tag archives: child’s play

visiting the fondation louis vuitton (flv) was a highlight of our recent visit to paris.  the private contemporary art museum was created at the initiative of bernard arnault, the chairman and chief executive officer of luxury business group moët hennessy louis vuitton (LVMH), for his personal and corporate art collections.  the museum is located in the jardin d’acclimation, an amusement park in the bois de boulogne, which was converted from a royal hunting ground into a public park in 1860.

arnault collaborated with american architect, frank o. gehry, who also designed the guggenheim museum in bilbao, spain and the walt disney concert hall in los angeles, CA, to design a museum that epitomized the corporate image of LVMH as a patron of the arts, culture, and heritage.

the architecture of the museum was inspired by 19th century glasshouses, such as le palmarium that was built in the jardin d’acclimation in 1893, and demolished in 1934.

‘the idea of using glass…was essential in making the fondation a true bois de boulogne building, in the spirit of a children’s park.’  -frank o. gehry

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frank o. gehry | sketch of the fondation louis vuitton building preceding the initial architectural models | april 2006

photo credit (c) gehry partners, llp and frank o. gehry via fondation louis vuitton

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gehry partners, llp | architectural model | fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

photo credit (c) fondation louis vuitton via archdaily

 architectural digest (ad) magazine compared gehry’s architectural masterpiece to one of the masterpieces of hellenistic sculpture.

‘the structure alights in the park with the delicacy of the ‘winged victory’ perched at the head of the daru staircase in the louvre.  -mayer rus, architectural digest

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the winged victory of samothrace | parian marble and gray lartos marble | samothrace, greece | circa 190 BC

louvre museum | paris, france

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

the current chinese contemporary art exhibition at the fondation louis vuitton, bentu: chinese artists in a time of turbulence and transformation, even includes a replica of the winged victory of samothrace.

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xu zhen | eternity-tianlongshan grottoes bodhisattva, winged victory of samothrace | fiberglass, steel, cement | 2013

a replica of the winged victory of samothrace balanced on top of a buddha from the tianlongshan grottoes (21 buddhist cave temples from the eastern wei-tang dynasties (534-907), located in shanxi province, china)

bentu: chinese artists in a time of turbulence and transformation | fondation louis vuitton | paris, france | 27 january-2 may 2016

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

along with a sculpture by ai weiwei, who reportedly visited the fondation louis vuitton while he was in paris for the installation and opening of er xi: air de jeux (child’s play or playground), his recent exhibition at le bon marché department store, which is also owned by by LVMH.

click here to read my previous post about ai weiwei @ le bon marché.

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ai weiwei | tree | fragments of dead wood | 2010

in the background:  huang yong ping | fifty buddha arms | metal, terra cotta, resin, various objects | 1997-2013

 the structure of the museum is actually a building within a building.  the ‘iceberg’, the interior core of 11 irregularly shaped art galleries, is clad in 19,000 panels of white fiber-reinforced concrete.  a network of steel trusses and wood beams support the verrière (canopy), the exterior shell of twelve sails constructed from 3600 glass panels.

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the ‘iceberg’ and the verrière (canopy) | fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

you can see the structure of the canopy more closely from the west, east, central, and high terraces, which are accessible from the second, third, and forth floors of the museum.

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verrière (canopy) | fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace
the panoramic views of paris from the rooftop terraces are spectacular!
to the west, la défense, one of the major business districts in paris.

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views of la défense from the fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

in the background:  la défense | under construction in the foreground:  the location for the louis vuitton women’s autumn/winter 2016 fashion show

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

and, to the east, the eiffel tower.

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view of the eiffel tower from the fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

the building is brilliantly sited not only to capture the views, but also to comply with local zoning ordinances.  to comply with height restrictions, the site was excavated so that the lower ground floor of the museum could be built below grade.  the fondation louis vuitton commissioned inside the horizon, a site specific installation, from danish-icelandish artist olafur eliasson for the grotto behind the underground reflecting pool.

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olafur eliasson | inside the horizon | stainless steel, aluminum, LED light system, colored glass, mirror, sound | 2014

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

the terraced waterfall flows into the subterranean reflecting pool.

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the terraced waterfall | fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

photo and video credits lisa walsh | innerspace

going to a department store isn’t usually our highest priority when we visit paris.  but this time, our visit coincided with an art exhibition by chinese contemporary artist, ai weiwei, at le bon marché.  so, my husband, bob, and i made an exception.

ai weiwei: er xi, air de jeux (child’s play or playground)

le bon marché rive gauche | 24, rue de sèvres | paris, france

16 january-20 february 2016

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

le bon marché commissioned the art exhibition as a promotion for their annual winter white sale.

does that seem surprising to you?

did you know that le bon marché is owned by luxury business group moët hennessy louis vuitton (LVMH)?  LVMH, who is a corporate patron of the arts, culture, and heritage, recently opened the the fondation louis vuitton, a private contemporary art museum in paris.  so, it doesn’t seem unusual for them to sponsor an art exhibition.  their only requirement of ai weiwei was the white color scheme.

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exhibition program | ai weiwei: er xi, air de jeux | le bon marché rive gauche | paris, france | 16 january-20 february 2016

the exhibition, which was his first exhibition in a retail environment, included five installations:  windows 1 to 10, ten narratives installed in the ten windows along rue de sèvres; dragon in four pieces, a silk and bamboo sculpture installed in the gallery on the ground floor; selfie wall, a video installation on the first floor; and escalating dragon, drawings in the style of chinese ink paintings applied to the railings of the central escalator.

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ai weiwei | escalating dragon

ai weiwei: er xi, air de jeux | le bon marché rive gauche | paris, france | 16 january-20 february 2016

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

the song of white, the atrium installation, was the most fantastic with 22 kites of mythological characters from the ancient chinese text, classic of mountains and seas (shan hai jing), suspended like mobiles over the cosmetics department.

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ai weiwei | the song of white

ai weiwei: er xi, air de jeux | le bon marché rive gauche | paris, france | 16 january-20 february 2016

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

for the entire exhibition, ai, along with a master kitemaker and his team of artisans from shandong province, china, hand crafted about 100 kites.  they left the bamboo frames of some kites uncovered.  and, covered the bamboo frames of other kites with white silk, which is less fragile than rice paper, the traditional material.  they illuminated some of the silk covered kites from the interior, so that they glowed like lanterns.

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ai weiwei | the song of white | heluo

heluo | a fish with one head and ten tails | barks like a dog

ai weiwei: er xi, air de jeux | le bon marché rive gauche | paris, france | 16 january-20 february 2016

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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ai weiwei | the song of white | shuyu

shuyu | a fish with four heads, three tails, six chicken feet, and red feathers | chirps like a magpie

ai weiwei: er xi, air de jeux | le bon marché rive gauche | paris, france | 16 january-20 february 2016

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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ai weiwei | the song of white | chunaio

chunaio | the ‘sixheadrook bird’ | a green bird with a yellow body, red feet, and six heads

ai weiwei: er xi, air de jeux | le bon marché rive gauche | paris, france | 16 january-20 february 2016

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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ai weiwei | the song of white | tianwu

tianwu | ‘sky cry’, the lord of the waters | a diety with eight human heads, eight feet, and eight tails

ai weiwei: er xi, air de jeux | le bon marché rive gauche | paris, france | 16 january-20 february 2016

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

according to women’s wear daily (wwd), one of the kites may be acquired by the fondation louis vuitton (FLV).  if you were the curator, which one would you choose?

click here to read my post about the fondation louis vuitton.