Musée en Oeuvre(s) (Museum through works) is the new axe taken by the Centre Pompidou that presents – this September 2017 – a new hang of the contemporary collections, a more understandable, didactic and more coherent because of its chronological order.
We often forget it but the Centre Pompidou is a museum opened since 1977, presenting the works of the National Museum of Modern Art aiming at being as modern as possible. It has been the same struggle for 40 years to present and explain modern and contemporary art – an art the general public often considers as elitist.
If the visit still goes from the 5th floor (dedicated to modern art from 1905 to 1960) to the 4th floor (dedicated to contemporary art from 1960 to nowadays), it gets easier in 2017 thanks to indoor stairs accessible from October (no need to take the tunnel and show your ticket between two floors!).
After an introduction to modern art on the fifth floor with main works by Pablo Picasso, Raoul Dufy, Vassily Kandinsky, Constantin Brancusi, we turn towards contemporary art including visual, sound and scented experiences. Through the 32 rooms, the National Museum of Modern Art presents the most influencing artists of these past 50 years and their universes. The Centre Pompidou goes beyond paintings and visual installations, it decides to create environments in which we can go and look into.
As the perfect proof, Jean Dubuffet’s Jardin d’Hiver (Winter Garden), a wide white cave in polyurethane in which we can go in groups of 12 and of which the dented floor promises women in high heels quite a fright, but this is a beautiful geological discovery created by men.
In the same line, the room “Respirer l’Ombre” (Breathing the Shadow) by Giuseppe Penone filled with dry leaves and golden bronze lungs, or the Magasin de Ben (Ben’s store), unfortunately closed but full of messages each funnier than the next.
These experiences are truly relevant and take part in the idea of a cultural center open to all and not only a museum that is a “work cemetery” as we often hear. We must recognize the invitation sent to the unknown FRAC (Regional Fund for Contemporary Art) that integrate the museum’s hangs to works by young talents and being part of the new generation. These artists can then rub shoulder with international artists that are often talked about for their works installed across the globe and especially in Paris.
Daniel Buren (to whom we owe the columns in the garden of the Palais Royal) exhibits one of his wallpapers selected and cut especially for the Centre Pompidou. Christian Boltanski – who shocked Paris by setting up a pile of clothes within the Grand Palais – and Louise Bouregois, an intimist artist are all exhibited.
For that matter, when we walk into Container Zero, we truly became aware that artists are the true actors of the Centre Pompidou. In a large asepticized container, artist Jean-Pierre Raynaud puts everything he wants. For a few years, a dehydrated dead mouse shocks visitors but this work has already displayed flags and other flower bouquets – according to the artist.
Over a hundred works are to be discovered in the rooms of the Centre Pompidou. They have been selected to enable us all to understand and grasp the key moments of creation for these past 40 years!
Musée en Oeuvre(s), Centre Pompidou new presentation
From September 20, 2017
Location: Centre Pompidou
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., excluding Tuesday
Rates: €14 regular rate, €11 reduced rate
75004 Paris 4
tarif réduit: 11 €
tarif plein: 14 €