin Cariou 75019 Paris 

Over at La Villette, the Cité des Sciences gives the internet a run for its money with an exhibit devoted to baby animals. Designed specifically for the littlest museum-goers (2-7 years old), the show is the opportunity for young and old alike to learn about the early life of 73 different species.

• • •

Paris art and culture spring 2016
Barbie © Mattel

Barbie (March 10 – September 18, 2016)
Musee des Arts Décoratifs
, 107 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

The fashion icon gets her own show underscoring her cultural importance, as well as her fabulous looks. Read our review of the Paris Barbie exhibit here.

Did we miss one of your favorite springtime exhibits? Write in and let us know!

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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