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Major exhibitions in Paris this autumn

The autumn season offers a rich programme of exhibitions in Paris.

The French capital is hosting several exceptional exhibitions this season, featuring among others Picasso, Van Gogh, Varda, Sfar, Modigliani, Chagall, de Staël... Here’s an overview of the must-see exhibitions!

Eagerly awaited new exhibitions in Paris

© Viva Varda

Without doubt one of ‘the’ exhibitions of the new cultural season Picasso. Dessiner à l'infini (‘Picasso. Infinite Drawing’) (from 18 October 2023 to 15 January 2024). To mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Spanish artist, the Centre Pompidou has envisaged the ‘biggest retrospective of his work ever organized’. 1,000 works (sketchbooks drawings and engravings) will be exhibited to the public, some for the first time, in a non-linear, immersive, and prolific exhibition.

Another exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Chagall At Work, Drawings, Ceramics and Sculptures 1945 presents, for the first time, a group of works by Marc Chagall, recently donated to the museum. In all, 127 drawings, 5 ceramics and 7 sculptures by the artist are on display to the public, from 4 October 2023 to 26 February 2024.

Through the exhibition Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise. The Final Months (from 3 October 2023 to 4 February 2024), the Musée d’Orsay offers an insight into the last months of the life of the artist in Auvers-sur-Oise, near to Paris. It was a troubling period for him as he struggled to come to terms with himself. However, it was there that he found his last artistic inspiration producing 74 paintings and 33 drawings, including the Portrait of Dr Paul Gachet, and The Church at Auvers.

From 20 September 2023 to 15 January 2024, the Musée de l’Orangerie is showing Amedeo Modigliani. A painter and his art dealer, an exhibition that explores the encounter between the Italian artist and the art dealer and gallery owner Paul Guillaume, a great art collector, at the beginning of the 20th century. As well as art, the two men shared a love of literature and poetry.

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Joann Sfar is one of the most important contemporary French comic book artists. His 30-year career as a graphic artist is celebrated in a retrospective at the Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme. Joann Sfar. Drawn life (from 12 October 2023 to 12 May 2024) features 250 plates and drawings, as well as notebooks, photographs, and films of his multifaceted career.

Notre-Dame de Paris is not yet open to visitors, but the cathedral’s rich heritage is accessible to the public. From 18 October 2023 to 29 January 2024, the [Musée du Louvre](https://parisjetaime.com/eng/culture/musee-du-louvre-p3489 invites visitors to explore ‘Les trésors de Notre-Dame, Des origines à Viollet-le-Duc’ (The treasures of Notre-Dame. From its origins to Viollet-Le-Duc.’). Following the fire that engulfed the cathedral in April 2019, the Louvre has been preserving all of Notre-Dame's liturgical objects, presented in this exhibition that provides an excellent account of the history of the cathedral, which is currently undergoing renovation.

The Cinémathèque française offers a vibrant tribute to Agnès Varda with the exhibition Viva Varda!. Showing from 11 October 2023 to 28 January 2024, it looks in detail at the woman who was at the forefront of the New Wave movement, through photographs, costumes, archives, and installations. A perfect opportunity to learn all about her many talents, from filmmaking to photography.

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Adventure is on the programme at the Museum national d’Histoire naturelle. The exhibition ‘Mondes disparus’ (‘Lost Worlds’), (from 14 October 2023 to 16 June 2024), offers a unique and immersive experience, a journey into the past, 3.5 billion years ago, to meet extinct species such as dinosaurs and giant centipedes, all in augmented reality. A show that will appeal to kids and grown-ups.

© Brian Skerry

Another immersive exhibition, Ocean Odyssey at the Atelier des Lumières (from 20 October 2023 to 7 January 2024) transports visitors into the stunning underwater photography of Brian Skerry. For forty years, the National Geographic photographer has been exploring the wonders of the underwater world, rarely seen up close by the general public. Ocean Odyssey gives visitors the chance to dive among dolphins, sea turtles and coral ... while staying dry, of course!

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The Musée des Arts Décoratifs takes a bold gamble: bringing together two seemingly distant worlds. From 20 September 2023 to 7 April 2024, the exhibition Fashion and Sports: From one Podium to Another explores this strong link, dating from Antiquity to the present day. 450 items of clothing and accessories, photographs, sketches, magazines, posters, paintings, sculptures, and videos show how sport has influenced fashion, from haute couture to jogging and sneaker culture.

From 18 October 2023 to 2 April 2024, the Fondation Louis Vuitton presents 115 works by Mark Rothko, one of the leading figures in American Abstract Expressionism, for one of this season's must-see exhibitions.

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Also not to miss, the exhibition devoted to French painter Nicolas de Staël (from 15 September 2023 to 21 January 2024) at the Musée d’Art Moderne, the tribute to Chéri Samba, a representative of the ‘popular painting’ of Kinshasa, at Musée Maillol (from 17 October 2023), a focus on the concept of winning! ‘La fabrique des héros’ (‘The making of heroes’), at the Musée de l’Armée (from 11 October 2023 to 28 January 2024), and a look back at ‘La Régence à Paris, L'aube des lumières’ (‘The Regency in Paris. The Dawn of the Enlightenment’), recounted by the Musée Carnavalet (from 20 October 2023 to 25 February 2024).

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Major exhibitions currently on view in Paris to visit or revisit

© Culturespaces

Until 7 January 2024, the Atelier des Lumières offers a link between Paris and New York as seen through the eyes of Marc Chagall, two cities synonymous with the reflections of this 20th century artist.

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The Cité des sciences et de l'Industrie looks at a phenomenon known to us all: Crowds (until 7 January 2024), in a literal and figurative sense. The exhibition examines both the physical phenomena observed at large gatherings and the struggles for influence and opinion on social networks.

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There are only a few weeks left to discover the oh so artistic scope of Léopold Sédar Senghor, who is the subject of an exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, until 19 November 2023.

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Another socially committed exhibition, Over the Rainbow, at the Centre Pompidou (until 13 November 2023), focuses on the key role played by art in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights, with photographs, films, and graphic works.

© Eternel Mucha - RMN

The immersive Grand Palais, true to its innovative spirit, offers a unique insight into the life and work of Alphonse Mucha, pioneer of the art of the poster and forerunner of advertising. Eternel Mucha (until 5 November 2023), featuring projections, a musical and olfactory world, and interactive devices, takes visitors through the career of this emblematic figure of Art Nouveau.

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Animal lovers have until 7 January 2024 to visit the exhibition Felines at the Grande Galerie de l'Évolution, which explores the world of cats from domestic species to less well-known wild cats.

The Musée de l’Homme, until 31 December 2023, presents the exhibition Cross Perspectives, an artistic collaboration between the cartoonist Plantu and the photographer Reza. Both artists share their humanist and peace-loving vision of current events and the contemporary world.

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Ce que la Palestine apporte au monde’ (‘What Palestine brings to the world’), at the Institut du Monde Arabe (until 19 November 2023), comprises three different exhibitions, all aimed at sharing ‘the momentum and irrepressible vitality of Palestinian creativity’. This ambitious programme is accompanied by workshops, shows, debates and literary encounters.

More exhibitions in Paris

© MHNH - Agnès Latzoura

  • American Mythologies. From 13 October 2023 at the Bourse de Commerce - Pinault Collection.

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  • Ingres, the artist and his princes, showing until, 1st October 2023 at the Château de Chantilly.

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  • Ron Mueck. Until 5 November 2023 at the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain.
  • The Origins of the Sacred Image. Icons from the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts in Kyiv. Until 6 November 2023 at the Musée du Louvre.
  • La collection. Œuvres choisies’ (‘The Collection. Selected works’). Until 6 March 2024 at the Musée Picasso.

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The Cultural Olympiad

© Laurent Dome Bac

With less than a year to go before the Paris 2024 Olympics, the sporting event features in exhibitions and in the Cultural Olympiad.

The art nouveau decor at the Butte aux Cailles swimming pool welcomes IRIS, sport/art performance by Italian artist Alessandro Sciarroni combining swimming, dance, music, and song (16 and 17 September 2023).

The Musée de la Seine-et-Marne reveals writer Pierre Mac Orlan's passion for rugby, which he played as a fly-half, and which he has written about in his articles and novels (from 17 September to 10 December 2023).

The Fête de la science 2023, organized by the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, throws the spotlight on sport, from 6 to 16 October 2023, throughout France, and in particular in the Paris region, via a variety of events.

‘Sport et Sciences : 3, 2, 1 Partez !’ (‘Sport and Science: 3, 2, 1 Go!’, at the Université Paris-Saclay, takes a look at how science contributes to the world of sport (from 10 to 14 October 2023).

For one afternoon on 14 October 2023, the renowned École des Ponts ParisTech will be showcasing the results and methods of its research into sport through an exhibition, workshops, and demonstrations.

Arthlète, a cultural festival focusing on breaking, is staging an exhibition on this new Olympic discipline, as well as meetings, workshops, and screenings, from 1st to 30 November 2023, at the Plateau.

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