Sometimes less well-known to the public, the art centres of Greater Paris also play a highly active role in the field of contemporary art. Unlike museums, galleries and foundations, art centres are spaces for experimentation and production, and often form close ties with living artists. There are lots of alternative spaces dedicated to contemporary art in Greater Paris, and their original projects and impressive programmes have earned them a loyal following.
The Palais de Tokyo and the Jeu de Paume are certainly the best known contemporary art centres. But there are plenty of others to discover. Bétonsalon, located in a recently renovated area of the 13th, works at the confluence of artistic creation and research. Here, collaboration between contemporary art and University research gives rise to exhibitions and other conferences with a stimulating programming. Bétonsalon is part of University Paris 7 - Denis Diderot.
Managed by Bétonsalon, the Villa Vassilieff is an art centre that opened in February 2016 on the site of the former Musée du Montparnasse, which closed in 2013. Located in the heart of the 15th arrondissement, this new cultural institution run by the City of Paris is a place to work, meet and socialise. In partnership with Pernod Ricard Fellowship, every year it hosts and provides assistance to four artists or researchers in residence.
Seven minutes from Paris-Montparnasse train station
The Centre d’art contemporain Chanot (CACC) is a haven of contemplation and reflection in the centre of Clamart, a town seven minutes from Paris-Montparnasse train station. The CACC gives pride of place to research, artistic experimentation and risk-taking. Music, performance, the plastic arts and even the culinary arts meet, interact and draw inspiration from each other in projects ranging from stealth actions to exhibitions.
In the south east of the capital
Le Crédac, the centre for contemporary art in Ivry, is an innovative site. Housed in a former American-style grommet factory, this staggering spaced is awash with daylight. Created in 1987, the goal of Le Crédac is to support artists from France and overseas in their artistic endeavours. Throughout the year, it organises exhibitions by emerging or established artists specialising in photography, painting, video and installations. It also organises a range of activities, including creative and production workshops for artists, and workshops for the general public.
In Alfortville, the role of Le Centre d’Art Contemporain - La Traverse (CAC) is to promote contemporary creativity through the display and production of visual artworks. It supports artists, runs an annual artist-in-residence scheme, and organises at least three exhibitions a year. It also provides the general public with guided tours and the chance to learn more about art.
In the north east of Paris
La Galerie in Noisy-le-Sec is a key centre for contemporary art in the Ile-de-France region. Opened in 1999 in a former notary’s house, the centre organises four exhibitions a year and residence schemes for three artists. It also organises art tours for the general public. A centre for research, creation, production and experimentation, the Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers is a non-profit space that supports contemporary artists who explore unchartered waters. It welcomes artists-in-residence and supports their artistic projects. The works produced are then presented to the public.