Contemporary art galleries in Paris

Saint-Germain, Belleville, the Marais, the Parisian suburbs … a selection of must-see galleries. Free entrance!

In addition to museums, contemporary art galleries also offer exhibitions all year round! From the Marais to Belleville and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, as well as in the north-east of the Ile-de-France region, there are numerous art galleries in the city, offering visitors the chance to discover the current art scene. Contemporary art, modern art, street art... there is something for everyone. Admission is free and the offering is constantly updated. An excellent way to discover new talent and possibly start a collection!

Superstar Marais in Paris

© Ansgar

Very renowned galleries have made the Marais and the Haut Marais (nicknamed «NoMa») their headquarters. The Galerie Daniel Templon, which opened behind the Pompidou Centre in 1972, is an ‘institution’. A true talent scout, this gallery was one of the first to exhibit Andy Warhol. You can see the work of major international artists such as David LaChapelle or Jan Fabre, as well as stars on the French art scene, like Pierre et Gilles, Arman or Gérard Garouste.

The Austrian Thaddaeus Ropac, whose parent company is located in Salzburg, exhibits at his gallery in the Marais next to big names Gilbert & George and Joseph Beuys. A few steps away, in Rue du Temple, the American Marian Goodman, who represents notably Gerhard Richter and Jeff Wall, is embracing the successors of the pop and minimalist movement.

After starting out in Rue Louise Weiss, Emmanuel Perrotin now occupies a magnificent hôtel particulier in Rue Turenne. He is one of the most prominent gallery owners, and spotted future celebrities like Takashi Murakami. Other great names in the art market world include Karsten Greve, whose references are legendary: Jean Dubuffet, Willem de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois, Pierre Soulages; and then there are gallery owners Chantal Crousel and Michel Rein.

Other places worth a look: Semiose, Galerie Olivier Castaing - Team School Gallery, Nathalie Obadia, Éric Dupont, Jousse Entreprise … And for photography, go along to Polka Galerie.

In the 3rd arrondissement in particular, art lovers have a number of contemporary art galleries to visit: the Martine Aboucaya gallery, the Christian Berst gallery specializing in art brut, the Campoli Crespi gallery, the Papillon gallery, the Mor Charpentier gallery...

Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a mix of traditional and modernity in Paris

© Galerie Got

On one side of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, primitive art and antiques have the lion's share. On the other side, towards Rue de Seine, are top galleries for modern and contemporary art. A pioneer in the district, the galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois is adept at finding new talent. Since the 1990s, it has been supporting French artists like Alain Bublex and Gilles Barbier, and also focuses on new realism, and the California scene, including the controversial Paul McCarthy, author in 2014 of the work Tree, an inflatable tree erected on the place Vendôme.

Another figure in Saint-Germain is prominent gallery owner Kamel Mennour in Rue Saint-André-des-Arts. His intuition shrewdly led him to exhibit David LaChapelle and Larry Clark very early in their careers. Its leading artists include Anish Kapoor, Martin Parr, Huang Yong Ping... Three other Kamel Mennour galleries are located in Paris: two in the Rue du Pont de Lodi and one on the Avenue Matignon. For up-market design, visit Kréo, in Rue Dauphine. It launched the superstar designer Marc Newson, known worldwide for his Embryo chair with rounded forms. The gallery also features brothers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, as well as Martin Szekely and Olivier Gagnère.

Frédéric Got owns three galleries in Paris (Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île and Rue de Seine) where paintings, sculptures and photographs by contemporary artists (Gonzalez Bravo, Rémi Bourquin, Stallman, Patrick Rubinstein, Jacques Le Bescond, Carlos Mata, Quentin Garel, Harry Benson, Steve McCurry, Denis Felix...) are presented.

The south of Paris returns to its roots


If you find yourself on the Left Bank, head to Rue Louise Weiss, in the 13th arrondissement. At the end of the 1990s, it contributed notably to the development of many gallery owners that would become the great names of today: Emmanuel Perrotin, Jennifer Flay, Jousse Entreprise and others. Even if some galleries have moved to the Marais, Triple V gallery is still present and offers an innovative and exciting programme.

The 13th arrondissement is home to other galleries such as the Laurent Godin gallery, which has a fine 500 m² space where paintings, sculptures and installations of contemporary art are exhibited. Among the artists represented are Wang Du, Alain Séchas and Marc Couturier. Not forgetting the art centre on the Seine, Quai de la Photo: a contemporary venue offering free photo exhibitions over an area of 1000m².

All roads lead north of Paris

© Andrrew Phelps

The north-east is not about to be left behind! In the first decade of the 21st century, the map for contemporary art was redrawn with the opening of many galleries devoted to emerging artistic creation in an area with no previous art scene: Belleville and the surrounding area. Today this district has become a laboratory for contemporary art and home to galleries that take a bold and innovative approach to creativity. Among the 'historical' galleries, it was Bugada & Cargnel (formerly Cosmic Galerie) who set the ball rolling in 2002, before being joined by Marcelle Alix, the Galerie Balice Hertling (other address in the 3rd arrondissement) and Suzanne Tarasieve’s Loft 19 (other address in the 3rd arrondissement). Since then, a whole hive of talents have set up in the north-east of the capital, from Belleville to Buttes-Chaumont as far as Porte de Bagnolet, including the gallery Crèvecoeur (other address in the 7th arrondissement), the gallery Samy Abraham, the gallery Emmanuel Herve, the gallery Magnin-A on Boulevard Richard Lenoir, the gallery Salle Principale on Rue de Thionville, the gallery Sultana on Rue Ramponeau and the gallery Anne de Villepoix on Rue du Moulin Joly.

Art loves space, and therefore, several of the market’s leading players, keen to display their large-scale works in bigger venues, have shifted their focus from the centre to the north east of Paris. Because art likes space, several players on the art market have boldly moved out to the suburbs of Paris to expose their monumental works of art. In 2012, the Austrian gallery owner Thaddaeus Ropac opened a second gallery in Pantin, in an old boilerworks. The famous international art dealer Larry Gagosian has, meanwhile, moved out to Le Bourget, in an airport hangar redesigned by architect Jean Nouvel.

In Romainville, in Seine-Saint-Denis - a very dynamic department in terms of art - the In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc gallery (formerly located on Rue Louise Weiss) is associated with other galleries such as Air de Paris, Jocelyn Wolff, Vincent Sator... to promote young French and international artists. This cultural district is located within the Fondation Fiminco. This foundation occupies a former industrial wasteland and dedicates its grandiose and unusual spaces to contemporary creation in all its forms by supporting numerous artists.

In the dynamic north-east of Paris, discover the Galerie Wawi's drink & paint workshops. In a musical atmosphere, paint with an artist while sipping wine for a memorable evening.

Paris Gallery Map

Many Parisian contemporary art galleries are referenced on the Paris Gallery Map guide. The galleries are classified in alphabetical order and by district (Belleville & North East, Le Marais, Matignon and Saint-Germain). Each gallery has an explanatory sheet. An interactive map is also available to geolocate them. To be informed each week of current and upcoming exhibitions and openings, go to the What's on this week and Openings & events sections for the complete and detailed agenda of contemporary art galleries in Paris.

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