Creation of the Fondation Louis Vuitton
The project has taken some 13 years to carry out, but the result is spectacular. Right next to the Jardin d’Acclimatation, the brand new Fondation Louis Vuitton rises up in a cloud of impressive glass architecture designed by American architect Frank Gehry. The building resembles a ship in full sail and is located in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne.
Gehry, who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, has succeeded in creating a building that stands 46 metres high. Like many of his creations, the construction has neither a facade nor a roof in the traditional sense of the terms. It is composed more of flowing shapes that envelope the interior spaces designed to showcase cultural collections and exhibitions. The Californian architect used 6,000 m² of curved glass panels attached to a steel frame to provide the covering. A team of architects worked intensively on the feasibility of the project, registering some thirty patents in the process!
Gehry said that « when Bernard Arnault suggested that he come and meet him in Paris, he told him nothing at first. He took him to the Jardin d’acclimatiation and then spoke of his project. (Gehry who had lived in Paris in the 1950s knew the city but not that particular place). He said that he felt quite emotional thinking about French writer Proust walking along the pathways there. He said that he realized then that this was a historic place ».
12,000 m² devoted to art
The LVMH group, which supports artistic creation, now has a first-class flagship with a surface area of 12,000 m². Some of this is used to show a selection of works from the Foundation’s collection and from Bernard Arnault’s private collection. In addition to this ‘permanent’ collection, the Foundation also hosts two temporary exhibitions every year as well as musical events in the auditorium.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton is showing the first exhibition in France devoted to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), one of the three greatest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world. Being Modern: MoMA in Paris traces the history of the famous New York museum’s collections and takes place from 11 October 2017 to 5 March 2018. A choice selection of more than 200 artworks and documents – sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, films, performances, works of architecture and design, as well as documentary material and digital works – from the 6 different departments at MoMA will be on view throughout the Foundation. The show features masterworks by artists such as Paul Cézanne, Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso, René Magritte, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Paul Signac, Constantin Brancusi, Jackson Pollock and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe among many others. Organized in three parts, it begins with the first works acquired by MoMa starting in 1929, amongst which are The Bather by Paul Cézanne, House by the Railroad by Edward Hopper, Bird in Space by Constantin Brancusi, Steamboat Willie by Walt Disney and Echo: Number 25 by Jackson Pollock. The next part features ‘Pop Art’ with Andy Warhol’s iconic work Campbell’s Soup Cans, ‘minimalism’, and then the so called ‘Pictures Generation’ movement’ inspired by the boom in advertising, pop culture and television. The third part on the top floor focuses on contemporary art with works acquired by MoMA in the last 2 years. These include The Newsstand by Lele Saveri, Untitled (Club Scene) by Kerry James Marshall and the famous 176 emoji by Shigetaka Kurita.
A great opportunity to admire just a small part of MoMA’s huge collection while it is in France.
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Bois de Boulogne
Open to the public from 27 October 2014
8, avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris