Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Paris: View Art in 7 Unexpected Places

By Jacquelin Carnegie – (Paris, France)
Paris is a city filled with art everywhere you turn, not only in its famous museums, but also in some of the most unexpected places:

Galerie des Galeries - Les Galeries Lafayette
40 Blvd Haussmann; Tel: 01/42-82-81-98; www.galeriedesgaleries.com

GL, Au dela du vetement  (photo: Marc Domange)
9th arrondissement, Metro: Chaussée d'Antin
(Open: Tues-Sun, 11am-7pm; Free)

Shop till you drop, then proceed to the 1st floor of the Galeries Lafayette’s main building. Across from the designers’ section, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find the Galerie des Galeries, an exhibition space that presents established and emerging talent. Four annual exhibits showcase French and international artists, highlighting the relationship between fashion, the visual arts, and design. 


Parc de Belleville
Rue des Couronnes (enter at rue Piat); http://bit.ly/1VmMXU2; 20th arrondissement, Metro: Belleville or Pyrénées
Street Art (photo: J. Carnegie)
The Belleville neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures. In the park, at the top of a hill, is a lookout point decorated with wonderful street art, often the work of community projects. The park itself is beautiful, accessible from a staircase, then up winding pathways past vine-covered pergolas. It’s worth the climb for the street art and the spectacular views of Paris--yes, you can see the Eiffel Tower from here.

Maxim’s Museum

3 rue Royale; Tel: 01/42-65-30-47; https://bit.ly/2Kj9fGw8th arrondissement, Metro: Concorde (Tours for groups: Fee, reservation required, musee@maxims-de-paris.com)
Ever wonder what it was like to be at Maxim’s in its heyday? Above the famous restaurant, there’s a recreated apartment of a Belle Époque courtesan. The 12 rooms are decorated with an exceptional collection of Art Nouveau objets d’art and furnishings by Tiffany, Gallé, Majorelle, Massier, and other notable artisans – all part of “La Collection 1900” presented by the restaurant’s current owner, renowned fashion designer Pierre Cardin. On the tour, you’ll see what entertaining was like during the Belle Époque.

Art District Gallery
- Le Royal Monceau Hotel
41 Ave Hoche; Tel: 01/42-99-98-81; 
8th arrondissement, Metro: Charles de Gaulle Étoile or Ternes

(Open: Tues-Sat, 11am-7pm; Sun, 2-7pm; Free)
Art lives at this snazzy hotel, renovated by famed designer Philippe Starck. The Art District Gallery puts on about four annual exhibits of contemporary work by important photographers, visual artists, and designers--retrospectives and premieres. The hotel also has an impressive art bookstore, La Librairie des Arts, and a dedicated “art concierge” to help guests get the most out of the Paris art scene.

Lafayette Anticipations
9 Rue du Plâtre; Tel: 01/57-40-64-17; www.lafayetteanticipations.com
4th arrondissement, Metro: Rambuteau or Hôtel de Ville
(Open: Thurs-Sat, 11am-10pm; Sun-Mon, 11am-8pm; Fee but Free on Fri, 6-10pm)
Julien Creuzet, In my hands
(photo: Pierre Antoine)

In the chic Marais district, the Fondation Galeries Lafayette had starchitect Rem Koolhaas/OMA transform a 19-century department store warehouse into a truly cool new contemporary art, performance and exhibition space for local and international work. The space also serves as an "arts incubator"--providing artists the room to work on new creations. In addition to viewing exhibits & performances, you can take a fascinating architectural tour of the building. Afterwards, hangout in the lobby atrium, have an ultra-healthy snack at the Wild & the Moon cafe, and check out the trendy À Rebours boutique in the covered passageway that connects rue du Plâtre with rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie.

Le M.U.R.
Corner of rue Oberkampf & rue Saint Maur; 11th arrondissement, Metro: Parmentier or Rue St-Maur; www.lemur.fr

Le M.U.R., Lady M (photo: H. Laxenaire)
Artist Jean Faucheur, founder of “The Wall” - Le M.U.R. (Modulable, Urbain, Réactif), came up with the concept of putting original works of art by contemporary, urban artists up on a wall on the rue Oberkampf in the 11th arrondissement. Every two weeks, the artwork changes. Since there are two great cafés, La Place Verte (105 rue Oberkampf), right in front of the wall, and the famous Café Charbon (109 rue Oberkampf), just behind it, you’ve got reason enough to stop by often to check out The Wall.

Les Frigos (photo: Mbzt/WikiCommons)
Les Frigos
19 rue des Frigos; www.les-frigos.com; 13th arrondissement, Metro: Bibliothèque François Mitterrand

(Open: On Open House days or by appointment with one of the artists)
J-P Reti

Les Frigos (photo: Prissantenbär/WikiCommons)
This former industrial area, on the Seine in the 13th arrondissement, was transformed into a neighborhood that looks like The Jetsons live here. One of the few buildings to survive gentrification is Les Frigos (The Refrigerators), a former storage depot for fresh produce brought into Paris by train. Now, it provides studio space for some 120 eclectic creatives. You can visit the artists' studios on Portes Ouvertes (Open House) days, usually at the end of May. At other times, certain artists hold Open Studio events. You can also view each artist’s work on the website and contact them directly. The fascinating sculptor, Jean-Paul Reti, is the unofficial “mayor” of Les Frigos and, if he’s not busy working on his art, he’s happy to explain the background of the building to visitors.

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