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Le Pressionnisme

Le Pressionnisme


Graffiti masters in the spotlight

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Why you will love it?

Just like Impressionists at their beginnings, Graffiti Artists also faced rejection when they began their movement. From the subway cars of New York in the 70s to this exhibition at the Pinacothèque, graffiti has come a long way. Pressionism pays homage to the first and often little known masters of the art. Providing explanations and decrypting the codes that make up the last artistic school of the 20th century, this exhibition caters to both fanatics and initiates.

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About this place

28 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris
Line 8/12/14 Madeleine

Thursday : 10:30 am - 18:30 pm
more less
Monday : 10:30 am - 18:30 pm Tuesday : 10:30 am - 18:30 pm Wednesday : 10:30 am - 20:30 pm Thursday : 10:30 am - 18:30 pm Friday : 10:30 am - 20:30 pm Saturday : 10:30 am - 18:30 pm Sunday : 10:30 am - 18:30 pm

Our Insiders' Article


The name of the exhibition, Pressionism, is a neologism aimed at tying graffiti artists to other big past artistic movements. Born in the 70s in New York, this school of art never blended in. Considered hoodlums for their works in the subways, the Pressionists saw their works shunned by museums and galleries. Graffiti was thus developed underground. A perfect reason to consecrate an exhibition to it!

Parisianist Fun Fact: The word “Pressionism” (an french translation of the enligh "Pressure Art") comes from the pressure, or the “pression” in French, of paint spray cans, but also from the pressure the artists put on each other.


The founding fathers of the discipline are in the spotlight in this exhibition, which decrypts numerous codes of the Pressionist movement. The result is a fascinating display of the little known creativity of the pioneers of the genre. The works exhibited take the form of several media, from canvas to sheet metal to carpet. Behind the bright colors and particularities of the spray bomb, they distinguish between the particular styles of each artist exhibited. Far from the collective imagination, long seen as uncultured hoodlums, they make multiple references to more renowned artists.

Saint Germain

Persecuted by the police in the United States, a number of masters of graffiti sought refuge in France, under the initiative of Philippe Lehman, also known as Bando. Therefore it is from the heart of this very chic neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Pres that graffiti invaded Europe. In contact with Rammellzee or Toxic, certain French graffiti artists such as Ash acquired certain notoriety. These artistic ties between the US and France are very visible in the exhibition, the artists paying homage to one another.

Parisianist Fun Fact: Bando has blood ties with the managing family of the investment bank, Lehman Brothers.


By choosing to present graffiti on canvas in an institutionalized manner, and by paying homage to these little known founders, this exhibition takes risks. But they are worth it, and throughout your visit, you will be amazed by the creativity and masterful technique of these artists (spraying is the most difficult). You can also discover little known Basquiat works dating from before his rise to fame at the Pressionism exhibit. This exhibit is therefore recommended for those who love graffiti, but also for those who want to know more about this fascinating, technical, and audacious artistic movement.

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