Paris Arts & Culture: 12 Top Picks for Spring-Summer 2019

Paris Arts & Culture: 12 Top Picks for Spring-Summer 2019

Paris art 2019
Edouard Manet. Un bar aux Folies-Bergère, 1882. © The Courtauld Gallery, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

As the sun’s rays peek out from behind the clouds and the pink magnolias blossom, a new season of art and culture unfolds across Paris. Through exciting joint exhibits, rare retrospectives, and once-in-a-lifetime visiting collections, revisit familiar works with a new eye and discover new artists to add to your faves. Here are INSPIRELLE’s top picks to check out in the months to come.

Space and Form


The brainchild of the artists’ grandsons, this double exhibit brings together two titans of the 20th century art, Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso. While Calder is best known for his sculpture and Picasso arguably for his portraits, both were fascinated by the exploration of negative space, both exterior and interior. Featuring 120 works, the show explores how each engaged with the “void” and demonstrates how their art echoes each other in surprising ways.

When: Through August 25, 2019
Where: Musée Picasso Paris, 5 rue de Thorigny 75003 Paris

Vasarely – Sharing Forms

The first major major French retrospective devoted to Victor Vasarely, the father of “optical art.” Through 300 works, objects and documents, discover the innovative and multi-faceted work of this artist, so emblematic of the social, economic and scientific context of the 60s and 70s and yet so ahead of its time.

When: Through May 6, 2019
Where: Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris

Painting the Other

Oriental Visions: From Dream into Light

The Orient was a popular theme in European painting following Napoleon’s conquests in the early 19th century. Beginning with the figure of the odalisque and depictions of the “exotic,” the trend led to innovations in the use of color and geometric form. This exhibit of 60 works from public and private collections traces the Western artist’s vision of the East, whether in steeped in fantasy or reality, and its influence on several generations of artists, from Ingres and Delacroix through Vallotton and Matisse to Kandinsky and Klee and the birth of modern art.

When: Through July 21, 2019
Where: Marmottan-Monet Museum, 2 rue Louis Boilly 75016 Paris

Black models. From Géricault to Matisse

Covering 200 years of art and history, this comprehensive show explores the aesthetic, political, social and racial issues evoked by the representation of black figures in the visual arts. Focusing on three particular periods, the era of abolition (1794-1848), the new painting era up to Matisse’s discovery of the Harlem Renaissance, and the early 20th-century avant-garde movement and beyond, the exhibit traces the way the relationships between the artists and their models evolved over time.

When: March 26 – 21 July, 2019
Where: Musée d’Orsay, 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur 75007 Paris

Collective Impressions

The Emil Bührle Collection. Manet, Degas, Renoir, Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Modigliani, Picasso

The Musée Maillol scores a coup with this exhibit of masterpieces from the Emil Bührle Collection, one of the world’s most prestigious private collections of 19th and 20th-century art. More than 600 works assembled between 1936 and 1956 in Zurich by a German-born manufacturer cover several major modern art movements: Impressionists, post-Impressionist, the Fauves, the École de Paris and more on display for the first time ever in France.

When: Through July 21, 2019
Where: Musée Maillol, 61 rue de Grenelle 75007 Paris

The Courtauld Collection: A Vision For Impressionism

Highlighting the Foundation’s aim to showcase the role of emblematic collectors, the exhibition presents the collection of the British entrepreneur and art patron Samuel Courtauld for the first time in Paris in 60 years. Bringing together some 110 works, it features some of the greatest French paintings from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, including major works by Manet, Seurat, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin and more. As a bonus, the exhibition is paired with a new selection of paintings from the Foundation’s permanent collection.

When: Through June 17, 2019
Where: Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi Bois de Boulogne 75116 Paris

The Craft of Art

The Nabis and Decorative Painting. Bonnard, Vuillard, Maurice Denis…

The Musée de Luxembourg celebrates the ornamental art of the Nabis, a group of pioneering 19th-century artists who preached the inclusion of beauty and originality in everyday life. The one hundred collected works presented include paintings, drawings, etchings, and objet d’arts, erasing the frontier between decorative crafts and fine arts.

When: Through June 30, 2019
Where: Musée du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard, 75006

Tutto Ponti, Gio Ponti Archi-Designer

Considered one of the most influential architects and designers of the twentieth century, Gio Ponti is the subject of his first retrospective in France. A prolific creator who was equally interested in both industrial and craft production, the exhibit highlights numerous aspects of his work from, from furniture to lighting, journals to glassware, ceramics to metalwork. Over 400 pieces are on display, some of which have never left their place of origin before.

When: Through May 5, 2019
Where: Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris Paris

From the Earth to the Moon

Tutankhamun, the Treasures of the Pharaoh

Billed as “the World’s Final Tutankhamun Tour”, this may be your last opportunity in France to see the treasures of the most famous of Pharaohs before these they find their permanent home in the new Egyptian Grand Museum, currently under construction. An exceptional outing for the entire family, the immersive exhibit features more than 150 original objects from young King Tut’s tomb, more than 50 of which have never traveled outside of Egypt before.

When: March 23 – September 15, 2019
Where: Grande Halle de la Villette, 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris

The Moon

The 50-year anniversary of the first human steps on the Moon is an opportunity to celebrate the long history that links us with this familiar yet otherworldly celestial body. This five-part exhibition is a journey from Antiquity through the modern day, exploring our fascination with the moon through a selection of art and artifacts, via scientific, mythological and artistic points-of-view.

When: April 3 – July 22, 2019
Where: Grand Palais, 3 avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris

Mystery and Mastery

Hammershøi, Master of Danish Painting

The first retrospective of the Danish master in 20 years, this exhibit reintroduces Paris audiences to the mysterious and poetic world of Vilhelm Hammershøi, whose muted tones and subtle interiors continue to fascinate and resonate. Featuring 40 works covering his entire career, the exhibit highlights the artist’s relationship with his small circle of family and friends, all of whom were featured in his paintings

When: Through July 22, 2019
Where: Musée Jacquemart-André, 158 boulevard Haussmann 75008 Paris

Thomas Houseago, Almost Human

The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris hosts the first retrospective in France of British sculptor and painter Thomas Houseago. Using mainly wood, plaster, iron and bronze, Houseago’s work focuses on the human figure in space, from the dynamic anthropomorphic figures of his early output, through his hybrid, experimental pieces to the monumental and immersive structures of his current work. A visit to the museum is also the chance to discover a new presentation of their permanent collection entitled “Rumors and Legends”.

When: Through July 14, 2019
Where: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 14 avenue de New York 75116 Paris



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