Discover Southern Europe, Issue 5, June 2019

Page 14

Discover Southern Europe  |  Culture Special - France

Dora Maar, Mannequin-étoile © Adagp, Paris, 2019. Left: Set in the Châtelet - Les Halles area, the Centre Pompidou is an icon of 20th-century architecture. Right: The Centre Pompidou stages first-class temporary exhibitions, such as one featuring photographer-painter Dora Maar (until 29 July 2019), which then moves to the Tate Modern in London.

Pioneering Paris Set in the heart of Paris, the Centre Pompidou is itself a beating heart of contemporary culture, even beyond French borders. An iconic, inside-out building houses Europe’s largest collection of modern and contemporary art. The Centre, dedicated to all forms of visual culture, celebrates art, design, architecture, photography and cinema and you’ll inevitably find yourself admiring its pioneering spirit, must-see exhibitions and increasing international swagger.

interior space has been freed up for exhibitions and events. The huge range of events strays into the fields of music, dance, theatre and performance art, along with regular conference series. Films, meanwhile, delve into the cultural overlap between different disciplines and the visual arts.

TEXT: LISA GERARD-SHARP  |  PHOTOS: CENTRE POMPIDOU

“E

verything you can imagine is real,” declared Picasso – an edict the Centre Pompidou would seem to endorse in this palace of dreams. This radical, high-tech, all-exposed building looks just as cutting-edge as when it was created, back in 1977, by superstar architects Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano. This Parisian landmark is famous for its colour-coded symbolism, with yellow translating as circulating electricity, green for water, and blue for air conditioning. Such daring verve is written into the DNA of the building and colours its collections, its multidisciplinary approach and its desire to reach diverse audiences.

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Where all art forms meet The public spaces in front of this bold building attract performance artists and crowds of onlookers: all part of the inclusive appeal of Centre Pompidou. If the building is playful, pioneering and futuristic, then the Pompidou philosophy infuses the spirit of the building. A multidisciplinary remit means that the mission is to educate, enlighten and entertain, mostly with a light touch. With its vast central lobby, rooftop restaurant, design bookshop and library, visitors can see an exhibition, browse for books, catch a concert, or make a beeline for a bird’s eye view of Paris. Despite the significance of the permanent collections, much

The Pompidou can cater to all ages and tastes and family activities provide endless ways to explore modern art and contemporary culture. Progressive, accessible, democratic and unintimidating, the Centre

Joan Miro, Peinture © Succession Miro/Adagp, Paris 2019 Philadelphia Museum of Art, A.E. Gallatin Collection