Artist Date: Centre Pompidou, Paris

Aug 12, 2018 / Photography / artist dates / museums

Visiting the Centre Pompidou in Paris is like walking into a textbook. Photographs important to the history of photography were left, right, and center.

Works I Loved

There’s the work by Eugene Atget, famous for his atmospheric photographs of Paris.

Grand Triannon, 1902 - 1927, Eugene Atget
Grand Triannon, 1902 - 1927, Eugene Atget. at Centre Pompidou, Paris.


Over here is Andres Kertesz, whose mysterious fork image haunted me when I first saw it. The shadow and the shapes in the image held me captive. Although he is not a surrealist, I always tie this image to surrealism which was at its height in Paris in 1928. Neo upon seeing this image would probably say, äóìthere is no fork.äóù I love this image.

La Fourcette, 1928, Andre Kertesz
La Fourcette, 1928, Andre Kertesz. at Centre Pompidou, Paris


There’s Wassily Kandinsky whose philosophy that artistic creation is a spiritual act has stayed with me always. He is famous for abstraction, but this work was probably before that.

Moscou, La Pace rouge, 1916, Vassily Kandinsky
Moscou, La Pace rouge, 1916, Vassily Kandinsky. at Centre Pompidou in Paris.


Over there is Henri Matisse’s painting. You can always identify his work because he stretches space and time. In this image, the woman’s bent leg bulges large compared to the rest of her body, don’t you think? It’s like you’re in a dream, where space is stretched.

Figure decorative sur fond ornemental, 1925-1926, Henri Matisse
Figure decorative sur fond ornemental, 1925-1926, Henri Matisse. at Centre Pompidou in Paris


Talking about stretching time and space. This trompe-l’oiel delighted me. For a moment, it really looked like a separate room. This guy was going to walk into it.

Trompe l
Trompe l'oeil. at Centre Pompidou in Paris


Artists Living Forever

I often wonder how living artists featured in great institutions like the Centre Pompidou feel about their work. Something inside of you, now embedded in the artwork, will live on and touch some person in the future. It’s kind of like living forever.

I loved my brief time in Paris. I powered through business meetings during the day, but at night, I went on artist dates at the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, and the Pompidou. It was worth the jet lag.

To conclude this artist date series of Paris, I made a short video of the Pompidou visit including Paris sights in general. Thanks for reading!

About the Author

Jonah Calinawan

Hello! I’m Jonah, an accountant turned artist behind A Million Suns.

I create cyanotype art that makes you think and feeds the soul. I also blog about the quest for a meaningful life using art and positivity.

When not shooting photos, I teach myself piano and recommend pianist Josh Wright’s Propractice tutorials (affiliate link).

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