Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon or MacLYON

Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon or MacLYON

The building that houses the MacLYON has a ​​6000 square meters area, distributed over several levels: modular and articulated spaces, perfectly suited to the new forms of contemporary expression and completely modifiable: the total area for exhibitions is 2,800 square meters. In the exhibition program there is no preclusion of poetics or cultural trends: the only postulate is that of favoring national and international artistic novelties, in all theirs forms and with even transdisciplinary connections.

The museum was established in 1984 in a wing of the Palais Saint-Pierre, and then moved in 1995 to the area of ​​the Cité internationale, a wide architectural complex that extends for more than a kilometer on the edge of the Parc de la tête d’or, in the 6th arrondissement of Lyon. The entire complex was designed by architect Renzo Piano and the museum retains the facade of the atrium of the Palais de la Foire on the park side, designed by Charles Meysson in the 1920s.

Since October 2018, with Isabelle Bertolotti as director to replace Thierry Raspail, the museum has started a new adventure. Bertolotti was joined by Matthieu Lelièvre (art historian, independent curator) as an artistic consultant with the task of developing links with young authors and international networks.

This new governance is part of the pole of art museums of the City of Lyon, launched in spring 2018 and coordinated by Sylvie Ramond, also director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.

After a prolonged break, the macLYON reopened in fall 2020 with two new exhibitions. On the first floor it is proposed the work of Edi Dubien comprising more than three hundred works including drawings, paintings, installations and sculptures. The title of the exhibition is “L’homme aux mille natures” and is curated by Matthieu Lelièvre. Born in 1963, Edi Dubien lives between Paris and Vendôme. His work, certainly not internationally established, however, presents curious connections and really interesting aspects. There is not only a reference to David Salle’s superimposed figuration or to Dürer’s precise naturalistic observations, but we also trace the desire to explore the world of the deep which in certain individual subjects even touches psychological aspects. The subjects range from animals portrayed also in the foreground to adolescents, seen as elements of a future development. The catalog includes texts signed by Matthieu Lelièvre, Eva Hayward and Isabelle Bertolotti. In the second and third floors we find an exhibition inspired by the recent collective and global experience of imposed confinement and more specifically explores the issue of displacement. This exhibition takes the form of an investigation that is not only historical (drawing from the collections of the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the macLYON), but also brings together works borrowed or specially created by French artists.

The lockdown has now again disrupted all the programming: the museum is currently closed, but announces (hopefully) that from 7 April to 18 July it will host the exhibition “Comme un parfum d’aventure”, while for 2022 it has scheduled the personal exhibitions of Mary Sibande and Thameur Mejri.

As they say: whoever lives will see.

Bruno Sain


Cité Internationale
81, quai Charles de Gaulle
69006 Lyon
+33 4 72 691717

Night view of the museum facade with the intervention of Maurizio Nannucci. Photo Blaise Adilon, courtesy macLYON

Edi Dubien, Jeune lapin maquillé, 2020, aquarelle et crayon sur papier, 29,5 x 20,5 cm. Courtesy de l’artiste et Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris © Adagp, Parigi, 2020


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