At the foot of Montmartre, before you mount the steps to climb to the big white church, is a former covered market called the Halle Saint Pierre. This building houses a museum, modern art gallery, auditorium, bookshop and cafe and specialises in fringe art (or art brut). This place is less than 20 minutes’ walk from my flat but shamefully I had never been in. I’ll be going back.
Banditi dell’Arte is their current main exhibition, running until January 2013 – it features outsider Italian art from the likes of prisoners, inmates of psychiatric institutions plus there’s a section of contemporary folk art and includes paintings, sculptures, embroidered fabric and clothing and a dining room of all things …
They also hold musical concerts including jazz and piano, hold literary events and show films from time to time (see their website for details), and there’s a lovely quiet cafe that is especially welcome in such a busy tourist area.
The bookshop in the Halle Saint Pierre is a treasure trove of pop culture and art magazines, books for adults and children, and a wonderful graphic art mag called Hey!
So, next time you’re up at Montmartre, dodge the tourists and duck into the Halle St Pierre for a moment of calm and culture-spotting.
Halle Saint Pierre address etc
2, Rue Ronsard – 75018 Paris
M° : Anvers, Abbesses
Tél. : 33 (0) 1 42 58 72 89
Open from 10h to 18h
Saturday from 10h to 19h – Sunday from 11h à 18h