From the Marais to Saint-Germain-des-Prés to the capital’s north-eastern neighbourhoods, the city’s galleries are also a great place to explore contemporary art. If you want to discover works by established artists and future art stars, they’re definitely the place to be!
The most renowned galleries have made the Marais and the Haut Marais (nicknamed «NoMa») their headquarters. The Galerie Daniel Templon, which opened behind the Pompidou Centre in 1972, is an ‘institution’. A true talent scout, this gallery was one of the first to exhibit Andy Warhol. At ‘Daniel’s’, you can see the work of major international artists such as David LaChapelle or Jan Fabre, as well as stars on the French art scene, like Pierre et Gilles, Arman or Gérard Garouste.
The Austrian Thaddaeus Ropac, whose parent company is located in Salzburg, also exhibits at his gallery in Paris next to big names Gilbert & George and Joseph Beuys. A few steps away, in Rue du Temple, the American Marian Goodman, who represents notably Gerhard Richter and Jeff Wall, is embracing the successors of the pop and minimalist movement.
After having started out in Rue Louise Weiss, Emmanuel Perrotin now occupies a magnificent hôtel particulier in Rue Turenne. He is one of the most prominent gallery owners, and it was he who spotted future celebrities like Takashi Murakami. Other great names in the art dealing world include Karsten Greve, whose references are legendary: Dubuffet, de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois, Soulages; and then there are gallery owners Fabienne Leclerc, Chantal Crousel and Michel Rein.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a mix of traditional and modernity
On one side of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, it is primitive art and antiques that have the lion's share. On the other side, towards Rue de Seine, are top galleries for modern and contemporary art. A pioneer in the district, the galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois is adept at finding new talent. Since the 1990s, it has been supporting French artists like Alain Bublex and Gilles Barbier, and also focuses on new realism, or the California scene, including the controversial Paul McCarthy. The latter caused a polemic in 2014 with his inflatable Christmas tree in the shape of a sex toy, which was erected in Place Vendôme. Another figure in Saint-Germain is prominent gallery owner Kamel Mennour in Rue Saint-André-des-Arts. His intuition shrewdly led him to exhibit David LaChapelle and Larry Clark very early in their careers. Its leading artists include Anish Kapoor, Martin Parr, Huang Yong Ping... For up-market design, visit Kréo, in Rue Dauphine. It launched the superstar designer Marc Newson, known worldwide for his Embryo chair with rounded forms. The gallery also features the brothers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, as well as Martin Szekely and Olivier Gagnère.
The south returns to its roots
If you find yourself on the Left Bank, head to Rue Louise-Weiss, in the 13th arrondissement. At the end of the 1990s, it contributed notably to the development of many gallery owners that would become the great names of today: Emmanuel Perrotin, Jennifer Flay, Jousse Entreprise and others. Still on the Left Bank. Head to the Rue Louise-Weiss, in the 13th arrondissement. At the end of the 1990s, she contributed to the development of many gallery owners that would become the great names of today. Although many important galleries have now moved to the Marais, Air de Paris and Triple V are still present and offer an ever-more innovative and exciting programme.
All roads lead north
The north-east is not about to be left behind! In the first decade of the 21st century, the map for contemporary art was redrawn with the opening of many galleries devoted to emerging artistic creation in an area with no previous art scene: Belleville and the surrounding area. Today this district has become a laboratory for contemporary art and home to galleries that take a bold and innovative approach to creativity. Among the 'historical' galleries, it was Bugada & Cargnel (formerly Cosmic Galerie) who set the ball rolling in 2002, followed the next year by Jocelyn Wolff before being joined by Marcelle Alix, the Galerie Balice Hertling and Suzanne Tarasieve’s Loft 19. Since then, a whole hive of talents have set up in the north-east of the capital, from Belleville to Buttes-Chaumont as far as Porte de Bagnolet, including the Galerie Crèvecoeur, the Galerie Samy Abraham, the Galerie Emmanuel Herve and the Galerie Antoine Levi.
Art loves space, and therefore, several of the market’s leading players, keen to display their large-scale works in bigger venues, have shifted their focus from the centre to the north east of Paris. Because art likes space, several players on the art market have boldly moved out to the suburbs of Paris to expose their monumental works of art. In 2012, the Austrian gallery owner Thaddaeus Ropac opened a second gallery in Pantin, in an old boilerworks. The famous international art dealer Larry Gagosian has, meanwhile, moved out to Le Bourget, in an airport hangar redesigned by architect Jean Nouvel.