Fellow art connoisseurs, these galleries offer you a piece of Paris on a canvas you can take home if you just open your checkbook (tbd if you can charge a masterpiece to your Mastercard). If you want paintings, sculptures, and everything in between (including, but not limited to art snobs and the hovering artist), here are the places to glide into with your art spectacles at the ready.
Unfortunately, not everything in life is purchasable even with that platinum Amex. A smattering of these art galleries are, indeed, just that: a collection of beautiful masterworks for the eyes’ pleasure only (unless you are of the daring type and *whisper* touch the artwork).
Marché de la Création
Back in the 1920s, artists had a swell gig going on in the Montparnasse area: “le marché aux navets.” Make art to sell to the people, and whoever sold the most bought him and his buddies a meal. In 1994, the Marché Libres de Paris group decided to take this concept and turn it into an open market, and it remains up and running. This market hosts more than 200 artists, which includes jewelers, photographers, painters, and ceramists just to name a few. Each artist meets with the people they’re selling their work to, building a personal connection.
Walking in, you might ask yourself “what is this place anyway?” In simple terms, take most of Europe’s modern art, put it in one place, and you get the Palais de Tokyo. Since its inception in 2002, this place has been a self-described “anti-museum in permanent transformation.” Not only can you see art on display, but you can also see art being created. You could say this place is like Shin Godzilla, except the constant evolution won’t kill you or destroy most of the city. With every visit, you never know what you’ll find. Truly outrageous, truly spectacular, and truly one-of-a-kind, should you decide to visit, only expect the unexpected.
ADDRESS: 13, avenue du Président Wilson (16th arr.)
If you thought about starting an art collection but never thought you could afford it, this place has you covered. Since 2001, this gallery’s intent is to make art-collecting more accessible and affordable. Some artworks start as low as 95 euros, depending on its size, and every work they have is worth every penny. You can choose from a variety of mediums/techniques and artists they have on display. This gallery also has 30 more locations scattered throughout the world, and you can also buy artwork on their website. Any way you choose, it’s guaranteed you’ll find a welcoming space to enjoy art.
In 2006, passionate photographer friends Alexandre de Metz and Paul-Antoine Briat had an idea. Why not make artistic photography more accessible to the masses? Their model is based on selling 1,000 prints for 50 Euros as opposed to the other way around. Their success continued to grow with the pair reaching 90 worldwide locations, including Paris. They sell prints from the most well-known photographers as well as newer talent. Each artist is judged through the YellowKorner field of experts before being put up for display in the gallery. And with every new hopeful, there’s a new batch of acclaimed photographers. Plus, each print comes with their certificate of authenticity, in case such a thing is important for you. You can find the Paris gallery at La Hune.
It all started with one man… well, two if you count Salvador Dalí himself. That man was, and still is, Beniamino Levi, the founder and curator of the Dalí Universe. His connection goes all the way back to the 1960s when he met Dalí, and encouraged/commissioned him to build sculptures. In the exhibitions, you can expect to not only find these sculptures, but also rare artwork from private collections. Yes, there is more to this man than his eccentric lifestyle and melting clocks. As Levi is also an art dealer, he works with the collectors to gain art at a fair price. The exhibition hall itself has over 300 of Dalí’s works presented, each with its signature symbolism and abstraction he was best known for. If you want to learn more about Salvador Dalí or appreciate his life and work, check this place out in all its glory.
The Polka Galerie, despite its name, has little to nothing to do with polka dots or the music genre. More so, it’s 300 square feet divided into two spaces featuring ten photography exhibitions. It was established in 2007, and over the years, the gallery has represented over 30 photographers. The gallery also re-introduced great artists that were forgotten and financed art productions such as “Ali + Klein,” “Nightmare Republic Part 1 & 2,” and “Labyrinth + Monochrome.” It has also been a member of the “Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art” since 2012. It publishes a quarterly magazine featuring the best the photography scene has to offer.
ADDRESS: Cour de Venise, 12 Rue Saint-Gilles (3rd arr.)
HOURS: Tues. — Sat. 10a‑5:30p
MÉTRO: Chemin Vert (line 8) or Saint-Paul (line 1)
The Perrotin Gallery was founded in 1990 by (surprise, surprise) art dealer Emmanuel Perrotin under the name Ma Galerie. In 2005, the gallery moved from its original location to a new one in le Marais District where it remains. Its goals have been the same since day one: host vibrant and creative environments to experience artists’ worksand remain “consistently eclectic”. Perrotin has participated in 230 art fairs in 19 different countries. Plus, it represents over 53 artists, emerging and established alike. Prepare to be surprised, or at least expect the extraordinary.
Like most artist galleries/museums, the Institut Giacometti was once the studio of the artist and interior designer Paul Follot. Go figure, right? Anyway, each exhibit shines a light on the artist Alberto Giacometti’s life. In fact, there have been 5,000 drawings, lithographs, and mostly unpublished notebooks featured in these halls. Plus, this place hosts workshops like model drawings and sculpture-making so that other artists can follow in Giacometti’s footsteps and perhaps one day have their own galleries hosted in some random interior designer’s former studio. Hey, you never know.
In 1835, this gallery was the Chemin-Vert Foundry, a factory geared to help meet navy and railroad needs for iron works. It closed in 1929 with the property sitting in semi-limbo for a number of decades. Then in 2013, someone rediscovered this building and said, “Hey, why don’t we make this into a digital art gallery?” The property owners agreed, and in 2018, this place ignited to life. As you walk through the halls, you may notice the featured artwork moving around the room as if it’s a whale looking in on aquarium visitors. Each visitor is immersed in art no matter where they go. In case you’re wondering: no, there isn’t a chance of finding the singing candlestick from Beauty and the Beast here (in fact, you’ll have better luck in Euro Disneyland). However, you might see art as you never have before.
Since 1958, the Paris La Défense Art Collection has evolved with the rest of the business district while working out a few kinks along the way. The place prided itself on being the only vertical district in Europe. Plus, with over 60 artists featured, they don’t call this gallery attractive for nothing.
ADDRESS: From 15 place de La Défense to 92974 Paris La Défense Cedex
In his lifetime, Le Corbusier had a higher calling from being plain-old Charles-Edward Jenneret. He was an architect and artist who spent his last fifteen years working on a place to put all his crap stuff after he kicked the bucket as he had no next of kin and there’s no way to take your whole body of work into the afterlife with you. Villa La Roche preserves everything, from his paintings to his personal objects. When it comes to knowing an artist to the smallest details, it doesn’t get any closer than this.
Whether you want to catch an artsy film or check out some other unique artistic expressions, there’s always a way to capture thoughts of today’s world through art, at least there is when you visit here. Before Le BAL became Le BAL, it was Chez Isis, a hub of the roaring 20s. After WWII, it became the largest PMO in France and it stayed that way until 1992, after which it would sit abandoned for over 20 years. But just as everyone was convinced that the glory days were long behind her, in 2009, the gallery rose from the ashes like the phoenix it was and continues to be that artist hub ever since.
Looking for a contemporary place to learn about architecture? Look no further. Each exhibit picks apart every special feature of the city buildings. You can go on tour of these exhibitions, attend a workshop, or even peruse their library featuring rare architecture literature.
Multiple contemporary artists breeze through the gallery here in la Halle Saint-Pierre. Its Baltard style architecture allows for harmonic serenity to be felt everywhere. Currently, there’s a Hey! Le dessin exhibit, which features drawings made by artists from all around the world, that are totes amazeballs.
Talk about far out! Le Cube-Centre de Création Numérique takes digital art to a new level. Each artwork presented aims to not only challenge old creative practices, but also challenge our preconceived relationship with the artwork itself. You can touch some works or see yourself in different shapes, while others immerse you in virtual reality. Yes, there’s so much to do and see, who knows? You might even see some singing plants.
ADDRESS: 20 Cours Saint-Vincent, 92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux
Deep in the Tuileries Gardens lies an artistic oasis known as the Jeu de Paume. What it’s most known for is showcasing electronic imagery (such as photos, cinema, videos, etc., you get the gist, right?) from the 20th and 21st centuries. They also publish the best of their collections in a yearly magazine so you can get a sense of what goes on the old fashioned way.
Being that it’s located in the heart of France’s first free-learning IT institute, is it any wonder the collection is also the first permanent street-art collection in Europe? Every piece of graffiti can carry a message for the ages ranging from simple to complex, and it represents every person regardless of their social standing. Just to be clear, this isn’t a museum. Rather, it’s a collection open to all audiences to enjoy and experience.
Greetings movie buffs! We have a find for you! This gallery showcases the career, times, and tribulations of famous silent film star, Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, throughout six different levels. Movie posters, films, camera equipment, a researcher’s area: you name it, it’s all here.
Want a place that views Paris through the Internet? Check out the Gaité Lyrique! Perhaps by exploring, you can gain a better understanding of ourselves and the city through a highly evolving Internet culture, or stick around for the memes. That works, too.
As we mentioned before, Le Corbusier had quite a legacy to hold on to, so there was no one place that could capture the essence of the man himself. If you want to see every little detail on what this man’s life was like, look no further than this studio apartment. Here, you can wander through the artist’s humble abode where he lived and worked. Talk about a man who had his affairs in order.
When the Musée du Luxembourg started out in the 1750s, it was the first ancient art museum that opened to the public. It continued this way until 1937, when it was closed and left in limbo. In 1979, the Senate took control of the museum and has been going strong ever since. While the original works featured in the 1750s have been distributed elsewhere to other Parisian museums and beyond, you can now enjoy collections of photographs and artworks made by women artists, which is fine by us any day!
ADDRESS: 19 Rue de Vaugirard (6th arr.)
HOURS: daily 10a-7p
MÉTRO: Saint Sulpice (line 4), Mabillon (line 10) or Rennes (line 12)