The Notebook

'Imagination will take you everywhere'

Paris: Ten Must-See Exhibitions in 2017

Pollution, a plague of rats and a freezing winter storm has put a dampener on the start of 2017 in the City of Lights. But one thing Paris always delivers on is its array of art, from expressionism to sculpture, photography to animation, here’s a round-up of the top ten exhibitions to immerse yourself in this year:



Cy Twombly at the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

  1. Cy Twombly at the Centre Pompidou

30 November 2016 – 24 April 2017

The first retrospective of the American artist since his death in 2011 is a riot of colour, twisted shapes, scribbles and paint splatters. Loud and visceral, yet soft and poignant, Twombly’s gigantic canvases convey death, gore, sex and love. Located on the top floor of the Centre Pompidou, they look out over the Parisian rooftops, so you can marvel at both the view and Twombly’s brutal depictions.



  1. The Body in Movement: Dance and the Museum at the Petite Galerie du Louvre

6 October 2016 – 3 July 2017

Dance has long been depicted by artists, from Degas’ ballerinas to Picasso’s Three Dancers. This exhibition, co-curated by Benjamin Millepied, the choreographer behind the psychological thriller, Black Swan, delves deeper into dance, looking at body movement in all its forms. With over 70 artworks from antiques to the 20th Century, this is a match made in heaven between the worlds of choreography and visual art.



Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker

  1. Rodin, The Centennial Exhibition at the Grand Palais

22 March – 31 July 2017

Today he is renowned as the father of modern sculpture, but during the 19th Century, Auguste Rodin, was viewed as an artistic rebel. Eschewing the traditional themes of sculpture based on mythology, Rodin’s work was focused on realism and portrayed physicality and emotion – epitomized in one of his most famous sculptures, The Thinker. This exhibition celebrates the artist on the centenary of his death, as well as work by those influenced by him, such as Bourdelle, Matisse, Giacometti, and Gormley.



Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s Rosa Centifolia

  1. Pierre-Joseph Redouté et le goût des fleurs at the Musée de la Vie Romantique

1 April – 31 October 2017

Situated at the base of Montmartre, the Museum of Romantics lives up to its name; a 19th century mansion with pale green shutters and a small garden filled with roses. Perhaps the perfect setting for Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s watercolours. The Belgian painter and botanist, known as the ‘Raphael of Flowers’ gained success working as the official court artist of Marie Antoinette, before being appointed to paint the flowers of Malmaison by Joséphine Bonaparte.



Chéri Samba’s J’aime la Couleur

  1. Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier at the Louis Vuitton Foundation

26 April – 28 August 2017

The African art scene has long been overlooked, despite the influence the continent has had on the work of many Western artists, including Van Gogh and Modigliani. But that is about to change with a major exhibition of African art across the Foundation’s galleries. Work by Fifteen artists from Jean Pigozzi’s collection will display the diversity and richness of the artistic landscape – each drawing on traditional techniques from their own country of origin. Alongside this will be a display of art from South Africa, from installations to textiles, which seek to define a specific black South-African identity.



Dress by Balenciaga

  1. Balenciaga : L’œuvre au noir at the Musée Bourdelle

8 March – 16 July 2017

It was Christian Dior who said a “little black frock” is essential to a woman’s wardrobe. This exhibition, organised by Palais Galliera as part of its Spanish season, celebrates the colour black in all its guises, but more importantly serves as a tribute to Cristóbal Balenciaga, the esteemed couturier. For the designer black was a vibrant colour (or non-colour) which highlighted the simplicity of a garment’s cut and the sumptuousness of the fabric.



Van Gogh’s Starry Night over the Rhone

  1. Beyond Stars: The Mystical Landscape at the Musée d’Orsay

14 March – 16 June 2017

The natural world has been a key source of inspiration for countless artists, as this exhibition demonstrates. However, this show aims to look at some of Western art’s most famous works – by Gauguin, O’Keefe, Munch and more – from a spiritual viewpoint. With around 90 paintings created by artists from 15 different countries, it explores how nature and mysticism interlink in paintings like Van Gogh’s Starry Night over the Rhone, and how Monet’s interest in Buddhism paved the way to his Water Lilies series.



  1. The Art of Walt Disney Animation Studios: Movement by Nature at the Art Ludique Museum

14 October 2016 – 5 March 2017

Disney animations have captured the minds of children ever since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs waltzed on to our screens in 1937. Now viewers have the chance to rediscover that Disney magic with an exhibition of 350 original artworks from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library. It will chart the development of animation, including how the studio was influenced by artistic movements such as surrealism and cubism. As well as never seen before drawings of animals which helped the animators to capture the movement and expression of characters like Bambi.



Sonia Delaunay

  1. Travaux de Dames at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs

8 March – 17 September 2017

In the 19th Century, Arts and crafts were seen as feminine activities which women were obliged to do. But those activities also gave them an outlet of self-expression and contributed to their emancipation. From Sonia Delaunay to Elsa Schiaparelli, Hélène Henry to Kristin McKirdy, this exhibition charts the success of women designers, artists and photographers from the early 20th Century to the present. But also highlights their struggle to be seen as artists in their own right.



Photograph by Stéphane Duroy

  1. Stéphane Duroy: Again and Again at Le Bal

6 January – 9 April 2017

The French photographer, Stéphane Duroy, mixes both documentary and conceptual styles to produce an alluring yet questioning look at society in the 20th Century. A continent scarred by two brutal wars, British punks in the 80’s, the fall of the Berlin wall, and European migrants in the US have all been subjects of his lens. This exhibition depicts significant moments in European history through the eyes of ordinary people, as well as explores the illusion of the American Dream.


Originally published on The



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This entry was posted on January 18, 2017 by in Art, Culture, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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