10 reasons to go to the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris
Yes you are not mistaken, we are talking about the luxury brand, but this time it’s not much about fashion shows and 1 million dollar bags but rather about experiencing contemporary and modern art at its finest and stepping right into the 21st century.
Tickets for Louis Vuitton Foundation
You can purchase tickets for Fondation Louis Vuitton on Tiqets.com. These are premium tickets (skip-the-line entrance to temporary & permanent exhibitions & free use of the shuttle bus service).
1.) At the roots… of the Foundation
Inaugurated in October 2014, the Foundation’s watchword is a perfect reason to go the Louis Vuitton Foundation:
“I dream of designing a magnificent vessel for Paris that symbolizes France’s profound cultural vocation”
… says Frank Gehry, the architect of the foundation. From now on you might be thinking about old French culture and of “Le Château de Versailles”. Well, I hate to say it but you are all wrong. After many years of France resting on her laurels concerning art, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is a real storm in the room.
Through this institute, Bernard Arnault, the owner of the LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Moët, Hennessy) group, set himself the goal to promote contemporary and modern art, therefore, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, embraces and embodies modernity.
2.) Contemplate the architecture
Have you ever heard about “mise en abyme”? Or metatheatre for those who want to stick to English? The building of the Foundation, made to display pieces of art, is actually a piece of art in itself. The whole structure is made out of huge sails composed with glass panels held by a wooden beam. These materials allow the Foundation to play with the lights and reflections.
Therefore not only can they adapt the lighting to the current exhibition but also the inside of the foundation is very ephemeral and constantly changing depending on the light, the hour of the day and the season. The modernity and airiness of this piece of art also reflects in its shape: is it a cloud, an iceberg, a boat with its sails deployed or a ship ready to take off?
3.) The permanent collection
The permanent collection organizes itself around 4 directions: Contemplative, Pop, Expressionist, Music & Sound. There are numerous modern pieces but my favorite one stands under the foundation. Adventure yourself in “The Grotto”: the dozens of mirrors disposed of successively will make you feel as if you were having an illusion, there is even a special spot from which your reflection appears on all mirrors, it really is impressive. This kaleidoscope of golden reflections questions the reality of reflection and light and is also a good place for an Instagram picture! Good reason to go to the Louis Vuitton Foundation for your rebellious teenager allergic to museums.
4.) Meet African artists with the current exhibition
Not less than 8 exhibitions have succeeded since its opening in 2014 and all of them left me quite speechless. Some are simply grandiose, some others are more intriguing and some, like the current marry engagement and beautiful art. The exhibition displayed this summer until the 28th of August 2017, is called “Art/Afrique, Le nouvel atelier” meaning “Art/Africa, The new workshop”.
It is actually made out of two exhibitions: the first one really manages to seize the diverse faces of contemporary Africa: the pieces of art displayed on varied supports witness the artist’s ability to link spirituality, technicity and aesthetic. The second exhibition is about South Africa and its hardly yet defined identity facing the stakes that its population is trying to overcome.
This exhibition represents very well the modernity of the Foundation by its topic but also by the supports: you will see paintings, pictures, sculptures but also movies and literature. I will not hide it from you, I sometimes find museums boring, but constantly changing what you are looking at really makes it more entertaining and it is much more fun than just dragging feet from one painting to another.
5.) Catch the view
Once you have climbed the 3 floors and have lost yourself in both the current and the permanent exhibitions, the exploration is far from over because it is actually time for you to get to my favourite part: the rooftop. This building is so perfect that it is even well-intentioned concerning… the other buildings! Rather than competing with its environment, the Foundation tries to blend into the landscape and uses its surroundings to embellish its view. For example, look at how they did a “frame” around the buildings of La Défense:
Also, you can spot the Eiffel Tower from a very narrow passage and the island of green surrounding the Foundation will make you feel quite special and far from the urban centre of Paris. If you can get there for the sunset, you definitely are the luckiest person alive.
6.) Try the restaurant
Called after the name of the architect, “Le Frank” tries to follow the revolutionary spirit of the Foundation and is actually a decent reason to go to the Louis Vuitton Foundation. The gustatory association are quite daring, modern and… delicious! Thanks to the starred chef Jean-Louis Nomicos, the meals really are sophisticated, trying to marry French cuisine and flavours from all around the world. Not only will your tongue be stimulated but also your sight: the place is full of a very bright light and I personally love the golden fishes swimming above your head while you eat.
7.) Take a seat in the Auditorium
If you are a music fan, you will not be disappointed. Frank Gehry designed a special auditorium displaying all kinds of artistic expressions but among them, music is especially privileged. Many groups of musicians of all ages have some work session in it and each session gives rise to a public concert. Check the dates on their website if you are interested!
8.) Let your big spender spirit go out in the boutique
I am not telling you it is the main reason to go to the Louis Vuitton Foundation but either you are a fan of art or a simple amateur, the boutique proposes some nice books dedicated to art news from all around the world. You can also buy some goodies or souvenirs that your grandma will be delighted to hang in her living room, showing what a traveler her grandchild is.
9.) Take your children with you without hesitation
Firstly, you might have understood it by now, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is like no other museum. The inside shape of the museum is similar to a maze with lots of different rooms so your children won’t get bored of following a monotone path. Moreover, the museum cares so much about your children that they can explore the museum with an IPad lent by the Foundation through a special tour led by an alien guide. Haven’t you always dreamt of teaching your kids something without boring them to death?
Also, you will end your visit in the Jardin d’Acclimation which is like the mini-Disneyland for every Parisian kid. Take your children there and they will forgive you for ALL the museums you took them to. Here is also a link of how to have fun with children in Paris!
10.) Have a walk in Bois de Boulogne
As Central Park is the green lung of New York, Le Bois de Boulogne is the piece of fresh air and nature for Parisians and is actually 2 times bigger. Lose yourself by the waterfalls, go to a restaurant or plan to do a picnic, and eventually boat on the lake with your beloved ones…
Don’t forget: Paris is the City of Love!