Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
What a mistake to walk out to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, just over the fence in the Bois de Boulogne, Neuilly sur Seine, on a rainy day! The edifice rises up out of it all like a big umbrella that never closes but doesn’t protect you in any way, and yet again Frank Gehry’s crushed paper-bag of a building is supposed to house something? This time it’s probably the most uncoordinated and meaninglessly disparate collection you could ever hope to see. All those big powerful dealers must see Bernard Arnault, the boss-man coming, and know they can rid themselves of the most impossibly dull pieces. I’d seen this syndrome a few times before, most recently at Jupiter (I always want to say Jupiler- but that’s the Liege beer) Artland outside Edinburgh. Every bum piece you could think of, and that’s before we start talking about the commissions! I could go through a list, but that would be pendantry. Suffice it to say, there is the office version of Nam June Paik’s Buddha, which should really be a Buddha-piece, the Lego-coloured Ellsworth Kelly’s from last year. It’s all far too late to do anything proper, and M. Arnault is a late-comer, after the horse had bolted. It’s all a little sad, and even naive at best in the lack of coordination and push for a central purpose in it all, and I was amazed to see that Suzanne Pagé was now artistic director, someone I had always taken quite seriously.
As to to the building what else is there to say – that discarded umbrella caught in the mesh of the chicken-wire waste-paper basket. Still there is no reason why the rain comes in so much. It is completely inadvertent. That’s what happens when you ignore all Garden Architecture, especially the Japanese. The whole thing, building, collection et al, is really the last fling of flabby Belle-Epoque in a certain way, and has all the vanity and gravity of a plush handbag. I have adopted their adjective for things like it. SC