New mega galleries in Paris

Interesting are the developments happening in Paris. Recall during the 1990’s for Paris to return to the center of art when the Cologne Art scene ruled the throne. Now and because of an unparalleled new market for art, Paris will feature in Gagosian Le Bourget and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin, two of the three largest commercial gallery buidings in Europe as well as have Europe’s largest kunsthalle in the 22,000 square meter Toyko Palais. Both Gagosian and Ropac are using internationally ranked seasoned curators to develop and curate shows. It is clear that the gallery space is on the attack and does not want the museum to define its art position or place in history today. The new vast gallery spaces are responding to the tremendous scale of many contemporary works, no different from the  ship sail sized 19th century paintings that hang in museums such as the Louvre today. London and New York are the leaders here in providing these new artist caverns; yet even Los Angeles is erupting with new gallery spaces ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 square feet in Hollywood. These spaces defacto serve as the new all-in-one gallery-as-museum-as-kunsthalle as centers of cultural entertainment. Add the forthcoming LVMH museum space to Paris and there’s a new center of attention in the artworld.

Vincent Johnson

Los Angeles


Exterior façade of the building / Façade du bâtiment. (Gagosoan Paris Le Bourget gallery)
© Jean Nouvel and HW Architecture

In the fall of 2012, Gagosian Gallery will inaugurate a bold new gallery space in the north of Paris, at Le Bourget. (from Gagosian press release)

The unprecedented choice of location in the industrial area of Le Bourget is linked to the discovery of this exceptional space, an industrial building from the 1950s, comprising 1650 square meters (17,760 square feet) on two levels. A mezzanine of 340 square meters (3,660 square feet) overlooks the ground floor, offering the opportunity to exhibit large-scale sculptures, paintings and installations.

Vue intérieure du Palais de Tokyo

Vue intérieur du Palais de Tokyo, a new giant center for contemporary art in Paris

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Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris under construction, left, and Joseph Beuys, Iphigenia, 1969
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris under construction, left, and Joseph Beuys, Iphigenia, 1969

Thaddaeus Ropac Plans Massive New Eight-Building Compound on Outskirts of Paris

This fall, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac will open a large-scale art and performance space in a former ironworks factory in Pantin, just outside Paris — its second location in the French capital, to go with two more in Salzburg. Designed by architects Buttazoni & Associés, the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin will include eight separate buildings with a staggering total of 50,000 square feet of space, comprising four exhibition halls, a multimedia space for performance, dance, and screenings, as well as private viewing rooms, archives, and offices.

Thaddaeus Ropac takes questions from reporters at the Alliance Francaise in New York, left, and a model of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris


May 8, 2012

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Austrian art dealer Thaddaeus Ropac, known for bringing U.S. and other international artists to his galleries in Salzburg and Paris, is opening a huge new arts complex this fall in northeast Paris near the Parc de la Villette. At a reception at the Maison Française on East 60th Street in Manhattan, Ropac said that the new facility would enable the presentation of large scale projects as well as performances. “We want to allow artists to follow their dream,” he said.

While industrial-scaled art spaces have become the norm in New York and to a lesser extent in London, they are rare in Paris. Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin, as it is to be called, is housed in a compound of eight buildings, originally constructed in 1900 as an ironware factory, totaling about 55,000 square feet and with ceilings as high as 12 meters. Four of the structures are earmarked for exhibitions; the facility is also to have a private viewing gallery, studios, a library, archives and storage. The architects for the renovation, which carries a €10 million price tag, are Buttazoni & Associates.

The first two exhibitions at the new space, opening Oct. 14, 2012, feature a new series of paintings, sculptures and collages by Anselm Kiefer on the theme of “The Unborn,” and a re-presentation of Joseph BeuysIphigenia, his famous performance (including a horse) done in Frankfurt in 1969. The Beuys show, mounted in collaboration with the artist’s widow, Eva Beuys, includes the film of the performance as well as an extensive array of objects from it.

Scheduled for February 2013 is “Condition of Painting,” a survey of new painting organized by Norman Rosenthal, curator of “Sensation” (1997) and “A New Spirit in Painting” (1981) at the Royal Academy in London, where he was exhibitions secretary for 31 years.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris under construction, left, and Joseph Beuys, Iphigenia, 1969

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin (Press release)

WE ARE HAPPY TO INVITE YOU TO THE OPENING OF THE NEW SPACE FOR MONUMENTAL WORKS ON OCTOBER 14, 2012.For the two inaugural exhibitions Thaddaeus Ropac chose two main figures in contemporary art, Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys.A NEW SPACEGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac is delig…hted to announce the opening of its new exhibition space in Pantin, located in the northeast of Paris, in October 2012. Formerly a 19th century ironware factory, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin will allow for the display of large- scale works alongside a programme of related events. “We created this new space which will give the artists the opportunity to realize their vision without the usual restrictions of space.” (Thaddaeus Ropac)The architects Buttazoni & Associés who already redesigned the existing Parisian gallery in the Marais have worked on the redevelopment of the new space in Pantin, where they have preserved the historical character of the listed buildings. The site has eight separate buildings allocated for exhibitions, performances, private viewing, archives and offices.FACTS AND FIGURESGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin will embrace a total surface of 4.700 m! (50.000 square feet) and will offer an exhibition surface of 2000 m! (22.000 sq ft). The gallery is divided into four luminous halls of 7 to 12 meter high ceilings (22 ft to 40 ft). Convertible walls will be freely adapted according to an exhibition or to specific artists’ requirements, and will allow the display of several exhibitions at the same time. In addition to the main exhibition halls another four buildings will host private viewing rooms, archives and offices. The project also includes a multimedia space for performance, dance, lectures, conferences, screenings and other activities that complement exhibitions and attract a wider audience.OPENING EXHIBITION: OCTOBER 15 TILL JANUARY 2013For the two inaugural exhibitions Thaddaeus Ropac chose two main figures in contemporary art, Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys.The Anselm Kiefer exhibition, titled “Die Ungeborenen” (“The Unborn”), will feature new installations, sculptures, paintings, collages and books in the four main exhibitions halls. Anselm Kiefer’s new works are inspired by the golem, a medieval figure of the Jewish mythology.

Furthermore, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac takes great pleasure to announce that an exhibition of Joseph Beuys, one of the most important artists of the 20th century, will open the programme of the new space dedicated to performance art. The exhibition will include a series of works all related to his famous performance “Ich (Ich selbst die Iphigenie)”.The performance which dealt with Goethe’s myth of Iphigenie was realized in Frankfurt in 1969 when Beuys appeared on a dark stage in a fur coat with a white horse and a pair of cymbals. It remains one of his most emblematic and visually striking art works. The exhibition in Pantin will gather loans and works from the Beuys Estate in collaboration with Eva Beuys and Jörg Schellmann. At the same time, the gallery in the Marais will exhibit important works by Joseph Beuys on the subject of “materiality”. It will show a selection of his sculptures, vitrines and drawings on two floors. The curator will be Sir Norman Rosenthal, former director of the Royal Academy of Arts and great scholar of Joseph Beuys’ work.

“The space presents the ideal conditions for Anselm Kiefer to produce monumental works and we are proud to unveil a new series of works. We chose to open an exhibition of important works by Joseph Beuys because of their influence on contemporary art and also because my encounter with Joseph Beuys 30 years ago was path-breaking for my career as a gallerist. Furthermore, it now has been a long time that major works of Beuys have not been exhibited in France.” (Thaddaeus Ropac) The programme of the new gallery in Pantin will focus on major exhibitions with monumental works by established iconic artists as well as those of younger artists. The exhibition programme will be conceived by the gallery’s in-house curators as well as by invited curators, maintaining the high standards of the gallery established during the past 30 years.

Following the two opening exhibitions of Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin will host a major show on “the condition of painting from the 1980s to now”. It will open in February 2013 and will be curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal, known for his ground-breaking exhibitions on painting like “New Spirit in Painting” (London, 1981), “Zeitgeist” (Berlin, 1982) and “Sensation” (London, 1997).

FUTURE PROSPECTSSince its opening in 1983, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac has constantly expanded its exhibition spaces in Paris and Salzburg, and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin is its most ambitious project to date. Located at the gates of Paris, Pantin offers not only a large-scale exhibition space. The city of Pantin and its surroundings provide connections and possible interactions with a cultural environment. In the near future, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin and especially its multimedia space will permit collaborations with the nearby Parc de la Villette, the largest cultural park in Paris, as well as with the Cité de la Musique and the Centre National de la Danse which opens new perspectives for the gallery. “The extension of the Palais de Tokyo, the Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création, to be built by Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel’s new Philharmonie de Paris in the Parc de la Villette, will increase the importance of Paris’ contemporary art scene. After London and Berlin as buzzling centres of the art world, Paris attracts more and more international artists and presents a promising new generation of French artists. In this context, our new space will hopefully become part of this new dynamic.” (Thaddaeus Ropac) Notes to the editors


Louis-Vuitton-Foundation Paris



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