Things to do this weekend in Paris: Must-see exhibitions and events

Machteld, Karel Appel Retrospective Exhibition at Musee d'art modern | Exhibitions in Paris | Urban Mishmash
Machteld (Nude series), 1962. Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris © Karel Appel Foundation / ADAGP, Paris 2017.

From latest exhibition openings (and closings) to cultural events and performances, here is a stimulating selection of the best things to do this weekend and for the weeks ahead in Paris.

1‘Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection’ at Fondation Louis Vuitton – runs through March 5, 2017

Sergei Shchukin’s collection is the finest and the most important anthology of modern art in the world today. This includes works by Monet, Picasso, Gaugin, Degas, Matisse, Cézanne and more. If you haven’t yet, this weekend is your last chance to visit the Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection exhibition at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. Read more.

2‘Karel Appel: Art as Celebration!’ at Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris – runs through August 20, 2017

Desert Dancers, 1954. Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris © Karel Appel Foundation / ADAGP, Paris 2017.

If you love the madness of free-flowing paint on canvas, the Karel Appel retrospective exhibition at Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris should be on your list of things to do this weekend in Paris. We were enchanted by the brutal beauty of Appel’s canvases and the childlike innocence of his sculptures. Karel Appel, who died in 2006 at the age of 86, produced a prolific body of work in his six-decade long artistic career. He was the co-founder of the celebrated avant-garde group CoBrA and took inspiration from the art of children and the mentally ill. This retrospective exhibition presents a wide array of sculptures and paintings that bear witness to Appel’s incessant creativity and stylistic development over the course of his career. Read more.

3‘Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment’ at Fondation Henri-Cartier Bresson – runs through April 23, 2017

Late French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson is undeniably the most important photographers. Apart from him being a co-founder of Magnum Foundation, his cult photography book Images a la Sauvette, published in English under the title The Decisive Moment, has inspired generations after generations of photographers and continues to be a reference point for street photography and photojournalism. The latest exhibition at Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson shows an elegant selection of vintage prints and archival documents to trace the history of this pathbreaking book. Read more.

4‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting’ at the Louvre Museum – runs through May 22, 2017

Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, ca. 1657-1658. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum © Amsterdam, The Rijksmuseum.

This is undoubtedly the most anticipated exhibition to open in Paris in 2017. Musée du Louvre brings together twelve glorious beauties painted by Johannes Vermeer, currently the most revered of the Dutch genre painters. This represents a third of Vermeer’s total body of work known today and includes masterpieces such as The Lacemaker and The Milkmaid. But that’s not all, for every Vermeer painting, there are several paintings by his contemporary genre painters, such as Gerrit Dou, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu and more. The result is a brilliant selection of exquisitely painted scenes of 17th-century Dutch society. Read more.

5‘Les Machines Urbaines’ at Club Azteca, 36, Rue de Crimée, Paris 75019 – runs through March 12, 2017

Les Machines Urbaines – Temporary art exhibition by Soukmachines and Plateau Urbain. Photo © Urban Mishmash, Prashansa Poddar

An abandoned gym building in the 19th district of Paris has been temporarily occupied by artists to create some crazy installations and experimental artworks. Open until March 12, 2017, the project is the brainchild of two associations, Soukmachines and Plateau Urbain. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of performances, events and interactions. Read more.

6‘Before – L’Afrique des Routes’ at Musée du Quai Branly – Jacque Chirac – on March 3, 2017

Before – L’Afrique des Routes. Courtesy Museum Quai Branly.

For the first edition of ‘Before’ evenings this year, Musée du Quai Branly takes us on an eclectic journey to Africa this Friday. Perfect for an evening with family or friends, the programme includes performances, concerts, free visits to the current exhibition L’Afrique des Routes, and an excellent opportunity to discover the culinary diversity of African food. Read more.


Things to do this weekend in Paris: Must-see exhibitions and events
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