In a matter of days I’ll be in Paris for a week’s worth of R ‘n R. I haven’t been to Paris in a couple of years, and I’m really looking forward to it. Among the many reasons I’m excited about the trip is that there’ll be something new to see this time around.
Paris is without doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with a wealth of cultural attractions and artistic doings to delight any and all. But, so much of what makes Paris special is set in the past. Recalling a Belle Epoque that now seems very long ago and harkening to historic triumphs with elegant nostalgia. The city is impeccably preserved for sure, but could you call it dynamic?
Opened October 2014 in the Bois de Boulogne public park on the western edge of Paris, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is the city’s newest art museum and cultural center – and is making waves more for the building itself than what is inside it.
Designed by American “starchitect” Frank Gehry, the museum is a being hailed as a 21st century marvel and possibly the best work of Gehry’s celebrated career. At age 89, the architect’s most recognized accomplishments include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Dancing House in Prague, and his own home in Santa Monica.
The $143 million glass building has been likened a sailboat with its sails inflated by the wind, stands on a “mirror of water” integrating its wooded surroundings and features 11 galleries, a 350-seat auditorium, and multilevel roof terraces. According to the architect, his Parisian construction’s chief purpose is to “reflect a constantly changing world” through designing a building that “evolves depending on the time of day and the light, in order to create an impression of intangibility and continual transformation.”
Sponsored by the group LVMH and its subsidiaries but run separately as a nonprofit entity, the museum’s aim is to promote art and culture.
During the time I plan to visit, the main show will be Accrochage 3: Pop & Music/Sound, a “new hang” of the foundation’s collection with a theme around visual representations of popular music. The show features works by Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, Gilbert & George, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Fondation Louis Vuitton is located at 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris, France. The nearest Metro station is Les Sablons (Line 1).
Pic via Flickr – Iwan Baan