Aerial photo of the museum, photo by the Push Foundation
I don’t know why but I wasn’t really that excited about seeing the new Gehry designed Louis Vuitton Foundation museum in Paris. My friend Maeggie had to goad me into it by showing me her photos.
Just had to take a photo of myself with all the mirrors downstairs
Of course I’d read articles that came out at the opening back in the fall. I had been to Bilbao and had been amazed by it, I’d seen several other works of his and perhaps I was beginning to think that they were all looking a bit too similar.
Thomas Schütte’s man standing in mud, look at the size of it compared to the people behind!
How wrong I was.
It’s a maze of a building but in that way each gallery continues to surprise you. Upstairs where I started, I ran into a gigantic white man who is stuck in the mud and in the next room which you aren’t sure is there or even where it is until you are in it, held a number of Giacometti’s whose works look regal in the space.
There are hidden small courtyards, many works, which will surprise you and a photography exhibit that was at once familiar and at the same time new and exciting. I enjoyed 85% of what I saw, so much of it was challenging, alarming, intriguing and even gross.
Some works by Annette Messager and others are disturbing but definitely make you look.
But nearly everything on exhibit was captivating, as is this new work of Gehry’s. He manages to keep to his particular look but yet it feels new. It’s not a copy of anything else he’s done, nor do you feel he’s resting on his laurels. I must say that I was forced to remember again, the man is brilliant.
School child by Maurizio Catellan
Also, with regard to the question that the building surpasses the artwork in it, this has always been the concern with Gehry’s greatness. But in this case, I believe the curators of the shows I saw found work that rose to the occasion.
One of many of Olafur’s rooms, this one was interactive.
The artist Olafur Eliasson that covers the bottom several floors was profound, exciting, weird, wild, unique and totally captivating. It seems as if it were designed for the space and I suppose it was.
Adrian Villar Rojas’ piece was commissioned for the space outside
The piece outside on the roof by Adrian Villar Rojas made of cement and the artists’ personal clothing looked perfectly enticing where it was half inside and half outside of the elements.
More of Olafur’s work, these were reflective mirrors
Spoiler alert, the rushing waterfall downstairs that married the outside with the inside comes as a surprise but is invigorating and had an almost profound effect when seen at night.
Le Frank the restaurant by Jean-Louis Nomicos, a Michelin starred chef
The bookstore and the restaurant on site are worthy of a browse and a reservation. They could do with a more casual café however. It’s not as if the city really needed another great museum, but we’ve got one nevertheless.
The bookstore chock full of LV guides
The museum is in Paris but just barely so take an UBER if you want to do it the easy way, but do go. Don’t wait creating false assumptions like I did.
Gehry’s preliminary sketch of the museum
(slideshow photo is a Photo by Wolfgang Tillmans)
LV Foundation Paris
Note: The Olafur Eliasson show is over but on April 1st a new show of multiple artists opens which includes Edward Munch’s the Scream entitled Keys to a Passion.