Palais de Tokyo

This is obviously the first time I have made a post about the "Palais de Tokyo". It’s a spectacular building from 1937, near the Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower, but the outside has been in a bad shape, dirty and tagged until rather recently - now finally relatively clean.

The “Palais de Tokyo” was built for the 1937 “International Exhibition of Arts and Technology” (I referred to it in some previous posts (see for example here). It was originally named “Palais des Musées d’Art Moderne”, but derives its present name from the street along the Seine River, which used to be Avenue de Tokyo (but now is Avenue de New-York).

The building has housed a number of establishments, but today one of the wings is occupied by the “Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris” and the other wing by a French State site for temporary exhibitions of contemporary art - referred to as “Palais de Tokyo”. 

Difficult to get a good total view of the “Palais” – distance, trees…

Google Earth is of a big help.

The reliefs on the southern facade are by Alfred Janniot (1889-1969). They represent the "Legend of the Earth” and the “Legend of the Sea”. (My photos are of difficult colours… partly in sun, partly in shadow.)

Four ladies have been cleaned from tagging, hopefully for a while.  

(The stones you see in the pond are supposed to represent traces of the sea that covered Paris some 45 million years ago. It’s a temporary installation by the Brazilian artist Rodrigo Braga.) 

As with all City of Paris museums, there is no entrance fee to the “Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris” – except for temporary exhibitions. Apart from the present Bernard Buffet exposition you can admire art works by Picasso, Braque, de Vlaminck, Dufy, Marie Laurencin, Bourgeois, Bonnard, Lhote, Gris, Zadkine, Duchamp, Picabia, Sonja and Robert Delaunay, Léger, Modigliani, de Chirico, van Dongen, Arp, Utrillo, Valadon, Dérain, Chagall, Soutine, Foujita, Calder, Giacometti, Man Ray, Ernst, Wifredo Lam, Dubuffet, Soulages, de Staël, Yves Klein, Tinguely, Buren, Rauschenberg, Vasarely, Haring and many others – for free. All may not be exhibited at the same time.

Entering the other wing, the state owned one, means paying an entrance fee. At the moment there is a very specific (and peculiar) exhibition, “Carte Blanche to Tino Sehgal”. You will actually go through a number of almost empty white rooms (and one black room) and meet a number of people of different generations who will talk with you about “progress” and other philosophical matters – the central focus is supposed to be on “social interaction”.  

You will of course find libraries and bars in both wings (even outside weather permitting).    



Karen said...

A place I must visit the next time I come to Paris. I need to make a list. Hope to be able to do it early next year if all goes well.

Unknown said...

I like your post. I visited "Palais de Tokyo" in 1985 when I lived in Paris. Still looks like the same as at the time.

Anonymous said...

I thought I saw a painting by Marc Chagall.
And looks like the black room was empty!
Mil gracias