A Pocket of Paris: rue Quincampoix

rueQuincampoix1.jpegIt’s September again and fall will soon arrive in Paris which means the city has woken up from its August hibernation. The tourists are gone, the shops are open, the children are back in school, and galleries are redecorating their white walls with new art.

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It’s pretty easy to get the impression that in its hidden corners alone Paris offers more art than any other city in its museums and galleries combined. For example, take the tiny rue Quincampoix . Located in the 3rd Arrondissement and tucked between rue aux Ours to the north and rue Rambuteau to the south, this small strip which dates  back to the 13th century, hosts a variety of gallery spaces, wine shops, and bistros, where a couple of hours can be spent around a visit to the nearby Centre Pompidou.

At the top of the street, Galerie Médiat displays ceramics and paintings by contemporary artists. Their current show, “Territoires en Mouvement,” is a gathering of work that looks at geological frontiers through the ceramic art of Jean-Pierre Chollet, Andrée & Michel Hirlet, Sylvane Perret, and Jean-Luc Pinçon, as well as, Saharan-inspired paintings by Anne Mandorla.

At No. 107, Galerie Cour Carrée is currently showing a body of work by photographer Lin Delpierre. The exhibition, titled “2007-2010: Nouveaux Itinéraires,” runs from September 9 to October 2.

One of the bigger galleries on the street, Polad-Hardouin,  currently exhibits some of the most interesting work by artist Gérard Alary on this little strip. As an artist versed in multiple disciplines, having tried his hand at architecture, fashion, music and cinema, Alary returns this year with a new set of paintings and drawings in a show entitled “Saint-Soleil,” that will run through October 9. Artist Christophe Boursault, from Marseille, is showing  his work downstairs in the same gallery.

Continuing on down the street, to one side you will find the Passage Molière in which a couple more galleries can be found, as well as, some hidden corners to sit for a glass of wine or a bite to eat. Luxury Biosphere offers a chic variety of wines, foie gras, chocolates, and if you’re able to grab one of the two tables outside, a choice of salads and small plates are available for a modest lunch.

Also in the passage, La Maison de la Poesie (aka Théâtre Molière) hosts an entire season of performances and readings by visiting poets and poets-in-residence. From September 24 through September 26 the 9th Festival Les Radiophonies will take place with over 50 writers and performers participating.

And finally, the most attractive little bistro on this part of the rue Quincampoix: L’Art Brut. It is small, dark, lively and full of art and art-lovers that spill out into the street on any given night. On some nights you might catch a bit of live music, or perhaps a little cabaret show while having some fairly priced drinks (at 5€ tops) and some cheese, sausage and/or charcuterie platters. It’s a simple locale with a joie de vivre attitude tailored to the setting, and is the place to tie in a drink before a gallery opening or a performance.

Rue Quincampoix is neither a flashy street, nor the only one like it in Paris.  But it is  central,  interesting, historical and it offers a great chance of introduction to what the galleries of Paris have to offer. So if you find yourself in the 3rd Arrondissement, take a little stroll down this narrow and historical street for a little taste of the gallery culture that has thrived in Paris since Manet, Renoir and countless others haunted its streets.

Métro: Rambuteau (M11) or Étienne Marcel (M4)

Galerie Médiart
Address: 109 Rue Quincampoix
Tél: 01 42 78 44 93
Website: galerie-mediart.com

Galerie Cour Carrée
Address: 107 rue Quincampoix
Tél: +33 1 48 874 636
Hours: Closed Sunday – Tuesday
Website: galeriecourcarree.com

Address: 86 rue Quincampoix
Tél: 33 (0)1 42 71 05 29
Hours: Closed Mondays
Website: polad-hardouin.com

Luxury Biosphere
Address: 19 passage Molière
Tél: 01 42 71 73 56
Website: luxurybiosphereparis.com

Maison de la Poésie
Address: Passage Molière – 157 rue Saint-Martin
Tél: 01 44 54 53 00
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 2pm – 6pm
Website: maisondelapoesieparis.com

L’Art Brut
Address: 78 Rue Quincampoix
Tél: 01 42 72 17 36
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 4pm – 2am
Website: artbrutbistrot.fr

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One Comment

  1. Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    What a great article – I leave rue Quincampoix and confirm that the place is arty, handsome, historical alltogether. Our flat is right above Galerie Polad Hardouin. I would just like to add that in fact the rue Quincampoix does not stop at rue Rambuteau but continues further untill the rue des Lombards. That last part is the most beautiful, the closer you get to the river, the older the buildings are : it gets magnificient. Also, shops and galleries are also found on this part of the street. In particular you will find :
    - Terre de Chine : a fabulous chinese tea shop
    - A bubble tea shop
    - A great belgian book shop
    - A beer ceilor
    - A record shop specialized in house music
    - An african candle shops

    … and many other surprises. The street is marvellous, and everytime I go back home and I see the Tour St Jacques at the end of it, I am so glad that I live here !

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