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Paris Contemporary Art Galleries

January 31, 2012 By: Richard Nahem


All photos by Richard Nahem

Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (, and also writes a popular insider's blog

Although Paris has some of the most treasured art pieces in the world, it also boasts a lively and thriving contemporary art scene. There are hundreds of galleries dotting the city with French and international artists exhibiting paintings, sculptures, drawings, and installation pieces.

The Marais area has some of the most notable and well-know galleries and here is a list of some of our favorites.

Galerie NEC
Starting out as a high-end Scandinavian mid-century modern furniture gallery, Galerie NEC has expanded their repertoire in the last five years to include art and sculpture exhibits. In fact, the owners Alain Chiglien from France and Roger Nillson from Sweden have opened a separate gallery just for art, close to their original space. The gallery specializes in ceramics and their artists include Vincent Gagliostro, Carl Richard Soderstrom, Frederique Chauveaux, Gregoire Scalabre and Harumi Nakashima.

Furniture gallery 117 rue Vieille du Temple, 75003
Art gallery: 20 rue des Coutures Saint Gervais 75003
Open 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

Emmanuel Perrotin
Emmanuel Perrotin is a trailblazer in the Paris art world and owns one of the most respected contemporary galleries in Paris. When he was 17 he quit school and worked in galleries to pursue his passion for art, starting his own gallery out of his apartment at age 24. He was the first gallery in Paris to promote such avant-garde artists as Damien Hirst, Takashi Murikami, and Maurizio Cattelan. His French artists include Sophie Calle, Bernard Frize, and Xavier Veilhan. He has also organized a series of modern installations at the Versailles Palace with artists Jeff Koons, Xavier Veilhan, and Takashi Murikami.

Galerie Perrotin
76 rue de Turenne, 75003
Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

Galerie Karsten Greve
With 40 years experience as an international art dealer, Karsten Greve is a revered gallerist.

He opened his first gallery in 1973 in Cologne, Germany with show by French artist Yves Klein and subsequently opened a Paris gallery. Greve is known to work intimately with his artists, which include Cy Twombly, Jannis Kounellis, Louise Bourgeois and the recently deceased John Chamberlain. The gallery also has a strong photographic presence representing photographers such as Sally Mann, Adam Fuss and Lynn Davis. Karsten Greve also has a gallery in the luxury ski resort St. Moritz.

5 rue Debellyme, 75003
Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

Galerie Thaddeus Ropac
Since opening in 1983, Thaddeus Ropac has been at the forefront of American and European contemporary art for the last three decades. Originally starting in Salzburg, the gallery has also been a long time staple in the Paris gallery world, opening in 1990 near the Picasso Museum. Their prestigious stable of artists includes Donald Baechler, Alex Katz, Robert Longo, Gilbert & George, Sylvie Fleury, Jack Pierson, Liza Lou and David Salle.

Galerie Thaddeus Ropac
5 rue Debellyme, 75003
Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

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About the Author

Richard Nahem

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