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Palais de Tokyo

Parisians were at first puzzled by the peeling walls and rough-and-tumble attitude of the enormous new center devoted to cutting-edge art and culture that opened its doors in January on the river near the Champs-Élysées. The renovation may look more like a semi-deconstruction, but the Palais de Tokyo, originally built for the 1937 World's Fair, is now the perfect setting for a changing array of ambitious, experimental, and mostly site-specific works by rising art stars. Smartly directed by Jérôme Sans and Nicolas Bourriaud, the museum's flexible program (installations remain on view for anywhere from a month to a year) could be the perfect antidote to the French art scene—often undone by its own suave finish and good taste. Among the more than 40 works that inaugurated the space: an exploded prison by Scandinavian duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, riffs on Hindi logos by Subodh Gupta, and computer-manipulated canvases by American Matthew Ritchie that create their own cosmic order (all on view through May 12). The museum, which has a bar, restaurant, bookstore, and shop, is open from noon to midnight. Palais de Tokyo, 13 Ave. Président-Wilson; 33-1/47-23-38-86; www.palaisdetokyo.com.

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