In Town for Paris Art Week? Here Are 7 Must-See Museum Shows From Martin Margiela, Marlene Dumas, and Other Artists

Paris museums are pulling out their finest for FIAC week.

Installation view, 
”Ouverture”, Bourse de Commerce—Pinault Collection, Paris, 2021. 
 Urs Fischer, Untitled (2011). ©Urs Fischer. Courtesy Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich. Photo by Stefan Altenburger. Bourse de Commerce — Pinault. Collection. ©Tadao Ando Architect and Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, Agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier.

The Frieze tent in London’s Regent’s Park has barely been disassembled and yet eyes have already shifted to Paris. This week, the French capital will welcome FIAC back to the Grand Palais Éphémère for the fair’s 47th edition, this year boasting 170 exhibitors. Elsewhere, the quirkier Paris Internationale will again set up shop in an intimate, residential building at 168 Avenue Victor Hugo, from where the smaller fair will continue its mission to champion emerging galleries.

Also participating in Paris Art Week are the city’s art institutions, a number of which are mounting a slew of high-caliber exhibitions, the quality of which is so laudable—so “must-see”—that you might even be up prompted to consider cutting fair time in favor of an old-fashioned museum excursion.

Here are seven you won’t want to miss.

“Ouverture” at Pinault Collection

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Vigil for a Horseman (2017). ©Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Exhibition view, “Ouverture”, Bourse de Commerce—Pinault Collection, 2021. Courtesy the artist and Pinault Collection. Photo by Aurélien Mole.

Still fresh from its May unveiling, the new Bourse de Commerce–Collection Pinault continues to bask in that undeniable sparkle of the new. Collector François Pinault’s long-awaited Parisian venture now proudly stands in the Les Halles district, occupying a historic building revitalized under the guidance of visionary architect Tadao Ando.

Celebrating the museum’s inauguration is “Ouverture,” an ambitious group presentation of 200 works by 32 artists, installed across all 10 exhibition spaces. Works by David Hammons, Cindy Sherman, Maurizio Cattelan, Sherrie Levine, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Antonio Obá, Urs Fischer, and Kerry James Marshall appear in a sprawling display where each artist on view is a heavyweight in their own right.

Pinault Collection, 2 rue de Viarmes, 75001 Paris; through December 31, 2021.

“Anne Imhof: Natures Mortes”
at Palais de Tokyo

Anne Imhof, ROOM VI (2021). Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Buchholz and Sprüth Magers. Photo: Andrea Rossetti.

Demand for tickets to “experience” the German artist’s newest project has gotten so intense that Palais de Tokyo implemented nightly extended hours through the show’s close. (At the time of writing, only eight “exceptional” days remain.) In signature Imhof fashion, “Natures Mortes” is touted more as a spectacle than an exhibition, taking over the Parisian center’s entire space with “an all-embracing, polyphonic work” of music, painting, drawing, and, of course, performance.

The Golden Lion winner also invited a cast of 30 artist “accomplices” to participate in a mysterious team venture that involves fellow artists Oscar Murillo, Precious Okoyomon, Jutta Koether, and Wolfgang Tillmans.

Palais de Tokyo, 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris; through October 24, 2021.

“Marlene Dumas: Le Spleen de Paris and Conversations”
at Musée d’Orsay

Marlene Dumas, Hafid Bouazza (2020). Courtesy Marlene Dumas. Photo: © Peter Cox, Eindhoven.

In an ode to Baudelaire and his enduring influence, esteemed contemporary painter Marlene Dumas produced 15 new works born from a collaboration with the late author and translator Hafid Bouazza, and timed to the bicentenary of Baudelaire’s birth, in 1821. Poetry and literature are well-known factors that shape Dumas’s work, and this new series was inspired by the legendary French poet’s collection Le Spleen de Paris. Portraits of figures such as Baudelaire and artist Jean Duval are displayed alongside still lifes that respond to a poem, or contain image motifs, such as a rat or a bottle, referenced within the poetry collection.

Musée d’Orsay, Esplanade Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, 75007 Paris; through January 30, 2022.

‘Bonaventure (Trafficking worlds)’
at Fondation d’Entreprise Pernod Ricard

“Bonaventure (Trafiquer les mondes).” Installation view, from left to right: Minia Biabiany, Meris Angioletti, Gina Folly. Photo: Thomas Lannes, 2021.

Curated by Lilou Vidal, this group exhibition—also known as the 22nd Pernod Ricard Foundation Prize show—brings together (you guessed it) the nominees currently up for the award, which since 1999 has been recognizing artists under 40. Themes of storytelling and the occult dominate this year’s iteration (its title, bonaventure, refers to the uncertainty and risk involved in fortune telling), with rising stars such as Tarek Lakhrissi and Gina Folly included in the lineup of nine participants.

Fondation d’entreprise Pernod Ricard, 1 cours Paul Ricard, 75008 Paris; through October 30, 2021.

Martin Margiela
at Lafayette Anticipations

© Martin Margiela.

Even though the trend of “fashion as art” has already peaked—and at this point is veering dangerously close to cliche—Lafayette Anticipations combats such associations head on by noting in the press text that Martin Margiela, founder of French fashion house Maison Margiela, “has always been an artist.”

Margiela is categorized here as an iconoclast, whose work across various media influenced his unbiased approach to material, providing him an attitude that regards a Caravaggio painting or a box of hair dye with equal significance. The show, organized by distinguished curator Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, is framed as a single artwork in itself, encompassing installations, sculptures, collages, paintings, and films, all being shown publicly for the first time in a “labyrinthine” setting.

Lafayette Anticipations, 9 rue du Plâtre, F-75004 Paris, October 20, 2021 – January 2, 2022.


“Bianca Bondi: The Daydream”
at Fondation Louis Vuitton

Bianca Bondi, detail of The Daydream (2021). Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. © Adagp, Paris, 2021, © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage.

For her first one-person museum outing in France, Bianca Bondi has erected an indoor garden which drew original influence from Mexican cenotes, a form of region-specific topography that is heavily steeped in myth. The artist’s multisensory installation is situated around a central well outfitted with synthetic lungs, or alveoli. The well serves as the site’s primary energy source, by which its lungs regularly emit a colored, fragrant saline solution that “nourishes” the vegetation, flowers, and creepy-crawlers dwelling on branches in this half-fake, half-natural ecosystem. Bondi, who was born in South Africa and now lives in Paris, is an artist to watch: She also has a concurrent solo show at Fondation Carmignac in Porquerolles, France, and is slated to participate in the 2022 Gwangju Biennale.

Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris; through January 24, 2022.

Jean Claracq
at Musée Eugène Delacroix

Jean Claracq, Working Class Hero (2021). Courtesy the artist and Galerie Sultana. Photo: Romain Darnaud.

As part of FIAC’s programming, the emerging painter Jean Claracq has debuted seven new paintings at Musée Delacroix. Created in direct response to two Delacroix works from the Old Master’s namesake permanent collection, Claracq’s compositions examine the tension inherent in contrasting perceptions. Produced in the artist’s typical small-scale format, these new paintings encourage a dialogue with those of Eugène Delacroix. Despite centuries of separation, Claracq possesses distinct similarities to the most influential artist of the French Romantic school, particularly in their shared attempts to capture an individual’s internal distress, especially as it may be influenced by a sense of helplessness in a chaotic world.

Musée Eugène Delacroix, 6 Rue de Furstemberg, 75006 Paris; through November 1, 2021.

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