Louis Vuitton’s “Iceberg”

LV Foundation-2We had a very special Friday 2:00 date at the Louis Vuitton Fondation Gallery in the Bois de Bologne.  The “installation”, i.e.construction, of the building (I’d call it a massive sculpture) was completed last fall.  Once the hoopla for the opening died down, the crowds thinned and a visit without a crush of people or freezing while awaiting the given entry hour in a long line was possible.  Our day was chilly but typical Paris –  bright, sunny,  cloudy and grey.

We took the #1 metro to Sablons and walked from there into the Bois de Bologna, passing through the Children’s Park. The landscaping for the LVF is still underway but now there is nothing to impede the impact of first seeing this “iceberg” as some have called it, and actually seeing through it on the approach to it.

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Bill was already inside sitting at a table by the window  in “Le Frank”,  the restaurant Frank Gehry created as an integral part of the ground floor in keeping with the concepts of openness, light and nature joining forces in a comfortable environment.  We three had a really lovely meal at “Le Frank” before exploring the interiors.   With Gehry’s school of large fish lamps hanging above the diners as if in a pond, appearing all white with golden light just coming through their gills in the bright light and all lit up golden viewed from the shadows, this was the best art installation in the building.

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The LVF is a massive sculpture of curvacious glass, gigantic laminated beams and buttresses, bright white gallery rooms, stairs to terraces where one views parts of Paris captured in the sculpture’s framework.  It is a stunning addition to the environment at the park.

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Frank Gehry’s vision and life of architectural innovation is brilliantly on display here with this building.  I would go again for that but not for the art inside.  There are quite a few large open galleries. Beautiful spaces.  Hopefully there will be more interesting work as time goes by.  It is a new space after all.

The puppet characters were ridiculous, imho.

Hugging the tutu

Hugging the tutu

Caught in a corset

Caught in a corset

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There are Giacometti sculptures, they all seem a bit like his own self- portraits to me, but  generally I like the work.

Big dowser

Big Dowser

And this . . . ??

Redhead on a block

Redhead on a block

I thought Rapper Kayne West with his studded bottom teeth was a waste of a huge room. (So why am I wasting any space on him?)

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A very bizarre double screen video with an out of synch monologue in English was hard for me to understand or appreciate – I needed a guide.  It would be interesting to know what criteria were used to choose the works exhibited.  Curious and Weird might be among them.

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Talking heads

I couldn’t help wonder, with all the contemporary artists to choose from, surely there is some work with a message more compelling, understandable, interesting, or accessible anyway. Beauty was not one of the criterion for the chosen works, but what were they??

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Fortunately, the structure of the building is almost completely accessible with its complex bare naked skeleton, holding up its glass skin, visible down the stairways and looking out to the skyline of Paris .

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And then there was the Cello masterclass to watch and listen to . . . Wow. Amazing. Music education is a significant part of the LV Fondation’s mission as an art center.  This afternoon an accomplished cellist, accompanied by a pianist, instructed, encouraged, gently chided a student of the cello and demonstrated to him the fine points of the piece being taught.  We stood and sat quietly in the balcony listening to a more identifiable art than that which we had seen in the galleries.   We spent hours nearly until dusk before we started back on the metro to have dinner on board.

View of the neighborhood, from one end to the other . . .

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