Set within minimalist showrooms in one of the most spectacular 19th-century mansions in Paris, this is one of the best outlets in Europe for contemporary art. Since it was established in 1975, it has represented megastars such as Man Ray and the "enfant terrible" of France's postwar intelligentsia, Jean Cocteau. Today, the names of showcased artists read like a Who's Who of contemporary art: Arman, Sonia de Launay, and Niki de Saint Phalle for painting and sculpture; Claude Lalanne for jewelry design; and Matta for contemporary carpets. Technically, it's an auction house, similar in some ways to Sotheby's and Christie's, albeit with a specialization in modern and contemporary art, vintage photographs by "important" photographers, antique books and posters, and sculpture. The staff is well versed in the merits of each individual artist on display. The more expensive works are usually displayed in anticipation of a scheduled auction, but there's also a boutique selling reproductions and gift items, and an overwhelming sense of an association with the inner workings of the international art investment community. Despite an address that might be among the most expensive in the world (the intersection of avenue Montaigne and Champs-Elysées), the place is more welcoming than, and not as forbidding as, its location implies. Open Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm; Saturday 11am to 7pm.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010