5 Unmissable Art Exhibitions in Paris

23 October 2020
23 October 2020
5 Unmissable Art Exhibitions in Paris

Wondering what’s on in Paris? Parisian art and culture is world renowned, so take the opportunity to explore art exhibitions in the City of Lights! You can ever go wrong with the Louvre, but it only scratches the surface of unmissable art exhibitions available in Paris. Whether you’re looking for paintings, photography, sculptures, or just a romantic setting to wander through, we’ve got you covered. These exhibitions, curated by some of the best museums in Paris, will immerse you in culture, evoke deep emotions, and leave you desperate for more.

1) Matisse, Comme un Roman
Henri Matisse, La Tristesse du Roi (1952). Art exhibition in Centre Pompidou
Henri Matisse, La Tristesse du Roi (1952)
Photo © Centre Pompidou via maison-matisse.com

Dive into one of the best art exhibitions in Paris and explore the world of Henri Matisse, arguably the most important French painter of the 20th century. 

Centre Pompidou has curated the largest collection of his works since 1970, including never-seen-before pieces, to celebrate his 150th birthday. 

From drawings and paintings to sculpture and cut-outs, the colourful exhibition walks you through nine chapters of his life: from 1890, through his different artistic styles, world travels, and experiments, until his death in 1954. 

Here, you’ll get to explore Matisse in a new light, as the curator reveals information and perspectives never previously considered. So come, enter the mind of a revolutionary artist, and leave inspired!

When: 21 October 2020 to 22 February 2021

Where: Centre Pompidou

Ticket Price: 14 

2) Harper’s Bazaar. First in Fashion
Harper’s Bazaar. First in Fashion. Musée des Art Décoratifs
Harper’s Bazaar (June 1964)
Photo by Hiro © DR via madparis.fr

Step through the doors of one of the best museums in paris, the Musée des Art Décoratifs, and be immersed in the works of one of the most legendary fashion magazines in the world: Harper’s Bazaar.

Fashion is interwoven into Paris’ culture. There is a reason that Paris is famous for fashion, and why tens of thousands flock to the city every year for Paris Fashion Week. 

The Paris exhibition showcases 150 years of fashion through illustrations, photography, articles and iconic covers. Brimming with haute couture, take a close look at garments from the likes of Balenciaga, Givenchy and Dior and discover the stories behind them. 

Visionaries like Peter Lindbergh, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali are celebrated throughout, as Harper’s Bazaar honours their contributions to its empire.

Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the bittersweet world of Parisian and international fashion. See how trends change and return, what breakthroughs stemmed from innovation and iteration, and how the fashion magazine became the giant it is today.

Anyone with an interest in art, design, marketing or journalism should make a bee-line for this exhibition. And if you have an interest in fashion, this is a no-brainer!

When: 23 June 2020 to 3 January 2021

Where: Musée de Art Décoratifs

Ticket Price: €11 

3) Anticorps / Antibodies
Anticorps Antibodies. Exhibition Palais de Tokyo
Josèfa Ntjam & Sean Hart, Mélas de Saturne (2020) via palaisdetokyo.com 

The world-shaking pandemic has forced many to face their demons and discover what is truly important to them. Despite the western world seeming to be ever-more individualistic, social and physical distancing has left many longing for community… and a hug.

A pioneering Paris museum, Palais de Tokyo, has brought together 20 Artists to help us investigate our relationships, interactions and how we inhabit the world. 

After a virus swept through civilisation like a wrecking ball, we were forced to realise that we aren’t as invulnerable as we once thought. Sheltered by modern medicine, government and material excess, the privileged had little to fear. 

Anticorps takes a look at how the pandemic has altered our behaviour and daily lives. It asks you to consider the impacts of creating boundaries around our bodies, homes and countries. How has the human experience changed as we are no longer permitted to touch and be touched and are unable to experience tactile relationships with others. How have our relationships and emotional exchanges changed? What have we replaced our physical experience with? Is it healthy? 

This cerebral, immersive exhibition is one of the most interesting new exhibitions the world has seen in 2020. It will have you consider your privilege, social connections, tactile needs, and much more. Anticorps is an opportunity to explore the impact that COVID-19 has had on your life and how you will reconcile it as you move forward. This fascinating exhibition is not to be missed.

When: 23 October 2020 to 3 January 2021

Where: Palais de Tokyo

Ticket Price: €11 

4) Cindy Sherman Retrospective
Cindy Sherman Retrospective at the Foundation
Cindy Sherman Untitled #584 (2017-2018)
Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures, New York © 2020 Cindy Sherman via fondationlouisvuitton.fr

Cindy Sherman brings together 170 works from 20 artists as she tells the story of her career, identity and experience of society.

Cindy Sherman has photographed herself embodying a range of characters in emotional, provocative scenes for over 30 years.In this incredible exhibition, see how one of the most influential contemporary artists alive employs costumes, props and prosthetics to create work that forces onlookers to consider their social and sexual biases, expectations and stereotypes. 

In this brand new exhibition, she explores identity and artificiality in the media, and disguises herself in scenes informed by culture. Find savaged dolls, exaggerated plastic surgery, and clowns among her work.

This exhibition follows her entire career, including recent and unseen works. Expect to be captivated by the photographs, and find yourself questioning cultural imagery, and perceptions of identity and beauty. 

You won’t leave disappointed and you’ll have plenty to talk about at dinner. You’ll never look at Pennywise or Jessica Rabbit the same after this…

When: 23 September 2020 to 3 January 2021

Where: Fondation Louis Vuitton

Ticket Price: €14 

5) Journeys around the Mediterranean
Journeys around the Mediterranean. Art exhibition in Atelier des Lumières
Photo © Lefevre Fine Art Ltd., London via Atelier-Lumieres.com

Become part of the art as you find yourself wrapped up in a cocoon of Atelier des Lumieres. ‘The Light Workshop’ is a multimedia art experience that covers every surface with artwork. Light and sound play a major role as they set the tone and help the audience gain a deeper insight into the work.

The world renowned Journeys around the Mediterranean is a celebration of 20 world-renowned artists and the creativity that stemmed from their connection to the Mediterranean.

Including works by Renoir, Picasso, Chagall and Monet, visitors are blessed with masterpieces that have touched the lives of millions over decades. You’ll also get your steps in as you take in the 500+ canvases which plaster the walls and floors across 2000 m².

The Paris art exhibition walks you through 7 sequences, exploring different movements, evolutions and revolutions brought on by the legendary artists.

New exhibitions by Atelier des Lumieres draws over 1 million visitors a year to Paris, so if you’re wondering what’s on in Paris, this will certainly light up your trip. This is one of the most romantic exhibitions you’ll find, and even kids will be left in stunned silence as they fall in love with the Mediterranean through these artists’ eyes.

When: 28 February 2020to 3 January 2021

Where: Atelier des Lumieres

Ticket Price: €15

Wrapping up

The museums of Paris are constantly innovating and creating art exhibitions that blow audiences away. Whether you want to immerse yourself in a light-filled ocean of masterpieces, or explore the social impacts of the pandemic, there’s something for everyone in the glorious Parisian culture. Which of these Paris exhibitions do you want to go to most? Have you visited any?

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