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Paris Exhibitions Not to Miss this Month: October 2019

  • Balenciaga Archives, Collection of Musée Bourdelle © Pierre Antoine


This month will be a busy one for art lovers in Paris, with art fairs and festivals as well as big openings in nearly every museum. We've narrowed it down to four favorites; here are our picks for the must-see exhibitions this month.

October is the month of art in Paris! On the 5th, you’ll be able to pull an all-nighter as the city streets are invaded with art installations and live performances for the annual edition of the Nuit Blanche and on the week of 16th, you can fill up your agenda with art fair hopping as the FIAC and its numerous little sisters open in every exhibition hall in Paris!

It’s also the month of big openings in each and every museum of the city, making it especially hard to select just a few must-see shows this month, but you should definitely find what you are looking for in this list!

Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World – Fondation Louis Vuitton

Charlotte Perriand is a fascinating figure of the 20th century art history. Raising interior design to the rank of a respected art thanks to her mastery of space and composition, she imagined a new art de vivre that broke with the codes of the time.

Her more humanist architecture, as free as possible from constraints, turned towards light and nature. Her interiors were designed to awaken the senses and create a new relationship to the world.

She dedicated her life to transforming the quotidian thanks to what she called the “synthesis of arts.” Working with the best craftsmen and artists of her time, she collaborated with likes of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret to create iconic designs such as the chaise longue as well as large-scale projects, like the Pavillon Suisse at the Cité Universitaire or the Cité du Refuge for the Salvation Army.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton is paying tribute to this pioneering figure of design with a gigantic exhibition bringing together more than 400 works by Perriand and her contemporaries. We can’t wait to walk through the seven reconstructions of the designer’s most iconic interiors.

On show from October 2, 2019 to February 24, 2020.

Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris
Metro Les Sablons
Mon, Wed, Thurs: 11:00 – 20:00
Fri: 11:00 – 21:00
Sat, Sun: 10:00 – 20:00
Closed Tues
Tickets: 16€

Salle de réception, Charlotte Perriand 1955 © Adagp Paris 2019 © AChP

From the Douanier Rousseau to Séraphine: The Great Naïve Masters – Musée Maillol

This Autumn, the Musée Maillol presents a charming exhibition of a selection of nine “Naïve” painters. These artists didn’t form a school, group, or movement. They didn’t even know each other. They’re what we’d call “outsider artists,” or “self-taught artists” for lack of a better term. 

It’s hard to put into words why their works are so fascinating. It may be the lack of technique, the boldness of their color choice, or the absence of theory behind their artworks – in total countercurrent to the avant-garde of time. We’re faced with a shameless desire to simply express oneself, and with a genuineness that makes the pieces extremely powerful.  

This exhibition features works by the Douanier-Rousseau, who fascinated both Picasso and the Surrealist and Seraphine, whose intense flower paintings were discovered completely by chance. It also showcases the works of forgotten painters, like Dominique Peyronnet, who depicted nature with an almost frightening precision, to Camille Bombois, whose black and white portraits and naked figures are truly remarkable.

On view until January 19, 2020.

Musée Maillol, 61 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
Metro Rue du Bac
Mon – Sun: 10:30 – 18:30
Fri: 10:30 – 20:30
Tickets: 13.50€

Deux Lions à L’Affût Dans La Jungle, Henri Rousseau 1909
© 1910 Photo Archives De L’hôtel Des Ventes De Monte Carlo

Back Side / Fashion from Behind – Musée Bourdelle

Although the Galliera Fashion Museum is currently closed for renovation, its curators offer this exhibition hors les murs in one of the most charming museums of Paris: The Musée Bourdelle. Here in a fantasmatic studio which belonged to 19th century master sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, the exhibition tackles one of the most sensual parts of the body: the back. Back Side is a delightful promenade among sculptural dresses presented side-by-side with Bourdelle’s sculptures of muscular bodies. 

On view until November 17

Musée Bourdelle, 16/18 rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris
Metro Falguière or Montparnasse
Mon – Sun: 10:00 – 18:00
Tickets: 10€

Balenciaga Fall-Winter 1961-62, Balenciaga Archives / Torso of Adam, Antoine Bourdelle 1889, Collection of Musée Bourdelle
© Pierre Antoine

Toulouse-Lautrec. Resolutely Modern – Grand Palais

What more can we learn about Toulouse-Lautrec? His paintings of life in Montmartre at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries are more than iconic, but this exhibition takes a gamble that there are still some underexplored aspects of his work. The curators promise to go deeper than the Moulin Rouge folklore and look at the artist through the lens of Art History. 

Born into one France’s oldest noble families, Toulouse-Lautrec suffered many health problems as a result of his parents’ consanguinity. He quickly gave up the nobleman life and instead spent his time depicting society of the era, in the great tradition of historical painting. To him, that meant spending his nights in cabarets and maisons closes.

His subjects kept his works out of official salons, but he managed to exist in the public space, most notably through his posters and his illustrations for the press.

The show explores Toulouse-Lautrec’s poetic and aesthetic ambitions as well as the evolutions and continuities in his short career. Indeed, the painter died at 36 from his alcoholism, leaving a large number of artworks behind that still fascinate both the general public and art historians.

On show from October 9, 2019 to January 27, 2020.

Grand Palais, 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris
Metro Champs-Elysées – Clémenceau
Wed – Mon: 10:00 – 21:00
Closed Tues
Tickets: 16€

Henri De Toulouse Lautrec, Au Salon Le Divan, C.1893 Huile Et Pastel Sur Carton
© Museu De Arte De Sao Paulo, Photo João Musa

Want help reserving tickets for these exhibitions or for other activities in Paris? Urbansider’s Concierge Services can take care of that for you!

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