The must-see exhibitions in France in 2021

MuCEM, Louvre Lens, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Carrières de Lumières… If you've missed getting lost in museums in recent months, next year's selection of cultural treats looks set to make up for it. From ancient Egypt and Rome to contemporary painting, the pop movement and the Deauville photo festival, there's something on offer for everyone in France in 2021. See you at the museums!

The must-see exhibitions in Paris

Turner, Cézanne and the Masters, Man Ray and fashion, Gabrielle Chanel, Louis de Funès, Les Divas at the Institut du Monde Arabe… The French capital is hosting a wealth of appealing exhibitions in 2021, with an emphasis on haute couture and photography. Read our full list [here](https://uk.france.fr/en/paris/list/exhibitions-paris-2021/).

'00s. Collection Cranford: the Noughties' at MO.CO, Montpellier

Until 31 January 2021

The arrival of the millennium and the new 'noughties' decade sparked many fantasies, fears and representations in the minds of both artists and the general public. This exhibition highlights this with around 100 works from one of the most important European collections of contemporary art: the Cranford collection. Artists from different generations are exhibited, including Louise Bourgeois and Cindy Sherman.

'00s. Collection Cranford: the Noughties' at MO.CO, Montpellier (External link)

'By fire, colour. Contemporary ceramics' at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon

8 January - 2 May 2021

Displaying works from the second half of the 20th century to the present day, this exhibition is dedicated to contemporary ceramics. You will see traditional shapes contrasting with very colourful, recent creations. One thing unites these pioneering artists: mastery of fire.

'By fire, colour. Contemporary ceramics' at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon (External link)

'Laure Prouvost, Deep See Blue Surrounding You / Vois ce bleu profond te fondre' at the LaM, Lille

Until 21 March 2021

Visual artist and videographer Laure Prouvost hails from Lille, and has taken over the city's LaM museum with a revisit of an installatiom she presented at the Venice Biennale. She enters into humorous dialogue with the works and collections of the museum, offering an alternative perspective on them.

'Laure Prouvost, Deep See Blue Surrounding You / Vois ce bleu profond te fondre' at the LaM, Lille (External link)

'She-Bam Pow POP Wizz! The Amazons of Pop' at the MAMAC, Nice

Until 28 March 2021

To mark the 30th anniversary of the museum, this exhibition honours the Amazons of the pop movement - paper or real - who shook up the second half of the 20th century. More broadly, it highlights a dialogue between Nouveau Realism and pop art through the work of the Franco-American Niki de Saint Phalle, and underlines the contribution from European and North American women to this artistic movement.

'She-Bam Pow POP Wizz! The Amazons of Pop' at the MAMAC, Nice (External link)

'Pharaoh, Osiris and the Mummy - Ancient Egypt' at the Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence

Until 14 February 2021

Immerse yourself in the treasures of ancient Egypt at the Musée Granet, which houses one of the most important collections of ancient Egyptian art. 25 years after its first dedicated exhibition, the collection will be visible in its entirety, with an additional 200 works on loan from the Louvre. Admire bas-reliefs from the great pyramid of Khufu, a sarcophagus and mummy, and the royal colossus from the line of Ramses pharaohs.

'Pharaoh, Osiris and the Mummy - Ancient Egypt' at the Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence (External link)

'On The Wire: The Art of Fabric in the Collections of Daniel Cordier and the Abattoirs' at the Abattoirs de Toulouse

Until summer 2021

Pleated, stretched, braided, embroidered, painted, cut... at the Abattoirs de Toulouse, fabric is examined from every angle! A large part of the works on display are taken from a collection by Daniel Cordier, who donated 550 works to the Centre Pompidou which were then transferred here. Of international origin, they are presented alongside works by other contemporary artists.

'On The Wire: The Art of Fabric in the Collections of Daniel Cordier and the Abattoirs' at the Abattoirs de Toulouse (External link)

'Folklore' at MuCEM, Marseille

Until 22 February 2021

Like Joseph Beuys, who saw folklore as a tool for understanding the future, many artists have drawn inspiration from 'tradition' to create avant-garde or contemporary works - whether this has become a fountain of imagination or a subject of criticism! Conceived in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou-Metz, 'Folklore' presents 360 works from the beginnings of modern art to today.

'Folklore' at MuCEM, Marseille (External link)

The 11th 'Planches Contact' photography festival at Les Franciscaines, Deauville

Until 3 January 2021

Despite the disruption to photographers' residencies in 2020, the 11th photography festival has been maintained. Under the artistic direction of Laura Serani, this special edition is all about large-scale outdoor exhibitions, young people and workshops. Philippe Chancel, Mathias Depardon, Evangelia Kranióti, Nikos Aliagas, Todd Hido and the Riverboom collective are all making an appearance.

The 11th 'Planches Contact' photography festival at Les Franciscaines, Deauville (External link)

'Constructed Worlds. A Choice of Sculptures' at the Centre Pompidou-Metz

Until 23 August 2021

A spotlight on modern sculpture, this exhibition covers the period from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, having paved the way for abstraction. Paradoxically, this break makes it possible to represent the world in a more objective way, and to extract the essential: form, volumes and lines. Around 50 key works by Constantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti and Bruce Nauman are on display.

'Constructed Worlds. A Choice of Sculptures' at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (External link)

'Louvre Design' at the Musée Louvre-Lens

Until 1 February 2021

Lille's Louvre-Lens is celebrating design as part of the city's World Design Capital status for 2020. This exhibition brings together a selection of works from the Louvre from antiquity to 1850, and a selection of design objects from 1850 to the present day. Some are iconic, others more unique, playing with materials linked to northern French craftsmanship such as glassware and textiles.

'Louvre Design' at the Musée Louvre-Lens (External link)

'Milléniales: Paintings 2000-2020' at the FRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA, Bordeaux

Until 3 January 2021

'Millennials' doesn't just refer to the generation born before 2000! In this exhibition, the term also encompasses paintings created between 2000 and 2020, from all generations of artists. They illustrate the evolution of contemporary painting over the last two decades, including the introduction of digital.

'Milléniales: Paintings 2000-2020' at the FRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA, Bordeaux (External link)

'The Roman Emperor: a mortal among the gods' at the Musée de la Romanité, Nîmes

13 May - 19 September 2021

In collaboration with the Louvre, the Musée de la Romanité is taking you back 2,000 years to the time of the imperial cult established in the 1st century BC. In ancient Rome, the emperor was the link between men and the gods. With a tour of 150 works, go behind the scenes and learn about the rites of this cult, which gave the emperor the status of mortal among the gods.

'The Roman Emperor: a mortal among the gods' at the Musée de la Romanité, Nîmes (External link)

'Gilles Barbier: Production Machines' at the Musée Soulages, Rodez

Until 16 May 2021

The Musée Soulages has welcomed plastic artist Gilles Barbier with his singular, protean work. He is exhibiting five installations in the temporary room and in the reception area, four of which are already known and one which has been created for the occasion: chimpanzees perplexed by the arrival of an unknown object. These imposing creations, called 'production machines', illustrate a dialogue between artificial intelligence and automatons.

'Gilles Barbier: Production Machines' at the Musée Soulages, Rodez (External link)