Paris: A Contemporary Art Itinerary

Discovering the Parisian art scene with Natasha Edwards

Add This

Natasha Edwards

Natasha Edwards
HomeAway travel expert


Contemporary Art ItineraryParis has always been a magnet for art and artists, with its world-class collections, lively gallery scene and constantly changing programme of exhibitions. The cultural season here runs from September to mid-July, so look for major openings in September, February, April and May, and a whole set of busy art fairs and salons in spring and autumn.

International collectors flock into town for the FIAC international contemporary art fair at the Grand Palais in October (with a new offshoot in 2014 at the Cité de la Mode et du Design), and the Paris Photo salon in November. Private galleries are concentrated in Le Marais and St-Germain-des-Prés, along with a cluster of young art galleries up in Belleville.

The centre of the art market may have migrated to Berlin, London, New York and even China since Paris's avant-garde heyday in the early 20th-century – but it remains a great place for artists to work. The city is still sprinkled with artists’ studios (look for large north-facing windows) and converted industrial spaces. There are several opportunities to visit studios in Portes Ouvertes open weekends – often in May – in different districts such as Belleville and the Bastille, or at Les Frigos in the 13th arrondissement.


 

Five places for keeping your finger on the art-world pulse


   

Centre Pompidou Centre Pompidou

With its colourful pipes and ducts, this glass and steel building designed by Piano and Rogers has become an architectural icon since its controversial opening in 1977. Inside, the national museum of modern art provides a tour through western art history from 1914 to the present, including breathtaking displays of Matisse, Picasso, the Surrealists and Nouveaux Réalistes, whilst also taking in photography, design and architecture. Keeping up its original multidisciplinary philosophy, it's also home to cinema, experimental dance and theatre, a library and design shop, not forgetting trendy restaurant Georges at the top — or the incredible view as you ride up the escalator.

Centre Pompidou: Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, 01 44 78 12 33

View holiday rentals in 4th Pompidou Centre

 
   
 

   

Palais de Tokyo Palais de Tokyo

This colossal 1930s building is probably Paris's most happening art space, with a deliberately experimental approach to exhibitions that take in installation, photography, video, performance and all the media of art today, with a focus on young artists. It's easy to get lost as you descend into three levels of semi-derelict, concrete basement – and the works aren't always easy to understand. But there's a team of mediators on hand to explain. Team your visit with the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in the opposite wing of the building, home to the municipal modern art collection.

Palais de Tokyo: 13 avenue du Président-Wilson, 75116 Paris, 01 81 97 35 88

View holiday rentals in 16th Passy/Trocadero

 
   
 

   

La Maison Rouge  La Maison Rouge

This place stands out from other art venues in Paris: it was created by collector Antoine de Galbert, and alternates solo shows by contemporary artists with fascinating exhibitions of private collections from all over the world. In short, it gives the chance to see works that you'd normally never get to see. The space is a former factory, concealed within an apartment block. The "red house" – that is, the little building in the middle of the gallery – is home to the café, and a tiny glass-sided patio that is used for unusual one-off installations.

La Maison Rouge: 10 boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 Paris, 01 40 01 08 81

View holiday rentals in 12th Reuilly

 
   
 

   

Marais Galleries Marais Galleries

To see what’s happening in the current art scene, head to northern Le Marais; this is where many of Paris's best art galleries lurk behind the beautiful stone facades of historic 17th-century mansions, especially on rue de Turenne and rue Vieille du Temple. Here, galleries such as Emmanuel Perrotin, Yvon Lambert, Chantal Crousel, Thaddeus Ropac and Michel Rein present an international spectrum of contemporary artists. The area is buzziest on vernissage evenings, when artists and critics do the round of show openings before decamping off to local cafés. Pick up the Galeries mode d'emploi leaflet with its map and agenda in one of the galleries or find it here.

View holiday rentals in 3rd Le Marais

 
   
 

   

Jeu de Paume Jeu de Paume

International art photography and video exhibitions are presented here in what was once the real tennis court of the Tuileries palace. There are generally two exhibitions at a time: usually one great historic photographer (among them retrospectives of Erwin Blumenfeld, Robert Adams and Garry Winogrand), and one contemporary artist, in a programme that has included Laurent Grasso, Lorna Simpson and Ai Wei Wei. Film seasons are screened in the basement cinema, while the "in-between" spaces like the foyer, café and mezzanine are used for more experimental projects.

Jeu de Paume: 1 place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris, 01 47 03 12 50 

View holiday rentals in 8th Champs Elysees

La Maison Rouge © Florent Darrault 
Marais Galleries © Ted Drake 
Jeu de Paume © Sunny Ripert

Paris Holiday Rentals

Paris 08 Champs Elysees: In the very heart of Champs-Elysees Avenue, nice 2 rooms apartment for up to 6 people

This flat is ideally located in the heart of Champs-Elysées, at the beginning of rue Washington, right next to Georges 5 metro station (Line 1), le Lido, luxury stores and restaurants. Very close to the Arc de Triomphe, it is at walking distance f...

Large Apartment Renovated In Paris, Batignolles–montmartre

This brand new flat is located inside Paris. It has easy connections with the major tourists attractions and mains streets for shopping. The “champs elysées, montmartre or “grands magazines” are only at 10-15 minutes. The apartment has been rece...

Charming and Modern One Bedroom+sofa Apartment Close to the Eiffel Tower

620 square feet, 6th floor with elevator, modern building of the 70ties, convenient for 2 to 4 persons.Located on the 215 rue de l’Université at 300 meters from the Eiffel Tower and facing the Branly Museum, in a quiet and very secured building in...

Luxury Designer Studio by the Arc De Triomphe

Location: Paris Arrondissement 8, Paris, Ile-de-France (Paris Area), France, Europe (5 min walk from Champs Elysees and 2 min from airport shuttles) View Map Accommodations: Studio, 1 Bath (Sleeps 2-3) Keywords: Studio Located in a thirties-styl...

3rd arrondissement of Paris, near La Place des Vosges,2 room apartment,sleeps 4

Located next to La Place des Vosges in the Le Marais district, this apartment with high ceilings will make your stay in Paris wonderful. In this charming, completely renovated, art-deco apartment, which is quiet and bright thanks to large windows,...

France mapCorsica Provence Alps Cote d'Azur Languedoc Roussillon Midi-Pyrenees Aquitaine Rhone Alpes Auvergne Limousin Poitou Charentes Franche Comte Burgundy Alsace Lorraine Champagne Ardenne Ile de France (Paris region) Centre-Loire-Valley Pays de la Loire Britanny Normandy Normandy Nord-Pas-de-Calais Picardie World Italy Spain


Search for holiday rentals

Search for holiday ideas
 


WIN £10,000 FOR YOUR DREAM HOLIDAY

Sign up to our newsletter

Our latest updates and special offers, direct to your inbox

Advertise with HomeAway

Related Articles


 

Other Categories



Popular Articles