Lovers of modern and contemporary art? Follow us in roadtrip mode from the Aveyron gorges to the Lot valley. A 100% artistic itinerary for lovers of exhibitions and galleries.

Stage 1: Beaulieu Abbey in Ginals

We begin our artistic itinerary in the valley of the Seye, a small river of about 48 kilometers which has its source near the village of Vazerac, in the Tarn-et-Garonne. It then crosses several municipalities including Caylus, Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val and Septfonds, before jumping into the Aveyron river.

It is in the town of Ginals that we discover, amazed, the abbey of Beaulieu. In this green setting that is the Seye valley, between hills, woods and fields, the imposing monastic building stands proudly.

After learning about the history of the place and its Cistercian community founded in the XNUMXth century, we discover the incredible modern art collection. Nestled in beautiful recently restored rooms of the abbey, the works brought together by Pierre Brache and Geneviève Bonnefoi form an exceptional collection.

The Brache-Bonnefoi collection

Geneviève Bonnefoi and Pierre Brache bought Beaulieu Abbey in 1960 with the aim of exhibiting their collection there. This is made up of works of art from the post-war period, which they describe as “the fertile years”. Their first purchase: two watercolors by Henri Michaux. Then followed many other works by the main avant-garde artists of the years 1945-1975 such as Hans Hartung, Alfred Manessier, Georges Bisssière, Vasarely, Simon Hantaï, Jean Dubuffet, Fred Deux or even Claude Georges and Georges Matthieu.

Learn more about the collection

Today, their collection of modern art counts more than 1 works, of 151 different artists, including more than 200 paintings and 400 drawings, but also an important library and archives.

Throughout the rooms, we feel the taste of the collectors for the abstraction which is so present in the exhibition. Some paintings leave me amazed! My favorite room: the one dedicated to Simon Hantaï. It brings together several paintings that were made using a folding technique, the result is striking.

ADT82 – Lauriane Donzelli – CRTL Occitanie
Beaulieu Abbey
Beaulieu Abbey Church

Not to be missed during your visit

  • The abbey church of Beaulieu
  • The garden and its thousand roses

Stage 2: the Atelier Blanc in Villefranche de Rouergue & the Moulin des Arts in Saint-Rémy

Firm. Opens at 14:00 p.m.
Right bank path
12200 Villefranche-de-Rouergue
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We take the road again towards Villefranche-de-Rouergue where we will visit the White Workshop, contemporary art space located on the banks of the Aveyron river.

SPL West Aveyron
White Workshop Garden

Villefranche de Rouergue has a very pretty historic center. We learn that it is a country house built in the Middle Ages. Its architectural plan forms a kind of labyrinth of streets that lead us to the beautiful Place Notre Dame. Lined with arcades on all sides, the square is overlooked by the bell tower-gate of the collegiate.

We reach the banks of the river and push the door of the Atelier Blanc garden. A small enchanted world is revealed to us and already some artistic installations arouse our curiosity.

L'Atelier Blanc, contemporary art space

The current exhibition is called “Return Rapide” and brings together the creations of Célie Falières and the duo formed by Mazaccio & Drowilal. The installations, photocollages, sculptures and video address the theme of time. This exhibition continues in a second space, about ten minutes from Villefranche de Rouergue, at Mill of Arts of Saint-Remy.

Firm. Opens at 14:00 p.m.
2 church square
12200 St-Remy
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L'Atelier Blanc an association for contemporary art

Created in 2004, the association L'Atelier Blanc supports artistic creation and works to disseminate contemporary art to the general public. It includes three places: the Atelier Blanc on the banks of the Aveyron, the Atelier Blanc in the Bastide in the old center and the Moulin des Arts in Saint-Rémy.

The association offers exhibitions from March to December but also creative residencies, meetings, workshops and events.

Stage 3: the Maison des Arts Georges and Claude Pompidou

To end this day placed under the sign of art, direction Cajarc in the Lot valley. This time we travel through the landscapes of Causse of Villeneuve between oak woods and vast expanses adorned with junipers, boxwood and poppies.

After crossing the impressive Cajarc bridge, we arrive at the MAGCP (House of Arts Georges & Claude Pompidou).

The Georges & Claude Pompidou House of Arts

This contemporary art center, which has been certified since 2018, hosts exhibitions and international artist residencies in Cajarc and at Maisons Daura based in Saint-Cirq Lapopie.

The current exhibition “Sous le Ciel” presents photographs by Raymond Depardon and installations by Nicolas Tubéry. These two artists, separated by two generations, both approach the peasant world in their creations. I am captivated by the black and white photographs of Raymond Depardon which illustrate a rural daily life that seems out of time.


About Marion

100% Aveyronnaise, I love exploring the Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron to enjoy new landscapes throughout the seasons...
Hikes, visits to monuments and charming villages, events and outings with friends... I'm never bored in this pretty corner of Aveyron!

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