FONDATION CARTIER POUR L’ART CONTEMPORAIN

PLACEText: Victor Moreno

Happy 32nd Anniversary!

Who does not love Paris? Constantly on the spotlight, this European capital is home to some of the most important art venues in the world. At the Southside of the Seine river and located on Paris’ Boulevard Raspail is the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain. It was launched on October 20, 1984 – curiously 32 years ago exactly – with a pioneering and visionary approach to patronage. Cartier invented a new approach to exhibition-making, multidisciplinary in nature and characterized by a spirit of curiosity and inquiry.

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View of the building, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2013   © Jean Nouvel / Adagp, Paris   Photo: © Luc Boegly

When you walk down Boulevard Raspail you may stumble upon a glass and steel structure. This building was commissioned by internationally renowned architect Jean Nouvel in 1994. Jean Nouvel’s self-proclaimed “Parisian Monument” was a museum space that would be both open and transparent, a vessel for innumerable exhibition possibilities. The spirit of this expansive, radical space has fired the imagination of artists presented by the Foundation Cartier.

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View of the building, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2013   © Jean Nouvel / Adagp, Paris   Photo: © Luc Boegly

The space is divided into three levels – apart from the six-storey area of offices communicated with a glass elevator – The underground floor offers a space where audiovisual art can take place. The ground floor hosts part of the exhibitions. From here you can take the stairs up to the library store. This will not disappoint you, the art-book selection is fabulous featuring artists of the likes of John Maeda, Agnès Varda, Gus Van Sant, David Lynch, Wolfgang Tillmans, etc. the list goes on. You can access to some of their calalogues and book online vie their e-shop.

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View of the building, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2013   © Jean Nouvel / Adagp, Paris   Photo: © Luc Boegly

The backyard of the building is a fantastic place isolated from the bustle of the city, where to sit down enjoy the stillness, and relax. This garden is a work commissioned by the artist Lotha Baumgarten. She imagined this place around a structure of five geometric modules following the actual contours of the space (square, rectangle, triangle, or oval). This garden is a permanent work in progress, inspired by the idea of offering the visitor an spectacle of nature that is both calculated and wild.

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