Gustav Klimt – THE ATELIER DES LUMIÈRES (Until 11 Nov)

Located between Bastille and Nation, in a former foundry in Paris’s eleventh arrondissement, the ATELIER DES LUMIÈRES, which opened in April 2018, holds monumental immersive exhibitions. Using 140 video projectors and a spatialised sound system, the highly unique multimedia equipment can cover a total surface area of 3,300 m2, extending from the floors to the ceilings and over walls up to ten metres high.

As Bruno Monnier,  the President of Culturespaces, explains: ‘The role of an art centre is to decompartmentalise, and that is why digital technology is so important in twenty-first-century exhibitions. Used for creative purposes, it has become a formidable vector for dissemination, and is capable of creating links between eras, add dynamism to artistic practices, amplify emotions, and reach the largest possible audience’.

To mark its opening, the ATELIER DES LUMIÈRES presents an immersive exhibition devoted to the main figures in the Viennese art scene, of which Gustav Klimt was a key figure. To mark the hundredth anniversary of the painter’s death, and that of Egon Schiele, their works are brought to life to the sound of music on the former foundry’s immense projection surface.

In late nineteenth-century Imperial Vienna, Gustav Klimt was one of the principal decorative painters of the sumptuous monuments on the Ringstrasse. At the dawn of the new century, he led the Vienna Secession, a movement that sought to break away from academic art. Both famous and contested, Klimt paved the way to modern painting. The gold and decorative motifs that characterise his works are a symbol of this artistic revolution.

Produced by Culturespaces and created by Gianfranco Iannuzzi, Renato Gatto, and Massimiliano Siccardi, with the musical collaboration of Luca Longobardi, this inaugural artistic programme invites visitors to immerse themselves in the colourful and luminous works of Gustav Klimt, works by his contemporaries, and those whom he inspired. Taking visitors on a journey through one hundred years of Viennese painting, the immersive exhibition takes an original look at the works of Klimt and his successors through a presentation of the portraits, landscapes, nudes, colours, and gilding that revolutionised Viennese painting at the end of the nineteenth century and in the century that followed.

Review : The Ateliers de Lumières is clearly a new trendy place for culture as it is absolutely full every day! Luckily the space is huge so the crowd shouldn’t bother you too much. It offers a very different perspective on art and brings paintings to life which can be a little bit odd at first but it’s also very relaxing and captivating once you’ve immersed yourself in the beautiful work of Klimt. The music is also playing a bit part and it will completely transport you. Don’t expect to learn things like in a museum. You won’t come out with a new found knowledge on Viennese painting. You will have to do more research in your own time. It bothered me a little bit at first as it’s what I love about going to a museum but once you realise it’s a complete different experience and it is not a museum then you won’t be disappointed! It is a great approach as it will please absolutely everyone especially young people I think as it’s obviously very visual and the projections will have them fascinated! What’s great is that you can walk around to watch the projections from different angles so there is always something new to see! I look forward to going back for a new projection!

Practical Information : 

38 rue Saint-Maur – 75011 Paris
Open every day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Late night opening on Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m.