The Best Exhibitions (Free!) in Parisian Galleries

The best Parisian art Galleries

© Franck Lundangi, Courtesy Galerie Anne de Villepoix-Adagp, Paris - © AB - © Wai Ming Lung

No need to wait in line for hours outside the capital's most popular museums to get a dose of culture. The art galleries are buzzing with excitement as they showcase their proteges through ultra-inspiring exhibitions. From iconic photographs by Arnaud Baumann at Studio Idan, a journey back to the court of Versailles, the dreamlike canvases of Inès di Folco Jemni at Magasins Généraux, to the quirky and eco-friendly works at the Fondation Groupe EDF or the poetic paintings by Wai Ming Lung at the Hoang Beli gallery. Shall we take you there?


The most well-traveled

Inès di Folco Jemni : le salon des songes at the  Magasins Généraux art gallery

Head to the Magasins Généraux in Pantin to immerse yourself in the world of Inès di Folco Jemni. The artist, a graduate of the Beaux-Arts in Paris, invites us into her "Salon des Songes" for her first major solo exhibition-residency. Through the poetry salon, the music salon, the salon of ancestors, the artist's salon, and the children's salon, she presents her various inspirations drawn from South American legends, myths including mermaids hidden in several of her paintings, dreaminess, African deities, and her numerous travels from Tunisia to Japan, Italy, and France. This results in full-scale colorful canvases suspended in the gallery amidst her own studio, sofas inviting us to read poems and listen to music that inspired Inès di Folco Jemni. Our favorite? "Trois sœurs et un ange" (Three Sisters and an Angel), which pays homage to the women of her family: her mother and two aunts dressed in white, a symbol of celebration, the portrait of her grandmother in a locket, and her ancestors symbolized by the angel amidst the Tunisian sea and desert. An artist not to lose sight of!

Inès di Folco Jemni: Le Salon des Songes until April 7th at Magasins Généraux, 1 Rue de l'Ancien Canal, Pantin. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 2 PM to 7 PM. Free admission. Information available online.

© Maximin Costa / © Welane Navarre / © INES_DI_FOLCO_JEMNI - © LUCIEN_ROUX


The most poetic

Hello cruel world by Wai Ming Lung at the Hoang Beli art gallery

Like many, Wai Ming Lung changed paths amid the Covid crisis. Journalism was out, and painting took center stage. Seizing the opportunity to lay bare his reflections, doubts, and fears, he creates canvases awash with sunset hues. Following his initial solo exhibition featuring monochromes, he now paints the beauty of nature in the face of encroaching urban structures for his latest showcase, "Hello Cruel World". With simple yet imposing concrete towers, surveillance cameras, drones, traffic lights, and barbed wire set against the myriad pastel colors of the sky, he denounces the absurdities of daily life. Why do we accept being watched on the streets? Why do we cross on red lights? Why is our phone the first thing we check upon waking? These are the questions the artist poses, elucidated with brief, almost poetic texts accompanying each painting, inviting viewers to grasp his contemplations.

"Hello cruel world" by Wai Ming Lung runs until March 16th at Galerie Hoang Beli, 30 Rue Chapon, Paris 3rd arrondissement. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 9 AM to 7 PM. Free admission.

© Wai Ming Lung / © Stéphane Bouquet


the most unusual

Demain est annulé… De l’art et des regards sur la sobriété at the Galerie d'art Fondation Groupe EDF art gallery

Attracting visitors to an exhibition on climate change and society can be challenging. However, the Fondation Groupe EDF boldly tackles this with its brand-new exhibition "Demain est annulé… De l'art et des regards sur la sobriété" (Tomorrow is canceled... Art and perspectives on sobriety). Around thirty unusual artworks fill the space for an extraordinary exhibition that questions our consumption habits and encourages adopting a more restrained lifestyle. Yet, the 23 artists do anything but exhibit restraint. With a mix of humor, poetry, and satire, sculptures made from toothpaste tubes, video performances raising awareness about antibiotic overconsumption, tactile and auditory works, and other surprising photographs, they captivate and provoke, without ever making visitors feel guilty. The most impressive piece? Jordan Roger's iconic pink Disney castle destroyed to denounce the American company's involvement in financing openly homophobic legislation. We're far from the happily-ever-after endings of fairy tales...

"Demain est annulé… De l'art et des regards sur la sobriété" runs until September 29th at the Fondation Groupe EDF, 6 Rue Juliette Récamier, Paris 7th arrondissement. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 12 PM to 7 PM, with late opening on Thursdays until 10 PM. Free admission. Information available online.

© Gabriele Galimberti / © Marc Domage 2024


the most royal

Lumière sur les reines et favorites du Château at the Régis Mathieu art gallery

True master of chandeliers, Régis Mathieu doesn't just create them; he also collects and sometimes showcases them to the public. For the exhibition "Lumière sur les reines et favorites du Château de Versailles" (Light on the Queens and Favorites of the Palace of Versailles), the chandelier maker unveils the artistic influence of these women at the royal court with two different presentations. At the Régis Mathieu Gallery, visitors can discover the chandeliers specially crafted by the artisan Jeanne du Barry de Maïwenn, along with a few sumptuous dresses from the film. Free-spirited and avant-garde, the countess contributed to the evolution of styles at Versailles: she embraced white, pastel colors, and stripes, as evidenced by the exhibited attire.

Next stop is Régis Mathieu's workshop in the elegant Hôtel de la Marine to explore the taste of the Marquise de Pompadour. Louis XV's favorite was passionate about furniture, tapestries, and art objects to the extent that she developed the Rococo style in the 18th century! Reproductions of the exquisite furniture and chandeliers from Pompadour's apartments are on display. A truly royal event!

"Lumière sur les reines et favorites du Château de Versailles" runs until April 12th at the Galerie Régis Mathieu, 2 Rue de Miromesnil, Paris, 8th arrondissement, open Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM, and at the Mathieu Lustrerie workshop, 2 Rue Royale, Hôtel de la Marine, Paris 8th arrondissement, open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. Free admission. Information available online.


The most people

Iconic portraits par Arnaud Baumann at the Studio Idan art gallery

Johnny Depp, Coluche, Serge Gainsbourg, Sean Connery, Spike Lee, John Malkovich, Laetitia Casta, Françoise Sagan, Francis Ford Coppola, Miles Davis, Cabu... All these and more have stood before the lens of Arnaud Baumann. This French photographer, originally from Réunion Island, has spent 40 years of his life with a camera in hand. From the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo and Hara Kiri to the Cannes Film Festival, for Télérama, Libération, and Paris Match, he has photographed dozens and dozens of icons, whose portraits are now showcased to the public at Studio Idan. The exhibition "Iconic portraits" unveils 84 photographs by the artist: the brooding gaze of Johnny Depp, the contagious laughter of Forest Whitaker, Coluche in his legendary striped overalls, and even a self-portrait of the artist himself, naked and literally engulfed in flames. Simply iconic!

"Iconic portraits" by Arnaud Baumann runs until March 11th at Studio Idan, 43 Rue Beaubourg, Paris 3rd arrondissement. Open Monday to Saturday from 10 AM to 7 PM. Free admission. Information available online.


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