From the hills of Belleville to the cobbled streets of the Marais, here’s our monthly cultural guide with 12 exhibitions to see in Eastern Paris this month. Great news for art lovers on a budget: most of them are free!
Wylda Bayrón – “Heroes and Spirits of New Guinea”
Until March 1st
It’s always a pleasure to travel the world through the exhibits held at 193 Gallery – and this month’s journey is quite a memorable one! After a year and a half spent in New Guinea to document the traditional costumes of its 22 provinces, Puerto Rican photographer Wylda Bayrón has composed a remarkable series that stands out for its graphic and human intensity.
The artist also makes good use of her sense of colors and composition for her work behind the camera – she has been employed by American studios to shoot TV shows such as Orange is the New Blanck and Pose. A very different experience from her stay in Oceania between 2013 and 2015, where Wylda Bayrón was hosted by the locals in their villages. The 24 portraits in “Heroes and Spirits of New Guinea” illustrate the myths, rituals and festive gatherings that set the tempo of every day life in the mountainous island.
Tuesday to Saturday: 11am-7pm
7 Rue des Filles du Calvaire, 75003 Paris
+33 (0)6 03 70 78 26
Virginie Bécourt & Ji-Yun – “Anatomies”
Until March 28th
In the heart of the charming Saint-Blaise neighborhood, the Galerie Derniers Jours welcomes a mirror exhibit bringing together two of the artists it represents. The underlying theme of the body undoubtedly unites the textile creations of Virginie Bécourt and Ji-Yun’s surprising artworks, inspired by traditional Korean painting: “flesh, muscles, bones, ligaments and organs become the backdrop of their pieces“.
A visit is a perfect occasion to discover the unique style, “introspections and outlets” of these two artists, and maybe enjoy this opportunity to take a winter stroll around what was once the village of Charonne.
Wednesday to Friday: 4pm-7pm – Saturday: 2pm-7pm
5 Rue Saint-Blaise, 75020 Paris
+33 (0)6 85 07 63 32
Stefania Bregianni & Claire Seppecher – Painting and Photography
February 6th – February 20th
Perched atop the Parc de Belleville, the vibrant gallery Les Temps Donnés presents the artworks of two Parisian artists, photographer Claire Seppecher and painter Stefania Bregianni.
In this beautiful dialogue of faces and glances, the intimate precision of the former meets the sarcastic strangeness of the latter. Bodies rob shoulders and sometimes intertwine in scenes that evoke the social commentary of the New Objectivity. The opening of the exhibition will be held at 6pm on Thursday, February 6th.
Wednesday to Sunday: 2pm-7pm
Galerie Les Temps Donnés
16 Rue des Envierges, 75020 Paris
+33 (0)6 14 89 05 05
“Chagall, Monet, Renoir… Journey Around The Mediterranean”
Starting February 28th
After a successful season 2019 in the company of Van Gogh, the Atelier des Lumières is coming back at the end of the month! This time, let’s embark on a “Journey around the Mediterranean” that brings together two dozen heavyweights of European painting. Among the many artists inspired by its seashores, the exhibit features pieces by Chagall, Derain, Matisse, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Vlaminck.
With 140 projectors bringing their paintings to life for about fourty minutes, the masters will be reunited until the end of the year in a soothing tribute to the mare nostrum. Close to 500 atworks will be shown across the Atelier des Lumières, alternatively celebrating Impressionnism, Pointillism and Fauvism. Echoing the banks of the Mediterranean, it will also feature an animation including 90 pieces by Yves Klein on a background music by Vivaldi.
Full: €15 – Reduced: €14/€12/€10
Reopening February 28th
Monday to Thursday: 10am-6pm – Friday & Saturday: 10am-10pm – Sunday: 10am-7pm
Atelier des Lumières
38 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris
+33 (0)1 80 98 46 00
Ludovic Debeurme – Solo Exhibition
Until March 7th
A few steps away from the Château d’Eau station, the galerie Martel presents a selection of previously unseen pages and paintings by Ludovic Debeurme. The comic book author’s graphic audacity has received widespread recognition from his peers in the last twenty years, including at Angoulème. Most of the pieces presented this month were made specifically for the exhibit “in a mute dialogue with the issues tackled in Epiphenia”, a tryptic whose last part was published in 2019.
The gallery features some black and white artworks from this triple album, a fantastic tale that Parisian artist Fanny Michaëlis later colorized. Ludovic Debeurme’s thin and confident lines depict “the extraordinary destiny of the Epiphanians”, creatures half-men half-animals born from an Earth threatened by mankind.
Tuesday to Saturday: 2:30pm-7pm
17 Rue Martel, 75010 Paris
+33 (0)1 42 46 35 09
Lola Gonzàlez – “Si tu disais”
Until March 7th
A young video artist with an already prolific artistic career, Lola Gonzàlez presents a selection of her last films from January 16th at Marcelle Alix gallery, on the heights of Belleville. The exhibit resonates with “new and old friendships, her ability to bind together people whom she has met […] — a way of looking together at the landscape and fearlessly inhabiting it.”
A graduate of Beaux-Arts de Lyon, the artist received early recognition for the “visceral proximity” of her cinematic approach. She was a resident at Villa Medicis in Rome in 2018-2019 after memorable performances at Plateau FRAC Île-de-France, Palais de Tokyo, and a retrospective at Crédac in Ivry-sur-Seine.
Tuesday to Saturday: 11am-7pm
Galerie Marcelle Alix
4 Rue Jouye-Rouve, 75020 Paris
+33 (0)9 50 04 16 80
Adolfo Kaminsky – “Forger and Photographer”
Until April 19th
In the heart of the Marais, the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme tells the passionate and turbulent story of Adolfo Kaminsky. After joining the French Resistance at 17 following his internment in the camp of Drancy, the brilliant forger decided to use his talent to serve his humanist values and defend oppressed people around the world.
Despite the many sacrifices required by a career synonymous with secrecy, Adolfo Kaminsky also proves an inspired photographer, and the author of thousands of pictures after the Liberation. “From the Saint-Ouen flea market to the neons of Pigalle”, the French capital holds a special place in the collections of this inspiring artist and human being.
Tuesday to Friday: 11am-6pm – Saturday & Sunday: 10am-6pm
Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme
71 Rue du Temple, 75003 Paris
+33 (0)1 53 01 86 60
Anabela Pinto – “Precious Things”
Until March 28th
Another great reason to walk down the cobblestones of Rue Jouye-Rouve this month is the exhibition by Portuguese photographer Anabela Pinto dedicated to her superb series “Precious Things”, a reflection “on the contours of materialistic desire and its relationship with the pursuit of happiness”. A student at the Royal College of Art de Londres, the artist is a 2019 laureate of the Dior Photography Award for Young Talents.
In her latest series illustrating the esthetic grip of technology in daily life, “home electronics become the main subjects in open-ended narratives that incite the imagination of the viewer, while speaking of closeness, dependence, frustration, and ultimately happiness, that inherently relate with objects of desire, our precious things.”
Thursday & Friday: 2pm-7pm – Saturday: 12h-19h
12 Rue Jouye-Rouve, 75020 Paris
+33 (0)1 43 15 94 58
Sebastião Salgado – “Gold”
Until March 14th
Brazil, 1986. After years of permits denied by the military authorities, photographer Sebastião Salgado can finally reach the Serra Pelada – “peeled mountain” in Portuguese. There, in the Amazonian state of Pará, “tens of thousands of hopefuls swarmed to the teeming open pit of a gold mine in search of El Dorado”. Most will only find a living hell with terrible working conditions “imposed by mud, riots and horrific violence.”
The thirty photographs featured in the series “Gold” at Polka Galerie bear testament to the importance of this work, “helping to reintroduce black and white photography into the world of the press” following their publication in Sunday Times and New York Times Magazine. It’s also a great opportunity to discover new pictures from Sebastião Salgado’s archives, thirty years after his descent into Serra Pelada’s gulf of despair.
Tuesday to Saturday: 11am-7pm
Cour de Venise, 12 Rue Saint-Gilles, 75003 Paris
+33 (0)1 76 21 41 30
“Tolkien, Journey to Middle-Earth”
Until February 16th
It’s not like it’s every day Paris Lights Up crosses the Seine! Let’s take the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir to discover the latest grand exhibit of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France: “Tolkien, Journey to Middle-Earth”. Held until February 16th, the largest retrospective ever dedicated to the master of fantasy is a unique occasion to explore his legendary worlds and some of the sources that inspired his mythology.
The exhibit includes many artworks signed by J. R. R. Tolkien, a brilliant linguist at Oxford university who became the father of a new school of literature following the success of his books The Hobbit, The Lord of the Ring, and The Silmarillion. Visitors can cross some of the many lands Tolkien brought to life, from the green hills of the Shire to the volcanic plains of Mordor, not to mention the sacred forests of the Elves.
The success of the exhibit has so far proven undeniable: we recommend booking a ticket in advance with a precise time slot, or at least to avoid the weekend and holidays.
Full: €11 – Reduced: €9/Free
Tuesday to Sunday: 10am-7pm – Thursday: 10am-9pm
Bibliothèque François Mitterrand
Quai François Mauriac, 75706 Paris Cedex 13
+33 (0)1 53 79 49 49
Rebecka Tollens – “The Last Wedding”
Until February 29th
In the vibrant Rue de Charonne, all four floors of the galerie Arts Factory will be featuring the phantasmagoric artworks of French-Swedish artist Rebecka Tollens until the end of the month. In the solo exhibit “The Last Wedding”, she looks back “with lucidity and without compromise on her education, the learning of desire, and romantic relationships.”
Halfway between dream and nightmare, contrasts of graphite and charcoal let the artist’s visions shape an “everyday life that can be rough, […] depicted with proud feminist values”. Alternatively sweet and somber, Rebecka Tollens’s illusions share a backdrop of “dreamlike landscapes, reminiscent of her years in Scandinavia.”
Monday to Saturday: 12:30pm-7pm
Galerie Arts Factory
27 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris
+33 (0)6 22 85 35 86
Yuan Jai – Solo Exhibition
Until April 27th
Christian Boltanski and Pierre Soulages may seem like the indisputable stars of the moment behind the glass walls of the Centre Pompidou, yet it would be a shame to miss out on Chinese artist Yuan Jai’s large-format works using ink on silk. As wild animals prepare to jump through their canvas, “biographical elements and contemporary motifs are intermingled with references to the history of European and Oriental art.”
Using colours obtained from mineral pigments (azurite, vermilion, orpiment, malachite), Yuan Jai’s creations will be exhibited on the Level 5 of Centre Pompidou until April 27th. A perfect setting for these jubilatory artworks that have travelled around the world, from Taipei’s Fine Arts Museum to the Musée d’art moderne de Paris and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Full: €14 – Reduced: €11/Free
Every Day (except Tuesday): 11am-8pm
Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
+33 (0)1 44 78 12 33
Le regard, 2013 – Artwork from the exhibit “Heroes and Spirits of New Guinea” at 193 Gallery
© Wylda Bayrón