On the far northern boundary of Bois de Boulogne in Paris, you'll find the Foundation Louis Vuitton. The building, designed by Frank Gehry and opened in 2014, resembles a cloud whipped up in metal and glass. Over the years, the Foundation Louis Vuitton has housed many exhibitions spanning modern and contemporary art, showcasing artists like Egon Schiele to Cindy Sherman. For its latest exhibit, Louis Vuitton has staged a staggering tribute to Mark Rothko – the first retrospective of the artist's work to take place in France since Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris presented its own in 1999.
Comprising some 115 artworks, the exhibition is a comprehensive dive into the artist's career and legacy; beginning with his earliest figurative works before transitioning in chronological order across to the impactful abstract paintings Rothko is most renowned for. As a result, audiences can become acquainted with Rothko's lesser known works – those created in the 1930s that depict intimate scenes and urban landscapes like the New York subway. Before encountering the career-defining paintings he created during the 50s and 60s.
Curated by Suzanne Pagé and Christopher Rothko with the help of François Michaud, the retrospective unearths works from collections across the globe, with contributions from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Tate in London, and the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. It also includes paintings international private collections, as well as the artist's family collection.
By all accounts, this is a necessary trip for both long-time admirers of Rothko and those recently acquainted with his oeuvre. It also highlights Louis Vuitton's deep appreciation and respect for the arts, a feeling which trails through its own collections.
If you're hoping to step into the Foundation Louis Vuitton and experience the Mark Rothko exhibition for yourself, it opened on October 18 and will run through to 2 April 2024. So there's still time.