Guide to Contemporary Art in Paris: Must-Visit Places and Exhibitions to Explore

When one thinks of Paris, they inevitably think of the Louvre, as well as other more "traditional" museums. But Paris, as a modern capital, is far from lacking in contemporary art. Between monuments, exhibitions, and original venues, the City of Light will surprise you and satisfy your desires for all things related to modern art!

Here are a few examples:

1. The Pompidou Center.

How can we talk about contemporary art without mentioning the Pompidou Center? Located in the heart of the 4th arrondissement, in the pedestrian quarter, not far from Les Halles, the National Museum of Modern Art is a real gem that houses many major works of contemporary art. Between the permanent exhibitions and the temporary ones, there is always something new to discover! To learn more, head to Place Georges Pompidou.

2. The Louis Vuitton Foundation.

A true feat of modern architecture, the Louis Vuitton Foundation was conceived and designed by the American architect Frank Gehry, who masterfully used glass and a futuristic geometry to create a stunning monument that appears to float in the air. Located in the 16th arrondissement, just a few steps from the Jardin d'Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, this venue dedicated to creation also hosts various exhibitions, all of high quality and interest.

3. La Seine musicale.

From the outside, this building resembles more of a work of art than a simple music complex. And for good reason, inside this globe-like structure are restaurants, rehearsal and recording studios, an auditorium with 1150 seats, and a hall called La Grande Seine, which can accommodate up to 6,800 people. One can easily imagine every artist's dream of playing to a full house here!

4. The site of Fashion and Design.

Who hasn't wondered what this strange glass green caterpillar hanging above the Seine could possibly contain? Well, now you have the answer. The City of Fashion and Design is a multicultural venue, housing both the French Institute of Fashion (IFM), the Wanderlust and the Café OZ rooftop, both bars, clubs, and restaurants, as well as the Nuits Fauves which also serves as a club. In this cutting-edge venue, people come both day and night, to drink, eat, and dance, but also to study.

5. The Grande Arche.

Known for being the largest terrace in Paris, the roof of the Grande Arche offers an almost limitless panoramic view of the entire capital and its surroundings. In addition to this space, the Grande Arche also houses a cultural area where various exhibitions are held, including those greatly appreciated by Yann Arthus Bertrand.

6. The Music Complex: the Philharmonie de Paris.

Concerts, shows, festivals, exhibitions, workshops, and conferences—these are just some of the events hosted every year at the music complex of Paris. Located in the heart of the 19th arrondissement, at Porte de Pantin, the Philharmonie brings together all branches and various professions of musical art to enchant enthusiasts and introduce music to those who may not yet be initiated.

7. The Geode.

Still in the 19th arrondissement, in the heart of Parc de la Villette, lies an immense glass sphere reflecting the surroundings. This geodesic dome is actually a cinema hall combined with a film distribution company. Today, the Geode is linked to the City of Science and Industry, which opened its doors in 1986, a year after its construction.

8. Fluctuart.

Opened since spring 2019, Fluctuart is a floating center dedicated to street art, located at the foot of the Pont des Invalides in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Open all year round, this free museum welcomes visitors from the banks of the Seine to introduce them to urban art. This hybrid space of 900 m2, easily recognizable by its transparent walls, aims to be both an exhibition center and a place for meetings and exchanges, with a dining area and a specialized bookstore.

9. ART 42.

Speaking of urban art, it also has its own museum! Opened in 2016, Art 42 is the first street art museum in France. Located in the heart of Xavier Neil's school 42 in the 17th arrondissement, you can discover 150 works by modern artists, such as Banksy, Invader, or JR, as well as other lesser-known but equally promising artists, for free, but by reservation.

10. The Fondation Cartier

The Fondation Cartier has been one of the pioneering corporate patrons supporting creation in all its forms. Fashion, video, painting, design, or photography – since 1994, it has hosted an impressive number of diverse exhibitions that have delighted and will continue to delight the most curious visitors. This magnificent glass palace, created by Jean Nouvel, is open year-round on Boulevard Raspail in the 14th arrondissement.



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