Centre Pompidou

The first weekend of every month in Paris is ‘free museum weekend’. All the most popular venues open their doors to those impoverished people who normally refuse to pay, and you get to wander around places with a smug look on your face because you got in for free.

This weekend I went to the Centre Pompidou modern art gallery with my new friend Kiara. It’s right on the north bank of the Seine and just up the road from Hotel de Ville – and also impossible to miss due to its arty-come-Gaudi exterior. It was apparently designed by an Italian architect to look ‘high-tech’, and then named in honour of a former French president. This explanation makes about as much as sense as some of the artwork inside.

The gallery itself is split into three floors, covering artists’ work from around 1900 to the modern day. Some of it is lovely – I quite liked this Kandinsky painting here – and some of it is quite… well, for an acquired taste I presume.

This picture on the left is one of many sofas and chairs on display at the Centre Pompidou. It appears that you can’t pass yourself off as a true artist until you’ve tried your hand at creating some outrageous furniture.

Or how about this light installation – which represents ‘the endless cycle of life and death, the passage of time between 24 hours of day and night’. Each light symbolises one hour.

I’ve seen artwork by a few names I recognised – Matisse and Picasso – and also learnt about those I never knew existed. I definitely recommend visiting the centre if you get the chance, there’s such a lot to see and it’s especially good for those who don’t like to take art too seriously! It was a free afternoon well spent and I’m even considering going again to take a closer look at some of the weird and wonderful things to be found there.

Oh and one more thing – bonne fete a toutes les mamies, parce qu’aujourd’hui est la fete des grand-meres!

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