A world of contemporary art disguised as a parking lot, the Palais de Tokyo is Paris’ answer to contemporary art post-Pompidou. Housed next to the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Vile de Paris in an art-deco building produced for Paris’ International Exhibition in 1837, the space was opened with art critics Nicolas Bourriaud and Jerome Sans as co-directors, creating a serious stir in the art world.
Architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal gave the then-derelict building a much-needed facelift in 2001 for the cool price of 4 million Euros, creating a sprawling and open exhibition space.
With no permanent collection and few solo exhibitions, the museum encourages creativity through short-term group exhibitions and a jam packed agenda filled with lecture series, workshops, performances and an on-site radio station.
It can at times feel more like the world’s most cutting-edge cultural mall, with a self-service restaurant, library and shop, not to mention its midnight closing time.