Strong Foundations .
Like a sci-fi creature creeping through the treeline of the Bois de Boulogne, Frank Gehry’s new Fondation Louis Vuitton building carves an intriguing figure. Its glass sails split off at discordant angles, shattering sunlight – and offending some of the neighbourhood’s well-to-do locals. Gehry, who recently flipped the bird at a journalist who questioned the future relevancy of his “emblematic” architecture, was commissioned by LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault to create the building. A new law was passed in response to objectors of the project, allowing him to complete the structure by citing it an object of national importance.
The gallery houses the combined collections of LVMH and Arnault himself, and is funded by LVMH as part of a non-profit entity promoting art and culture. Inside, soaring 21-metre-high ceilings showcase works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gilbert & George and Jeff Koons. It also features site-specific artworks by a range of different international artists. Gehry himself is the subject of a retrospective exhibition of works at the Pompidou Centre.