From classical institutions to chic modern spaces, Paris is a planet’s foremost artistic capitals and an emblematic city with some of the best contemporary art galleries. The French capital is the undisputed art biggest city of the Western world with a vast wealth of modern art galleries, creative works, and design exhibitions.
Aside from better-known exhibition spaces such as Centre Pompidou and Le Laboratoire, pioneering galleries such as Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac are well worth a visit. This selection includes eight established up-and-coming contemporary art galleries in Paris to watch.
A relative veteran of the Parisian contemporary art scene, Yvon Lambert has nurtured its vision to showcase pioneering artists of Conceptualism such as Lawrence Weiner, Minimalism (notably, Carl André), and land art since its opening in 1966. The gallery’s pivotal aims to present artistic projects which are ambitious, innovative, and intense, resonate in their diverse program of shows. Their library is the perfect place to pick up an art publication that will keep the memory of Yvon Lambert long after you return home.
Tucked away by the Centre Pompidou, Galerie Laurent Godin sits on Rue de Grenier Saint-Lazare. With only three rooms, the exhibition space is undeniably compact – but each show is allowed to breathe, with a surprising fluidity between the rooms and space to wander with knowledgeable staff on hand to talk you through the nature of the work. Although the gallery platform is dominated by two-dimensional art forms, it champions contemporary artists with wide-reaching horizons. For those who enjoy art that tells a story, Laurent Godin’s exhibitions will not disappoint.
Better known as Fondation Cartier, this contemporary art museum celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014, marking the Cartier firm’s departure from jewelry into the arts. For the past 20 years, this space has been based in Paris’s 14th arrondissement, housed in a light-flooded glass building designed by Pritzker Prize architect Jean Nouvel. Typically lamented for its distance from the city center, the idyllic woodland garden surrounding the venue is an added delight. The permanent collection bolsters the thread of artistic debuts, while innovations include the hugely popular ‘Nomadic Nights’, which focus on the performing arts, enabling a discourse between different creative genres and themes.
Bugada & Cargnel
Formerly known as Cosmic Galerie, Bugada & Cargnel is certainly one you must visit – the gallery has become the hub of burgeoning artistic life in the Belleville region of Paris. The stunning showroom offers a dramatic atmosphere of discovery, occupying 500 square meters in a former industrial garage dating from the early 1930s. Artists represented by the gallery are a mix of emerging and well-known presences such as Parisian multimedia artist Cyprien Gaillard and Mat Collishaw, a Young British Artist whose work has explored the realms of photography and video.
Founded by Béatrice Saint-Laurent, one of the best European curators, Galerie BSL promotes, produces and exhibits refined artworks that challenge the established borders of art and design. Unique art pieces or in very limited edition and the stunning contemporary sculptures that promote transcendency speak to the heart as much as to the intellect.
Gallery S. Bensimon
In the heart of the Marais, the Gallery S. Bensimon is a modern art gallery that is inspired by and inspires contemporary design. The fruit of the commitment and passion of a man who loves what is Rare and Beautiful – Serge Bensimon. In this gallery, there’s a bright and serene space, where you are invited to see some emerging or established artists creative works, craftspeople artworks, and designs exhibitions to let your imagination and inspiration run free.
Founded by Renos Xippas in 1990 in Paris, Xippas Gallery has been expanding ever since in major European and Latin American cities. Focused on international contemporary art, the gallery has been developed as a platform for discovery and promotion of both young and established artists. Located in the vibrant Marais area of the city, Xippas is something of an artistic powerhouse. With showrooms and galleries from Greece, Switzerland, Uruguay, as well as France, there is a confidence in their aim to be an international platform for contemporary art works.
This trendy and contemporary art gallery has three spaces in Le Marais, each more impressive than the other. Although it may feel intimidating to push the door and enter it is definitely worth the detour because here you can see the creative works of all the leading exclusive artists including Takashi Murakami, Pierre Soulages and Sophie Calle.
On your next trip to Paris make sure you visit some of these contemporary art galleries, it’s amazing to see how people’s minds can create such beautiful art works.