Artalistic has gathered an exciting selection of alternative venues around the world and in France that are exhibiting contemporary art in extraordinary settings. Step out of your comfort zone of big museums and galleries and venture with us to more underground exhibition spaces. (Illustration: The Bass, Miami).
5 must-see contemporary art venues around the world
Here are 5 places around the world that will allow you to enjoy contemporary art in a new way.
Urban Spree: Berlin
The Urban Spree is an alternative contemporary art venue located in an old train station in Berlin's underground Friedrichshain district. Converted into a cultural and artistic space, it is also known as RAW Gelände. There are art galleries, artists' studios and DIY classes teaching an array of artistic media from pottery to drawing. The location itself is like a gallery covered in street art and various other works of art. This remarkable space is dedicated to urban culture and also features concerts, an art store and has a large Biergarten.
LX Factory: Lisbon
This large building used to be a knitting factory that was built in 1846 in Lisbon’s Alcantara district. The LX Factory was converted into an alternative mini-village that lives and breathes culture and contemporary art. Street art is in vogue here, much like Berlin's Urban Spree, its walls are decorated in stunning frescoes. It’s one of the most famous locations for creatives on the old continent. Everyone is welcome to present their ideas and art in this alternative venue.
Hangar Bicocca: Milan
Now, on to Italy, to one of Europe’s most emblematic alternative contemporary art venues. The Hangar Bicocca is a former locomotive factory located in Milan. It was converted into a non-profit foundation in 2004 by Marco Tronchetti Provera, CEO of Pirelli. It is one of Europe’s largest locations dedicated to artistic experimentation. It features temporary exhibitions by renowned artists and permanent exhibitions such as, Anselm Kiefer's Seven Heavenly Palaces, a set of 7 towers - each weighing 90 tons and rising to heights of up to 13 and 19 meters (42 – 62 feet) – which were created for the Hangar’s opening nearly 20 years ago.
The Bass: Miami
The Bass Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami Beach USA is a museum that shares the power of contemporary art through experiences that excite, challenge and educate. Its mission is to connect international contemporary art, its many forms and its diverse audience. Miami has several renowned museums (ICA, MOCA, Rubell Museum) but the Bass is considered to be one of America’s leading institutes dedicated to contemporary art. Its unique transdisciplinary approach is appealing, as The Bass integrates various industries including, architecture, design and fashion. A visit to this museum is an exciting and truly stimulating experience.
Maison de Rendez-vous: Brussels
In Saint-Gilles, a village-like district in Brussels, there is an experimental venue for contemporary art that remains somewhat of a hidden gem: the Maison de Rendez-Vous. This vast yet inviting building exhibits work from several continents within its wood paneled walls. A visit will take you on a tour of art from Tokyo to Mexico City and Los Angeles thanks to four innovative, international and experimental galleries that share the work that they display. This dynamic exhibition space in Belgian’s capital also supports many emerging artists.
France’s top exhibition spaces for contemporary art
Fluctuart is the first floating urban art center in the world! This contemporary art exhibition space is a completely transparent three-story floating museum that is docked along the Seine River. It is located next to the Invalides bridge and features street art from well-established and emerging artists.
The FRAC museum is housed in an astonishing building designed by the architect Odile Decq. The work on display is comprised of a collection of nearly 5,000 pieces collected by the Regional Fund for Contemporary Art. In France, this alternative exhibition space has been a huge success, especially thanks to the artist Aurélie Nemours’ Alignment of theXXI Century - a modern rendition of the Carnac megalithic site, in Morbihan.
Located in the city of Mulhouse, the Kunsthalle is an influential contemporary art center in France. It is located in the Fonderie, a former industrial building that is co-located with the University of Haute-Alsace, the city archives and the artist workshops Ateliers Pédagogiques d'Arts Plastiques. The center holds four exhibitions per year, aiming to promote local, national and international artistic creation.
Labanque (ex-Lab-Labanque) is located in Pas-de-Calais in the former Banque de France (Bank of France) in Béthune. Opened in 2007, it was created by the local community in the hopes of developing cultural policy in the North of France. This contemporary art exhibition space has been a great success thanks to the work of artists specializing in various media, including: photography, video, sculpture, painting, design, etc.
Le CAIRN: Digne-les-Bains
Developing regional contemporary art in France
The CAIRN is not widely known but it has been a major contributor to France’s contemporary art scene since its creation in 2000. It is a collaboration between the Gassendi Museum and the UNESCO Geopark of Haute-Provence. It features works of art and exhibitions created on site by artists in residence. The pieces are intended to be perennial or ephemeral. The contemporary art incorporates archeological findings, local history and traditions. This unique way of creating art helps spread contemporary art to rural areas while contributing to regional development.