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Museum/
Georges Pompidou Center

In the heart of Paris, Beaubourg was designed to become the first national museum of modern art in Europe, housing a collection of more than 100,000 works of art, from paintings, sculptures and installations to drawings, photographs and films.
The Center Georges Pompidou is a must for novices or experts, you just have to open your eyes and let yourself be carried away...

His history...

Here you are in front of a building that is controversial to say the least...

The building's architecture, designed by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, is an example of high-tech style, with its colorful pipes, exterior elevators and visible escalators. The structure of the building is designed to allow maximum circulation of air and light, creating a bright and airy environment for the artwork. If, like us, you like to be surprised, to question yourself about contemporary art and to be a little shake-up in your representations, you are in the perfect place!

 

The works exhibited at the Center Georges Pompidou are a true journey through the history ofmodern and contemporary art. The collection includes paintings by old masters such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró and Frida Kahlo, as well as more contemporary works by artists such as Jeff Koons, Shirin Neshat and Cindy Sherman. Trends in modern art are also represented, including cubism, surrealism, lyrical abstraction and pop art.

 

For visitors looking to learn more about the works on display, it is recommended to follow the recommended tour route, which offers a selection of some of the best-known paintings, sculptures and installations from the collection. The center's guides can also provide anecdotes about the artists and their works, providing insight intomore personal and immersive experience.

The controversies surrounding Beaubourg...

The Center Pompidou has been at the heart of several controversies since its opening in 1977.

We said it, architecture: The Center Pompidou building, designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, has sparked debate since its construction. The choice to place pipes, stairs, elevators and other technical equipment outside the building has been widely criticized. Some felt that it disfigured the historic Beaubourg district and that the building was ugly and unsightly.

The Center Pompidou has also often been criticized for its exhibitions, considered tooavant-garde and shocking for some. In 1986, an exhibition of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe was banned by the Minister of Culture at the request of the American government, causing apolitical and societal debate on freedom of expression in France.

We can also talk about financing... The cost of building the Center Pompidou was very high and sparked criticism from certain elected officials and taxpayers. Additionally, some questioned the wisdom of spending so much money on a contemporary art museum when other sectors, such as education or health, lacked funding.

Le Louvre à travers le temps

The architecture of the Georges Pompidou Center

Designed by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, it was inaugurated in 1977 and has since become one of the city's most famous and visited landmarks.

The architecture of the Center Pompidou is characterized by its innovative and radical approach, which has provoked diverse reactions from the public and art critics. The building is notable for its bold use of colors and materials, as well as its "inside-out building" concept, which involves placing functional elements (like stairs and air ducts) outside of the building rather than inside.

The Center Pompidou's pipes, which are actually air ducts, are one of the most distinctive elements of the building's architecture. Unlike most buildings, where air ducts and other functional elements are hidden inside, architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers decided to expose them on the exterior of the building.

The colored pipes of the Center Pompidou have a dual function. On the one hand, they serve to convey fresh air into the building, while evacuating stale air. On the other hand, they are also an aesthetic element, which brings a touch of color and dynamism to the facade of the building.

The Center Pompidou is divided into several distinct zones, each with a specific function. The main area is the exhibition space, which includes art galleries, cinema rooms and performance spaces. This area is located in the center of the building and is accessible by colorful escalators that climb along the exterior facade.

Above the exhibition space is a large reading room, which houses a library and a documentation center. This room is characterized by its glass roof, which allows abundant natural light and offers a breathtaking view of the rooftops of Paris.

The Center Pompidou is also equipped with a catering area, which includes a gourmet restaurant located on the sixth floor and offering a panoramic view of the city, don't miss it!

A brief tour of the most notable works:

  • Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso: This painting by Picasso, created in 1907, is considered one of the most important and influential works in the history of modern art. It has been exhibited at the Center Pompidou since 1976.

  • The Fountain by Marcel Duchamp: This work (and what a work!), created in 1917, is a porcelain urinal that Duchamp signed "R. Mutt" and presented as a work of art. She became an icon of the Dada movement and marked a decisive turning point in the history of art.

  • The Water Lilies by Claude Monet: This series of paintings by Monet, produced between 1915 and 1926, represents his famous garden at Giverny. The Water Lilies are considered one of the most important works of impressionist art.

  • The House ofVan Gogh in Arles by Vincent Van Gogh: This painting, created in 1889, depicts the room that Van Gogh rented in Arles, in the south of France. It is considered one of the most famous and moving works of modern art.

  • The Clock by Salvador Dalí: This Dalí sculpture, created in 1931, is a surreal representation of a soft pendulum, which seems to melt into space. She has become an icon of surrealist art.

A visit itinerary among others

If you only have two hours we advise you to go up to the top floor to admire the view, then go down, stopping at each floor:

  • Continue to the 5th floor, where there are works from the early years of the 20th century, particularly those from the Cubist and Futurist movements. Make sure not to miss works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, Robert Delaunay and Francis Picabia.

  • Next, head to the 4th floor to experience the Surrealist and Dadaist movements. Works not to be missed are those of André Breton, Max Ernst, Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí.

  • Continue your visit by going down to the 3rd floor, where there are works from the 1950s to 1980s. Don't miss the works of Yves Klein, Niki de Saint Phalle, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Joseph Beuys.

Some works in light

“Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” is a revolutionary painting created by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso in 1907. This work is considered one of the most influential paintings in modern art and marked the beginning of the Cubist movement.

The painting depicts five naked women in a brothel on Rue Avignon in Barcelona, each depicted from a different angle. The women's bodies are deconstructed and fragmented into geometric shapes, creating a visual effect of several simultaneous points of view. This reflects Picasso's fascination with spatial perception and the exploration of the dimension of time.

Picasso used bright colors and angular shapes to create visual and emotional tension in the painting. The African masks that adorn the background wall also inspired Picasso and add a primitive and tribal dimension to the work.

demoiselles-avignon-picasso-pompidou-paris-chimeres

"Fountain" is a famous piece of conceptual art created by French artist Marcel Duchamp in 1917. It is a white porcelain fountain, which was signed "R. Mutt" and submitted to an art exhibition in New York.

The piece is a key example of conceptual art and the Dada movement, which rejected the conventions of traditional art and sought to provoke and shock audiences. Duchamp chose a fountain, a banal and utilitarian object, and transformed it into a work of art by signing it with a pseudonym.

The fountain was initially rejected by the exhibition jury and was never exhibited. However, the work has become a symbol of the Dada movement and has had a considerable influence on modern and contemporary art. The fountain paved the way for new modes of artistic expression, including conceptual art and ready-to-wear art, which challenged the very notion of art and transformed our understanding of what is a work of art.

Today, the original fountain is lost, but Duchamp created several replicas of the work before his death in 1968.

Duchamp fountain

“Beauty is bad taste. Bad taste is the dream of too much desired beauty.” (Raysse)

"Made in Japan - La Grande Odalisque" is a pop art piece created by French artist Martial Raysse in 1964. The piece is a pop art depiction of "La Grande Odalisque", a famous painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres created in 1814.

In this version, Raysse replaced the naked, sensual female body of the original painting with a pink plastic figure. The piece is a commentary on the commercialization of pop culture and the way consumer items are often mass-produced and disposable.

The sculpture was created from poor quality materials and mass-produced, emphasizing the commercial aspect of the work. The title of the work "Made in Japan" also refers to the mass production of manufactured goods in Japan at the time.

"Made in Japan - La Grande Odalisque" is an important work of pop art, which emerged in the 1950s and 1960s and was characterized by the use of bright colors, repetitive patterns and popular subjects. Raysse's work has also been seen as a critique of the consumer society and mass production of the time, which helped to stimulate debate about the impact of popular culture on art and culture. Company.

raysse-pompidou-paris-chimeres

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Address of the Center Pompidou

Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris