Modern Art at Centre Pompidou, Paris
We made a quick 3 day stop in Paris on our way to the Alps for our first try at skiing in Europe (pics coming soon). We visited a couple of our favorite places (we’ve eaten at La Rôtisserie d’en Face every time we’ve come to Paris since our honeymoon in 2001, always good food and such sentimental memories for us; and I love the silky camisoles at Bruce Field on Saint Germain).
We also visited a couple of new places (one new and one not, but both new for us): Musée National d’Art Moderne at Centre Pompidou, and the newly opened Fondation Louis Vuitton in Bois de Boulogne.
Centre Pompidou houses the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe. The museum has the second largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the world, after the Museum of Modern Art in New York, with more than 100,000 works of art by 6,400 artists from 90 countries.
Love him (or his art) or hate him, Koons is a colorful artist. A few tidbits from Wiki:
- On November 12, 2013, Koons’s Balloon Dog (Orange) sold at a Christie’s auction in New York City for $58.4 million, becoming the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction.
- He has a 16,000 sq ft studio (factory?) near the old Hudson rail yards in Chelsea, with 130 assistants. (see this great 7/2014 Vanity Fair article on Koons, his studio, his family, etc.)
- In 1991, he married Hungarian-born naturalized-Italian pornography star Cicciolina (Ilona Staller) who also pursued an alternate career as a member of the Italian Parliament.
Frank Gehry has been called ‘the most important architect of our age’ and is probably best known for The Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. For anyone not sure what they want to do when they enter college (or before, or after), Gehry’s story is inspiring. From Wiki: “According to Gehry, “I was a truck driver in L.A., going to City College, and I tried radio announcing, which I wasn’t very good at. I tried chemical engineering, which I wasn’t very good at and didn’t like, and then I remembered. You know, somehow I just started racking my brain about, “What do I like?” Where was I? What made me excited? And I remembered art, that I loved going to museums and I loved looking at paintings, loved listening to music. Those things came from my mother, who took me to concerts and museums. I remembered Grandma and the blocks (in his Grandfather’s hardware store), and just on a hunch, I tried some architecture classes.” Gehry graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from USC in 1954.
It was fun to see some of Gehry’s buildings that we had visited in the past, and his design for the Fondation Louis Vuitton was stunning, so we decided to visit this new modern art museum, which just opened at the end of 2014 in the Bois de Boulogne. The building is fantastic. The art? Well, let’s just say it must have been too sophisticated for us!