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Paris has art museums large and small, hidden and well-known, filled with works by famous artists and those you still need to get to know. But they all have one thing in common: they have pictures hanging on the wall.
The Atelier des Lumières takes a different approach, introducing you to artists and their life’s work while taking your breath away. A former foundry, the venue’s large, open space is filled with light, art, and music, its walls, staircases, and industrial elements making for an unusual canvas. Visitors stand, sit, or roam around in the space, becoming quite literally immersed in the art on display as the digital projectors shine on them.
The exhibition I saw was entitled, Starry Night, dedicated to the life and works of Vincent Van Gogh. His letters, self-portraits, landscapes, and still life paintings were projected on the walls, pillars, and floors, covering every inch of available space with vibrant, animated artworks. Music accompanied each thematic tableau, ranging from classical to blues, hip-hop to pop, all carefully selected to round out the immersive experience.
The digital art shows at the Atelier des Lumières incorporate both still images and video into the 360-degree exhibitions. Some visitors focus on one corner of the space while others swivel about to take it all in.
Color, light, and music surround you for roughly one hour, but you barely notice time go by or the fact that your mouth has been hanging open in awe.
Opened in April 2018, the Atelier des Lumières is the first digital and immersive art space in Paris. Following up the wildly successful inaugural exhibition focused on Klimt and Schiele, the Van Gogh exhibition ran from February 22, 2019–December 31, 2019.
For 2020, the innovative art space hosts the exhibition Monet, Renoir, and Chagall: Journeys Around the Mediterranean. From February 28, 2020 to January 3, 2021, visitors can immerse themselves in the masterpieces of 20 artists, including Renoir, Monet, Pissarro, Matisse, Vlaminck, and Chagall, showcasing how the shores of the Mediterranean influenced artistic creativity and served as a center of the modernist movement.
Urbansider Tip: Purchase your tickets online at the Atelier de Lumière’s Official Site, as the on-site ticket office closes early and is closed on weekends. Also, tickets tend to sell out a few days in advance, so plan ahead. Tickets are 15€ for adults, 10€ if under 25. A family package is also available for 44€ for 2 adults and 2 youth.