Fondation Louis Vuitton is a private cultural initiative that was officially announced in 2006 “to promote and support contemporary artistic creation for a wide French and international audience.” The new art and culture museum was opened in November 2014 in the Bois de Boulogne public park in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the hyper-modern glass-and-concrete building consists of numerous curving panels that call to mind a lunar landing colony, or perhaps a deconstructed iceberg.
The museum’s inauguration is a three-stage affair stretching through September 2015. Each stage will consist of a specific exhibition, the display of select works from the museum’s collection, and a series of events.
The first stage (through March 16 2015) is an exhibition about the building itself, tracing the evolution of Gehry’s extraordinary work from conception all the way to completion. Complementing the architecture exhibition is a series of innovative and challenging installations by such artists as Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Schütte, and Pierre Huyghe. Electro pioneers Kraftwerk and Chinese piano virtuoso Lang Lang are just two examples of acts to have already wowed audiences during stage one.
Fondation Louis Vuitton also has a restaurant run by a Michelin-starred chef—with themed dinners twice a week—as well as a bookshop.
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A New Architectural Marvel
With its swooping glass panels that resemble a kind of space-age ship's sails, Frank Gehry's design for the Louis Vuitton art collection, which opened in fall 2014, is worth the Metro ride to the far-flung 16th arrondissement. The multiple terraces let you peek through and around the panels: one side overlooks the verdant Bois de Boulogne park, while the other offers a view of the Eiffel Tower, looking miniature in the distance. The innovative exhibitions of modern and contemporary art rotate twice yearly. Outside on the ground level is a can't-miss piece by Olafur Eliasson: a dizzying row of yellow-glass and mirrored columns that are guaranteed to fill your Instagram feed.