France: Monumenta 2016- The biggestest art in Paris.

The biggestest big-ass art in Paris. Every two years in the Grand Palais.

Why visit?
Sometimes size does matter. 

If you're in Paris when Monumenta is on, don't miss it. Every two year one artist gets the opportunity to fill the ginormous space of the Grand Palais.

Just a single piece of art- bigger than anything you've ever seen before.

In the Grand Palais in Paris- just off the Champs Elysees. Be quick: Monumenta 2016 runs till the 18th of June. Map.

HUMONGOUS? GIGANTIC? MEGALOMANIC? Monumenta will probably be the biggest piece of art you'll ever see, filling up the whole space of Paris's Grand Palais.

The Grand Palais is hard to overlook: a gargantuan pile of industrial-steel-meets-frilly-French architecture, located between the Champs and the Seine. 

Since 2007, artists have been invited to fill the massive nave of the Grand Palais with a single work of art. Initially yearly, but that proved not to be an easy task. Taking into account the enormous logistical and creative challenges involved, the event now takes place every two years.

2016: Huang Yong Ping

Monumenta 2016 has just started, and runs till 18 June 2016. Go see it. 

This year's big-ass-artist in residence is Huang Yong Ping, Chinese-born, but a French citizen since he decided to leave China following the Tienanmen massacre. 

We won't go into the detail of Huang's work, called 'Empires'  or its meaning- that would spoil the fun. Part of the uniqueness of Monumenta is to discover this work, something you've never seen before, and will never seen again. Ephemerality rules. 

The setting is more durable- the industrial chic of the Grand Palais's massive steel and glass roof makes it one of the more impressive exposition halls in the world. And the unique setting of this architectural wonder is one of the things that make Monumenta so special. 
Glass and steel- Beaux Arts-style.

Every Monumenta is different. Here are some images of past events that Minor Sights has attended:

2012: Daniel Buren

French artist Daniel Buren is perhaps best known for his black-and-white columns in the courtyard of the Palais Royal, also known as Paris's best children's playground. 

His 2012 Monumenta creation was a kaleidoscope of multi-coloured parasols. 

2011: Anish Kapoor

Bombay-born Anish Kapoor created what's perhaps the weirdest Monumenta we've seen: a massive inflatable object that looked like a nuclear aubergine. Visitors we're invited to go inside the object, a claustrophobic dark-reddish space without angles, before exploring the giant inflatable sausage from the outside. 

2008: Richard Serra

The American Richard Serra, who gets his yaya's out working with giant sheets of steel, took over the Grand Palais in May 2008. The towering steel cenotaphs were impressive, but rather simple compared to the later editions. 

Getting there: 
Metro station: Champs Elysees ClĂ©menceau. Just off the Champs ElysĂ©es. 

Monumenta is fun to visit with kids: they can run around freely and there's littel chance of them destroying anything. 

Useful links:
Official website.


  1. fabulous post thank you minor sights

    1. We figure it would be right up your alley...

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Mickey.

      Unfortunately Monumenta finished quite a while ago but in 9 months there will be a new edition!


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