Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

"Au Diapason Du Monde"

("In Tune With The World")

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

Exhibition on until August 27, 2018

A must visit as much for the fabulous building as for the art inside!


We decided to drive down to Paris to visit this exhibition in the marvellous building that is the Louis Vuitton Foundation on the Avenue Mahatama Ghandi in Paris – the SNCF were having one of their strike days – and what a delight!

The premise of the exhibtion is the place of human beings in the world and how we react to living things in that world, be it animal, plant or mineral, and draws together contemporay artists together with the likes of Matisse, Giacometti and Yves Klein.

The exhibition is essentially divided into two parts; the first entitled “Man in the living Universe” brings together 28 different international artists, in three sections:

  1. Irradiances – a dialogue with nature. This section is supposedly inspired by Dan Flavin’s “Light Beam” – ‘Untitled’ 1963 (below) and brings together works linked by affinities of sensibility.
iradiances dan flavin
Dan Flavin's light tube, "Untitled" 1963, in situ

This room for us was notable for the Yves Klein works – in his trademark International Klein Blue (right), and the abstract works of Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. The section as a whole is about the interactions between the various elements – light, water, stone, wind, and  living organisms (there are live spider crabs in the work by Pierre Huyghe – “Cambrian Explosion 10″, 2014 – in the middle of the picture above).


louis vuitton klein
Yves Klein, Sculpture Eponge, 1960

Below are some of our favourite images from this section.

2) Là, Infiniment (Here, For ever) – Three different artists grouped together who have appropriated well known works of art – Michaelangelo’s “David”, Seurat’s “Une Baignade à Asnières” and Rodin’s “The Thinker”.

We particularly liked the interpretation by Adrian Villar Bojas of Michaelangelo’s David, showing only the lower legs, using the same marble from the same quarry that was used by Michaelangelo for his David, but here machine cut and with the subversive addition of two, 3-D printed, kissing kittens between the feet. A comment, perhaps, on the remains of fragments of human history and art in a post-apocalytic world.

3) L’homme qui Chavire (The man who capsizes) – This section revolves around the body and its mutated and fantastical states in a world in flux.

Giacometti sculptures were a highlight in this section as was the Matisse cutout. But there were other interesting works, especially the photographer Giovanni Anselmo’s ” Entrare nell ‘Opera”, 1971 , and Bunny Rogers’ work  “Study for Joan Portrait”, 2016. Inevitably Yves Klein makes a reappearance with “Anthropométrie sans titre (ANT 104)”, 1960 – the human body prints Klein made using naked models covered in his signature blue paint.

The second and possibly the most  extensive part of the exhibition is devoted to the contemporary Japanese Artist:

Takashi Murakami

Murakami is a well known Japanese artist, but this was our first contact with him. Your initial reaction is mad chaos and an obsessive attention to tiny detail – a fusion of Manga,anime,  traditional Japanese and Chinese motifs all  with a twist of Richard Dadd. Yet he draws you in further and further into his world of fantastical creatures in highly saturated colours, all the while being seeped in Japanese and Buddhist culture

One of Val’s favourites though was outside in the basement area where there is a display by Olafur Eliasson, Inside the horizon, 2013, which was conceived specifically for the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and suffuses the whole of this area in a golden yellow glow. The effect is as walking into a life size kaleidoscope, between the shafts of yellow light are mirrors reflecting back at you multiple imges of yourself and any one else who happensto be there. Its quite a show piece. Seated in it at the side as if by accident a piece by the british artist Mark Leckey of an inflatable Felix the Cat, 2013. A great way to finish the visit!

The Shuttle-bus or Navette

Val’s favourite bit is the electric shuttle that takes you between the Fondation Louis Vuitton and the Arc de Triomphe – at the top  of Avenue Friedland for 2 euros each way , credit card payments on board only (if the machine works!).

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