PARIS 2022 | Museum Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection 

Paris! I haven’t been to the Ville Lumière since my January 2019 visit with Bert and Wim. Also, this March 2022 getaway in Paris marks the first overnight excursion with Thanh since our 2012 visit of the capital of France. Ten years ago! 

Inspired by Karl and Nicolas visiting this art museum, Thanh I booked tickets for the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection

The building

The Bourse de Commerce (Commodities Exchange) is a building in Paris, originally used as a place to negotiate the trade of grain and other commodities, and used to provide services to businesses by the Paris Chamber of Commerce during the latter part of the 20th century. It has its origins in a circular wheat exchange built in 1763–67, with an open-air interior court that was later capped by a wooden dome replaced in 1811 with a copper one, supported by an iron skeletal structure. In a major reconstruction in 1888–89 much of the structure was replaced, although the layout remained the same and the dome was retained albeit adding glass and a mounted canvas.

Since 2021, the building has been the Parisian exhibition site of the Pinault Collection. The dome of the building is listed as a historical monument. 

Art collection

In 2016 Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (PS) offered billionaire François Pinault a 50-year lease on the Bourse de Commerce for a lump sum of €15 million, plus yearly fees.

Shortly after, the Paris City Council approved the project to transform the building into an exhibition space for contemporary art, including pieces from his private collection[13] of more than 3,500 works valued at around €1.25 billion.

In 2017, Pinault publicly presented plans by architect Tadao Ando for placing a 30-foot-high concrete cylinder inside the building to be the Bourse’s main exhibition gallery. 

“The spatial layout of the Bourse de Commerce is designed to create an intense and more subtle dialogue between new and old”, Ando says on the museum website

“The opening of the Bourse de Commerce, a new site in the heart of Paris to display my collection, marks a new phase in the execution of my cultural project, which is to share my passion for contemporary art with the widest possible audience”, François Pinault says on the museum website

Impressions of the building

The concrete cylinder in the circle is controversial. You lose a special view of the stalls and the murals and a specific spacial feeling. On the other hand, the concrete cylinder offers a very modern feel and it offers a way to experience the dome at a higher level. Not having visited the Bourse before, the cilinder does not bother me.

Pinault Collection

At the time of visit, in March 2022, there were exhibitions from and about:

  • Bertrand Lavier.
  • In situ works‘.
  • Stan Douglas.
  • Protest Sounds‘.
  • Felix Gonzales-Torres and Roni Horn.
  • Dominique Gonzalez-Forester.
  • Charles Ray.

Charles Ray

The Charles Ray exhibition dominated the Bourse. 

“A major figure on the contemporary art scene, American sculptor Charles Ray (born in 1953) opens the cultural programme of 2022. (…) This carte blanche to the artist, the first of its kind in France and Europe in terms of its scale”, the Bourse introduces the exhibition. 

“The corpus of Charles Ray’s work consists of some one hundred sculptures and bas-reliefs. (…) It will reveal an exceptional collection, including six previously unknown works.”

Charles Ray is a 68/69-year-old sculptor fascinated by detail and modern technological methods. He doesn’t shy away of 3D printing. He uses different materials. He loves to lie about his works.

And he is fascinated by penises. I can’t blame him.

In a next post, I’ll focus on the work ‘Oh! Charley, Charley, Charley…‘.

‘Oh! Charley, Charley, Charley…’., Charles Ray, 1992.


I enjoyed the Bourse for its architecture, its Instagram-able decor and the mant male nude art. I do love penises. 

Queerness and art

Paris 2022

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