Ok so not really. When I was in Paris the one thing I wanted to do above all was go to the new Louvre in the small mining town of Lens. Turns out the train times suck and it is surprisingly hard to get to for a casual day trip from Paris. My compromise on a rainy Sunday morning was to try an art gallery that I had never been to before (and until some hard core googleing the night before did not even know existed). Say hello to the Paris Modern Art Gallery*.
I am so very very glad that Louvre Lens turned out to be a bust, because my trip to the Modern Art Gallery was one of the most enjoyable and somehow spiritual moments of my entire Paris adventure.
On this rainy Sunday morning there was no one else in the gallery. I mean no one. I found a couple of other people towards the end of my visit, but for a good hour I had the place to myself**. It was the most calm and centering experience I have had in a while. Standing in a room of exquisite paintings it was so quiet that I could hear my own heart beating. With the high ceilings, modernist art, bright white walls and silence it was as if I was in my own version of heaven.
The art was pretty damn good too. None of the weird installations of the Pompidou, this was just honest to goodness abstract art. What was even better was that they were artists that I had never heard of before (or knew a single thing about), so it was just genuine aesthetic enjoyment rather than fame drinking pretension.
Honestly the best art experience I have had I think ever.
Oh and this gallery is FREE!!! I think we have found the holy grail of galleries.
*Don’t feel bad, I thought the Pompidou was the modern art gallery too.
** well, me and the staff watching me in every room … slightly creepy