Our Barge, Odysseus

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Visit to Metz' New Art Museum

Situated just behind Metz' train station, the new Centre Pompidou-Metz just opened in May. It is a satellite facility of Paris' famed Pompidou Museum of Modern Art, the one with all the exposed, brightly colored pipework. It was designed by the architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines.

What you can't see, just out of the picture to the right, is the great line of people waiting to get in. Not thinking clearly, we timed our walk from the boat to arrive shortly after the opening time of 11 am. We didn't consider that, since the museum just opened it's doors a couple of months ago, we might not be the only people eager to get in. We had plenty of time to admire the interesting architecture.

The design is really a cover, the white fabric stretched over the wooden framework, that encloses three floors of modules that contain the exhibits. It took us about an hour and a half to wind our way to the front door. We had lunch at the museum cafe, cheap beer but expensive food, and headed for the art.
One of the museums most striking features, beside the excellent collection taken from the parent museum, is that the end of each module is a window that gives a view out over the city, treating the vista as a work of art as well. On the wall next to this window is a statement by Oliver Mosset quoted by Ellsworth Kelly and translated by Cathy Jo, "In October 1949 at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, I noticed that the windows were more interesting than the art displayed on the walls." We wouldn't go quite that far but the views are stunning.

Thursday morning we were off down the Moselle River headed north toward Luxembourg and Germany.

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