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Society of Friends: Back when Paris was still open for tourists…

Something that was rendered nearly impossible in 2021 – see buzzwords like quarantine, COVID-19 test results and immigration laws – was exactly what we did two years ago. The members of the Friends of the Kunstmuseum Thun travelled to Paris for their annual art trip.

Le CRÉDAC (Centre d’Art Contemporain d’Ivry). Ausstellung: J’aime le rose pâle et les femmes ingrates. Une exposition de Sarah Tritz avec les oeuvres de 29 artistes invitées (13.9. – 15.12.19) Fotos: Daniel Kempf

The focus of the trip was on exploring various exhibition venues and types. After arriving in Paris, lunch at “Le Train Bleu” was our first stop, followed by a visit to the “Galerie Perrotin”, where an exhibition of works by Thilo Heinzmann was installed. There, the Friends met up with the artist Sophie Calle, who exhibited at the Kunstmuseum Thun in 2019.

We also paid a visit to “Le Crédac” in Ivry-sur-Seine. The art centre housed in the former grommet factory now offers young artists not only a platform for experimentation and exchange but also a framework for intellectual and technical support. In the exhibition “J’aime le rose pâle et les femmes ingrates”, curated by Sara Tritz, works by young artists formed a stark contrast to the raw state of the exhibition space.

The “Ateliers de Lumières” in the former “Plichon” foundry then transported visitors to an almost psychedelic world of projections with huge moving images by Van Gogh and Hokusai.

For many of us, a meeting with the Bern-based artist Peter Stämpfli at the “Galerie George-Philippe et Nathalie Vallois” was the highlight of the trip. Surrounded by Stämpfli’s Pop Art works, we had a lively conversation with the artist and his wife, Anna-Maria.

Another highlight was seeing the Jean-Michel Othoniel show at the Musée du Louvre without having to deal with big crowds. Othoniel worked as a night watchman at the Louvre during his student days and was fascinated by all the roses he saw in various works of art. He developed a veritable rose phobia, collecting poems on the subject and counting all the roses he discovered in the museum’s paintings. For his show, he placed rose images in niches to perfectly complement the architecture.

A visit to the Picasso Museum and a short detour to the Centre Culturel Suisse marked the end of an extremely varied art trip, during which multiple impressions of art came together to form a delicious bouillabaisse.

Every year, the trips of the Friends of the Kunstmuseum Thun offer a very special look at cultural institutions abroad, often taking us to places that are not normally accessible to the public. Encounters with important artists are also on the programme each year. On our homepage you will find additional information about the Friends Society, which is always happy to welcome new members.

Many thanks to Helen Hirsch for organising this extraordinary trip.