URBANSIDER good to know

Paris Exhibitions Not to Miss this Month: August 2019


Keep cool while getting your art fix in Paris this summer with an exhibition in an air-conditioned museum. From an Impressionist retrospective to a temporary expo by Pharrell Williams, there are some interesting options this August.

Summers in the city can get pretty hot. The heatwave in July brought the highest temperatures ever recorded in Paris and it seems like it’s not going to get any better in August. The government’s instructions are clear: stay hydrated and spend some time somewhere cool.

Luckily, most of the museums in Paris have air conditioning to preserve the artworks, also helping you preserve your health (and sanity) when the temperature rises. Here are the hottest exhibitions of the month where you can stay cool and enjoy some Art!

Sally Mann, A Thousand Crossings

This exhibition is the first major retrospective of Sally Mann’s work. It starts with the series of pictures that made her famous in the 1990s: Her immediate family, shot with a view camera in the beautiful surroundings of their summer cabin in the South of the USA.

The use of a large-format camera means that the images of her children playing naked in the river, the bleeding nose of her son, or the infamous picture of her daughter smoking at ten are not genuine snapshots but carefully staged allegories. This melancholic depiction of the ephemeral world of childhood, its innocence, wonders, mysteries, and violence, is deeply moving and sometimes even unsettling. These shots provoked quite a scandal when there were first released in the United States and still raise questions every time they’re exhibited.

The show also explores lesser-known sides of Sally Mann’s work around the luxurious and threatening nature of her region as well as its complex historical heritage. Her elegiac depictions of the Southern landscapes are hauntingly beautiful. A must see!

On show through September 22

Jeu de Paume
1 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris
Tues: 12:00 – 21:00
Wed – Fri: 12:00 – 20:00
Sat – Sun: 11:00 – 20:00
Mon: Closed
Tickets: 10€

Sally Mann Trumpet Flowers Photography 1991 © Sally Mann

Trees, Fondation Cartier

A stroll through this exhibition in the air conditioned Fondation Cartier might be an even better excape from the heat than an actual walk in the forest!

The Fondation Cartier has gathered both scientists and artists to create this beautiful show which pays tribute to the oldest living beings on Earth.

From the picturesque depiction of Brazilian forests by photographer Cassio Vasconcellos to the latest discoveries of the pioneer of plant neurobiology Stefano Mancuso, the exhibition addresses the question of man’s relationship to nature in both a poetic and political way.

On show through November 12

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
261 Boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris
Tues – Sun: 11:00 – 18:00
Mon: Closed
Tickets: 10.50€

Cassio Vasconcellos, A Picturesque Voyage Through Brazil 2015-2018 © Cassio Vasconcellos

Berthe Morisot Retrospective

One of the most innovative artists of her time, Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot remains less known than her male contemporaries. This summer, the Musée d’Orsay welcomes the first retrospective of her work since the 1940’s.

Despite being refused at the Beaux-Arts because of her gender, Morisot decided to pursue an artistic career alongside her friends Manet, Degas, and Renoir at a time when painting was only suitable as a hobby for women.

Like other artists of the movement, Morisot focused on the depiction of ephemeral moments, but unlike many of them, she preferred portraits and interior scenes to landscapes. The exhibition is the occasion to (re)discover this major figure of Impressionism and also to plunge into the domestic life of the Parisian bourgeoisie at the end of the XIXth century.

On show through September 22

Musée d’Orsay
1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur 75007 Paris
Tues – Sun: 09:30 – 18:00
Late nights on Thurs: 21:45
Mon: Closed 
Tickets: 11€

Berthe Morisot, Eugène Manet à L’île De Wight, 1875

Pharrell Williams x Mr., A Call to Action

Housed in an elegant building overlooking the Place d’Iena and just a 10-minute walk from the Trocadéro, the Musée Guimet – the National Museum of Asian Arts – remains relatively unknown despite a rich collection.

Although the museum isn’t particularly known for exhibiting contemporary art, it’s changing things up this summer by giving carte blanche to superstar Pharrell Williams.

The singer has delegated the conception of the show to one of his favorite artists and long-time collaborator Mr., a prominent member of the Kaikai Kiki collective founded by Takashi Murakami. A serious fan of manga and anime when he was young, Mr.’s style has inherited the superflat aesthetic of his favorite comics and cartoons, but adding a subversive dimension with expressionist splashes of paintings, deletions, and alterations.

His installation for the Musée Guimet is entitled A Call to Action and aims to depict a post-apocalyptic world in which teenagers struggle to survive. It can be quite intoxicating, but the exhibition isn’t as polished as we could have expected from the artist. Something of a jumble of every possible fight (climate change, gun control, etc.), this kawai chaos of colors and violence might be right up your alley.

The show is very short, so afterward, stroll through the rest of the museum to discover the permanent collection or visit the other temporary exhibition currently on show focusing on the life of Buddha.

On show through September 23

Musée Guimet
6 Place d’Iéna, 75116 Paris
Wed – Mon: 10:00 – 18:00
Tues: Closed 
Tickets: 11.50€

Pharrell WilliamsxMr., View Of The Exhibition ©Mr. Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin

Subscribe to our newsletter for more Paris news & local tips


Share your personal Parisian story with the Urbansider community


Make your trip easy & authentic / Book a Parisian experience


Take a piece of Paris with you / Shop our boutique


© urbansider 2019
website by mobyclic

Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau