Centre Pompidou

Today’s Paris Museum tour once again brought to you by La Vache and his new friend, Le Scary Badass Manhorse Sculpture About To Step on La Vache (Amy told me this is actually a Cesar.)


The Centre Pompidou was our quest today and it didn’t disappoint as it just moved up to the #1 position in the Feld / Batchelor Art of Paris in May competition. The experience begins with an amazing building that was the pet project of President Georges Pompidou, designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, built in 1977, and then renovated in 1999. 


My photo sucks – just go to the main page on the web site if you want to see a really beautiful picture of the Centre Pompidou.  Or – take my word for it – the building is awesome.

The exhibits were fantastic.  Ironically, the special exhibit was Los Angeles 1955 – 1985: Birth of an Artistic Capital.  Amy and I chuckled a lot on our way up that we had to go to Paris to see a bunch of LA art, but with the exception of a killer Irwin, a few Hoppers (Dennis), some Turrells, a Hockney, a couple of Ruscha’s, and a Diebenkorn, the vast majority of art was new to me. 

An hour later, we went down a few floors to see Le Mouvement Des Images.  As I wandered around, I realized part of the beauty of the exhibit was the way the museum flowed.  I’ve been in so many contemporary museums that felt like they stifled the art – Centre Pompidou definitely shows it off.  Near the end of the tour, I stumbled over a Moebius Strip which made me smile.  It’s by Max Bill and is called “Unendliche Schleife version IV (1960–1961).”


Artistically satiated but hungry, we decided to continue our quest for Mexican Food.  We’d counted four Starbucks on our way from our apartment to the Centre Pompidou and had seen a sign for “Tex Mex” across the street so we felt hopeful.  We traced our steps back to St. Germain where we found “Indiana.”


While the food was pretty good, the scene was completely bizarre.  I grew up in Dallas, so Tex Mex has a certain very specific meaning to me.  The food definitely was of the “Tex Mex” genre, but the art and posters on the walls were of Indians (Native American Indians ).  Headresses and feathers everywhere, along with a giant “Red Man Chewing Tobacco” sign.  There was even a poster that said “Cleveland” (which I presume referred to the Cleveland Indians.)  At some point Amy said “didn’t the Tex Mex people kill the Indians, introduce them to smallpox and alcohol, and drive them from their land?”  I imagine the scenery inside the restaurant was goofed up in the same way a Parisian bistro would be in Boulder, Colorado.  At least the food was good.

  • Cem Sertoglu

    I was just in Paris. If you get a chance, you might enjoy the Magritte exhibition at Musee Maillol. http://www.museemaillol.com/index2.html

  • Dave Jilk

    Centre Pompidou looks like the Wellesley science building. Kinda cool but perhaps out of place with the surrounding architecture?

  • I was there last month and got some other pics of the Centre. Great place! http://www.flickr.com/photos/robk/129963097/in/set-72057594109172349/

  • Mimi

    I have appreciated the Paris posts. I have been there about 20 times at this point, and I continue to be awed by its magic (which you capture). My first trip was at 17 when I was an AFS student, and I returned my second term junior year and then many times after that. I married a French guy 8 years ago. I was there most recently to show my daughters “Madeline’s city.” It is great to see that you truly appreciate the city and all that it has to offer and you refrain from the usual negative commentary on the French (which I have found untrue unless you make zero effort to adapt to your surroundings). I am looking forward to your posts on Germany too. I remember being a bit surprised (not that I cared) by the nudity in the English garden. It seems like such a buttoned-up place that I did not expect it

  • I had two great runs in the English Garden, but I missed the nudity this time around. I think I was just too early in the morning and it wasn’t warm enough. Oh well.

  • SamV

    I can’t believe you found a tex-mex place in Paris! I remember the Pizza Huts and KFC – but tex-mex? LOL! A true contrast of separate ends of the spectrum (junk food to priceless culture).

  • regarding max bill which made you smile please see
    or directly the english website of the film:
    greetings from the house of max bill in zumikon switzerland

  • Emicsoft

    You need to download the Mac AVI Editor. It includes Intel Version and PowerPC Version which can be free downloaded. VOB To Avi Mac peak or trough, should be Chongr

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