There are few cities in the world better suited to artistic appreciation than Paris. For a certain sort of masochist, queueing for hours and fighting throngs of tourists to catch a glimpse at the Mona Lisa is totally worth it. But for those interested in a more immersing, contemplative experience, fall 2013 will see Paris host a number of thought-provoking—or just downright provocative—contemporary art exhibitions.

City Art Insider

Film still from C.H.Z. ‘Continuously Habitable Zones’, 2011 © Philippe Parreno

Prepare to be intrigued by two of the best French contemporary artists, Philippe Parreno at Palais de Tokyo (Oct. 21 – Jan. 13) and Pierre Huyghe at Centre Pompidou (Sept. 25 – Jan. 6). Both exhibits promise to be innovative and full of surprises.

Who doesn’t want to see one of the largest, most important contemporary art collections in the world? The touring Pinault collection is at the Conciergerie (Oct. – Jan. 6). It’s François Pinault’s way of ensuring a broader audience for a collection primarily housed at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice. This is the first exhibition for many of these works, which span paintings, video, sculpture and photography.

If this is a return visit to Paris for you, the David Walsh collection is an excellent reason to discover, if you haven’t already, La Maison Rouge, a private art institution dedicated to independent curating. In this exhibit, Jean-Hubert Martin, curator, and the eccentric Australian gambler and provocateur David Walsh, teamed up with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery to create “Theatre of the World” (Oct. 19 – Jan. 12). It includes work by Australian and international artists including Berlinde de Bruyckere, Jannis Kounellis, the Chapman brothers and Wim Delvoye.

Finally, 10 years after the presentation of his famous Cremaster art film cycle, Mathieu Barney is coming back to Paris with a presentation of 80 small-format drawings at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. Expect pencil, ink and less typical materials like petroleum jelly in his works, presented alongside engravings Barney has chosen from the library collections.


About the Author

City Art Insider

As the founders of city art insider, Carolyn Smith and Caroline Etter spend their days building and guiding one-of-a-kind explorations of the Paris art world for their clients. Carolyn brings a North American traveller’s and collector’s perspective, while Caroline is a professional art consultant with over 15 years experience in the industry.




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