Created in 1995, on the Rhone riverbanks, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon is a major museum of its kind in France.
The Biennial, the important event held once every two years for contemporary art in Lyon, has been hosted there - among other symbolic places in the city - since 1991. On top of that, there are plenty more exhibitions to admire at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon!
All temporary exhibitions
With around 9 events per year, this Museum of Contemporary Art is particularly special in that all its exhibitions are temporary: a truly unique museum that reinvents itself with a new design for each event it hosts.
Created by architect Renzo Piano, from the outside the building looks to be just an ordinary museum. However, beyond its white facade are the last remaining features from the Foire de Lyon palace, dating back to the 30s... this museum is quite something.
Inside, the imagination and talent of artists are presented within a space of 32300ft2, spread across three floors. All of this space acts as a canvas for artists to freely express their art expertise, in both their work, and the showcasing of it.
Well-known artists and new talents
Showing off works that are created directly on-site: this says a lot about the philosophy of the museum. Each exhibition is presented in a completely new environment, where these contemporary artists can use the space to envision and decide exactly how they want to display their work.
The space also hosts retrospectives for past influential figures in contemporary art, such as Andy Warhol (2005), Keith Haring (2008)...
A redesign, every time
It goes without saying that these exhibitions take place as and when the specific setup and decor for them are finished.
As a result, between events there can be a few months of inactivity. It’s best to check the dates of exhibitions before heading to the building of the International City of Lyon, located alongside the famous Parc de la Tête d'Or ("Park of the Golden Head").
Nevertheless, even at peak times, this museum is worth a visit as many works are visible outside the museum too.
For example, on the roof, a gold-leaf pagoda by Huang Yong Ping will catch your eye.
To the right of the building, ponder over an interesting piece: a crumpled newspaper made from stainless steel by Chinese artist Wang Du.
And it would be hard to ignore the truck constructed by Austrian artist Erwin Wurn, that seems to have reversed a bit too far... up the outside wall of the museum?
Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon
81 quai Charles de Gaulle