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From protest to street art, five exhibits to see now in Paris

© Adagp, Paris, 2018 © Mnam Centre Pompidou/Georges Meguerditchian | François Morellet, L'avalanche, 2006

Text by Rachel HOLMAN

Latest update : 2018-05-04

After a spate of somewhat uninspiring museum exhibits in Paris in recent months, this spring appears far more promising. Here’s a guide to some of the most interesting shows on right now.

<span lang="EN-US">Images en Lutte</span> (“The Clash of Images”)

Silkscreen protest poster by the Atelier Populaire © Beaux-Arts Paris Collection

May 1968 marked a turning point in French history, when workers and students revolted against the government, grinding the economy to a halt and raising fears of a revolution.

Fifty years later, the École des Beaux Arts in Paris is commemorating the strikes with an exhibition of posters, paintings, sculpture, film, photography and literature produced by student protesters and other artists from 1968 to 1974. “Images en Lutte”, which is divided into seven sections, includes one dedicated to the Atelier Populaire (“Workshop of the People”) – a collective that occupied the university campus for more than a month in May and June 1968, creating scores of political posters, many of which are on public display for the first time.

The exhibit couldn’t be more timely, given the recent strikes and protests across France. Just make sure to check your train or flight hasn’t been affected.

Images en Lutte(“The Clash of Images”) at the Palais des Beaux Arts runs from February 21 through May 20.

In Tune With the World

Christian Boltanski, Animitas, 2014 © Adagp, Paris, 2018 © Louis Vuitton/Christian Kain

As eclectic as it is ambitious, “In Tune With the World” examines wo/man’s place in the universe, and his or her relationship to nature. The show brings together the work of nearly 30 modern and contemporary artists from the foundation’s collection, including Henri Matisse, Yves Klein, Dan Flavin, Gerhard Reichter and Matthew Barney. An entire floor is dedicated to Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and his vibrant exploration of his country’s political, cultural and social history through a combination of traditional and pop art. With so many different mediums, aesthetics and styles on display, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

In Tune With the World at the Louis Vuitton Foundation runs from April 11 until August 27.

Foujita: Painting in the Roaring Twenties

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, Self-portrait with cat, 1927 © Fondation Foujita / Adagp, Paris, 2018

Experts may know French-Japanese artist Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita as one of the most important figures to emerge during the 1910-1930s in Paris. But the rest of us probably don’t, which is why the Musée Maillol’s exhibition, “Foujita: Painting in the Roaring Twenties”, is such a revelation.

The show brings together more than 100 examples of the artist’s work, which melds classical and modern, east and west. Born in Tokyo in 1886, Foujita was an adolescent when his father showed him a painting by Claude Monet, inspiring what would become a lifelong love affair with France. After studying at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, Foujita moved to the Montparnasse area of Paris in 1913, where he rubbed elbows with artists such as Modigliani and Picasso. His distinctive style is nothing if not beautiful – delicate yet bold, an intersection of different cultures and approaches.

Foujita: Painting in the Roaring Twenties at the Musée Maillol runs from March 7 until July 15.

Urban Fragments

Lisbon, 2014 © Alexander Silva

For Portuguese street artist Vhils (whose real name is Alexandre Farto), the city is his canvas. His epic portraits, often etched, stenciled or even blasted into the side of buildings, have a subversive yet serendipitous feel to them, like a secret hidden in plain sight. After recent exhibits at galleries in Los Angeles and Lisbon, Farto takes over the CENTQUATRE cultural centre in Paris later this month with “Urban Fragments”. The multimedia exhibition showcases around 30 pieces of the artist’s work and will be divided into sections, each one dedicated to a different technique.

Urban Fragments at the CENTQUATRE-Paris runs from May 19 until July 29.

Ateliers à la Loupe ("Workshops Under the Magnifying Glass")

It may be geared to children, but Ateliers à la Loupe at the Musée en Herbe is an enriching and interactive experience for amateur art lovers of all ages. Part detective mystery, part artistic discovery, little visitors are equipped with a deerstalker cap (think Sherlock Holmes) and a magnifying glass, and invited to investigate British-American painter Damian Elwes’ detailed reproductions of different artists’ studios. Thanks to loans by various museums and foundations, the exhibition also includes original works by a number of the artists showcased, including Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Keith Haring and Basquiat. So much fun!

Ateliers à la Loupeat the Musée en Herbe runs from January 25 until September 9.

Other notable exhibitions:

Mary Cassat: An American Impresisonist in Paris” at the Jacquemart-André Museum runs from March 9 until July 23

Chagall, Lissitzky, Malévitch” at the Centre Pompidou runs from March 28 until July 16

From Calder to Koons, Jewellery by Artists” at the Musée des Arts Décoratif runs from March 7 until July 8

Date created : 2018-05-04


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