Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton

John and I couldn't miss a visit to Paris' latest art museum, the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Celebrity architect, Frank Gehry has designed a striking home for the Vuitton collection on the edge of the Jardin Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne.
John thinks Gehry's building looks like two upside down ships with their sails in the ground. It reminded me of a grander vision of the glass, wood and metal sail that adorns his renovation of the Art Gallery of Ontario in our hometown, Toronto.
Since the line-up for the new museum is long and slow moving we were glad when staff offered us umbrellas to protect us from the sun.
The structure is surrounded by a below grade moat.
The Vuitton collection is still being installed and the temporary collection was almost non-existent so we were less than thrilled that the Fondation still charged a full admission price (14 euros!).
John and I rode an escalator to see a temporary collection of world contemporary art in the windowless basement.
 Then we climbed upward in a mostly unsuccessful attempt to see some of the Vuitton collection.
As Bruno, one of our Parisian hosts, had warned us, the "artist" on show was essentially Mr Gehry. One climbs into his building as if it was a walk-in sculpture -- all glass, wood and metal fittings.
We found amazing views of the pleasure garden with its boat rentals, carrousels and bandstands and Paris beyond
but only the odd piece of Vuitton collection on view, always in small hard to find galleries. This is Thomas Schütte's sculpture, Mann im Matsch [Man in Mud], 2009.
Ellsworth Kelly's Spectrum VIII, 2014, in the Auditorium.
The proximity of the pleasure gardens, the Jardin Acclimatation,  outside the Fondation suggested to me that perhaps Gehry was trying to create an "art playground" with layered levels. Perhaps that will be the case one day, but at the moment we were disappointed with the odd layout of the building.
The far end of the museum where Olafur Oliasson's Grotto begins is fun
because there is a wading pool for kids across from the Grotto's reservoir. We thought that it related well to the Jardin Acclimatation and was a concrete enticement for  people to visit.


  1. I agree totally with Bruno - the artist on show in any Gehry building is essentially Gehry. I remember going to the AGO that first year Gehry did the redesign - all I wanted to see was the architecture, totally distracted by it because it's so flamboyant. But I love it. You may have seen my photo of the Walt DIsney Centre in LA - another Gehry building. Thanks for sharing this one - it definitely has the Gehry signature.

  2. We too are fans of Mr Gehry's work, rarecat.

  3. Never tired of Paris, This new museum is fantastic. Thank you for sharing photos.

  4. We totally agree about Paris, Sadko. We look forward to visiting the Fondation again when their permanent collection is fully installed - late 2015, I believe.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.