2017 Paris Exhibitions Not to Miss

Art we can’t wait to see this spring and summer.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Decisive Moment at the Henri Cartier Bresson Foundation, January 11 – April 23, 2017


Henri Cartier-Bresson, “SPAIN. Andalucia. Seville.” 1933

Pioneering street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) spent his life traveling the world to document, in his characteristic black-and-white style, spontaneous turning points in everyday life. This idea of capturing “The Decisive Moment” later became the title of his pivotal 1952 publication (in French, Images à la Sauvette) and the subject of this special exhibition happening now.



Gabriël Metsu, “Man Writing a Letter,” 1664–1666

Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting
at the Louvre Museum, February 22 – May 22, 2017

Vermeer (1632-1675) and his contemporaries took genre painting to a whole new level with their mesmerizing attention to detail and talent for capturing the beauty of quiet, domestic scenes. This much-anticipated show is just one in a series of 2017 Louvre exhibitions celebrating the Dutch Golden Age.






Beyond Stars. The Mystical Landscape from Monet to Kandinsky at the Musée d’Orsay, March 14 – June 25, 2017

Vincent van Gogh, “The Sower,” 1888

Vincent van Gogh, “The Sower,” 1888

Impressionists and their successors broke with tradition when they took their canvases out of doors to capture scenes of nature, but their landscapes were more than rote recreations of the natural world. This exhibition asks visitors to appreciate the transcendental, sometimes spiritual qualities of famous scenes by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Gustav Klimt, Edvard Munch, and many others.


Anselm Kiefer at the Rodin Museum, March 14 – October 22, 2017


Anselm Kiefer, “Sans Titre,” 2016

This spring, the Rodin Museum invites contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer to design an installation to honor the 100-year anniversary of Auguste Rodin’s passing (1840-1917). Like Rodin, Kiefer is known for his daring sculptures and embracing of rough edges, as well as his omnivorous approach to artistic materials.


Camillle Pissarro, “Apple Harvest,” 1888

Pissarro in Éragny: Nature Regained at the Luxembourg Museum, March 16 – July 9, 2017

The village of Éragny was to Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) what Giverny was to Claude Monet: a rural retreat, a gathering place for his friends and fellow artists, and a site of bucolic inspiration. The Luxembourg Museum’s exhibition looks closer at this complex yet rich period of Pissarro’s later life in Éragny, while a parallel Pissarro retrospective at the Marmottan Museum (February 23 – July 2) highlights his earlier years as a founder of the Impressionist Movement. This pair of exhibitions, unveiled in tandem, are the first Pissarro-centered shows in Paris in more than 35 years.




Auguste Rodin, “The Thinker,” 1903

Rodin, The Centenary Exhibition at the Grand Palais, March 22 – July 31, 2017

A definite highlight in the coming year of art in Paris is this centenary exhibition of Auguste Rodin’s life and legacy. More than 200 of Rodin’s works will be joined by a who’s who of 20th-century sculptors, including Camille Claudel, Antoine Bourdelle, Constantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, and Pablo Picasso. Hosted in collaboration with the Rodin Museum, this show is sure to be a hit, so be sure to buy tickets in advance.




affiche_picasso_herbert_list_bdPrimitive Picasso at the Quai Branly Museum, March 28 – July 23, 2017

Picasso’s encounter with African and Iberian art during his early years  in Paris was famously productive for the young artist, and helped him break with academic artistic conventions and push the boundaries of modern art. This Quai Branly exhibition explores this familiar narrative further by considering Picasso’s dialogue with non-European artists — and vice versa — as a vibrant and evolving relationship.





André Derain, “Nu assis à la draperie verte,” 1936

Derain, Balthus, and Giacometti at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, June 2 – October 29, 2017

This summer, the Paris Modern Art Museum will juxtapose three 20th-century artists, each of whom warrants a show in his own right —  two painters and a sculptor — in order to explore their friendship and surprising mutual artistic influences, from their meeting in Paris in the 1930s through the postwar period.






Portraits by Cézanne at the Orsay Museum, June 13 – September 23, 2017

Paul Cezanne detail of "Self-Portrait in a Bowler Hat." 1885-86

Paul Cezanne, detail of “Self-Portrait in a Bowler Hat,” 1885-86

Cézanne was a prolific portraitist, but only now is an exciting new exhibition bringing together, for the first time, around 50 portraits and self-portraits to consider the insights they offer into this father of modern art. Paris will be the first stop on this show’s global itinerary. Next up: London’s National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

David Hockney at the Pompidou Center, June 21 – October 23, 2017


David Hockney, “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures),” 1972

In another international exhibition making a splash this summer, the Pompidou Center is set to celebrate the life’s work of British pop art legend David Hockney in collaboration with Tate Britain and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Organized in anticipation of his 80th birthday, Hockney’s retrospective will feature 160 works, including a few making their public debut.