Louvre Abu Dhabi To Exhibit French 20th Century Avant-Garde Emigrant Artists

Juan GRIS Man from Touraine 1918

A newly curated exhibition brings together some of the most notable names of the 20th century’s Avant-Garde scene, for the first time, at the spectacular Louvre Abu Dhabi. The upcoming show, Rendezvous in Paris features Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani & Co. (1900-1939), will include more than 80 works by artists including Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, Marc Chagall, Juan Gris, Chaïm Soutine, Constantin Brancusi and Tamara de Lempicka.

An immersive journey that embodies the artistic spirit of Paris in early 20th Century

Running from 18 September to 7 December, the exhibition will trace the creative output of emigrant artists living and working in Paris throughout the first half of the 20th century. The first exhibition in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s new season, ‘Changing Societies’, Rendezvous in Paris: Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani & Co. (1900-1939) will be held in partnership with Paris’ Centre Pompidou and organised with Agence France-Muséums.

Rendezvous in Paris  Louvre Abu Dhabi
Amedeo MODIGLIANI Portrait of Dédie (Odette Hayden) 1918

Through paintings, sculptures and photographs by some 50 avant-garde artists, the exhibition will explore the Paris of the ‘Roaring Twenties’. Paris’ dynamism and cosmopolitan nature made it an attractive, Bohemian hub for artists from across Europe, many of whom left their home countries in the post-World War I years in search of a place where they could express themselves creatively. Gathering in cafés, salons, studios and galleries, this artistic community transformed the ‘City of Lights’ into the creative heart of Europe, with their experimentation with radical expressions of colour and form producing some of the most iconic artworks in history.

Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “We are confident that Rendezvous in Paris: Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani & Co. (1900-1939) will be a blockbuster exhibition, a great start to our ambitious new 2019-20 season. For the first time ever in Abu Dhabi, residents and visitors will be able to see works by Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani, Delaunay, Lipchitz and other masters in a show encompassing the key movements of 20th century modern art. This gathering of the widest ever range of classical Modernists’ works in the UAE reflects our commitment to bringing art from all over the world to our diverse audience.”

Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial & Collections Management Director at Louvre Abu Dhabi, added: “From Cubism and Fauvism to Russian Avant-Garde and other genres, this exhibition will highlight the incredible contributions to modern art by émigré artists in Paris. Encapsulating the foundation of Louvre Abu Dhabi as a universal museum, Rendezvous in Paris brings together cross-cultural artworks, showcasing one of the key aspects of our mission.”

Visitors to Rendezvous in Paris will enjoy an immersive journey that embodies the artistic spirit so characteristic of Paris in early decades of the 1900s, exploring the diversity of the creative output during that time. Tracing the physical and psychological journeys of these iconic artists, the exhibition will examine the development of some of modern art’s most prominent styles and reflect on the unifying threads of displacement and multiculturalism that often shaped the experiences of the members of this diverse group. The exhibition includes masterpieces from the collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, such as Picasso’s Woman seated in an armchair (1910), Chagall’s To Russia, Asses and Others (1911), Modigliani’s Portrait of Dédie (1918) and de Lempicka’s Girl in a green dress (1927). Christian Briend has curated rendezvous in Paris, Chief Curator and Head of modern collections at Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, assisted by Anna Hiddleston-Galloni, Assistant Curator, modern collections at Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou.

Rendezvous in Paris  Louvre Abu Dhabi
Chaïm Soutine The Best Man 1924 -1925

“I am delighted to contribute to such an ambitious exhibition of modern art, which brings together several exquisite masterpieces by some of the most famous artists of 20th-century art history,” said Briend. “Of particular meaning to me in this project is the fact that we are showcasing the contributions of foreigners, starting with Picasso who dominates the art of this time and including many others, making this an exhibition about cosmopolitanism and its virtues.”

Viewers will be able to experience the evolution and dynamism of this art scene through a variety of interactive mediation devices: one highlights the artists’ journeys from their home countries to Paris, another provides an immersive experience in the studio of the artist Brancusi, while others focus on colours and music.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a rich line-up of cultural programming curated by Ruth Mackenzie, CBE, Artistic Director at Theatre du Chatelet and former Artistic Director of Holland Festival and London 2012 Festival (the official cultural programme for the London Olympic Games).

Ahead of the public opening, visitors will get a sneak peek of the exhibition through an exclusive talk with the curator on 17 September. Between 18 – 21 September, visitors will encounter ‘living machines’ roaming the museum and be entertained by choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her STREB Extreme Action Troupe, who will combine acrobatics, circus arts and contemporary dance to give a spectacular performance on giant machines.

A Family Weekend on 27 – 28 September will feature workshops inspired by the art on display, providing children and families with fun and entertaining sessions on the processes of abstract creation. The programme also includes a series of film screenings proposed by artist Hind Mezaina.

The cultural programme will conclude with an electro-night on 21 November from 9 pm – 1 am, with live sets from UAE-based and international DJs playing against a backdrop of Cubism-inspired visuals, lighting the facades and the iconic dome of the museum. Amon Tobin and his Two Fingers DJ Set, Molecule Live and Boogie Box DJs, Hassan Alwan and Tristan Girault will perform in the open air under Louvre Abu Dhabi’s breathtaking dome.


The Louvre Abu Dhabi offers guided tours through the exhibition as well as a multimedia guide that is available in Arabic, English, and French. A catalogue including all the artworks on display and biographies of each of the artists exhibited will be available.

Top Photo:  Juan Gris Man from Touraine 1918 Detail

Entrance to the exhibition is free with the museum’s admission ticket. Admission is free for children under 13

Rendezvous in Paris  18 September to 7 December Louvre Abu Dhabi

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