A Tour Around the Parisian Art Scene
Exploring the Major Exhibitions on Display Right Now

La Tour Eiffel vue de la Tour Saint-Jacques. © Yann Caradec

As a Parisian art gallery, we are thrilled to be part of the cultural and artistic dialogue in one of the world’s art capitals. As per usual, the cultural scene in Paris is bustling with excellence, evidenced by a seemingly never-ending series of exhibitions, retrospectives and art faris. From icons such as the Louvre or the d'Orsay museums, to contemporary art institutions such as the Bourse de Commerce, join us as we embark on a journey through Paris's current exhibition scene, where centuries-old classics and cutting-edge contemporary works converge to captivate and inspire.

Le Pavillon de Flore vu du jardin des Tuileries
Photo: © Ali Sabbagh
In the heart of Paris, where culture and history intertwine, lies a treasure trove of artistic marvels waiting to be discovered. From iconic masterpieces to avant-garde creations, the city's renowned museums and galleries offer an amazing array of exhibitions that showcase the richness and diversity of the art world. From the majestic halls of the Louvre to the modern spaces of the Centre Pompidou and beyond, Paris beckons art enthusiasts and curious minds alike to immerse themselves in a world of creativity and imagination. So, grab your guidebook and let's explore the cultural wonders that await us in the City of Light!

Revoir Van Eyck: The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin
at the Louvre
The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin, a masterpiece by Jan van Eyck, remains surprisingly overlooked today despite its author's fame. Recently restored at the Center for Research and Restoration of French Museums, this historic restoration has spectacularly unveiled the artwork, which had not undergone restoration since its acquisition by the museum in 1800. The Louvre is dedicating an exceptional exhibition to this event, featuring a digital immersion allowing visitors to delve into the heart of Van Eyck's painting. This exhibition gathers the largest number of Jan van Eyck's works ever displayed in France, including six in total. It provides a unique opportunity to enhance understanding of the Madonna of Chancellor Rolin by comparing it with other works from the same period. Guided by questions about the artwork's purpose, context, and significance, the exhibition offers a narrative journey in six sections, enabling visitors to explore the painting's details. Through high-definition images, visitors can immerse themselves in the landscape created by Van Eyck. This exhibition sheds light on artistic dialogues and tensions in Flemish art of the 15th century, while highlighting the uniqueness and context of the Madonna of Chancellor Rolin. The show can be seen at the Louvre until June 17th.

Jan Van Eyck, The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin, ca. 1435
Photo: © Wikimedia Commons

Paris 1874: Inventing Impressionism
at the Musée d’Orsay
The year 2024 marks the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition, which opened in Paris on April 15, 1874. To commemorate this milestone, the Musée d'Orsay presents a major exhibition titled Paris 1874: Inventing Impressionism. With around 130 works, the exhibition offers a fresh perspective on this pivotal period in art history. It aims to delve into the circumstances surrounding the emergence of Impressionism and explore the lasting impact of the legendary exhibition, which was attended by only a few thousand curious visitors at the time and left no visual record. Against the backdrop of post-war France following the Franco-Prussian War and a subsequent civil conflict, artists sought autonomy and new directions in their art, rebelling against the traditional academic system. Paris 1874: Inventing Impressionism presents a selection of works from the original Impressionist exhibition alongside pieces shown at the Salon of the same year, providing a juxtaposition between independent and academic art. This unique comparison invites viewers to reconsider their preconceptions about Impressionism and its significance within the context of its time, highlighting both the richness and contradictions of contemporary artistic creation in the spring of 1874. Find it at the Musée d’Orsay until July 14th.

Claude Monet, Impression, soleil levant, 1872
Photo: © Wikimedia Commons

at the Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou hosts a major retrospective with the straight-forward title Brancusi, showcasing over 200 sculptures alongside photographs, drawings, and films by the world-renowned artist. This exceptional event is part of an operation to transfer the entire Brancusi Studio ahead of renovation works in 2025 in the Centre Pompidou, offering a unique opportunity to explore every facet of the oeuvre of this seminal figure in modern sculpture. Complemented by loans from major international collections, the exhibition highlights the dialogue between casts in the Brancusi Studio and original stone or bronze works. The visit route sensitively immerses visitors in Brancusi's Parisian studio, emphasizing his sources of inspiration and creative process. Through a rich corpus of documents, the exhibition situates Brancusi's life within broader artistic and historical contexts, showcasing his friendships with avant-garde artists like Marcel Duchamp and Fernand Léger. Organized around the artist's major series of works, the themed route underscores the key challenges of modern sculpture, from the ambiguity of form to the representation of animals and monumentality.

Constantin Brancusi, La muse endormie, 1910

Photo: © Centre Pompidou, MNAM−CCI/Adam Rzepka/Dist. RMN-GP

Le monde comme il va
at the Bourse de Commerce
The exhibition Le monde comme il va (translated as “the world as it goes”) at the Bourse de Commerce, exclusively featuring works from the Pinault Collection, showcases the depth, vitality, and diversity of contemporary art. Curated by Jean-Marie Gallais, the exhibition draws from established figures like Maurizio Cattelan and Damien Hirst to younger artists such as Anne Imhof and Salman Toor, reflecting the museum's commitment to art that engages with the contemporary world, as the title indicates. Through powerful images, the exhibition presents a nuanced exploration of the complexities of the present, echoing Voltaire's philosophical tale of the same name. Visitors are invited to navigate through a spectrum of emotions and themes, from the ironies to the violence of the current state of the world, reflected in artworks spanning from the 1980s to today. Kimsooja's monumental intervention in the museum's Rotunda, utilizing a massive circular mirror, further amplifies the exhibition's exploration of reality and perception. Le monde comme il va not only captures the turbulence of today's world but also reflects the Pinault Collection's ongoing dedication to presenting a kaleidoscopic and dynamic vision of contemporary art. Discover it at the Bourse de Commerce until September 2nd.

Vue de l’exposition « Le monde comme il va », Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Paris, 2024

© Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier. Photo : Florent Michel / 11h45 / Pinault Collection

Théodore Rousseau: la voix de la forêt
at the Petit Palais
The Petit Palais presents an unprecedented exhibition dedicated to Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867), a bohemian and modern artist who made nature the central motif of his work, his world, and his refuge. Admired by young impressionists and photographers who followed his footsteps into the forest, Rousseau exemplifies the vitality of landscape painting amid a century marked by industrial revolution. The exhibition brings together nearly a hundred artworks from major French and international museums as well as private collections, underscoring Rousseau's rightful place in art and landscape history. His meticulous observation of nature, evident in studies of tree trunks, rocks, undergrowth, and marshes, underscores the uniqueness of his artistic approach, which eschews geometric perspective to immerse the viewer in the ecosystem itself. The exhibition also sheds light on Rousseau's paintings in the Fontainebleau forest and his influential role among artists and photographers in Barbizon village, where he settled in 1847. Credited to be the founder of the Barbizon school, in many ways a direct precursor to Impressionism, Rousseau’s influence is analyzed in detail in this necessary and revealing exhibition. Immerse yourself in nature through painting at the Petit Palais until July 7th.

Théodore Rousseau, Arbre dans la forêt de Fontainebleau, 1840-1849
Photo © Image Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Mexica: Gods and Offerings at Templo Mayor
at the Musée du Quai Branly
The current exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac showcases for the first time in Europe the recent archeological findings from extensive excavation conducted at the main temple of the Mexica civilization, the Templo Mayor. Initiated after the discovery of Tenochtitlan's remains in Mexico City in 1978, the Templo Mayor Project (INAH) aims to reveal the full extent of this previously unknown site. The exhibition at Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac unveils the Templo Mayor Project's discoveries, revealing 209 offerings dedicated to divinities with precise ritual placement. Through symbolic arrangements of minerals, plants, animals, and human beings, these offerings shed light on the Mexica society's political, economic, and religious complexities, showcasing artistic excellence and expansionist endeavors. Displaying sculptures like the terracotta statue of Mictlantecuhtli and the Sun Stone's 3D reproduction, the exhibition portrays Mexica religious beliefs and cosmology. It also examines contemporary practices of offering to earthly and divine powers in Mexico. With nearly 500 works, many never before seen in Europe, the exhibition provides immersive insight into Mexica civilization, its beliefs, and its archaeological legacy. Discover this unprecedented show at the Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac until September 8th.

Olla Tláloc
Photo: © D.R. Secretaría de Cultura-INAH-MEX. Museo del Templo Mayor

LIVING GODS: Icelandic Brushstrokes on Classical Mythology at the Galerie de Buci
We couldn’t end the article without mentioning our very own exhibition at the Galerie de Buci: LIVING GODS by Reinar Foreman, an emerging Icelandic painter. What happens when we look at stories from the past while keeping in mind our contemporary sensibilities? Reinar Foreman seems to answer the very question, regarding classical mythology, both in essence and in form, to reinterpret it for a modern-day audience. Although his young age would suggest otherwise, Reinar Foreman appears to have found a distinctive and appealing style, drawing inspiration from masters like Francis Bacon but never losing his own voice in the portrayal of his subjects. Evidenced by the confluence of themes and styles that come to mind when analyzing the paintings in LIVING GODS, his is a unique approach to painting—a quick-tempered yet disciplined one, in which experimentation does not put a brake on the painter’s gestural confidence, visible in his clear, direct brushstrokes. established a series conceived after his selection of powerful and recognizable parts of ancient mythology, ranging from Olympian deities such as Apollo or Dyonisos, to myths such as the stories of Apollo and Daphne or the Abduction of Proserpina. In these, Reinar Foreman is able to synthesize the world-famous composition of a sculpture by Bernini with his own distinctive style. Find it at the Galerie de Buci until May 16rh.

Reinar Foreman, Apollo and Daphne, 2024
Photo: Galerie de Buci

These are just a glimpse of the vibrant art scene in Paris, with exhibitions ranging from modern sculpture to contemporary art and ancient civilizations. Whether you're a seasoned art enthusiast or simply curious to explore new cultural horizons, Paris offers an unparalleled array of artistic experiences waiting to be discovered. Paris' museums offer arguably one of the world's most complete cultural experiences, all concentrated along the two banks of the Seine, and this season's exhibitions are a must-see!

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