Each week, Artful spotlights an art experience or destination that speaks to us right now.
Americans can once again visit Paris; last week, France began to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from the United States (provided they submit a negative Covid PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure). And they now have a compelling new reason to make the trip: the Bourse de Commerce, the latest in a series of spectacular art spaces housing the collection of the billionaire François Pinault, has opened after a succession of construction and Covid-related delays.
Taking its name from the historic building—which was once home to a grain market and, later, the Paris Stock Exchange—the Bourse de Commerce showcases some 10,000 works of contemporary art from the Pinault Collection and a tour-de-force renovation by architect Tadao Ando.
Within the structure’s central feature, a soaring, glass-domed Rotunda lined with 19th-century frescoes, Ando has inserted a concrete cylinder—inspired, he has said, by Russian nesting dolls. Inside the cylinder are exhibition spaces and an auditorium. Outside, double staircases wind around and up to a circular walkway that maximizes the museum’s contrast of old and new art and architecture; visitors can get close to the murals and look down at the galleries from above.
Pinault is known to collect market-tested blue-chip artists such as Cindy Sherman, Rudolf Stingel, and Urs Fischer in depth, and all three figure prominently in the Bourse de Commerce’s inaugural exhibition “Ouverture”—but the emphasis is on influential Black artists such as David Hammons and Kerry James Marshall, as well as mid-career and emerging French artists including Philippe Parreno and Lili Reynaud-Dewar. An entire gallery is dedicated to Hammons, with thirty works that amount to a mini-survey; among the highlights is his 1990 assemblage Central Park West, with its toppled street sign and broken bicycle.
See below for a slideshow of images of the building and the current exhibition. Visitors will want to note that although the Bourse de Commerce is open six days a week, admission is by reserved timed ticket only and the museum is currently operating at one-third capacity; check the website for details.