Current Events

In the Nave

Les secrets de la laque française : le vernis Martin
February 13st–June 8st 2014

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Détail d’un panneau de berline, Paris, attr. à Guillaume ou Étienne-Simon Martin, vers 1745
© Münster, Museum für Lackkunst

Les Arts Décoratifs pays Tribute to the 18th Century. By devoting a major exhibition to the secrets of French lacquer, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs is highlighting the widespread passion for a technique that became the epitome of luxury and refinement. Towards the end of the 17th century the increasingly high cost of lacquer production in Japan and the inferior quality of lacquer imported from China prompted Europeans to seek to master this technique themselves. The study of lacquer enabled skilful artisans in Germany, England, Holland and France to recreate its deep, velvety sheen and masterfully imitate oriental lacquers. In Paris, a host of gilder- varnishers’ workshops sprang up in the Saint-Antoine quarter alongside those of the cabinetmakers and joiners already established there, thereby linking them with the furniture industry from the outset. Amongst the most famous were those of the Martin brothers, whose name became associated with their technique then all the lacquer produced in France. One of the specificities of French lacquer was the introduction of new colours and its use on all kinds of materials and objects. Ranging from the most imposing to the most discreet, furniture, panelling, objets, caskets, horse-drawn carriages and sleighs trace the history of a passion shared by Parisians and a pan-European clientele and transcending the passion for all things Chinese for which it originally catered.

The particular question of Vernis Martin, a term for lacquer used only by the French, poses numerous questions, which for the first time have been given answers based on numerous studies and examples. Conceived and produced in collaboration with the Lackkunst Museum in Münster, this exhibition brings together some 300 objects.

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Studies Gallery

De la Chine aux Arts Décoratifs : l’art chinois dans les collections du musée des Arts décoratifs
February 13th–June 29th 2014

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Brûle-parfum en forme de gui couvert, Chine, dynastie Qing, période Qianlong (1736-1796)
Emaux cloisonnés et champlevés sur cuivre
Dépôt public Fondation Salomon de Rothschild, 1923
Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris
© Les Arts Décoratifs / Photo : Jean Tholance

For the first time, the De la Chine aux Arts Décoratifs exhibition is revealing the exceptional quality and scope of Les Arts Décoratifs’ collection of Chinese d’objets d’art. The fruit of acquisitions made in the first decades after our institution was founded, and of gifts and bequests by generous collectors, this remarkable ensemble reflects the fascination for Chinese art in France, principally in the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. The interest of these donors in the art of China, and more broadly the Far and Near East, often stemmed from their fascination for certain techniques and materials, and for their forms and decorative motifs. The pieces on display reveal exquisite skills and plunge us into the fascinating, intriguing universe that revitalised the French ornamental vocabulary, from the first World’s Fairs until very recent times.

Today, our knowledge of Chinese culture enables us to regard these objects in a different light, that of their meanings and uses, and to more fully understand the interest that the Chinese themselves have shown in them down the centuries. It is these dual points of view that we have tried to bring together in this exhibition which is organised within the context of France Chine 50 -

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At Level 5

Le WallpaperLab
January 23th–May 11th 2014

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Les Graphiquants
© DR

The fruit of a partnership between the Association pour la promotion du papier peint (A3P), Les Arts Décoratifs and Domestic, this competition has become the key annual rendez-vous for contemporary wallpaper creation. For the 5th competition, five creators have imagined the wallpaper of tomorrow. Ionna Vautrin (designer), Pauline Deltour (designer), Denis Darzacq (photographer), Benjamin Graindorge (designer) and Les Graphiquants (graphic designers) have shown their creativity in their respective entries. Their projects, examined by a jury of professionals, will be on display from 23 January to 11 May 2014 in the Modern and Contemporary Space in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

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Typorama, Philippe Apeloig
November 21th 2013–March 30th 2014

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Affiche “Crossing the Line, FIAF Fall Festival”, New York, French Institute Alliance Française, 2010
Design : Philippe Apeloig

The Typorama exhibition showcases thirty years of creation by the French graphic designer Philippe Apeloig. It was probably his passion for literature and the performing arts that awakened his interest in graphic design. He discovered this form of expression while he was studying art in Paris, and especially in Amsterdam in the early 80s when he joined Wim Crouwel’s Total design studio. His career began in 1985 at the Musée d’Orsay, for whom he did work for the opening and designed the poster for the museum’s first exhibition, Chicago, birth of a metropolis. Intent on giving typography a conceptual and emotional dimension, Philippe Apeloig has turned the letter into an artistic and painterly object in a field often regarded as merely technical and functional. For him, typography can be choreographic for the October Festival in Normandy, musical for the Théâtre du Châtelet, and landscape in his poster for Voies navigables de France. The many logos he has designed include Musées de France, and recently the Petit Palais in Paris and Maison Puiforcat.
Philippe Apeloig wanted this exhibition to highlight his creative process. His posters, logos, visual identities, books and animations will be shown with the successive stages in the development of each project, and also the major influences in his work.

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Toys gallery

December 12th 2013–May 11th 2014

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Clown mécanique, années 1970
Métal peint
© Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / photo : Jean Tholance / conception graphique : Jean-François Guillon

The Parade exhibition focuses on toys inspired by the world of entertainment, highlighting two very different worlds: the circus and the theatre. From the end of the 19th century, these temples of popular entertainment and culture became sources of inspiration for manufacturers producing inventive, constantly evolving ranges of toys celebrating the extraordinary and mischievous as well as tradition and innovation. The two hundred objects on display, principally from the Arts Décoratifs collections and dating from the late 19th century to the present day, are enhanced by the loan of a collection of mechanical clowns. The exhibition also features a selection of works by artists, photographers and filmmakers, in which comical figures and animated images plunge us again into childhood, sometimes into the world of the disturbingly strange.

To accompany these festive worlds, the artist Jean-François Guillon has created games combining typography and colour, plays on words and silhouettes. He has created three installations for the exhibition: two shadow theatres and an audio piece.

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Fashion Space

Dries Van Noten - Inspirations
March 1st-August 31st 2014

The work of the belgian fashion designer, Dries Van Noten, is featured at the musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris. This is the very first exhibition devoted to the artist’s work. As Dries Van Noten takes us on an intimate journey into his artistic universe, he reveals the singularity of his creative process which he illustrates with his various and numerous sources of inspiration. This event is an eye opening experience, where Dries Van Noten’s men’s and women’s collections are put together with iconic pieces from the museum’s fashion and textile collection. The show also includes photographs and videos, film clips, musical references, as well as artworks by renowned artists, from public and private collections, that have triggered the designer’s imagination throughout his life and career.

For this exhibition, Dries Van Noten has brought together elements which point to other sources of inspiration, such as the Renaissance ‘chambers of wonder’ or ‘curiosity cabinets’ in which collectors amassed memorabilia and souvenirs. He has selected anonymous 19th century pieces and works by emblematic couturiers such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior ans 1980s designers, to evoke intimate subject matters such as youth, the archetype, ambiguity and passion, while highlighting his ‘signature’ themes.

Thanks to exceptional loans, masterpieces by important artists such as Bronzino, Kees Van Dongen, Yves Klein, Victor Vasarely, Francis Bacon, Elizabeth Peyton and Damien Hirst are on display in each section of the show. Major films, including Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange and Jane Campion’s The Piano, are also part of the event.

The exhibition is the result of Dries Van Noten’s close collaboration with the Arts Decoratifs Museum, which has prompted him to use several 19th century textile patterns in his 2014 men’s ans women’s Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collections that he unveiled in Paris in June and September 2013.

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Les Arts Décoratifs
107, rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris

Phone: +33 (0)1 44 55 57 50

Disabled access to museum via lift at 105, rue de Rivoli.

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