Exhibits & Musical Highlights in Paris Now: Fall 2019 to 2020

Now that La Rentrée is complete, it is time to start trip planning in the winter and into 2020.  Here are a few highlights that begin with visual arts and exhibits.

Théâtre du Châtelet

The Théâtre du Châtelet will reopen in September after a 30-month renovation.  A sumptuous theater, but at the same time with an intimate audience space.  One tremendous idea of the co-directors is to introduce an idea that people who purchase tickets for a show buy extra tickets for those who cannot afford them.  What a refreshing idea!  Along with avant-garde theater, the Théâtre du Châtelet will perform An American in Paris from November 28, 2019 until January 1, 2020.

Léonard da Vinci Exhibit

That is correct.  The French do not call him Leonardo, rather Léonard.  Buy your tickets now for the sensational celebration of Léonard da Vinci at the Louvre.  From October 24, 2019 until February 24, 2020.  You can get priority access by becoming a Friend of the Louvre.  Add this to your trip planning as the main event.  Then, schedule other things around this once in many, many lifetimes opportunity.  I am trying to make it to see this!

Leonardo, Virgin of the Rocks.

Skip Mona – this is on the wall with no one looking at it!!!!  Next to other masterpieces by him – bonus – and people walk by with no clue.

A change at the Louvre you definitely need to know.  If you have a museum pass, you must now reserve a time to enter the Louvre.  Best advice on visiting – go when it opens or go on a Wednesday or Friday late afternoon or evening.  The Louvre is open until 9:45pm on those two days.  (You don’t want me to gush about how enchanting it is to visit the Louvre in the nighttime.)  Remember, Tuesdays, the Louvre is closed.  You can always buy timed entry tickets online as well.

Grand Palais Exhibits

Three extraordinary events are coming to the Grand Palais!

El Greco

First, we know him as El Greco, but the name of the exhibit is GRECO from October 16, 2019 – February 10, 2020. This is the FIRST retrospective in France dedicated to El Greco!!! What a bonus for Paris! From the Grand Palais’ site: “Attracted by the incredible promise of the El Escorial site, the artist brought Titian’s color, Tintoretto’s audacity, and Michelangelo’s heroic style. This eloquent combination, original yet consistent with his own way, gave El Greco (who died four years after Caravaggio) a unique place in the history of painting, as the last grandmaster of the Renaissance and the first great painter of the Golden Age.”

El Greco

Toulouse-Lautrec

Second, on October 9, 2019, the exhibition TOULOUSE-LAUTREC, Resolutely Modern opens. It is another retrospective, and the last one was in 1992. It runs until January 27, 2020. Rather than focusing on what is called, the “Montmartre Culture,” this exhibition explores his art, on its own. And, in the Grand Palais’ site, it states, “By giving too much weight to the context and folklore of the Moulin-Rouge, we have lost sight of the aesthetic, poetic ambition which Lautrec invested in what he learned, in turn, from Princeteau, Bonnat, and Cormon.” It should be fascinating.

Toulouse-Lautrec

Paris Photo

Third, and not the least by far, is Paris Photo. From November 7-10, 2019, you can see amazing art under the glass ceiling of the Grand Palais. “Paris Photo is the largest international art fair dedicated to the photographic medium and is held each November at the historic Grand Palais in Paris. Since 1997, the Fair’s mission is to promote and nurture photographic creation and the galleries, publishers, and artists at its source. Paris Photo brings together up to 200 exhibitors from across the world, offering collectors and enthusiasts the most diverse and qualitative presentation of photography-driven projects today. Leading galleries showcase historical and contemporary artworks from modern masters to young talents.” From https://www.parisphoto.com/en/fair/About/.

That is three events in one space to consider in your trip planning.

Jeu de Paume

Photographs by Peter Hujar are coming soon to the Jeu de Paume in an exhibition, Peter Hujar Speed of Life. In keeping with its goal of promoting mechanical and electronic imagery of the 20th and 21st centuries, it stays on the cutting edge. From October 15, 2019, until January 19, 2020, Hujar’s work will entice visitors into the beautiful building where court games were once played. The press for this exhibit describes the artist as, “In his loft studio in the East Village, Hujar focused on those who followed their creative instincts and shunned mainstream success. He made, in his words, “uncomplicated, direct photographs of complicated and difficult subjects,” immortalizing moments, individuals, and subcultures passing at the speed of life.” From the Jeu de Paume’s website. Also on view late 2019 and early 2020 are exhibits of work by Daisuke Kosugi and Zineb Sedira.

Palais de Tokyo

October 14 – RÜFÜS DU SOL.  In the Yoyo at Palais de Tokyo.  An amazing venue for this Australian group to perform!!!

Also, from October 16, 2019, until January 5, 2010, Futur, ancien, fugitif is an exhibition of contemporary works from artists of varying ages, living throughout France and other countries. None of the artist’s work is in the same medium or in the same method. All of the invited artists will answer and explore similar existential questions through their works. Like many of the other exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, this one sounds like it will be interesting and mind-expanding.

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

Sorry, but this gem will be closed until the fall or winter of 2020 for renovation and enlargement.  Obviously, the word has gotten out that this place is a must see – the number of visitors doubled between 2016 and 2018.  Put it in your trip planning at some point.

Musée de Luxembourg

You can see more than just the garden over at Luxembourg Palace. Just next door to the French Senate complex, the small Musée du Luxembourg museum often hosts fascinating exhibitions. And, it is true for The Golden Age of the English Painting, from Reynolds to Turner.

From September 11, 2019 to February 16, 2020, if you happen to be in Paris and want to see a dose of English painting in Paris. This is the ticket for you.

Musée Jacquemart-André

Not into English painting? What about paintings from the Italian Renaissance? If so, make trip planning a priority to see, The Alana CollectionMasterpieces of Italian Painting. In this unprecedented loan, seventy-five masterpieces from Italian masters will hang in the sumptuous rooms of the Musée Jacquemart-André. From September 13, 2019, until January 20, 2020, admire works by Lorenzo Monaco, Fra Angelico, Uccello, Lippi, Bellini, Carpaccio, Tintoretto, Veronese, Bronzino, and Gentileschi.

Musée Maillol

One hundred works from ‘Naïve’ artists (“Called ‘modern primitives’ by one of their ardent supporters”) soon will grace the Musee Maillol in the exhibition entitled, From the Douanier Rousseau to Séraphine, The Great Naïve Masters. From September 11, 2019, to January 19, 2020, you can be mesmerized by the seemingly simplistic art by André Bauchant, Camille Bombois, Ferdinand Desnos, Jean Ève, René Rimbert, Dominique Peyronnet, and Louis Vivin. From the museum’s site: “By combining a historical, analytical, and perceptive approach to the works and their presentation in the exhibition, the Musée Maillol will unveil the subversive dimension of Naïve art and will present these Naïve, primitive, modern, or anti-modern artists as great artists who ran counter to the avant-garde artists.”

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World will be on view from October 2, 2019, to February 24, 2020. The website for the Fondation describes the exhibit, “To mark the twentieth anniversary of the passing of Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999), the Fondation pays tribute to her as an architect and visionary creator through an exhibition of her work exploring the links between art, architecture and design.” Charlotte Perriand worked with both Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret in her youth. She designed interiors for the art of living, “L’Art de Vivre,” with the idea that everything working in conjunction, beautifully, creates a better place for all of us.

charlotte perriand

Furniture and interior by Charlotte Perriand on exhibit. Jacques.delacroix, Meubles Charlotte Perriand, CC BY-SA 3.0

And, for an abbreviated round up of highlights from the performing arts….  There is just soooo much happening in Paris…..

Opéra National de Paris

Over at the Opéra National de Paris, at both venues – Palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille – of course, there are some of the most in-demand events in the world. Well-known operas from Madam Butterfly to Don Carlo, but also with lesser-knowns, like Les Indes Galantes and Boris Godunov. Plus newer works like Lear. And, the opera is performing a few works from Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

On the ballet and dance front, the troupe is performing a Balanchine tribute from February through April 2020, Giselle in January and February of that year. But, from January 18-29, the ballet will perform Debussy and Ravel together for a cosmic performance. Described on the website as, “Guided by her perpetual fascination for the relationship between pure movement and music, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker takes up Prélude à l’après‑midi d’un faune with the dancers of the Rosas Company. The performance continues with L’Enfant et les sortilèges, a tale written by Colette and finely orchestrated by Ravel. In Richard Jones and Antony McDonald’s production, the singers of the Academy suffuse this work with the freshness of youth.”

As well as many concerts and events. And lots of “Young Audience” events that are great for all ages. Each seems like it is a can’t miss engagement.

Philharmonie de Paris

Okay, the Philharmonie de Paris has about 500 concerts each year – of every kind of music. Plus, it has a museum and mounts exhibitions. A LOT is happening. Some interesting and fun events are the movies where the orchestra plays the music. Yes, live music at a movie. Take a look at the calendar once you have your dates and make a plan to visit this incredible venue. The building alone is worth a visit, but add in talented musicians and singers and performers and you have a guaranteed exciting time.

philharmonie de paris

Inside the Philharmonie de Paris. Photo by BastienM, Paris-Philharmonie1, CC BY-SA 4.0

Even if you lived in Paris, I don’t know how you could see all of these incredible opportunities to learn and experience more!

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