2017.10.11 - 2018.03.05




Fondation Louis Vuitton’s Frank Gehry-Designed Building Will Showcase a Selection of 200 Works Tracing MoMA’s History of Collecting

NEW YORK & PARIS, May 5, 2017— The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Fondation Louis Vuitton announce the first comprehensive exhibition in France to present MoMA’s unparalleled collection: Etre moderne: Le MoMA à Paris, on view at Fondation Louis Vuitton from October 11, 2017, through March 5, 2018.

An integrated, cross-disciplinary selection of 200 works, drawn from all six of the Museum’s curatorial departments and reflecting the history of the institution and its collecting, will fill the entirety of the Fondation’s Frank Gehry-designed building. Curated jointly by the two institutions, the works selected by MoMA’s director and curator bring together paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, films, media works, performances, and architecture and design objects, tracing the evolution and multifaceted scope of the museum’s collection. The exhibition was conceived in relation to the architecture and interior spaces of the Fondation Louis Vuitton building, allowing a compelling historical narrative across its four floors. Glenn D. Lowry, MoMA’s Director, said, “Our mission at The Museum of Modern Art is to help the widest possible public enjoy and understand the best of modern and contemporary art. We are delighted to collaborate with Fondation Louis Vuitton to present the depth and breadth of the Museum’s collection across many decades.”

“With Etre moderne, we hope to provide a history of modern art through the lens of MoMA’s ever-evolving collection,” said Quentin Bajac, The Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography at MoMA. “From iconic works by artists such as Cézanne to contemporary works by designers such as Shigetaka Kurita, the exhibition exemplifies how MoMA’s collection has shaped the public’s definition of modern art and continues to challenge our interpretation of it.”

Jean-Paul Claverie, advisor to Bernard Arnault, chairman of Fondation Louis Vuitton, said, “This is a momentous occasion and marks a continuation of our strong and historic relationship with MoMA, which has become a reference point for modern and contemporary institutions everywhere. We are delighted to organize this outstanding exhibition with the institution, bringing a large selection of important works to Paris, some of which have never been presented here before. Following our recent exhibitions such as Keys to a Passion and Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection, this exhibition reflects our continued commitment to collaborating with the world’s most excellent modern art institutions.” Suzanne Pagé, artistic director of Fondation Louis Vuitton, continued “It is a privilege to curate this exciting exhibition with Glenn Lowry, Quentin Bajac and the MoMA team. ‘Etre modern,’ or ‘Being Modern,’ is a position that MoMA continually seeks to maintain. This is the guiding principle for our exhibition in Paris.”

Etre moderne features masterworks by artists including Max Beckmann, Alexander Calder, Paul Cézanne, Marcel Duchamp, Walker Evans, Jasper Johns, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Gustav Klimt, Yayoi Kusama, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Yvonne Rainer, Frank Stella, and Paul Signac. A selection of rarely shown documentary material from MoMA’s Archives will be incorporated in the galleries, tracing the history of the Museum and contextualizing the works.

Established in 1929, The Museum of Modern Art was one of the first museums devoted exclusively to the visual arts of the time. Etre moderne represents the wide range of artworks that MoMA has acquired over the decades, ranging from the early defining movements of the modern art period to Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Pop art and digital works of art.

The exhibition opens with MoMA’s first decade, including such iconic works as Edward Hopper’s House by the Railroad (acquired in 1930), Paul Cézanne’s The Bather (acquired in 1934) Constantin Brancusi’s Bird in Space (acquired in 1934), as well as Walker Evans’s Posed Portraits, New York (acquired in 1938), Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie (acquired in 1936), and utilitarian, machine-made objects, such as an outboard propeller, a flush valve, and a self-aligning ball bearing (acquired in 1934). It continues to the post-war period including works from Jackson Pollock (Echo: Number 25) and Willem de Kooning (Woman I).

The next section is dedicated to Minimalism and Pop art. Emerging as two major new art forms in the 1960s, these movements are seen through a dialogue between painting, architecture, sculpture, and photography. The exhibition then turns to other works from 1960 onwards, including pieces from movements such as Fluxus and the so-called Pictures Generation, as well as an introspective look at the history of America through work by artists such as Romare Bearden, Jeff Wall, and Cady Noland.

The final section, located on the top floor of the building, focuses on contemporary works from around the world, most of which were acquired by MoMA in the last two years. These include Kerry James Marshall’s large painting Untitled (Club Scene) (acquired in 2015), Lele Saveri’s The Newsstand (community-oriented installation, originally presented at a subway stop in Brooklyn, New York; acquired in 2016), and the original set of 176 emoji designed by Shigetaka Kurita (acquired in 2016).

Works being shown in France for the first time include Brancusi’s Bird in Space, Diane Arbus’s Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967), Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962), Philip Guston’s Tomb (1978), Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s (Untitled) “USA Today” (1990), Carl Andre’s 144 Lead Square (1969), Christopher Wool’s Untitled (1990), Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (You Invest in the Divinity of the Masterpiece) (1982), and Romare Bearden’s Patchwork Quilt (1970).

Etre moderne: Le MoMA à Paris is co-organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Fondation Louis Vuitton, under the direction of Glenn Lowry (Director, The Museum of Modern Art) and Suzanne Pagé (Artistic Director, Fondation Louis Vuitton). The exhibition is curated by Quentin Bajac (The Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography, MoMA) assisted by Katerina Stathopoulou (Assistant Curator, MoMA), with Olivier Michelon (Curator, Fondation Louis Vuitton). The archival section is organized by Michelle Elligott (Chief of Archives, MoMA).


About Fondation Louis Vuitton

Fondation Louis Vuitton is a private cultural institution of public interest located in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. It was founded thanks to the corporate philanthropy of the LVMH/Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Group and its Chairman, Bernard Arnault. The Foundation focuses exclusively on modern and contemporary artists and on introducing them to visitors from all over the world. It is one of France’s—and Europe’s—most important foundations.
The building, conceived by architect Frank Gehry, represents its first artistic statement and through its originality is an important landmark of French and international urban heritage of the 21st century. The program aims to foster knowledge and presentation of contemporary art by building up a permanent collection of international art and a program of exhibition and commissioning of new works from contemporary artists.

Through its collection and its programming, the Foundation is firmly rooted in the history of the artistic movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. It also strives to increase knowledge of the most contemporary creative artists and works, while emphasizing its attachment to dialogue and openness between the public, artists and intellectuals. This engagement goes hand-in-hand with a desire to help establish a strong and vibrant audit of modern art by organizing exhibitions enabling the widest possible public to “encounter” the artistic masterpieces of the 20th century.

For downloadable high-resolution images, register at moma.org/press.