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Art, Culture and Adventures in Nimes?

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york,england
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Art, Culture and Adventures in Nimes?

Hello,

Off to Nimes in 19 days and I'm just wondering if anyone can recommend any art galleries to visit (specifically modern, fauvist/ early 20th C french work?Maybe?)

Am really looking forward to being in a French city so how about some adventures off the normal tourist trail? (already live in a roman town so bit bored of them!) Will try anything once!

Ohio, USA
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1. Re: Art, Culture and Adventures in Nimes?

The most significant center of modern art in Nîmes, and for that matter in the whole of that area ouside Marseille is the Carré d'Art, a building housing a contemporary art museum and center of art history along with the city library. It was built in the 1990s and designed by a British architect whose name escapes me for the moment. There is a wonderful (IMO) work in the lobby by Ellsworth Kelly.

You'll find some interesting modern art — not a lot — in the Musée Réattu in Arles, as well as a collection of Picasso drawings and some arly 20th century paintings and sculpture.

Your best bet for a wider selection of galleries and other collections would be Marseille. The Musée Cantini is restricted by and large to pre-1960 art and has a good sampling of post-Impressionist, Fauvist, Cubist, Surrealist and abstract art . From memory Matisse, Derain, Dubuffet, Kandinsky, Ernst. Picasso and Léger (in no particular order) are represented, among others.

The other principal venue in Marseiile is the Musée d'Art Contemporain on the eastern edge of the city. The building itself is an eyesore, IMO, and not very well suited to its purpose but it does house interesting special exhibitions. The permanent collection includes works representative of a number of recent movements and by many well regarded contemporary artists.

There are a number of other galleies and studios scattered around the city, especially, if I am remembering aright, near the Musée Cantini and around the Joliette métro station west of the Vieux Port.

That should be enough to give you a start. As for other places, a lot depends on whether you are getting about by car or by train. Arles and Marseille are all easily reachable by train.

Montpellier would be another place worth exploring, and Aix-en-Provence for its major Cézanne importance, and there are more I could think of.

As for the comment about York being a "Roman town" with all due respect to York (and I like it very much...) the Roman structures in that part of France are at another level entirely — the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, the amphitheatres in Nîmes and Arles, the theatres in Arles and Orange, and the Pont du Gard which I think is one of the most stunning works of Roman engineering extant.

In any case, enjoy — and if you want more info, let me know how you are getting about and I'll see what else I can think of.

york,england
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2. Re: Art, Culture and Adventures in Nimes?

Thanks thats really useful, I'll definately check out the gallery in Nimes. We were in Arles last year for the photography exhibition -how excellent is that by the way?-so seen a lot of the art there. Do you know if theres anything of interest art-wise in Narbonne or Montpellier? Cheers!

Ohio, USA
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3. Re: Art, Culture and Adventures in Nimes?

I haven't spent much time art-hunting in Montpellier, even less in Narbonne, so I'm not going to be much help to you there. Montpellier has a considerable number of excellent examples of late 20th century architecture. The city has undergone a major renaissance over the last few decades and is, IMO, one of the better-kept secrets of France.

Other than the contemporaray art museum and exhibition space — whose name I forget but it is something like FRAC Montpellier or FRAC Languedoc — I'm not really aware of much else in the city, but I'd love to hear back from you if you go exploring there, and I hope you will.

La Grande Motte nearby is interesting as a modern seaside development.

Narbonne is not a place I would think of as having much in the way of modern art. Could be wrong, though...

Enjoy your trip! I'll be in that general area myself come Friday — well, a bit farther east actually. Can't wait...

4. Re: Art, Culture and Adventures in Nimes?

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