The changing leaves and smell of wood smoke in the air signal the arrival of autumn – and a new season of Paris arts and culture. The next few months offer exhibits featuring masters of color, women with vision, and artists who explore the boundaries between styles and eras. Don’t forget to check the museum websites before you go for opening times and booking information.
LIFE IN COLOR
The Louis Vuitton Foundation brings together over 100 works of this singular artist, from his little-seen early figurative paintings through the chromatic “multiforms” for which he is best known and the plans for the Rothko Chapel in Houston. Don’t miss this rare chance to see in person how the poetic, almost spiritual aspect of Rothko’s work shines through when displayed as he intended. The museum also offers a “contemplative tour” led by a cultural guide and a meditation instructor to encourage introspection, reflection and observation of Rothko’s work.
Where: Fondation Louis Vuitton, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris
When: October 18, 2023 to April 2, 2024
The first major French retrospective of Nicolas de Staël in 20 years, this exhibit shines a light on a key figure of the post-war art scene. Bringing together a selection of around 200 paintings, drawings, prints and notebooks, including 50 works presented for the first time in France, the show illustrates how the artist deliberately blurred the line between abstraction and figuration, constantly experimenting with techniques, unaffected by whatever style was in vogue at the time.
Where: Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, 11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
When: September 15, 2023 to January 21, 2024
A FEMALE LENS
This first-ever large-scale retrospective devoted to the photographer in Paris brings together some 100 photographs — from Cameron’s early experiments to her historical and literary compositions to portraits of her contemporaries. Her highly personal approach, which incorporates imperfections and accidents, was criticized at the time but is now recognized as highly innovative — a beautiful example of the exploration and energy that characterized the beginnings of photography.
Where: Jeu de Paume, 1 place de la Concorde, Jardin des Tuileries, 75001 Paris
When: October 10, 2023 to January 28, 2024
To accompany its cycle of Agnès Varda films, the Cinémathèque Française is presenting an exhibit that chronicles her 70-year career through photos, installations, archives and costumes. The perfect opportunity to discover or re-discover this renowned filmmaker, who continually explored feminism and marginality in her work, and never stopped moving or re-inventing herself in her quest for artistic and personal liberty.
Where: Cinémathèque Française, 51 Rue de Bercy, 75012 Paris
When: October 11, 2023 to January 28, 2024
The Orangerie Museum at the Tuileries Garden is highlighting a pivotal moment in the life of Modigliani: his meeting with Paul Guillaume, who became the painter/sculptor’s friend, subject and dealer. Through a selection of iconic works, the show places the School of Paris artist within the literary and artistic context of the time and explores Guillaume’s role in disseminating Modigliani’s work throughout France and the US.
Where: Musée de l’Orangerie, Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris
When: September 20, 2023 to January 15, 2024
Paris has always been an artistic hub where innovation thrives. This was never more apparent than in the “modern” era of the early 20th century. The charming Petit Palais celebrates this period by bringing together almost 400 works by artists like Sonia Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Marie Laurencin, Amedeo Modigliani, Chana Orloff, Tamara de Lempicka and more. The show also features clothing designs by Paul Poiret and Jeanne Lanvin, jewellery by Cartier, and even a plane from Le Bourget Air and Space Museum! Don’t miss this lavish showcase highlighting the rich creativity of the time.
Where: Petit Palais, Avenue Winston-Churchill, 75008 Paris
When: November 14, 2023 to April 14, 2024
THE CUTTING EDGE
Paris’ decorative arts museum pays tribute to a fashion pioneer known for blending new technologies like 3D printing with traditional couture craftsmanship. Organized around nine themes (water, skeletons, the medusa, etc…), the show features a selection of over 100 Haute Couture pieces juxtaposed with the works of contemporary artists and ends with an immersive visit to the Dutch designer’s atelier.
Where: The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
When: November 28, 2023 to April 28, 2024
Azzedine Alaïa, a designer particularly known for his virtuoso cutting skills, was also an exceptional collector. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see some of the 20,000 pieces he amassed, including works by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Madame Grès, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Alexander McQueen, amongst others. A collection that attests to his taste, dedication and artistry, tracing the entire history of modern fashion.
Where Palais Galliera, 10 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75116 Paris
When: September 27, 2023 to January 21, 2024
BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS
This exhibit highlights the links between the works of Berthe Morisot, considered to be the first female Impressionist, and the art of 18th-century masters such as Antoine Watteau, François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Sixty-five works from both international museums and private collections have been brought together for the first time to emphasize the foundations of their artistic affinities, retracing the chronology of their development, as well as the main characteristics of their painting styles.
Where: Musée Marmottan Monet, 2, rue Louis-Boilly, Paris
When: October 18, 2023 to March 3, 2024
This first-of-its-kind exhibit is devoted to works produced during the last two months of Van Gogh’s life in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris. Despite the narrow time frame and decline in the artist’s mental health, this period proved to be one of artistic renewal marked by the creation of some of his greatest masterpieces. Through some 40 paintings and 20 drawings, the exhibit highlights a variety of genres — portraits, still lifes, and landscapes — including the famous Portrait of Dr. Paul Gachet and a series of paintings in an unusually elongated double-square format.
Where: Musée d’Orsay, 1, rue de la Légion d’Honneur 75007 Paris
When: October 3, 2023 to February 4, 2024
Considered the greatest African painter of his generation, Chéri Samba has become internationally known for his boldly coloured figurative paintings which use humor to challenge, denounce, caricature and provoke modern society. This retrospective — the artist’s first — takes viewers on a journey through 40 years and over 50 paintings, exploring Samba’s central preoccupations, such as self-portraits, geopolitics and the environment, art history, and women.
Where: Musée Maillol, 59-61 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
When: October 17, 2023 to April 7, 2024
On the occasion of a series of new works entering its collection, the Pompidou Center is mounting an exhibit based on Chagall’s non-painting projects: his costume and scenic designs for the ballet and opera, and his ceramics, collages and sculptures created post-World War II. Though less well-known than his autobiographical, cubist- and surrealist-influenced paintings, Chagall’s love for color, rhythm and the performing arts are beautifully rendered in his unique style.
Where: Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
When: October 4, 2023 to February 26, 2024