© Lett jeanchristophe

Contemporary Art in Extraordinary Venues

With its architectural feats forming works of art in their own right, museums springing up where we least expect them, arts centres born in ancient tobacco factories or abattoirs and vineyards paying homage to creative talent, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur promises an endless array of novel arty experiences.

Art & Contemporary Architecture

Musée Cocteau in Menton & Fondation Luma Arles

Contemporary architects have bestowed exciting new landmarks on the towns of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in recent years. The Mucem, designed by Rudy Ricciotti, became the icon of new-look Marseille in 2013. Prior to that, Ricciotti designed the Jean Cocteau Museum-Séverin Wunderman collection in Menton (currently being refurbished). Poised on the seafront, this white stone block carved with sprawling, tentacle-like forms, is the architect’s homage to Cocteau. It now houses the world’s largest public collection of work by the painter and poet, who died in 1963. The Luma Foundation in Arles is a tribute too: that of architect Franck Gehry to the brushstroke of Vincent Van Gogh and his fascination with the ever-changing light of Arles. The Foundation welcomes artistic projects focusing on the environment, human rights, education and culture.

After-Work Show

Fondation Blachère & Hôtel Windsor

Contemporary art is an intrinsic part of our everyday lives. You’ll come across it around street corners and even “At the heart of the corporate world, right in the middle of an industrial park”. Don’t miss this novel experience offered by the Fondation Blachère in Apt, dedicated to contemporary African creation. The Foundation exhibits numerous works of art and welcomes artists in residence. It also boasts a “Boutik” where you can pick up unique creations by African craftsmen and designers. To prolong this very-concrete delve into contemporary art, head to the Hotel Windsor in Nice. All the rooms are works of art here, with in situ creations by contemporary artists (Ben, Morellet, Hains, Honegger, Claude Viallat, Nicolas Rubinstein and more), together with frescoes painted on the walls. Temporary exhibitions rub shoulders with pieces from the collection in the hotel’s communal areas.

 

Converted Venues

La Friche Belle de Mai & La Station

La Friche Belle de Mai set up home inside an ancient tobacco factory in Marseille in 1992. Today, it is one of France’s foremost contemporary art production and exhibition hubs, also welcoming artists in residence. Every year, this 2,500m² space hosts dozens of cultural events sponsored by local associations (Fraeme, Triangle France Centre d’Art, Zinc-Seconde Nature, etc.). La Station in Nice, a former abattoir, is based on a similar concept: a contemporary art space managed by artists, featuring residences, exhibitions, concerts and all types of experimental artistic disciplines.

Vineyards

La Commanderie de Peyrassol, Château Vignelaure & Château La Coste

In Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur, contemporary art has also proudly set up home at our vineyards! At Domaine de Peyrassol in Flassans-sur-Issole, visitors stroll in and out of historic and modern buildings, discovering works by top artists from the Sixties to current day: Frank Stella, Daniel Buren and César, to mention just a few. Peyrassol had a facelift in 2021 and its art gallery has now been extended. Our arty escapade continues at Château Vignelaure in Rians, where an underground art gallery was built in the Seventies. Since then, many illustrious artists visiting the region (Buffet, Cartier-Bresson, Arman, Miro, etc.) have left their mark there. Château Vignelaure is much more than a simple exhibition space – it is a creative mindset. The Château outbuildings have been converted into a refuge for artists, invited to create in situ works inspired by this beautiful location. Last but not least, Domaine Château La Coste, in Puy-Sainte-Reparade, has become a must-do art & wine experience. You’ll find many stunning works there, including Louise Bourgeois’ iconic “Crouching Spider”.

 

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