The days are longer, the trees are greener and the sweet scent of cherry blossoms is in the air. That can only mean one thing: a new Spring season of Paris art and culture has arrived. The exhibits on offer feature artistic collaborations, forward-thinking women, ancient treasures, and a spotlight on our animal friends. Don’t forget to check the museum website before you go for opening times and booking information.
MEETING OF THE MINDS
Following its popular “Jean-Michel Basquiat” show in 2018, the Fondation Louis Vuitton presents the most important exhibit ever dedicated to the collaboration between Basquiat and Andy Warhol. Featuring around 160 paintings created together “à quatre mains”, as well as numerous individual works by both artists and others from the New York downtown scene of the 1980’s, the show attests to the ongoing friendship and collaboration between Basquiat and Warhol, a conversation through painting instead of words.
Where: Fondation Louis Vuitton, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris
When: Through August 28, 2023
Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas both played a pivotal role in the evolution of painting style from the 1860s-80s, bridging the gap between realism and impressionism. This exhibit compares and contrasts the work of these two pioneering artists, whose subject matter and styles sometimes overlapped, opening the way to modernism, even as their tastes and approaches to their artistic careers differed. While at the d’Orsay, be sure to visit the exhibit on Pastels as well, featuring highlights from the museum’s extensive collection, including works by Degas, Manet, Millet, Cassatt, Redon, Lévy-Dhurmer and many others.
Where: Musée d’Orsay, 1, rue de la Légion d’Honneur 75007 Paris
When: Through July 23, 2023
TALES AND TREASURES
Re-conqueror of lost lands, negotiator of the most famous peace treaty of antiquity, famous builder of Pharaonic Egypt, Ramses II was the symbol of greatness by which all his successors measured themselves—and his legend has only grown over the centuries. This breathtaking exhibit features a literal treasure trove of more than 180 original pieces, some of which have never previously left Egypt, gathered in an exceptional collection: jewelry, masks, furniture, animal mummies, statues, sarcophages and more. The visit includes an immersive virtual reality experience showcasing Ramses II’s most impressive landmarks: the temples of Abu Simbel and the tomb of Queen Nefertari. A thrilling adventure for the whole family!
Where: Grande Halle de la Villette, 211 Av. Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris
When: Through September 6, 2023
An immersive journey across the Australian desert to the heart of the Aboriginal world, Songlines explores the way stories guide the Aborigines across their land and through their lives, transmitting essential ecological, astronomical or geographical knowledge. Through nearly 200 pieces, created by more than by more than 100 artists, as well as a variety of multi-media devices (audiovisual installations, filmed ceremonial performances, sound narratives, etc.), visitors will experience an Aboriginal perception of the world by following the story of seven sisters pursued by a powerful sorcerer on earth and in the sky, one of Australia’s most popular epics.
Where: Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris
When: Through July 2, 2023
EYE ON SOCIETY
A tribute to one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, the exhibit brings together 215 black and white and color photographs from this multi-faceted artist. During his long career, Erwitt was a photojournalist, a commercial photographer, a film director, and a celebrity portrait photographer, capturing the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Charles de Gaulle, “Che” Guevara, Alfred Hitchcock, and others. This retrospective highlights the diversity of his subject matter as well as the unity of his style, capturing everyday moments with humor and emotion.
Where: Musée Maillol, 59-61 rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
When: Through August 15, 2023
Faith Ringgold is a major figure in American feminist art, yet this is the first French exhibit to bring together a group of her important works, which mix modernity and vernacular traditions, texts and images, performance and textiles. Her approach to color theory and techniques was pioneering, as was her determination to transpose a vision of Black beauty and power that reflected her own experiences in a racially divided country. Both radical and popular, her work continues to influence a generation of artists.
Where: Musée Picasso-Paris, 5 rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris
When: Through July 2, 2023
FIGURES AND FORMS
This retrospective of Germaine Richier, the first female sculptor to be shown in the French National Museum of Modern Art in 1956, brings together nearly 200 works, including sculptures, engravings and drawings. The chronological exhibit traces her artistic trajectory, highlighting the major themes (the human body, animals, myths) that informed her art, demonstrating the way she served as an important link between Rodin and César and deserves to be seen as a central figure in the history of modern sculpture.
Where: Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
When: Through June 12, 2023
The MAM presents the first major retrospective devoted to Norwegian artist Anna-Eva Bergman, a free and visionary artist, whose work is a powerful celebration of the abstract beauty of nature, and landscapes of the North and the Mediterranean. Composed of over 200 works, the exhibit shines a light on her singular pictorial language, based on natural forms and incorporating the unusual use of metal leaf. The exhibit should place Bergman firmly in the pantheon of other great 20th century women artists such as Hilma af Klint, Georgia O’Keeffe or Sonia Delaunay.
Where: Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, 11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
When: Through July 16, 2023
THROWBACK TO THE 30S
L’Orangerie museum on the edge of the Tuileries garden devotes an exhibit to Matisse’s work focused specifically on the 1930s, as seen through the prism of the cutting-edge magazine Cahiers d’art, which touted the avant-garde aesthetic trends of its day. Although Matisse was largely out of favor in the 1920s, the magazine helped relaunch his work, featuring him alongside the artists of his time: Georges Braque, Juan Miro, Fernand Léger, Wassily Kandinsky, Mondrian, Le Corbusier and Marcel Duchamp. The exhibit features archival materials along with Matisse’s paintings, sculptures and objects from his collection, including a number of pieces rarely exhibited in France.
Where: Musée de l’Orangerie, Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris
When: Through May 29, 2023
The charming Musée de Montmartre is holding a rare exhibit that explores the involvement of female artists and poets in the Surrealist movement, which flourished in the 1930s. Almost 150 works from 50 different artists and writers from around the world demonstrate that women played a decisive role in the transgressive and dynamic artistic movement, although they were often neglected by museums and the art market of the time. Featuring works from Claude Cahun, Toyen, Dora Maar, Lee Miller, Meret Oppenheim, and others, the exhibit underscores how these women initially embraced the movement, which provided them opportunities for artistic expression not seen elsewhere, but also how they were ultimately forced to carve their own paths away from it.
Where: Musée de Montmartre Jardins Renoir, 12 rue Cortot, 75018 Paris
When: Through September 10, 2023
THE PHYSICS OF DESIGN
The Palais Galliera costume museum shines a spotlight on the year 1997, which is considered both a high point of 1990s fashion and the gateway to the 21st century. 1997 was notable for a number of emblematic collections—Comme des Garçons, Jean-Paul Gautier, Alexander McQueen and Raf Simons’s, to name a few—resulting in Vogue Paris defining the Spring-Summer haute couture season as the “Big Bang” that Paris needed in order to regain its place as the international capital of fashion in an era of economic crisis and intense global competition. It was also the year that young, little-known artistic directors rose to prominence, such as Hedi Slimane, Stella McCartney, and Nicolas Ghesquière, who are still shaping fashion today. The chronological exhibit features over 50 silhouettes from the museum’s collections, along with loans from other museums, international collectors and fashion houses.
Where Palais Galliera, 10 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75116 Paris
When: Through July 16, 2023
As a youth, Philippe Starck fled school to hide in the parks and buildings of Paris, including the Musée Carnavalet, where he found inspiration for his sketches. Now this museum devoted to the history of the city has given carte blanche to the designer to re-imagine his old haunting grounds. This multi-media exhibit explores the mysteries and marvels of Paris through its iconic places, underscoring the influence the city itself had on the work of Starck, a champion of everyday objects and one of the greatest proponents of “democratic design.”
Where Musée Carnavalet, 23 rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris
When: Through August 27, 2023
Felines are one of the most familiar animals, but what do we really know about them? This exhibit at the Jardin des Plantes explores all the different facets of the 38 species of felines that inhabit the earth, from the wild and predatory to the cuddly and domesticated. Through a variety of depictions in art, entertainment and cultural objects, discover the symbolic significance, biological traits, and relationship to humans of these incredible animals.
Where: Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, Jardin des Plantes, 57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris
When: Through January 7, 2024
The Paris Center for Architecture and Urbanism presents an exhibit focused on the sometimes-overlooked inhabitants of the city: the animals. Paris Animal looks not only at the construction of places designed to showcase them (zoos, aquariums, menageries, etc.) but also at the ornamental reproductions that adorn the city’s buildings (churches, circuses, apartments, etc.). The exhibit guides visitors through 44 historical tales, featuring wolves, horses, hawks, giraffes, deer, and more that attest to a long cohabitation that continues to evolve.
Where: Pavillon de l’Arsenal, 21 blvd Morland, 75004 Paris
When: Through September 3, 2023