It's all about contemporary art!

Estuaire (44)

This incredible collection of contemporary art is scattered around Nantes and Saint-Nazaire, as well as the Loire estuary which links the two cities. A permanent circuit invites us to discover 29 major works, including the monumental Sea Snake by Huang Yong Ping, submerged in Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, The House in the Loire by Jean-Luc Courcoult, in Couëron, Lilian Bourgeat's giant Tape Measure on the Île de Nantes, and the improbable folded sailing boat by Erwin Wurm in Pellerin.

La Maison dans l'eau de Jean-Luc Courcoult - Couëron

Le Grand Café (44)

Having survived the bombings, this old Saint-Nazaire café has retained its majestic façade but has transformed into a contemporary arts centre with a special focus on monograph exhibitions. Artists come here from around the world and often meet visitors, who can also enjoy fascinating lectures and screenings.

Christian Hidaka, « After the Moroccans », 2016 -Production Le Grand Café, centre d’art contemporain - Saint-Nazaire

L’Atelier (44)

In order to live happy, live hidden! This could be the motto of this Nantes art gallery, located behind huge doors at the end of a little paved path. The old studio of the sculptor Gérard Voisin has transformed into a 500 m2 exhibition space equipped with five rooms that showcase street art, photography, sculpture, video and more.

Le Carré – Centre d’Art Contemporain (53)

A delightful meeting of the Roman style of the Chapelle de Genêteil, built in the 12th century, and the resolutely modern character of the exhibitions it hosts. Both seasoned and up-and-coming artists exhibit unexpected creations here with often monumental dimensions.

"It’s hard to choose a greeting card for a man" 2015, Le Carré, Scène nationale - Centre d’art contemporain

La Chapelle des Calvairiennes (53)

Built in the 17th century, this chapel classed as a historic monument sees often bold art installations hatch opposite its magnificent tuffeau and black marble altarpiece. In fact, the Pays de Mayenne contemporary art centre is becoming more of a place for experimentation than exhibition.

Lionel Sabatté - Echafaudage d'une éclosion - 2016

Centre d’art contemporain de Bouvet-Ladubay

Renowned for its fine bubbles, Bouvet-Ladubay in Saumur also hosts a magnificent Contemporary Art Centre. This structure with 9 exhibition rooms has also hosted works by Ben, Paul Jenkins, Basquiat, Jean Cortot, Olivier Debré and César, among others. Every year in autumn, the AR(T)CHEVAL fair brings together creations that celebrate the equestrian world in this space.

Exposition Honegger et Jenkins 2011

Abbaye de Fontevraud (49)

As well as being home to the recumbent statues of the Plantagenets, the majestic Fontevraud abbey, built near Saumur over 9 centuries ago, hosts artists who produce works in-situ during residences. Often tucked away in little nooks, they are revealed to visitors as they explore.

Le Centre d’Art de l’Île Moulinsart (72)

In the heart of the green setting of the Île Moulinsart, in Fillé-sur-Sarthe, the Centre d'Art is located in the old grain store of the local mill, where it hosts artists in residence, exhibitions, workshops and meetings. The first weekend of every June, the event After Puls'Art allows us to watch creations and performance and even take part in producing a work.

L’Espal (72)

This magnificent space, coupled with a theatre and located in Le Mans, welcomes rising stars and famous artists in the contemporary world during exhibitions free to the public, who can also take part in encounters as well as unusual brunches held amongst the works!

Espace Gaston Chaissac (85)

A hard-to-define artist who now enjoys a worldwide reputation for his drawings, collages and sculptures made on often unexpected media, Gaston Chaissac lived at the Sainte-Florence public school with his wife Camille, a teacher. Now dedicated to this unique character, the building has an amazing giant sugar box, an art installation by Xavier de Richemont as an adaptation of his predecessor's world.

Musée de La Roche-sur-Yon (85)

This little space hosts a large collection of artistic photography, a discipline whereby the artist carefully produces their images. Works collected patiently since the 70s include pieces by Christian Boltanski, Andy Warhol, Bernard Descamps, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall.
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Discovery contemporary works in the Pays de la Loire region, which has a host of productions full of emotions and surprise in often unexpected places... Here's a guided tour in pictures.

In this region, contemporary art has invaded towns, countryside and seaside. Aside from the traditional galleries, it has worked its way into everything, from little chapels to factories as well as an old public school, a thousand-year-old abbey and a big converted café. World-famous artists unveil their creations alongside rising stars, who see the region as a truly stimulating playground.

Here's a little (but by no means exhaustive) selection of sizzling cultural sites. Indeed, we could have mentioned the Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix in Sables d’Olonne, the Hab Galerie or the Lieu Unique in Nantes, the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Cholet, the FRAC des Pays de la Loire in Carquefou, the Domaine départemental de la Garenne Lemot, the Centre d’Art in Montrelais, or the Beaux-Arts museums in Angers, Nantes and Le Mans… These are just some of the additional sites to explore if you fancy quenching your thirst for discovery further. Meanwhile, follow the guide through these magical places!

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