We are back after five weeks in France. A stimulating and visually exciting time. Highlights were the galleries we visited in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux and the new architecture in the rejuvenated docklands of Nantes. I’ll make up for my neglect of this blog by posting some entries about some of the fantastic galleries we went to.
In Paris we trekked out by Metro to the brand new Fondation Louis Vuitton which is located in a corner of the Bois de Boulogne. Designed by the revered American architect Frank Gehry, the building really is the attraction. It floats like a glass boat with its prow hanging over water that streams down a gentle incline. The glass walls reflect people arriving at the gallery as well as the water but also give you a glimpse of the internal structure that is the gallery. The day we were there was hot and bright, the surrounding gravel intensely white – you had to screw up your eyes to see this wonderful floating building. Once inside you are in a lobby that soars, with a fashionable restaurant and gift store. From there you walk to a series of galleries with a varied collection of contemporary art including some video installations and a lovely gallery of Giacometti’s sculptures. For me the most interesting gallery contained four huge pieces by Sigmar Polke – honey coloured paintings on semi-transparent fabric so that you saw the stretcher behind. These pieces were mounted away from the wall which added to the transparency and quiet reflectiveness of the work.
The building has many levels and as you climb up to the next level you see glimpses of Paris from different directions – and the green woods of the Bois de Boulogne. You also see the fun park that is right next to the Fondation Louis Vuitton where Parisian families flock to enjoy the rides and eat icecream and play in the fountains.