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Ron Mueck, Mass (2017) at Fondation Cartier

Best Paris Exhibitions: Unmasking Modern Myths

Erica Silverman

18 October 2023

The Best Paris Exhibitions Currently on View

While taking in Paris + par Art Basel and concurrent exhibitions throughout the city, you’ll want to make time for these best Paris exhibitions at Almine Rech, Lafayette Anticipations, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Bourse de Commerce, and Fondation Cartier

Kenny Scharf, MELTING SCHMELTING, 2023 at Almine Rech Paris

Kenny Scharf, “MELTING SCHMELTING,” 2023, 90 x 70 in., oil, acrylic and diamond dust on canvas with powder coated aluminum frame; © Kenny Scharf, photo by Dan Bradica, courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech.

Almine Rech Debuts Immersive Exhibitions for Paris Art Week 

Kenny Scharf: “Tout Suite”
October 14 — November 10, 2023
Almine Rech Paris unveils its second solo exhibition of pioneering artist Kenny Scharf titled “Tout Suite,” currently on view through Nov 10. Marking four decades of intuitive cultural exploration and revelation is Scharf’s latest series of multi-dimensional works that speak to both the dark and the light of our complex past, present, and future. With his signature spirit and deft wit, the artist repositions our focus on the world’s shocking state of environmental, political, and humanitarian crises, reminding us all the while of the future’s infinite possibilities. MELTING SCHMELTING (2023) blends oil, acrylic and diamond dust in a cartoonish disintegration of pure forms against idyllic blue skies, while BLOUGE! (2023), a mesmerizing work of spray paint on canvas, is reminiscent of expressive graffiti and Scharf’s origins on the dynamic streets of downtown New York in the 1980s. 

Alex Israel: “La Californie”
October 15 — November 10, 2023
In homage to the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s passing, artist Alex Israel debuts “La Californie” at Almine Rech Paris. The visionary’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery mixes pop culture and avant-garde art making for an inspired investigation of Picasso’s iconic salon-turned-studio: La Californie. The dramatic Belle Epoque villa resting on the French Riviera was the site of Picasso’s revisioned form of self-portraiture from 1955-1961, as well as connecting him to a myriad of international celebrities descending onto Cannes for the yearly film festival. Israel echoes Picasso’s vision with self-portraits of his own live-work space in California, spotlighting paint cans and easels alongside west coast staples including Malibu rum and avocados. The exhibition presents innovative paintings, such as Self Portrait (After André Villers’ ‘Portrait of Picasso with Gary Cooper’s hat and gun’) (2023), alongside life-size painted aluminum cut-outs of Israel, Almine Rech, and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso. A thoughtful sprinkling of archival pieces from Parisian prop-houses, as well as historic gems from Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, showcases a riveting juxtaposition of historic art iconography and Hollywood magic. 

A Must-See Show at Lafayette Anticipations 

Issy Wood: “Study for No”
October 18, 2023 — January 7, 2024
Lafayette Anticipations presents a comprehensive show of riveting work by London-based artist Issy Wood, on view through January 7, 2024. Forever-inspired by intimacy, femininity, and the underestimated power of resistance, the artist turns our gaze thoughtfully inward with a vibrant display of 60 diverse paintings. With its title derived from a surreal 2019 work, the experiential presentation challenges the status quo with visuals under the categories of Desires, Orders, Interior, Time, Possessions, and Self-Portraits. Desires highlights the mesmeric sensuality of leather jackets and automotive interiors, with titles such as Into that darkness (2018) and Speeding / losing my touch (2022). Orders conveys problematic power dynamics with a collaging of historic and modern objects. An oil painting of metallic armor is titled, I told her so (2022), while a collection of antique dishware is humorously designated as Help yourself (XXL) (2020). 

“Fashion and Sports: From one Podium to Another” at Musée des Arts décoratifs

Cyd Jouny, Soho Trainers and Tandem Trainers, 1993, suede, leather, cotton, alcantara, perforated leather, inlaid and overlaid with metallised leather; © Les Arts Décoratifs / Jean Tholance, courtesy of Musée des Arts décoratifs.

Best Paris Exhibitions at Musée des Arts décoratifs

“Fashion and Sports: From one Podium to Another”
September 20, 2023 — April 7, 2024
On the occasion of the upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris, Musée des Arts décoratifs spotlights the captivating and enduring relationship between fashion and sports with a sweeping exhibition, currently on view through April 7, 2024. Visitors will behold 450 pieces—including paintings, photographs, garments, accessories, and videos—which reveal the progression of sportswear throughout history, as well as its remarkable influence on both streetwear and the runway. Meticulously curated by Sophie Lemahieu, with design by BGC Studio, the colorful and chronological presentation reveals the historic roots of sportswear for healthier living as well as a major component in the introduction of team sports. The stories of groundbreaking brands in sportswear, such as Lacoste and Hermès, make way for fashion’s embracement of champions such as Zinedine Zidane and Naomi Osaka, culminating in a ravishing, full circle presentation. 

Mira Schor, Mask Me, 1977 at Bourse de Commerce

Mira Schor, “Mask ‘Me’”, 1977, 21.2 × 17.7 × 0.1 cm., ink, dry pigment, acrylic gel and Japan Gold Size on rice paper; courtesy of Pinault Collection and Bourse de Commerce.

A Retrospective, an Exhibition, and Installations Unite at Bourse de Commerce

“American Mythologies”
September 20, 2023 — January 2024
Bourse de Commerce unveils a vibrant exhibition season dedicated to exploring a myriad of “American Mythologies,” uniting a retrospective of luminary Mike Kelley with an exhibition of works by Lee Lozano and installations by Ser Serpas and Mira Schor. The premier artists of the Pinault Collection spotlight the many shades of history’s social structures and countercultures, utilizing images of the human visage and body, as well as expressions of protest as performance, in order to thoroughly explore the nuances of a disillusioned collective. A precursor to the show is Ed Ruscha’s ominous black and white painting Untitled (2023), beckoning visitors with an expansive projection of the phrase “The End” onto a movie screen. Kelley’s “Ghost and Spirit” presentation, curated by Catherine Wood, Director of Programme, and Fiontán Moran, Curator of International Art, at Tate Modern, is thematically organized, featuring extraordinary investigations from early sound objects and performance projects to photographs, major collaborations, installations, and video projections. 

Ron Mueck Fondation Cartier

Ron Mueck, “Mass,” 2017, mixed media, variable dimensions, exhibition view, Fondation Cartier; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Felton Bequest, 2018 Photo © Michel Slomka / MYOP / Lumento.

Best Paris Exhibitions at Fondation Cartier 

Ron Mueck
June 8 — November 5, 2023
Australian visionary Ron Mueck’s third exhibition at Fondation Cartier features a large-scale installation of sculptures never-before-seen in France alongside emblematic works of the artist’s striking oeuvre. Mass (2017), commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne is a mammoth ensemble appearing as 100 human skulls. Skillfully shaped with mixed media, and towering over enthralled visitors, the title itself conveys a range of metaphors, including an ominous collection of matter, or a beloved religious ritual. In an intriguing juxtaposition, the small sculpture Baby (2000) is suspended on the wall in the shape of a cross; drawn from medical textbook imagery, the artwork evokes life’s precious and innocent beginnings, while the baby’s face wears a macabre expression. Man in a Boat (2002) is a fantastical and compelling work in which a man attempts to cover his nude form from within a ceremonious clinker-built boat, and A Girl (2006) revisits the complex elements of birth in monumental detail. 

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Inviting the audience to feel, touch, and experience art in its most dynamic state is “When Forms Come Alive” at Hayward Gallery.
Susan Chen's first solo show at Rachel Uffner is on view now through April 20 in New York, including works in clay and ne paintings.
Minjung Kim’s first solo exhibition with Almine Rech opens in Paris this week entitled, “Regeneration," opening April 26.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

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