Finding beautiful art in a city like Paris isn’t particularly difficult, but the popular galleries and museums are often extremely busy and don’t allow you to get up close and personal with the work.
While buildings like The Louvre or The Pompidou Centre certainly offer iconic pieces and a great experience, they’re obvious choices that don’t give you the same intimate experience you can get from some of the smaller, independent galleries.
So if you’re looking to do away with the traditional French guides and experience some lesser-known galleries where you can really get close to the work, then these four intimate Parisian galleries should be top of your list:
La Maison Rouge
Not to be mistaken for the cabaret house not too far away, this stunning gallery exhibits contemporary art and a series of private collections in an old factory building, which is just as wonderful to examine as the work on display. Founded in 2004 by Antoine de Gilbert, La Maison Rouge prides itself on showcasing the best contemporary work via rolling exhibitions and an ever-changing program. You’ll need to act fairly quickly if you want to take in this gem however, as it’s scheduled to be closed for good at the end of next year.
Galerie du jour Agnes b
This typically chic gallery not far from the Pompidou Centre has welcomed an enviable list of previous exhibitors, from Ryan McGinley to Martin Parr. Small but beautiful, Galerie du jour Agnes b was created in 1984 by its founder, who wanted to ‘invent new ways to circulate art and images to the public, making them accessible to all’.
Located in this Marais district, this rather hidden gem of a gallery is well known in music circles, having collaborated with the likes of Massive Attack and Pharrell Williams in the past. It’s also known as a champion of emerging artists, and is particularly known for their support of Murakami and Maurizio Cattelan early on in their hugely successful careers. Housing everything from sculpture to fine art, this charming and beautifully finished gallery should be a must-visit for any art lover in the city.
Galerie Luminiere des Roses
One of my personal favourites, this small and quirky gallery showcases vintage photography, but only be unknown artists. This little twist makes it stand out from many of the other galleries in the city, and many of the photographs that are exhibited will be made available for sale afterwards. Not a place to find famous faces, but certainly an interesting and entertaining afternoon for any fan of art or photography.
So the next time you’re in Paris with a day or two to spare, consider skipping the tourist-heavy sites and instead opting for one of the many small, independent galleries and museums. Not only will you be helping to support much smaller organisations, but you might just find the next emerging artist or a new personal favourite outside of the mainstream artists.