Well, the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition at Fondation Luis Vuitton was an absolute highlight - not only of this visit in Paris, but also of a personal long list of exhibition visits. I’ve been adoring Basquiat’s work for a long time, have seen some works in real here and there, but now this retrospective with 120 works, including several pieces first time shown in Europe, made a dream come true. Once in the exhibition you hardly feel the extroverted architecture except the huge and wide spaces - it takes about 10 rooms to navigate through the exhibition. I don’t know where to start - one can see the absolute peaks of his short, but extremely intensive career, but also less known and more quiet pieces. After looking so much into catalogues, books and documentations it is fantastic to see his works in real; the materials, colours, and the space-taking object character of his work can’t be communicated via printed documents. A fantastic exhibition*
Not enough, at the same time there is the œvre of another guy who already died at the age of 28 years on display at the Fondation Luis Vuitton - it’s the incredible work by Austrian artist Egon Schiele, who’s drawings I adore! Even though I can draw some lines between the work of Basquiat and Schiele, maybe it’s more recommendable to see their exhibitions separated from each other. It’s quite a stunning body of work they brought together at Fondation Luis Vuitton and as an Austrian it’s highly interesting how his work is looked at in France.
The building itself - well the money behind it makes such exhibitions possible, but I absolutely can’t link Frank Gehry’s architectural “masterpiece” with the things I highly appreciated to see inside. What sense does it make to build such an incredible building, where it is necessary to make build white cubes inside which display exhibitions as they could be anywhere in other white cubes (of that size) in the world?
When I reached the building I thought this could maybe fit for an opera house or philharmonics where it is necessary that the architecture goes along with sound qualities and the like … well, I am not an architecture expert in any way, but as an art producer I prefer buildings which go into dialogue with what the construction is meant to be used for. And of course money is an argument - can’t imagine how much that house cost and what could have been possible to invest into contemporary art otherwise.