Marvel at masterpieces by Warhol, Lichtenstein and Deschamps at this modern art museum, housed in an eye-catching building with glass passageways.
Art lovers will be captivated by Nice’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC). Browse collections of European and American art from throughout the second half of the 20th century, from the late 1950s to the present.
The museum was built by acclaimed architects Yves Bayard and Henri Vidal and opened its doors in 1990. Admire its unusual form. The building straddles the road, with a walkway connecting the two sides of the structure. The whole thing is clad in gleaming Carrara marble. Its four towers are an impressive 100 feet (30 meters) tall.
Inside view some of the 1,300 works by more than 300 artists. On entering the museum, make your first stop the new realist exhibit. New realism was founded in the early 1960s by art critic Pierre Restany. Get to know the work of some of the most important French artists of the last half-century here. These include artists born in Nice, notably Arman and Yves Klein. The room displaying Klein’s work is painted in a deep blue hue, a color known as International Klein Blue.
Continue through the gallery’s whitewashed corridors to the pop art exhibit. This movement was blossoming in America at the same time as new realism was taking shape in France. It was led by artists including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Look for Warhol’s Dollar Sign, a green and red print of the famous currency symbol.
Two of Lichtenstein’s works are displayed in the museum. Entablature #7 is an abstract monochrome design representing architectural patterns. Interior with Chair is a bit more colorful, depicting a domestic scene in yellow, blue and red lines.
Finally, be sure to look at the School of Nice exhibition, which features artworks from more modern local artists, some still working today. Look for Ben Vautier’s Il y a trop d’art, which resembles a green cartoon alien.
Nice’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is located on the Promenade du Paillon and is open every day except Mondays and some public holidays. An admission fee applies. If you’re traveling by bus, get off at Defly/Klein.