Being Modern: MoMA in Paris

From 11 October 2017 to 5 March 2018


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

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Fondation Louis Vuitton announce the first exhibition in France to present MoMA's unparalleled collection. Being Modern: MoMA in Paris  will be on view at Fondation Louis Vuitton from October 11, 2017, through March 5, 2018. 

“Exhibition Being Modern: MoMA in Paris” 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. “Exhibition Being Modern: MoMA in Paris” 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 socalled 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 TwinsRoselle, 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 PatchworkQuilt (1970).

“Exhibition Being Modern: MoMA in Paris” is co-organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Fondation Louis Vuitton

Direction: Glenn Lowry (Director, The Museum of Modern Art) and Suzanne Pagé (Artistic Director, Fondation Louis Vuitton)

Curating: 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, Library, and Research Collections, MoMA).


Watch online the press conference with Glenn D. Lowry, Quentin Bajac, Jean-Paul Claverie, Suzanne Pagé and Olivier Michelon.

  • Paul Signac

    Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890

    1890. Oil on canvas. 73,5 x 92,5 cm

    The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller

  • Rirkrit Tiravanija

    Untitled (the days of this society is numbered / December 7, 2012)

    2014. Synthetic polymer paint and newspaper on linen. 221 x 214,6 cm

    The Museum of Modern Art, New York

    Committee on Drawings and Prints Fund, 2014

    © 2017 Rirkrit Tiravanija

  • Ellsworth Kelly

    Colors for a Large Wall

    1951. Oil on canvas, sixty-four panels. 240 x 240 cm

    The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist, 1969.

    © 2017 Ellsworth Kelly

  • Cindy Sherman

    Untitled Film Still #21

    1978. Gelatin silver print. 19,1 x 24,1 cm

    The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Horace W. Goldsmith Fund through Robert B. Menschel, 1995

    © 2017 Cindy Sherman

  • Constantin Brancusi

    Bird in Space

    1928. Bronze. 137,2 x 21,6 x 16,5 cm

    The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Given anonymously, 1934

    © Succession Brancusi - All rights reserved (Adagp) [2017]

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