Paris Art: A Don’t-Miss List
Every spring, the Paris art calendar explodes and it’s always filled with rarities. This year, the Musée du Luxembourg features a survey of Chagall, the Musée Maillol salutes Venetian glass and the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme reveals lost works by a woman war photography pioneer. After a decade of restoration, twenties picture palace le Louxor is also back. If none of these grab you, Paris also pays homage to the late Keith Haring. Details are below but be absolutely sure to book in advance!
The Mexican Suitcase: Capa, Taro and Chim
Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme
Now until June 30
Everyone knows war photographer Robert Capa. This show features lost works from the war that made his name. But it also honors his lost love, the war photographer Gerda Taro. Like those by their colleague David Seymour (“Chim”), her photos are something extraordinary. These remarkable images come from the Spanish Civil War and tell the amazing tale of three passionate talents. All were part of the Montparnasse art scene—and all died violent deaths while pursuing their métier. (Taro was killed moments after taking shots on display here.) The show is a monster hit with Parisians, so plan your visit carefully.
• Why The Mexican Suitcase? Smuggled away from Nazi eyes, these films were thought lost. Then in 2003, they turned up in Mexico. Trisha Ziff’s excellent documentary The Mexican Suitcase tells that story.
170, boulevard de Magenta, in the 10th Arrondissement
Nearly a century after its creation, the Louxor movie palace is back. The Paris mairie has restored every aspect of its kitsch, Egyptian-themed glory. The best news: it’s also back to showing popular film. In addition to the main salle, two theaters have been added. NB: The second-floor bar offers a great view of Sacré-Coeur.
Chagall: Between War and Peace
Musée du Luxembourg
Now until July 21
All romantics adore Marc Chagall. But what makes this a Paris art plus is its selection. The hundred masterpieces were assembled by the late Jean-Michel Foray, a world authority on the artist. So you can follow the extraordinary evolution that traversed the Russian revolution and two world wars. The poetry Chagall created to surmount his trials—especially in his lyrical celebrations of love—is the highlight.
Now until July 28
A glittering view of an art unique in the world, this is Venetian glass from the masters on the island of Murano. The show starts in the Renaissance but moves up to the current moment (it includes pieces by artists invited to work there, from Chagall and Mona Hatoum to Jean-Michel Othoniel). The focus: commissions made to please Europe’s greatest families—creations that follow the island’s responses to art trends such as the baroque, art deco, modernism and so on.
Keith Haring: The Political Line
Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris and le Centquatre
Now until August 18
Keith Haring (1958–1990) will always be identified with New York, but the infectious graphiste loved Paris. Paris, like the rest of Europe, loved him back—for both his joyousness and his politics. So the museum where he was shown in 1984 has joined with le Centquatre for a giant retrospective. If you’ve never seen Haring—or if you haven’t seen le Centquatre, once our public mortuary—put these in your diary. NB: The Centquatre contribution is an installation combined with related film screenings. Most of the films are in English.
Editor’s note: Aah, spring in Paris—the perfect time to take a stroll around a neighborhood you’ve never explored. Test out our popular DIY walking tours starting at only $3 each.