All of France is a gallery without walls, and with a new government eager to support the arts. Consequently, in small towns and cities throughout France, there are outdoor installations, hundreds of roving exhibitions, and a general interest and appreciation of young artists' work.
Try to visit Paris before Nov. 2, when Amours closes at the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art on Boulevard Raspail. As theme shows go, this one's a winner with 100 works--paintings, drawings, sculptures, video and photographs--that fully document the overwhelming experiences of all types of love. Among the short videos, a great favorite is Andre Bonzel's scenes of people arriving at an airport, met by people they love. Shown in slow motion, the hugs, kisses, looks and tears are very moving.
A new photography fair called Paris Photo will be held in November at the Carrousel du Louvre (enter via the Pyramid) where you'll be able to see much of the latest mixed-media work. While Paris's 4th and 7th arrondissements remain as popular with art dealers as New York's SoHo and Chelsea, the cutting-edge is shifting slowly to rue Louise Weiss in the 13th arrondissement, near the new Bibliotheque Nationale. Among the most exciting new galleries are Jennifer Flay and Emmanuel Perrotin.
Unfortunately, the hugely popular Centre Georges Pompidou is mostly closed for renovation. But there's always performance art in the plazas surrounding it.