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Paris Exhibitions Not to Miss This Month: May 2019


Whether you're a fan of contemporary art or more interested in the ancient Egyptians, the museums of Paris have an excellent offering of exhibitions this month.

It seems that this May will be a rainy one, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to spend a few days museum hopping. We’re sharing our suggestions for the 5 exhibitions to see in Paris this month so you can enjoy your time in the City of Light, rain or shine.

Ending Soon:

Vasarely, Sharing Forms

For someone under 50, it’s hard to understand the extent of Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely’s impact on our visual culture. From the Renault logo to dozens of murals in schools, train stations, airports, and major private companies, Vasarely’s designs were a huge part of life in the 60s and 70s.

The artist still suffers from the backlash of overexposure though. His flashy, vibrating patterns eventually made the public nauseous and both the art market and cultural institutions turned their backs on the artist, feeling that he had sold his soul.

Vasarely, le partage des formes, exhibition view.

This show offers to the father of Op Art a new lease of life. It’s a magistral tribute to one of the most influential artists in France.

Hurry over to the Centre Pompidou – the exhibition closes Monday, May 6!

Centre Georges Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris
Metro Rambuteau or Châtelet
Mon, Wed, Fri – Sun: 11:00 – 21:00
Thurs: 11:00 – 23:00
Closed Tuesdays
Tickets: 14€

Angelica Mesiti, When Doing Is Saying

You never know what to expect when you wander in the maze of underground galleries of the Palais de Tokyo. It’s not uncommon for regulars to end their visit slumped on a sofa in the pretty coffee shop, mentally exhausted, wondering about the meaning and limitations of Art. But this is also the place where you can live some of your strongest artistic experiences.

Angelica Mesiti’s show is one of these delicious surprises. The Australian artist’s first exhibition in France is composed of immersive video installations documenting the different ways in which culture can be manifested through non-linguistic forms of communication (that is to say, mainly – but not only – through music).

Citizen Band, video installation, 2012 © Angelica Mesiti

We won’t spoil the show for you; some videos are terribly melancholic while others are wonderfully uplifting, but all are equally poetic. Most importantly, you’ll leave the exhibition feeling like you understand humanity a little bit better.

This moving multimedia exhibition is on view until May 5, 2019.

Palais de Tokyo, 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
Metro Iéna or Alma-Marceau
Wed – Mon: 12:00 – 00:00
Closed Tuesdays
Tickets: 12€

Still On:

Metamorphosis, Art in Europe Now

What a dream job for the curators of this show! They spent a year traveling all over Europe, searching for the best emerging artists. Their selection of 21 artists from 16 countries is absolutely excellent and will give you hope in the future of contemporary creation!

We loved wandering through Benjamin Graindorge’s beautiful scenography, carefully studying the paintings, sculptures, and installations, and reading the artists’ statements as we tried to pick our favorite.

Our heart remains torn between two video artists: Jonathan Vinel, who managed to create a contemplative and melancholic movie out of images from video game Grand Theft Auto; and Gabriel Abrantes, who delivered a hilarious documentary on the history of Brancusi’s infamous sculpture, ‘Princess X’ – we’ve never seen so many people laughing in front of an artwork!

Princess X, video, 2016 © Gabriel Abrantes

On exhibit at the Fondation Cartier until June 16, 2019.

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, 261 Boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris
Metro Raspail
Tues: 11:00 – 22:00
Wed – Sun: 11:00 – 20:00
Closed Mondays
Tickets: 10,50€

Opening Now:

Tutankhamun, Treasures of the Golden Pharoah

This exhibition has been advertised as if it were a blockbuster movie or a pop star comeback, with tons of posters all over Paris announcing “The world’s final Tutankhamun tour,” “The most spectacular exhibition ever organized on the Pharaoh,” “An unforgettable experience you have to live”…

The show gathers a selection of 150 artifacts from the 5000-piece treasure found in the tomb of the most famous Pharaoh, supplemented by a series of documentaries to indulge the curiosity of a very broad public.

© Laboratoriorosso, Viterbo/Italy

We must warn you though, whether you’re fascinated by the mysteries and wonders of ancient Egypt (who isn’t?) or if the marketing campaign simply triggered a FOMO you can’t control, be prepared for prices and lines worthy of what the organizers would say is the cultural event of the decade.

On view until September 15, 2019.

Grande Halle de la Villette, 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris
Metro Porte de Pantin
Open everyday: 10:00 – 20:00
Tickets: 18€ – 24€

Théo Mercier, Every Stone Should Cry

Have you visited the Museum of Hunting and Nature yet? If not, this show is an excellent opportunity for you to discover this unclassifiable museum, exhibiting stuffed animals and boar poop alongside crazy contemporary artworks in a sublime hôtel particulier!

Every Stone Should Cry, 2019 © Théo Mercier

Sounds appealing? Then you should enjoy Théo Mercier’s sculptures and assemblages of found objects. The 35-year-old has been shaking things up in the very uptight Parisian contemporary art world for more than 10 years, his playful and irreverent work often raising uncomfortable questions on Man’s relationship with Culture and Nature.

On view until June 30.

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, 62 Rue des Archives, 75003 Paris
Metro Rambuteau or Saint-Sébastien – Froissart
Tues, Thurs – Sun: 11:00 – 18:00
Wed: 11:00 – 21:30
Closed Mondays
Tickets: 8€

Still not inspired?

Check out our recommendations from last month! All exhibitions are still on view.

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