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French Friday: Fondation Louis Vuitton

April 07, 2017
April 7, 2017 (097/365)

"Architecture should speak of its time and place,
but yearn for timelessness." ~ Frank Gehry

On March 1, I decided to defy the rain and gray skies to visit the Fondation Louis Vuitton -- a cultural center designed by Frank Gehry and funded by the LVMH group of luxury brands. The Foundation is located adjacent to the Jardin d'Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, bordering Neuilly-sur-Seine. The $143 million museum opened in October 2014 and contains pieces by many modern and contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons, Ellsworth Kelly, and Olafur Eliasson to name a few. I was fortunate enough to be there for the exhibition of the Shchukin Collection, featuring Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin, Rousseau, Pissaro, Braque, Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, and more. That exhibition closed on March 5th.

Anther installation that I was lucky to view was The Observatory of Light by French artist Daniel BurenIn May 2016, the twelve billowing "sails" that contribute to the conceptual ship shape of the building were covered in 3,600 translucent filters. The thirteen hues create a kaleidoscopic effect that changes depending on the time of day and season. The colors are vibrant and the effect is fun -- I'm sure it would be stunning on a sunny day. On May 11, this temporary installation will close. Yet as brilliant as it was to observe and as much as I'm embracing color this month, I really do prefer the white sails against a clear blue sky.

Vintage Louis Vuitton trunks on display
One of many models for the Fondation's structure
The sails of the terraces covered in Buren's vibrant hues

A peak at Paris' skyscrapers near La Défense

Just a glimpse of La Tour Eiffel
Permission to come aboard
The original sails of the Fondation Louis Vuitton (above and below)
"White sails" photos borrowed from the Fondation Louis Vuitton website: http://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/en.html

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