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Paris The Right Bank - Fondation Louis Vuitton

A relatively recent arrival on the landscape of the Paris art world, the Fondation Louis Vuitton opened to much fanfare in 2014. Almost 15 years in the making, and after many planning setbacks, the vision of architect Frank Gehry and luxury goods mogul and LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault finally came to life. Some describe the unique structure as a giant glass boat with endless undulating sails, others infer references to the glass-ceilinged Grand Palais or the nearby Auteuil glasshouse built in the 1890s (known locally as the Palmarium). However, Gehry has lovingly and poignantly explained how he visited the nearby Jardin d’Acclimatation with his young family when they lived in Paris in the 1980s and why he designed the museum in memory of his daughter as a giant cricket ready to spread its wings and – metempsychosis-like – transmogrify into something completely other as it takes flight over the Bois de Boulogne and beyond the horizon. Inside, the Fondation is a maze-like collection of cascading terraces, each with their own special vantage point onto the city skyline with the Eiffel Tower in the distance which make the views alone worth a trip. The Fondation’s collection is comprised of works owned by Arnault and LVMH and is organised around four themes of Contemplative, Pop, Expressionist and Music & Sound. In addition to permanent installations like the impressive exterior waterfall and Olafur Eliasson’s Inside the Horizon from 2013 (made up of 43 illuminated yellow columns), the Fondation hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year to complement its permanent collection made up of works by a premium selection of contemporary artists. Even the restaurant here is a cut above the average gallery fare and features Gehry’s playful 2014 Fish Lamp installation to behold above you as you eat. It is worth remembering that your entrance ticket includes access to the ever-popular Jardin d’Acclimatation, the ideal setting to stroll afterwards and digest the rich visual delights on offer here.

Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75016. Tel: 01 40 69 96 00.

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