Fondation Louis Vuitton – Paris’ Newest Museum

After what has seemed to be an interminable wait, the luxury goods brand, LVMH Lous Vuitton, finally opened its Foundation Art Museum in  late October,

Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation

Nicknamed the  Iceberg,, the super-modern structure  was designed by architect Frank Gehry, known for the Guggenheim Museum building in Bilbao, Spain.

Located at the edge of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris,  the £80 million project was undertaken by 100 engineers and 3,000 workers

The striking structure boasts 12 glass sails which billow around the museum’s main building.  Inside, eleven galleries provide 3,850 square metres of exhibition space to house exhibitions,  and the permanent collection..  Gehry had to build within the square footage and two-story volume of a bowling alley that previously stood on the site; anything higher had to be glass. The resulting glass building takes the form of a sailboat sails inflated by the wind. These sails glass envelop the “iceberg”, a series of shapes with white flowery terraces.

The glass  sails are made of 3,584 laminated glass panels, each unique and specifically curved to fit the shapes drawn by Gehry.   The gallery sections are covered in a white fiber-reinforced concrete called Ductal.   The teams participating in the construction of the building have been awarded several architectural awards in France  and the U.S.  STUDIOS architecture was local architect for the project, spearheading transition from Gehry’s schematic design through the construction process in Paris to built space.

The Art Collection

The art world  was eagerly awaiting the opening of the museum to see the art collection, which has been largely secret over the years..  The founder of the French LVMH Group, Bernard Arnault, is a passionate art lover and discreet collector.and the Artistic Director is Suzanne Pagé, former director of the Museum of Modern Art of Paris.   Ms Pagé is considered to be one of the most gifted curators working today, and she has brought the works together,  imagining the overall coherence of a broad range of diverse works which interact and complement each other, forming a single, harmonious and unique ensemble.

The diverse collection  has been kept somewhat secret, but Arnault has collected works by artists from around the world and in all media and scale.  and the only common denominator is that have all been created during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Some of the well known names include Mark Rothko, Francis Bacon and Richard Serra, as well as Yves Klein and Jean-Michel Basquiat.  It also includes contemporary giants like Gerhard Richter, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.  Other works include present works by artists more often seen at biennials than at galleries or auction houses. These include works by the French artist Pierre Huyghe whose videos, installations and performances are better suited to institutions than to collectors.

The collection also includes other French artists and the Foundation has indicated it will soon be exhibiting works by Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier. The names Annette Messager, Dominique Gonzales-Foester and Jean Dubuffet have also been advanced.  Other Europeans include Alighiero Boetti, Maurizio Cattelan, Ugo Rondinone and Bas Jan Ader. Also are works by the Canadian artist Agnes Martin and the Lebanese artists Mona Hatoum and Akraam Zaatari, From Asia are works b Takashi Murakami (Japan), Zhang Huan (China) and Nam June Paik (South Korea).

The Foundation’s website is at :

You might also be interested in reading a non – complimentary review of the new museum on Artnet News:  As a Museum, Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris Sucks, by Benjamin Genocchio, Thursday, November 6, 2014 .  See

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