At Essential Sailing, we love the history, culture and cuisine of the places we visit almost as much as the sailing to get there. Our Captain’s Blog brings you a taste of what to expect from our luxury crewed sailing holidays around the French and Italian Riviera. In this blog we visit the remarkable Musée d’Art Morern et d’Art Contemporian (MAMAC)
Sit back and be inspired.
The remarkable Musée d’Art Morern et d’Art Contemporian (MAMAC) on the French Riviera traces the history of French and American avant-garde from the 1960s. MAMAC was inaugurated in 1990 as a vast monument to the ambitions of the city’s former National Front leader, Jacques Médecin. Even the building, designed by Yves Bayard and Henri Vidal, is a masterpiece of modern art and its four octagonal, grey-marble towers linked together by glassed walkways.
MAMAC’s collections are exhibited in rotation and reflect the main avant-garde art movements of the last 40 years in France and the US. The primary focus is on France neo-realism and the artists of the second École de Nice, featuring works by Rayasse, César, Arman, Ben, Tinguely, and Yves Klein. Many of their works involve smashing, tearing, burning or distorting mundane objects of everyday life as a spoof on society and the highbrow art world.
Look for artists of the support-surface movement (who sought to reduce painting to its materialistic reality, concentrating on the frame and the texture of the canvas) and the graffiti-obsessed ‘Fluxus’ movement, best portrayed in the fun, push-button Little Shop of Ben, American abstraction, minimalism and pop art also well represented. Highlights include several Lichtenstein cartoons and one of Warhol’s famous Campbell’s soup tin pieces.
No visit to MAMAC would be complete without visiting the rooftop terraces for unsurpassed views of Nice. Here, on special occasions, the illumination of Klein’s Mur de Feu (Wall of Fire) is a unique spectacle.