Pompidou Centre is a multidisciplinary establishment born from the will of President Georges Pompidou, a great lover of modern art, to create in the heart of Paris an original cultural institution entirely dedicated to modern and contemporary creation where the visual arts would rub shoulders with books, drawing, music, performing arts, activities for young audiences, as well as cinema.
Pompidou Centre is located in the Saint-Merri district, in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil, and the Marais. It is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who commissioned the building, and was officially opened on 31 January 1977 by President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.
The Centre Pompidou is a complex building and was designed in the style of high-tech architecture by the architectural team of Richard Rogers, Su Rogers, Renzo Piano, along with Gianfranco Franchini. The Centre Pompidou is a 20th-century architectural marvel, a pioneering contemporary architectural masterpiece which can be immediately recognizable by its exterior escalators and enormous coloured tubing. Its brightly coloured tubes on the building’s façade contrast with the grey constructions around it.
The Centre Georges Pompidou features some of the best contemporary and modern art collections in the world. Within the National Museum of Modern Art / Center for Industrial Creation (Mnam / Cci), it houses one of the two largest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world, and the largest in Europe. It is comparable to museums such as the MoMA in New York City or the Tate Modern in London.
It is home to the National Museum of Modern Art and is internationally renowned for its 20th and 21st century art collections. The works of iconic artists are displayed chronologically over two sections: the modern period, from 1905 to 1960 (Matisse, Picasso, Dubuffet, etc.), and the contemporary period, from 1960 to the present day (Andy Warhol, Niki de Saint Phalle, Anish Kapoor, etc.).
The building has six floors, each measuring 7,500 square meters. The permanent collections of the Musée National d’Art Moderne can be found on the fourth and fifth floor. The fifth floor is entirely dedicated to Modern Art from the beginning of the twentieth century up until 1960, and features gems by Matisse, Picasso, Kandinsky and Miró. On the fourth floor visitors will find contemporary works of art from 1960 to the present day, with a special focus on minimalist and conceptual art.
In addition to its permanent collections, internationally renowned exhibitions are organized every year on the top floor, where visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of Paris and its rooftops. It also houses important temporary exhibition galleries, theaters and cinemas, and the Public Information Library (Bpi), the first public reading library in Europe. On either side of the Piazza, two adjoining buildings house the Institute for Acoustic/Music Research and Coordination (Ircam) and the Brancusi workshop.
It houses the Bibliothèque publique d’information (Public Information Library), a vast public library; the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe; and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research. Because of its location, the centre is known locally as Beaubourg.
It has had over 180 million visitors since 1977 and more than 5,209,678 visitors in 2013, including 3,746,899 for the museum. Spend a pleasant day in the museum is available: eat at Le Georges, learn more at the public information library, and take a break browsing the shelves of the museum gift shop. At the foot of the Centre, the Atelier Brancusi presents a unique collection of works by this artist who played a major role in the history of modern sculpture.
The idea for a multicultural complex, bringing together in one place different forms of art and literature, begin in the 1960s. The idea that some of the cultural institutes be built in the former market area. Hoping to renew the idea of Paris as a leading city of culture and art, it was proposed to move the Musée d’Art Moderne to this new location. Paris also needed a large, free public library, as one did not exist at this time.
The Rogers and Piano design was chosen among 681 competition entries. World-renowned architects Oscar Niemeyer, Jean Prouvé and Philip Johnson made up the jury. It was the first time in France that international architects were allowed to participate. A year later in 1969, the president adopted the Beaubourg project and decided it to be the location of both the new library and a centre for the contemporary arts. In the process of developing the project, the IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) was also housed in the complex.
The Pompidou Center occupies the site of the former foodmarkets of Les Halles. Its construction was the subject of an international architectural competition, in accordance with the will of Georges Pompidou who had wished “that this competition as flexible as possible. The museum was created during the rise of labor. Georges Pompidou wanted to recall this period thanks to the “industrial” architecture of the center.
From the outside, the visual signature of the building is ensured by the huge escalator designed as an outdoor vertical street. It is the major artery of the Center Pompidou, which serves all levels and carries the public to the heights. Its transparency allows you to admire one of the most beautiful views of Paris during the ascent and prolongs the feeling of wandering around the city a little longer.
It was the first major example of an ‘inside-out’ building with its structural system, mechanical systems, and circulation exposed on the exterior of the building. Initially, all of the functional structural elements of the building were colour-coded: green pipes are plumbing, blue ducts are for climate control, electrical wires are encased in yellow, and circulation elements and devices for safety (e.g., fire extinguishers) are red.
Inside and on six levels, platforms of more than 7,000 m2 each, modular at will. Their design is such that they can be freely organized according to needs and thus meet the needs of activities and different projects. The building thus offers a radical vision where the spaces are not defined by their function.
The Forum, an immense volume ten meters high, is the first meeting point with creation. It is designed as a multi-purpose square, central core from which one can move towards all the sections of the Center Pompidou and circulate freely on three levels (–1, 0, 1).
In order to confer flexibility of use and flexibility to the volumes, all the systems (ventilation, electricity, water), as well as the circulations (lifts, goods lifts, escalators), are rejected outside and are identified by a color code.. Nothing is hidden, all the entrails are visible from the outside. As for the framework, it is designed like a giant construction game. The elements repeat themselves, come together and fit together, forming a regular metallic gear, painted white and completely open.
March 19, 1971, a jury chaired by Robert Bordaz chose the project by architects Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, and Gianfranco Franchini in collaboration with British engineer Edmund Happold. Construction lasted from 1971 to 1977.
Piano, Rogers and Franchini’s project was the only one, among all the proposed projects, to locate the building along a north-south axis, respecting the urban fabric of the district. This party also made it possible to occupy only half of the ground by releasing a vast esplanade, the piazza, allowing the reception of the public and a more fluid connection between the building and the city.
The main building, 166 m long, 45 m wide (60 including the external escalator ) and 42 m high (52 m on the piazza side), consists of eight levels accessible to the public of 7,500 m2 each, including two basement levels (-1 and 0), the street level being at level 1 of the mezzanine, i.e. a usable area of approximately 45,000 m2, taking into account the voids of the first levels of the Forum and the courses located on the 5th and 6thlevels, which roughly correspond to the area of one floor.
The building actually has a total area of 103,305 m2 on ten levels, taking into account the technical and parking rooms which extend to under the piazza, and not including the Brancusi workshop of 600 m 2 and Ircam. The height between each plateau is seven meters below the ceiling except for that of the Forum which is ten meters.
The Bpi, whose entrance is now separate from the Forum and which has its own cafeteria, occupies a third of level 1 of the mezzanine and levels 2 and 3, i.e. approximately 17,000 m2, including 10,400 m2 of rooms of reading. The rest of the building, approximately 28,000 m2, is in fact devoted to the National Museum of Modern Art, which has 18,710 m2 of exhibition space, including 12,210 m2 for the national collections, and its annexes (Kandinsky library, bookstores, shop, educational workshops, conference and performance rooms, when the latter are mainly linked to the museum’s program and its collections) or directly benefits the museum, such as the dining areas on the mezzanine and sixth floor levels, intended for temporary exhibitions.
Each level forms a vast plateau, entirely modular, the whole of the supporting structure, as well as the various technical ducts, rejected on the periphery of the building, giving it a very characteristic external appearance, compared by certain critics to an oil refinery.in the center of town. All vertical traffic, people and fluids are confined to the facade: the colored exterior pipes are a particularity of the building. Air conditioning lines are blue, water pipes are green, and power lines are yellow. Elevators are red. The white pipes are ventilation ducts for the underground parts. Even the metal beams that make up the structure are exposed.
The intention of the architects was to place the logistics services outside the body of the building in order to devote the entire interior to its vocation as a museum. One of the disadvantages is the high maintenance vis-à-vis corrosion. A somewhat offbeat tribute to 20th century metal architecture and architectural modernism, multiplying references and citations, the building has been described as the last great modern building and the first great post-modern building. The upper floors offer a wide view of Paris. It is accessed by the diagonal of the exterior escalators which, crossing the entire zigzag facade, give the building its visual signature.
Street artists enliven the Place Georges-Pompidou (also called Piazza Beaubourg ) which faces the museum. A nearby basin exhibits fountains consisting of moving statues by Tinguely (metal structures) and Niki de Saint Phalle (coloured shapes). This fountain (the Stravinsky fountain ) is a so-called in situ work, insofar as the artists created it for this precise location. It symbolizes music (sounds of water flow or mechanisms) and was placed next to the Institute for Research and Acoustic/Music Coordination (Ircam).
The successful attendance since its opening in 1977 has led the Center Pompidou, according to social and cultural developments, to readapt its structure and resources to best perpetuate its activity. On October 1, 1997, the Center Pompidou embarked on major refurbishment work. Intended to enlarge, restore and redistribute the spaces, improve the comfort of reception and access for the public, these renovations are part of a desire to reaffirm the values and issues invoked during its creation.
The presentation of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art now extends entirely over levels 4 and 5. The 6th level hosts three spaces dedicated to temporary exhibitions. The Forum has been redesigned, allowing easy and intuitive reception. In the first basement is created a pole dedicated to live shows, debates and audiovisual.
These renovations also concern the exterior of the building, including the facade, as well as the creation of access to rue du Renard reserved for the Bpi, while retaining an exit to the Forum, thus perpetuating the link with the other activities of the Centre.
Monographic, historical and thematic exhibitions and hangings, to offer the public a constantly renewed panorama of modern art and contemporary creation, as well as one of the most important museum collections in Europe. It is from among the 120,000 works in the collection of the Center Pompidou, the largest in Europe, that these must-haves of modern and contemporary art have been drawn.
The Centre Pompidou contains over 120,000 works of art, including paintings, sculpture, drawings and photography. As the Musée National d’Art Moderne, the Centre Pompidou contains France’s national collection of art dating from 1905 onward featuring the fauvists, cubists, and surrealists, as well as pop art and contemporary works.
Through this stroll through the heart of the collection presented on levels 4 and 5 of the Museum, the Center Pompidou offers the public an immersive experience that unfolds the thread of formal and aesthetic research founding modern and contemporary art.
On loan all over the world, these masterpieces have returned to Paris for a new tour called #PompidouVIP (for Very Important Pieces ), which takes the public on a discovery of certain works by the most emblematic artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Visual Arts Collection
Constituting a reference for each of the great artistic movements of the 20th and 21st centuries, the Center Pompidou collection began around 1905with Fauvist artists (Georges Braque, André Derain, Raoul Dufy, Maurice de Vlaminck), German expressionists (Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Max Pechstein) and Russian painters (Alexej von Jawlensky, Mikhaïl F. Larionov, Natalia Gontcharova). With Henri Matisse, a fan of bright colors like them, the museum benefits from an exceptional collection, covering his entire career. From 1907, the cubist movement, of which Braque and Pablo Picasso were the initiators, and in which the painters Juan Gris and Fernand Léger or the sculptors Henri Laurens and Jacques Lipchitz took part, was represented by major works.
Other great figures of modern art, such as Marc Chagall, Robert and Sonia Delaunay or even Georges Rouault, whose collections are also important in number and quality, are regularly the subject of monographic rooms. This is also the case with František Kupka and Vassily Kandinsky, both pioneers of abstraction, whose works entered the Museum through large donations, as has often been the case. The “School of Paris”, the name under which foreign artists who remained figurative became known, is notably evoked by paintings by Kees van Dongen, Amedeo Modigliani, Jules Pascin or Chaïm Soutine.
Thematic rooms are then devoted to the avant-garde movements born during the First World War or which marked the inter-war period: Dada in Zurich (Jean Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp) then in Paris, with contributions essential works of Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia, the German New Objectivity (Otto Dix), the Bauhaus school (Kandinsky, Paul Klee), Russian Suprematism (Kasimir Malevitch) and De Stijl (Theo Van Doesbourg, Piet Mondrian, Georges Vantongerloo ). Surrealism, illustrated by works by Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, André Masson, Joan Miró or Yves Tanguy, has as its strong point the reconstruction of a wall in the studio of André Breton, creator of the movement in 1924.
For the period that began after the Second World War, the Parisian art scene is evoked by emblematic works of informal art (Jean Fautrier, Jean Dubuffet), gestural abstraction (Jean Degottex, Hans Hartung, Georges Mathieu, Pierre Soulages) and geometric (Auguste Herbin, Victor Vasarely). The paintings of Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel or Asger Jorn belong to the international CoBrA movement. American art is represented by major works by abstract expressionists Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman.
Very present in the tour, modern sculpture is illustrated by works by Etienne-Martin, Alberto Giacometti, Julio González, Antoine Pevsner and Germaine Richier. To this set, we must add the studio of the sculptor Constantin Brancusi, entirely transported to the piazza, in the immediate vicinity of the Center Pompidou.
From the 1960s, artists tended to emancipate themselves more and more from easel painting, giving rise to major currents in the history of 20th century art, where the work took on the most more diverse and uses new, often unstable or even perishable materials. This is the case with the New Realists, Arte Povera, or Fluxus. There is also for many an experimental dimension with movement, light, and, more generally, new technologies. A whole section of so-called “kinetic” art comes under this collection sector.
The collection thus has exceptional ensembles around movements that have contributed to the explosion of artistic categories and established a new relationship to art, by appealing to all the senses or by offering to interact with the spectator. Arte Povera calls on the olfactory and tactile dimension in particular, with works such as Respirare l’ombra, 1999-2000, environment of laurel leaves by Giuseppe Penone, or Untitled, 1969, by Jannis Kounellis, featuring coffee scales. The New Realists, with their iconoclastic gestures – accumulating (Arman), compressing (César), lacerating (Villeglé) – are particularly well represented with major works.
Pivotal works of the Fluxus constellation are among the jewels of the collection: Le Magasin de Ben, 1958-1973, a total work of art, is permanently presented in the rooms of the museum. Likewise, Joseph Beuys’ meditative installation, Plight, 1985, has found its definitive place there. The origin of performative practices is embodied, among others, in the seminal work of Allan Kaprow, initiator of the Happening, Rearrangeable Panels, 1957-1959.
Other families of works testify to a desire to reduce resources in favor of apprehending the work for itself, or the very idea of the work. Thus, the currents of minimal art and conceptual art hold a place of choice in the contemporary collection, with in particular works by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Joseph Kosuth, or Carl Andre.
The Center Pompidou graphic art collection has more than 20,000 drawings and prints. This collection, taken from the collections of the Jeu de Paume and the Musée du Luxembourg when the Cabinet d’art Graphique was created in 1975, has been considerably enriched over time.
The modern part of this collection, from 1905 to the 1960s, welcomed new major collections: Antonion Artaud, Victor Brauner, Marc Chagall, Sonia Delaunay, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Natalia Gontcharova, Vassily Kandinsky, Frans Kupka, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Carl-Henning Pedersen…
The contemporary side of the collection has grown thanks to a dynamic policy of acquisitions supported by the generosity of artists and collectors, in tune with French and international graphic design: Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Silvia Bächli, Pierrette Bloch, Louise Bourgeois, Marlene Dumas, Per Kirkeby, Giuseppe Penone, Nancy Spero, Rosemarie Trockel…
Created in 1981, from the beginnings of the Center Pompidou, the collection of photographs of the National Museum of Modern Art has become in nearly 40 years one of the most important in the world. Today, with more than 45,000 prints and 60,000 negatives, it covers the history of 20th century photography, with as a strong point, since its origin, the European avant-gardes (surrealism, New vision, constructivism), while remaining attentive to contemporary creation which has largely made up its acquisitions in recent years. Through this collection and the various promotion actions (exhibitions, publications, etc.), the National Museum of Modern Art is working to (re)recognize photography as an artistic practice, in its own right.
The acquisition policy for the collection has evolved over these decades according to defined strategic research areas. Depending on the period, it was thus a question of better representing certain local scenes (South Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe), but also of making up for certain historical artistic fields (creation by female artists and photographers ), and finally, to follow the evolution of photography practices (vernacular photography, installation, post-photography). Finally, the acquisition of masterpieces and exceptional ensembles remains a major focus for the enrichment of the collection (Paul Virilio fund).
Various acquisition levers such as purchases (the photograms of László Moholy-Nagy, Dora Maar studio), donations (Brassaï and Eli Lotar funds), legacies (Brancusi studio), donations (Man Ray funds) have made it possible to enter unique sets for the modern period, placing the National Museum of Modern Art among the reference collections for this period. This singularity was reinforced in 2011 with the exceptional acquisition of Christian Bouqueret’s collection (purchase thanks to Yves Rocher patronage) made up of nearly 7,000 prints representative of French and European photography from the interwar period. According to the opportunities,
The contemporary period concentrates recent acquisition efforts in order to consolidate representative corpuses of conceptual photography from the 1970s and 1980s (Ugo Mulas, Fred Lonidier, Natalia LL), and to pursue substantive work in favor of a better representation female photographers (Lynne Cohen, Susan Meiselas, Jo Spence).
The acquisition of very recent works bears witness to the museum’s commitment to keeping pace with the evolution of the most emblematic photographic practices of our time through their political dimension and their new forms of circulation: Mohamed Bourouissa, Agnès Geoffray, Sara Cwynar, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin or Clare Strand.
The works of the photography cabinet are regularly shown during exhibitions in the museum, participating in the interdisciplinary dialogue dear to the institution. Since 2014, a space solely dedicated to the medium, the photography gallery has hosted thematic exhibitions showcasing recent acquisitions (“Varda/Cuba”, for Agnès Varda, “La Fabrique d’Exils” for Josef Koudelka, “Calais – how to testify to the “jungle”, for Bruno Serralongue). Apart from the temporary exhibitions honoring photography (“Henri Cartier-Bresson”, “La Subversion des images”, “Dora Maar”), the collection is widely distributed in France and abroad thanks to its generous loan policy.
Design and industrial prospective
The Design and Industrial Prospective collection of the Center Pompidou is part of the history of the Center for Industrial Creation (Cci) which merged with the National Museum of Modern Art (Mnam) in 1992 to become the National Museum of Modern Art – Center for industrial creation (Mnam–Cci). Created in 1969, the Cci aimed to bring design closer to industry, in connection with the sociology of uses and innovation.
The Design Collection currently includes some 8,000 works by nearly 900 designers, ranging from the early 20th century to the present day. The collection is turned towards the language of creation, being interested in the object as much as in its process of creation through drawings, processual elements of design. It retraces the research of creators – designers, architects and graphic artists – who made the history of modernity in the 20th century, opening up new aesthetic and technical paths in the 21st century.
Exceptional modern French collections have been gathered around the movement of the UAM (Union of Modern Artists, 1929) with, among others, Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Chareau, Eileen Gray, Jean Prouvé, Robert Mallet-Stevens, etc. Internationally, the collection includes works representative of the Bauhaus, the De Stijl movement, Eastern and Central European countries, as well as Japan.
For post-war design, the largest holding is that of Ettore Sottsass Jr., comprising over 500 works and an exceptional archive. Serge Mouille is represented through an entire collection (more than 150 pieces) and Pierre Paulin through, among other things, a set of 70 drawings. The Industrial Colorists of the 1960s and 1970s are also represented through important collections (Jean-Philippe Lenclos, André Lemonnier, Cler, Fillacier Grillo, etc.)
The Design collection integrates, on an international level, representative sets of works by Ron Arad, Jasper Morrison, Marcel Wanders and Ross Lovegrove. Regarding French design, more than 300 works by Starck are brought together. Sets have been formed around certain French designers such as Patrick Jouin, Martin Székely, matali crasset, François Azambourg or Jean-Baptiste Fastrez.
For graphics, let us mention Jean Widmer and Hans-Jürg Hunziker, linked to the graphic history of the Center Pompidou; Roman Cieslewicz; Thonik, as well as a collection of more than 2,000 posters by 300 graphic designers (gift from Vincent Perrottet).
With the Cci, industrial foresight has marked the collection of the Center Pompidou towards new sociological and technological territories, in constant evolution. The prospective is given as a reactivation of the transdisciplinarity of the Cci, taking into account the technological and environmental challenges of society today, from design and digital manufacturing to biomanufacturing. In order to be a prescriber, productions, orders are placed with young designers (Matthias Bengtsson, Michael Hansmeyer, Eric Klarenbeek, etc.)
With more than 13,000 works, the architecture collection of the National Museum of Modern Art is now one of the largest in the world. Created in 1992 on the initiative of Dominique Bozo, president of the Center Pompidou, it participates, through exhibitions and publications, in demonstrating the fundamentally multidisciplinary dimension of modernity. The coherence of the collection is based on the notion of architectural project, developed from its conception to its realization, through all its forms, models, drawings, prototypes and writings of architects. Documentary collections kept at the Kandinsky Library complete this understanding.
The chronological framework (1915 to the present day) aims to bring together a diversity of movements and individuals by inscribing them in a story. Thematic groups make it possible to approach the problems of modernism and radical architecture up to the most contemporary research… Open to the technical issues and technological innovations that mark the 20th and 21st centuries, attentive to the utopias of a changing world, the collection also highlights the multiple bridges existing between art and architecture.
When it was created, the Architecture department endeavored to constitute a collection giving a first glimpse of modern and contemporary history: French modernism (Pierre Chareau, Eileen Gray, etc.), the Russian avant-gardes (Ivan Leonidov, Iakov Chernikhov), Italian rationalism (Adalberto Libera). Significant projects such as those of Jean Prouvé have come to complete it.
Over the years, works by prestigious architects have added to the collection, starting with those of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the designers of the Center Pompidou. Major works are acquired, such as the Modulor collage (1950) by Le Corbusier. Links are developed with the design sector, several architects being designers of furniture. Crossing missing periods and geographical areas, taking into account current research, the collection now affirms its international roots. Italy, South America and Japan are centers of excellence. Research on Indian architecture makes it possible to better understand the interrelations with the European scene.
Films and New Media
The Center Pompidou maintains one of the very first collections in the world dedicated to film, video, sound and digital media. Begun in 1976, with the transfer of the National Museum of Modern Art to the building of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, it testifies to the audacious openness of the idea of heritage to these then emerging, ephemeral languages, bearers of formal experimentation. and careful observation of rapid changes in society.
The “films” collection of the Center Pompidou is made up of films by experimental filmmakers, films by artists and installations made by visual artists. In 1976, Pontus Hulten, the first director of the National Museum of Modern Art at the Center Pompidou, commissioned from Peter Kubelka, one of the major representatives of the Experimental School, a program entitled “A history of cinema”, a program for which the museum will purchase the first 100 films that will form the core of the collection.
This collection, unique in the world, includes approximately 1,400 works, most produced on film support, by visual artists and filmmakers from all geographical and cultural backgrounds. From the avant-gardes of the 1920s with Walter Ruttmann, Hans Richter, Fernand Léger or Man Ray to the expanded cinema of the 1960s, with Robert Whitman, Anthony McCall or Paul Sharits, up to contemporary artist cinema (Steve McQueen, Mark Lewis, Tacita Dean…)
The collection covers more than a century of experimental and artistic filmmaking practices that developed on the fringes of industrial cinema. Each year the Museum acquires new works, historical or contemporary, which it keeps in their shooting format; it carries out constantly evolving digitization campaigns, thus contributing to the safeguarding of the cinematographic heritage for which it is responsible as well as to its dissemination, for which it now uses all the means offered by digital technology.
The Brancusi Workshop
An emblematic figure of sculpture in the 20th century and of the history of modernity, born in 1876 in Romania, Constantin Brancusi lived and worked in Paris from 1904 to his death in 1957, where most of his work was created. By will, the artist bequeaths all of his studio to the French State. Rebuilt identically in 1997 on the Piazza, the Atelier Brancusi is rich in 137 sculptures and 87 original bases, 41 drawings, 2 paintings. It also preserves more than 1,600 photographic glass plates and original prints.
From 1916 until his death in 1957, Constantin Brancusi occupied several studios, successively at numbers 8 then 11 of Impasse Ronsin, in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. The artist invests two then three studios there, which he opens to form two vast rooms in which he exhibits his works. In 1936 and 1941, he added two other adjoining workspaces where his workbench and tools were located. Constantin Brancusi attaches great importance to the relationship of his sculptures with the space that contains them. From the 1910s, by arranging the sculptures in a close spatial relationship, he created new works in the studio which he called “mobile groups”, thus signifying the importance of the link between the works and the possibilities of mobility of each within the whole.
From the 1920s, the studio became the place where his work was presented and a work of art in its own right, a body made up of cells that generated each other. This experience of gazing inside the studio towards each of the sculptures to constitute a set of spatial relationships leads Constantin Brancusi to rearrange their place daily to achieve the unity that seems to him the fairest. At the end of his life, Constantin Brancusi no longer produced sculptures to focus solely on their relationship within the workshop. This proximity becomes so essential that the artist no longer wishes to exhibit and, when he sells a work, he replaces it with his plaster print so as not to lose the unity of the whole.
In 1956 Constantin Brancusi bequeathed everything contained in his studio (completed works, sketches, furniture, tools, library, nightclub, photographs, etc.) to the French State, on condition that the latter undertake to reconstitute it as it was. will appear at the death of the artist. After a first partial reconstruction in 1962 inside the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art then located at the Palais de Tokyo, this reconstruction was carried out in 1977, opposite the Center Pompidou. Following floods in 1990, it was closed to the public.
The current reconstruction, built by the architect Renzo Piano in 1997, is presented as a museum space in which the workshop is inserted. If the architect did not try to reproduce, in a public place, the intimacy of the impasse Ronsin, he knew how to preserve the idea of a protected place, a very interior space, in which to infuses zenithal light, and where the spectator is protected from the bustle of the street and the Piazza, in particular by an enclosed garden.
The Kandinsky Library
Reflecting the hybridization of practices specific to modernity, the Kandinsky Library occupies a unique place within the National Museum of Modern Art. The Kandinsky Library also houses the Museum’s documentary collection. Fundamentally multidisciplinary, this exceptional collection includes manuscripts, printed matter, photographs, films or videos.
In charge of heritage collections, it keeps more than 18,000 printed works by major artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, testifying to the extension of artistic practices to the various media of printed reproduction: the book of prints with Marc Chagall, Sonia Delaunay, Henri Matisse or Pablo Picasso; the artist’s book with Marcel Broodthaers, Sophie Calle or Ed Ruscha; the photographic album with Brassaï, Germaine Krull or Man Ray; the artist magazine like 391 by Francis Picabia; but also the book-object, the tract or theposter.
Resolutely international, it unfolds through more than 180 archival collections that bear witness to the diversity of actors who have contributed to the modern and contemporary arts movement. Participating in numerous programs in the sciences of art and heritage, it also represents the museum with the university consortia of which it is a member and develops a rich scientific program, like its annual summer university, an interdisciplinary transmission of knowledge.
The nearby Stravinsky Fountain (also called the Fontaine des automates), on Place Stravinsky, features 16 whimsical moving and water-spraying sculptures by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint-Phalle, which represent themes and works by composer Igor Stravinsky. The black-painted mechanical sculptures are by Tinguely, the coloured works by de Saint-Phalle. The fountain opened in 1983.
Place Georges Pompidou
The Place Georges Pompidou in front of the museum is noted for the presence of street performers, such as mimes and jugglers. In the spring, miniature carnivals are installed temporarily into the place in front with a wide variety of attractions: bands, caricature and sketch artists, tables set up for evening dining, and even skateboarding competitions.
In addition to temporary exhibitions and retrospectives, the Pompidou Center offers events throughout the year (cinema, performances, dance, theatre, concerts, debates, conferences, symposiums) in conjunction with the Mnam/Cci, Ircam and the Bpi.
The programming of live shows covers a wide spectrum of artistic fields, ranging from performance, to dance, through theater and music.
Since the creation of the establishment, the cinema has occupied a prominent place. Presenting cinema in the plurality of its forms, the program dedicated to it alternates meetings with major artists of the 20th and 21st centuries and discoveries, lesser -known artist-filmmakers.
Conferences, debates, symposiums, meetings
The Center Pompidou also organizes conferences, debates, symposiums and meetings, which aim to address social issues and current topics, through an artistic prism but also a more academic angle.
The Pompidou Center welcomes a variety of audiences, especially young people. Visits to the building or the collections, exhibitions and installations, as well as workshops are organised, for a school or individual setting, throughout the year, in various spaces of the Museum (in the Museum and the exhibition spaces, at the Children’s Gallery, at the Children’s Workshop, at the Factory or at Studio 13/16).
Editions of the Pompidou Center
Editions du center Pompidou, created in 1977, publishes, produces and markets works (exhibition catalogues, illustrated books, monographs, albums, children ‘s books, activity books for children and adults, artistic essays and anthologies, The Cahiers du musée national d’Art moderne, etc.) and collections of related products (stationery, cards, accessories, jewellery, etc.). Its mission is to support the activities of the center by promoting its collections, its programming, through editorial proposals aimed at all audiences.
Since May 12, 2010, the city of Metz has a decentralized branch of the centre, the Center Pompidou-Metz. A founding element of the new Amphitheater district, it was built by architects Shigeru Ban, Jean de Gastines, and Philip Gumuchdjian. The Pompidou-Metz center is part of the original vocation of the Parisian center: to present and promote all forms of artistic expression, to make the widest public aware of the major works of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Center Pompidou Málaga
In March 2015, the Center Pompidou Málaga, the first “provisional Pompidou center” located abroad, was hosted for five renewable years in the building “El Cubo” (The Cube), designed by the artist Daniel Buren, and located in Malaga in Andalusia. On 6,300 m2, 70 works from the Museum are presented, for an amount of one million euros per year. Building on its success, the partnership signed with the city of Málaga, which ended in principle in March 2020, was renewed in April 2019 for another five years, until March 2025.
In December 2017, the Pompidou Center joined forces with the Brussels-Capital Region, which at the time did not have an emblematic cultural center devoted to contemporary art, and the Kanal foundation to create in the Belgian capital, Brussels, at horizon 2020, a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art as well as modern and contemporary architecture, the KANAL-Centre Pompidou. This 30,000 m 2 space occupies a vast and bright four-storey Art Deco building, located on Place de l’Yser.
The Pompidou Center is making part of its collections of approximately 120,000 works, of which only 10% are shown to the public, available to the future museum. While waiting for its opening, a prefiguration cultural program has however been imagined and entrusted to Bernard Blistène, director of Mnam, so that the public can discover this exceptional architectural heritage and can benefit from the partnerships entered into with certain Belgian cultural players. The success of this opening (more than 400,000 visits) led the Kanal Foundation and the Pompidou Center to consider partially opening the building during the first phase of the conversion work. Artist and visual artist John M.was thus invited to take over the premises in 2020.
Center Pompidou × West BundMuseum Project
A modern art museum, the West Bund Museum, opened in Shanghai, China, in 2019, following a five-year inter-museum cultural and artistic exchange agreement between France and China on 5 November 2019. In accordance with this agreement, the West Bund museum will organize in partnership with the Pompidou center a vast multidisciplinary program throughout the five years, between 2019 and 2024.
Several axes articulate this partnership: “the loan of works from the collections of the Pompidou center; the design of exclusive exhibitions, in resonance with the local cultural context; the implementation of cultural programming and mediation activities; the training of museum professionals as well as the presentation at the Pompidou Center in Paris of projects and exhibitions by Chinese artists. The building, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, is located on the banks of the Huangpu River, in the heart of the “Xuhui Waterfront” district.