Art really big in fashion

The Pinault Collection in the former trading exchange is the new museum highlight in the city - for art and architecture lovers. Mademoiselle Lili is blown away.

Cartier already has one, Louis Vuitton, Galeries Lafayette or Prada in Milan. And now François Pinault too. Today, luxury companies no longer set up art foundations, they prefer to build their own museums. The recipe is always the same: a sonorous brand name, a great architect and contemporary art. Long awaited and repeatedly postponed due to the pandemic: The new museum for contemporary art in the “Bourse de Commerce”, the old trading exchange. Right in the heart of the city, next to the newly designed Les Halles shopping center and a few steps away from the second major event this summer, the reopening of the traditional department store La Samaritaine, is the circular, historic building from the 18th century, which the luxury fashion entrepreneur François Pinault long-awaited Parisian made his art collection home. The senior of the Kering Group, which includes fashion brands such as Balenciaga, Gucci and Saint Laurent, is considered the largest private collector in the world. Up to 10,000 works should belong to his collection. 200 of them adorn this opening exhibition, which he personally curated.

What more can you be amazed about? About the bold architecture - or the art? Hard to say.

The Japanese architect Tadao Ando has put a new building into the historic rotunda with arcades, stucco facades, a ceiling painting from the 19th century and a glass dome: a nine-meter-high and 30-meter-wide cylinder made of exposed concrete, based on the principle of matryoshka dolls . You can go around this cylinder on labyrinthine stairs and glass-clad walkways, which opens up exciting and contrasting perspectives. Between old and new. Between above and below. The constantly changing daylight falling through the glass dome gives the room an almost metaphysical quality reminiscent of de Chirico's magical architectural landscapes.

The Swiss Urs Fischer kicked off the art at this central point. His “Rape of the Sabine Women” is a replica of the famous sculpture by Giambologna in Florence - but made entirely of wax and slowly destroying itself. Everywhere there are small wicks with which the gigantic candle is melted. Big names such as Thomas Schütte, Cindy Sherman or Pierre Huyghe, who is represented with a meditative installation of music, disco nebula and light in the basement, are on the four exhibition levels, but there are also very political works and new discoveries such as the Afro-American artist David Hammons to which the entire gallery 2 is dedicated. The 94-part photo series by Louise Lawler, which refers to the 1987 Helms Amendment in the US Senate, reads like a commentary on the pandemic. Back then, the AIDS epidemic was rampant - and yet the vast majority voted against the release of federal funds for prevention purposes in order not to promote homosexuality. She names every no-politician by name - including Jo Biden.

It's a shame that with two such strong triggers another aspect almost goes under: The subtle furniture and the fine interior of the design brothers Bouroullec, who contributed various objects inside and outside and on the top floor with the "Halle aux Grains" one of the probably have designed the most beautiful panoramic restaurants in Paris.