More to Paris than just the Eiffel Tower?

Four whole months in Paris, and I haven’t really explored much. This realization came to me when my French teacher asked me what all have I seen in Paris till now. And I..I could just name the usual over hyped marvels of this place. She was shocked! I walk a lot, I get lost a lot, I stumble upon new things a lot. But, I can’t really say I have seen the true essence of Paris.

This city is full of French. A language I am still trying to get a grasp of. But, it is also full of art, music, design, cinema, food, wine, and so much more. These little aspects make up the rich culture of what we call Paris. So, lets talk a little bit about art today.

Paris, a city where Art was born, thrived and is still thriving. Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall and many other artists who are world renowned spent parts of their lives here. I recently visited Centre Pompidou and came out totally inspired. The first thing that hits you about Pompidou is the architecture. This building was inaugurated in 1977, a very modern structure, and quite high tech!


Paris city view from the top of Centre Pompidou.

The thing to know about Pompidou besides its architecture is that they have curated a permanent collection, and then they host a lot of temporary expositions (very interesting to catch). I went there to see the “Homage to Jacqueline Picasso”, Pablo Picasso’s second wife, and his muse. Looking at his paintings of Jacqueline as well as their life together was quite interesting. After which, walking down from room to room admiring the works of other artists, learning a little bit about them was very fascinating too. But, the two galleries that really caught my attention were ‘Un Art Pauvre’ and ‘Designs by Pierre Paulin’.

Un Art Pauvre meaning The Poor Art was put up by bringing together art works by various artists. It comes from Arte Povera Italian for the poor art. The idea of art “of the poor” was first introduced in the 1960’s throughout Italy. This art form uses all kinds of natural material, or re-uses the “poor” material. These forms are basically manifestations of life. The art was mainly installations, but oh so enthralling to look at. I spent hours looking at a single piece trying to decipher its meaning..

This is just a simple wooden box. When I went around it, I saw the cut outs of a man and a woman on the side. It started to give the look of an Irish pub with two people standing and chatting at the door. I wanted to go inside the box, but then, you can’t do everything you want to at a museum.
The rock might just fall since it is dangling to a thread. But it won’t.
This piece is created by Giulio Paolini. A man between the poles. Pencil on Paper.
By Jannis Kounellis. It is made with wool, rope and then mounted on wooden poles. Looks like a lot sheep were reared for their wool to make these giant marshmallows 😛
By Pino Pascali. Made with feathers and wool, then mounted on a wooden board. Like I mentioned on Facebook, it reminds of woman’s large feathered hat.
Another piece by Jannis Kounellis. Hair on steel. It is a little creepy, the use of material. I don’t really know what to make out of it..

And then Pierre Paulin. The exhibition on Pierre Paulin consisted of around 70 pieces of furniture designed by him and another 50 drawings which were unpublished. Pierre Paulin took his inspiration from various things like nature and origami. His furniture was ergonomically designed and catered to the comforts of the consumer. Some of the pieces in this exhibition were his best work of 50 years.

Chairs by Pierre Paulin..

Tables designed by him..

More seating arrangement..



Pierre Paulin himself.

To sum it up, Centre Pompidou is a multi cultural centre which excites you, and makes you promise yourself to go back again. And again. And many times as you need to 😉




One thought on “More to Paris than just the Eiffel Tower?

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  1. Hey di, loved every bit of it. I was stupid to ask of photos of you to together.. but with time, I am growing into your projection, very appreciative of what you are doing. No lesser, than Henri Matisse 🙂 Here is my two cents to you, I was inspired by Marlyn Manson back in the days when I was in the US, and his album ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’ is a thematic preoccupation with Degenerate art, is something I grew up studying. So, I am hoping it gives cues to build on.. its like a train of thoughts. One leads to the other.
    And as for figuring out things in the city, getting lost – I completely feel connected. It takes me back in time. In synchronous with your writing, slowly growing into it 🙂


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