The public can get acquainted with La vie moderne (modern life), a presentation of the permanent collection. This is the opportunity to rediscover a century of art history via its keyworks.
The new presentation is also inspired by the main stages in the construction of the host building, and the substantial donations that continue to enrich the permanent collection.In May 1937 Paris saw the opening of the International Exhibition of Art and Technology in Modern Life – and of themuseum in a wing of the Palais de Tokyo. Taking this seminal moment as its point of departure, the permanent exhibition flows out through monumental rooms where the Rhythms oft he Delaunays conjure up the new «modern life» decor that accompanied the first decades of the 20th century.
The presentation continues with a blend of the chronological and the thematic, centred on the principalworks acquired through the generosity of donors like Vollard in 1937, Girardin in 1953, Amos in 1955 and Henry-Thomas in 1976, 1984 and 1986. Thus the museum can nowoffer the works of artists including Picasso, Matisse, Braque,Derain, Dufy, Freundlich, Léger, Buffet, Rouault, Bonnard,Vuillard, Fautrier, Picabia, Ernst and De Chirico. Echoing the movements that shaped the history of art in the wake of Fauvism and Cubism, the accent is on both Surrealism and the various forms of realism, as well as the new post war trends that blossomed in Paris, «the modern art capital».
The exhibition continues with the new avenues opened upduring the second half of the 20th century: artists striving to definitively bridge the gap between art and life, with movements like Fluxus and the figure of Joseph Beuys challenging the status and function of the artist in society. And the Werner donation has made possible a sequence devoted to German artists confronting the same issues in their home country.
There follow radical forms of abstraction and the new challenges of contemporary painting, resituating the creative act and painterliness itself in the context of the early 21st century. The exhibition closes with the latest contemporary art acquisitions and their contribution to a new idea of modernity as a reflection of today’s societies.