Each week, Artful spotlights an art experience or destination that speaks to us right now.
The Provençal city of Arles, where Van Gogh painted some of his most famous works, is steeped in art history. In recent years, however, the Swiss collector and philanthropist Maja Hoffmann has been working to turn Arles into more of a contemporary arts destination, establishing her LUMA Arts Foundation and constructing a sprawling, 27-acre cultural campus, LUMA Arles, on the former industrial site known as the Parc des Ateliers.
On June 26, the LUMA complex is opening to the public following the completion of its newest building: “La Tour,” a twelve-story tower designed by Frank Gehry and housing exhibition galleries and multi-use spaces behind a glittering, undulating stainless steel façade. Although the programming within will be of-the-moment, led by an artistic committee directed by the curators Hans Ulrich Obrist and Tom Eccles, the architecture nods to the cultural history of Arles: Gehry has said that he was inspired by the rippled skies of Van Gogh’s Starry Night paintings, as well as the ancient Roman amphitheater that is among the city’s attractions.
Inside the tower, newly commissioned artworks by major contemporary artists will be on display along with works from the collection of Hoffmann and the LUMA foundation. Highlights include a ceramic wall mural by Etel Adnan, an algorithm-based installation by Phillipe Parreno, and a summer-long presentation of Christian Marclay’s famous 24-hour video montage The Clock. Outside on the surrounding campus other projects of an immersive, participatory nature await, including a new glow-in-the-dark skateboard park by Koo Jeong A and a mirrored passageway with sliding doors by Carsten Höller.
See below for a slideshow of images from LUMA Arles.