The owner of Christie’s auction house, François Pinault, is set to display his modern art collection in a new Paris museum. And where better to locate this new museum than the Bourse de Commerce, a unique building which stands at the core of Paris’s identity?
Francois Pinault is a remarkable French businessman and impressive art collector whose fortune lists him at the top of France’s most affluent and whose enviable collection of masterpieces places him as holder of one of the world’s largest contemporary art collections. His holding company, Artemis encompasses or has been associated with top names such as Converse, Samsonsite, Chateau Latour, Vail Ski Resort, Christie’s, to name a few.
A true lover of art, Pinault long has dreamed of having his outstanding collection, worth € 1.2 billion, on display in the country’s capital. This collection of works by modern masters is one of the world’s largest private art collections. Pinault’s willingness to display this collection to the public in its very own museum has been described by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo as ‘an immense gift to the heart of Paris‘. Adding to the ‘appeal and dynamism‘ of the great city, the newly housed Pinault collection will off er Parisians and tourists alike the chance to enjoy incredible works of art in an environment which has escaped the common cultural restraints of conservatism and academism, instead embracing the modern nature of art as an act of experimentation, reinvention and interaction. Pinault, 79, created this stunning collection featuring works from major artists such as Damien Hirst and Mark Rothko.
Having spent decades trying and failing to find the perfect home in Paris for his pieces, Pinault has been displaying the works in his private museums in Venice. Pinault’s Venice museums, the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogona, have welcomed more than 2.5 million visitors in the past decade, but these visitors were able to see only small parts of the collection displayed across numerous exhibitions. The Bourse de Commerce finally will off er visitors the chance to see the full extent of the Pinault collection as it is intended to be viewed. Located near both the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre, the new museum further adds to the artistic character of a city already famed for its cultural significance. Along with Pinault’s main competitor, Bernard Arnault, who opened the Louis Vuitton Foundation for his own art collection just last year, Pinault’s contribution is an important move which will put Paris back on the map in terms of modern art.
Praising Pinault‘s and Arnault’s contributions, Mayor Hidalgo proudly explained that ‘[i]t is through art that we can come to terms with our social, cultural, and mental confines. Art is a light that should shine on each citizen, especially those who are less familiar with it. Art reveals and opens an immense field of possibilities. It does more than free us; it teaches us how to live freely‘. The new gallery is set to open in 2018 and will work in tandem with Pinault’s existing museums.