Salvador Dalí’s psychedelic universe, Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia, Botticelli’s Renaissance paintings, the Venus de Milo and Vivan Maier’s street photography. Discover the best exhibitions in Paris in 2021.
DALÍ, THE ENDLESS ENIGMA
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) once said: “Take me, I am the drug. Take me, I am hallucinogenic.” Art lovers who want to discover the hallucinogenic universe and the famous psychedelic works of the master of surrealism shouldn’t miss the exhibition Dalí, the endless enigma at the Atelier des Lumières in Paris. The spectacular immersive art exhibition encompasses more than 60 years in the career of the Spanish master, who developed and invented various artistic styles.
Displayed and brought to life on the floors and ten-metre-high walls, visitors can observe every detail of the brushstrokes, lines, and material effects.
Discover the painter’s hallucinations and dreamlike delirium, which he channelled into artistic works. The digital exhibition, which is set to the music of Pink Floyd and lasts for around 40 minutes, reflects the painter’s inner world in an almost hypnotic atmosphere. It focuses on Dalí’s obsessions with the strange and the supernatural, and his fascination with his wife Gala, his muse and collaborator.
More than 30 years after his death, Dalí’s oeuvre remains a mystery and an endless enigma.
Watch the videos The Fascinating Life of Salvador Dalí and
GAUDÍ, THE ARCHITECT OF THE IMAGINARY
Antoni Gaudí didn’t believe in straight lines. “The straight line belongs to men, the curved one to God,” he once said. His bold projects from the beginning of the twentieth century, which were initially described as whimsical and provocative, were defended by Dalí.
A new immersive exhibition at the Atelier des Lumières in Paris pays tribute to the ingenious architect via his modernist buildings that have now been listed as Unesco World Heritage sites. It takes visitors on a journey that embraces dreams and reality, ranging from the Parc Güell, the Casa Batlló, and the Casa Milà to the Sagrada Família.
Via the interplay of light and materials, the Atelier des Lumières takes on the appearance of hyperbolic vaults, oblique pillars, and undulating facades, and is adorned with organic motifs and glass and ceramic mosaics. An imaginary city is created to the sound of Gershwin’s musical curves.
THIERRY MUGLER COUTURISSIME
From Glamazone to Angel: Thierry Mugler was one of the most daring and innovative haute couture and prêt-à-porter designers who presented one-hour fashion shows like rock concerts.
Mugler’s exceptional creations mark the return of this visionary artist to Paris, where his
fame began nearly five decades ago. From ready-to-wear and haute couture silhouettes to stage costumes, photographs, films and unpublished archives dating from 1973 to 2014, Thierry Mugler, Couturissime showcases the fascinating universe of this creator and his multiple collaborations in the fields of entertainment, music and cinema.
Read our article on the exhibition Thierry Mugler Couturissime, wich was showcased in Montreal and Rotterdam in 2019 before arriving to Paris.
VIVIAN MAIER’S STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
Vivian Maier, who was born in New York in 1926, began working as a children’s governess in 1951, first in New York, then until the 90s in Chicago, where she died in the spring of 2009.
Her entire life had gone unnoticed, until the 2007 discovery of her photographic corpus: an imposing, dense, luminous and brilliant body of work made up of more than 120,000 photographic images, Super 8 and 16mm films, various recordings, miscellaneous photographs and roll upon roll of undeveloped film – a treasure chest of fascinating finds.
This passion of hers, which would become an almost daily activity, has today elevated her to the ranks of the greatest iconic street photographers and earned her a place in history alongside Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Helen Levitt and Garry Winogrand.
Scenes from the street, her preferred setting, and the working-class neighbourhoods where she encountered life, represent the principal theme of her work. Through her many portraits of strangers and people with whom she identified, granting them a fraction of a second of eternity as their eyes met, Maier captured a gesture, an expression, a situation or the grace found in small, accessible things
The exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris features previously-unseen archives belonging to the photographer: vintage photographs taken by Maier, Super 8 and 16mm films that tell us about her search for the photographic image, and audio recordings that provide precious information about her practice.
VOGUE PARIS 1920-2020
Founded by Condé Nast in 1920, Vogue Paris is the oldest French fashion magazine still published today, and the only title in the group that bears the name of a city rather than a country. As the capital of haute couture and luxury prêt-à-porter, Paris is portrayed in Vogue as the epicentre of cultural and artistic life, and the Parisienne as the embodiment of the Vogue woman.
The Palais Galliera presents a major exhibition celebrating 100 years of Vogue Paris magazine. Around 400 items have been brought together, mainly from the magazine’s archives – photographs, illustrations, magazines, documents and films – as well as more than fifteen haute couture and prêt-à-porter models.
From 2 October 2021 to 30 January 2022. Read the press kit in English.
BOTTICELLI – ARTIST AND DESIGNER
Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) is one of the most well-known Italian Renaissance artists despite the fact that his life and the activity in his workshop remain something of a mystery. He consistently alternated between the production of one-off paintings and works issued in series, completed by his assistants.
Botticelli was one of the greatest artists in Florence, and his career attests to the economic development and profound changes that transformed the rule of the Medicis.
If you can’t visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence this year and admire The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, visit the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris. It celebrates the creative genius of Botticelli by exhibiting around 40 works by the master, along with several paintings by his contemporaries, who were greatly influenced by him.
LOUVRE: PARIS – ATHENS 1675‐1919
The world’s largest art museum presents Paris – Athens. The birth of modern Greece 1675-1919. The exhibition marks the bicentenary anniversary in 2021 of the independence of Greece and the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Venus de Milo in the collections of the Louvre. It retraces the cultural, diplomatic, and artistic relations maintained by France and Greece in the 19th century.
From 30 September 2021 to 7 February 2022. Infos in French (no infos in English have been published yet).
Photos: © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, ADAGP 2021 © Culturespaces / E. Spiller; © Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main; © National Gallery- Alexandros Soutsos Museum Photo Stavros Psiroukis
This article was first published on 14 July 2021 and updated ever since.
If you liked our article The Best Exhibitions in Paris, read our latest articles about Photo and Art.