Top Ten Shows to See in Paris

"Dynasty" at the Palais de Tokyo and Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, 13 Avenue du Président Wilson and 11 Avenue du Président Wilson, through September 10,

The Dynasty curators insist that this is no new French Wave — though there certainly are stellar prospects among the 40 artists presenting 80 works at the two museums. Take your time; the dizzying variety of works — from giant dust sculptures to epic video art — requires a full day to comfortably absorb and will leave plenty of strong impressions.

"Yves Saint-Laurent" at the Petit Palais,Avenue Winston Churchill, through October 29,

The runaway hit of this summer, a retrospective journey through Yves Saint Laurent’s trailblazing achievements, from the seminal women’s tux, to gorgeous ballgowns, to colorful Van Gogh-inspired dresses, and the scandalous Spring 1971 collection that threatened to derail the fashion designer's career. Hundreds of outfits and personal objects are lined up for close inspection and appreciation.

"Routes d’Arabie" at the Musée du Louvre, through September 27,

A first look at Saudi Arabia through the ages for the Louvre, which has used its Middle Eastern connections to procure 300 pieces for the exhibition, many of which departed their land of origin for the first time. If the vast show still leaves you wanting, the perennial favorite "Venus de Milo" is well worth a visit in her new quarters, where a very subtle southern light gives the statue new life.

"Paris & Création" Vanessa Bruno storefronts at Galerie des Galeries in the Galeries Lafayette, 40 Boulevard Haussmann, through August 5,

Best known for their traditional Christmas displays, the enormous Galeries Lafayette shopping galleries welcome art to their storefronts this summer, with a curator’s 'carte blanche' given to star-magnet fashion designer Vanessa Bruno. Photos by Mark Borthwick and videos by Stéphanie Di Giusto are included in this double-hit blend of art and retail therapy.

Pierre Etaix at Le Nouveau Latina, 20 Rue du Temple, through August 10,

Paris doesn’t come with a sunshine guarantee and a rainy day is well spent at this independent film house, rejoicing that the Jacques Tati-like filmmaker Pierre Etaix has finally won the battle to have his works shown again. "Yoyo," the story of a rich man who leaves his castle to join the circus with his wife and child, is not to be missed.

Valérie Jouve at the Centre Pompidou,Place Georges Pompidou, through September 13,

A first solo show for one of the most influential contemporary artists in Paris. Valérie Jouve presents 30 photographs taken outside the West that examine various facets of human existence in urban environments.

"Klara Lidén: Toujours être ailleurs" ("To always be elsewhere") at Jeu de Paume, 1 Place de la Concorde, through September 5,

Swedish installation artist Klara Lidén tacitly invades and reinterprets the Jeu De Paume’s space with stacks of ad banners, subtle pumping rhythms, and flickering slide shows. The show is a commentary on the tyranny of society’s unwritten rules, according to curator Elena Filipovic.

"Vanité: Mort, que me veux-tu?" ("Vanity: Death what do you want with me?") at Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent, 1 rue Léonce Reynaud, through September 19,

If you can stomach Joel-Peter Witkins Mexican morgue shots, then this examination of death’s representations in the swanky 16th Arrondissement is worth a visit. Giacometti, Man Ray, and Richter are among the ghastly guest stars.

"Museogames" at the Musée des Arts et Metiers, 60 Rue Réaumur, through November 7,

More than a cursory replay of childhood memories, this fascinating show presents a myriad of thought-inspiring interviews about the social impact of video games through time. Not to worry, visitors do get to indulge their pangs of nostalgia — there’s plenty of hands-on play with classic console and arcade games.

THE DAY TRIP: "Formica" at Domaine Pommery, 5 Place du Général Gouraud, 51100 Reims, through August 26,

There’s nothing like a summer afternoon sipping champagne in sunny castle gardens — though at the Domaine Pommery, the cool darkness of the cellars present an intriguing alternative courtesy of Jean-Pierre Formica. His installation of salt sculptures small and large slowly degrades and decays, so catch it before it melts in the underground humidity.