Cité de la Mode et du Design
It’s around two years late, but finally it seems that the Cité de la Mode et du Design will open this Spring. I’m being a little unfair because the part of the structure that houses the ‘Institut français de la Mode’ has already been in operation for a year, but it has often seemed like this great, green hulk on the river would never open.
In reality, it is difficult to understand what has caused the delays. The main structure of the building, the concrete shell of the old ‘Magasins généraux’ establishment, was already in place and the green wood and glass exterior was clipped on to it a long time ago. The design by Dominique Jakob and Brendan Macfarlane, with its riverside garden and promenade will certainly pull in the visitors, but could the problems have arisen from trying to actually find a purpose for the structure? Will there be anything more than a café and some shops here when it finally does open? The answer to these questions should arrive in May or June.
28-36 quai d'Austerlitz,
M° Gare d’Austerlitz or Chevalret
Alongside the Cité de la Mode et du Design is moored a rather decrepit old barge, and it is easy to overlook the fact that it is an important monument in the city. This should change when renovations to the Louise-Catherine get underway, but during this period it will still be a site to visit. The barge, which was redesigned by Le Corbusier in the 1930s as a shelter for the Salvation Army, will be turned into a temporary sculpture by the architect Shuhei Endo. It will be wrapped in a metallic spiral known as a ‘Springtechture’ for the duration of the renovations.
Fondation Louis Vuitton pour l’art contemporain
After the American Center alongside the Parc de Bercy, Paris will get its second Frank Gehry building this year. Paid for by Bernard Arnault, President of the LVMH luxury goods group, the Fondation Louis Vuitton pour l’art contemporain will be situated in the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne and will house works owned by the group.
Previously a famous ‘opérette’ theatre in Paris which was once managed by Jacques Offanbach, the Gaité Lyrique should finally reopen this year after being closed for 19 years. Interestingly, it will focus on digital technology with studios and workshops for artists working in electronic and robotic spheres.
As well as these rehearsal and creation spaces though, there will also be performance areas and a café for the general public.
Année de la Russie en France
Each year France organises artistic and educational exchange events with another chosen country, but this year's promises to be especially interesting. There has long been mutual fascination and admiration between France and Russia meaning that the two countries will want to surpass themselves to prove the superiority of their artistic heritage.
The main event in Paris will be “Sainte Russie” at the Louvre from the 5th March to the 24th May, a look at 900 years of Russian art, up to the 17th century, in collaboration with more than ten Russian museums.
However, both countries will also want to promote contemporary culture, so look out for events at the Palais de Tokyo and regular visits from musicians and dance troupes.
Crime et Châtiment
As previously mentioned, it is the year of Russia in France, so what could be more natural than taking a title from Dostoyevsky for an art exhibition? The theme of the exhibition is also of course positively Dostoyevskian; the esthetics of violence. The period covered is from 1791 at the height of revolutionary bloodletting, to the 30th September 1981, the date when capital punishment was abolished in France. In these two centuries, art and literature developed an obsession with crime and criminals, and of course the punishment that followed. This exhibition features paintings from Goya, Géricault, Picasso and Magritte amongst others, as well as documents and photos. The museum also points out that certain images may shock!
Exactly 100 years ago in January 1910, Paris experienced a "semaine terrible" with non-stop rain that brought flooding to almost the whole of the city. To mark this event, the Galerie des bibliothèques de la Ville de Paris has organised an exhibition around the ample photographic documentation of the floods. Interestingly, such floods are said to happen once every hundred years or so in the city…
Galerie des bibliothèques de la Ville de Paris
22, rue Malher 75004 (M° St-Paul)
Several big names this year, but curiously almost uniquely artists from outside France.
Turner et ses peintres
After being the big attraction in London in 2009, this Turner show transfers to Paris at the beginning of this year. Surely less well known on this side of the Channel, it should nevertheless be the hottest ticket of the Spring and give people an insight into the artist and his many influences.
22nd February to 24th May
Du Greco à Dalí: Les grands maîtres espagnols
After a very successful show on Flemish art, the wonderful Musée Jacquemart-André will this year concentrate on Spanish painters. Around 50 paintings from 25 Spanish artists including Picasso and Miró will be on display.
12th March to 1st August
Lucian Freud: L'atelier
This exhibition is based around a recreation of the London studios of one today's greatest living painters.
10th March to 19th July
An artist with a much shorter life-span than Freud, but whose creations show no sign of going out of fashion.
Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris
15th October to 30th January 2011
Edvard Munch ou l'anti-cri
Munch is best known for his tortured creations such as 'The Scream', but this exhibition will attempt to show a different, lighter and more colourful aspect to his work.
Pinacothèque de Paris
19th February to 18th July