76 allées Charles-de-Fitte
Phone: +33 (0) 5 62 48 58 00

Les Abattoirs

The modern and contemporary art museum "les Abattoirs" is a new kind of establishment which offers many activities. In the frame of its public service cultural missions it has inherited the responsabilities of the former municipal modern art museum, the FRAC (regional contemporary art fund) and the contemporary art centre of Toulouse and Midi-Pyrénées.
The Toulouse slaughterhouse was built in the 19th century. Its transformation into a modern and contemporary art centre requires an analysis and an interpretation of its architecture.

The vacuousness of the surrounding spaces versus the quality of the composition
In 1827, the town council designates the architect Urbain Vitry for the slaughterhouse project. His composition is typical of early 19th century architectural programs adapted from the basilical plan. His inspiration comes from his visits to Paris and is based on the proportions of the nave of the Saint Sernin church which is planned to be restored the same year.
Monumentality, neo-classical simplicity, rationality of the plan, geometrical connections, and the hemicycle ending give this building a higher level of abstraction than an ordinary utilitarian building.
To the quality of the composition and of the built volumes, one must oppose the aridness and the distension of the surrounding spaces. The vine growing on the pergolas, the bull headed fountains, the separation low walls which one can see on Vitry’s plans haven’t resisted against the hard functionality of the place and the unavoidable successive alterations.

The surroundings
The modification of the building’s image must... [ Read all ]

Permanent Collection

The collection comprises over 2200 works covering the second half of the 20th century. It is mainly constituted of paintings and graphic works, as well as a smaller group of sculptures and installations which is meant to broaden.

The innovative project of joining the collections and programs of three structures that functioned independently till 1994 (the modern art museum prefiguration, the FRAC Midi-Pyrénées (regional contemporary art fund) and a contemporary art centre) make this collection unique in France.

The collection has been considerably enlarged by the contribution of Daniel Cordier’s collection (MNAM Centre Georges Pompidou deposit) and Anthony Denney’s collection. It is also opening itself to the new forms of contemporary creation by developing acquisitions, commissioned works and deposits.
The modern art collection
Centred on artists working since the 1950’s, it illustrates many artistic movements born after the second world war in Europe (France, Italy and Spain) as well as in Japan and in the United States: abstract expressionism, lyrical abstraction, Art Brut, informal art, Cobra, Gutai, Spatialism, Arte povera and Trans avant garde, Figuration libre…
The donation and deposit of some 50 works from the Anthony Denney collection in 1994, as well as the deposit in 1999 of 393 works from the Daniel Cordier collection by the national Museum of Modern Art-Centre Georges Pompidou bring, by the quality of the works and the artistic movements represented, a true originality and a strong historical base to the collection.

The collection of the photographer Anthony Denney (1913-1990) consists mostly of paintings from the 1950’s and 6...+ [ Read all ]


March 16 – June 3 2007
The second chapter of Absolumental continues the subject of the previous exhibition, emphasizing more specifically on the imaginary, the phantasmagorical and even the hallucinatory aspect of the works, but also on the spectator’s loss of landmarks in time and in space.

Until 17 June 2007
The Picasso curtain
Unique and spectacular, La dépouille de Minotaure en costume d’Arlequin, conceived by Pablo Picasso and Luis Fernandez in 1936, is an emblematic work that unveils the post second world war period covered by the modern art collection in which Spanish art is widely represented.
This large stage backdrop was realised for le 14 juillet, a play by Romain Rolland performed at the théatre du peuple the 14th of July 1936. This work has been restored thanks to the sponsorship of the BNP bank and the help of l’Aérospatiale. Because of its fragility it is shown to the public only 6 months per year.

Until 27 September 07
Rooms of the 1st stage
"Pas le Trocadéro, pas le musée d'Athène"
New presentation of the Daniel Cordier collection.
The passion, the originality and the authenticity of Daniel Cordier shows again with this installation of objects chosen by him in a field foreign to contemporary art. The beauty of the “Ready Made

Exhibitions (1)

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Forthcoming exhibitions

June 26 – August 26, 07
20 artistes dans le métro
20 artists have been chosen to make a work of art in the stations of the new metro line. This exhibition is organised in collaboration with Tisséo the company that built the metro. It will present other works by these artists and will concur with the inauguration of the B-line.

September 21 - October 14, 07
Printemps de septembre

November 9 - January 20, 08
Homage to André Marfaing
Marfaing, Debré, Lindström


Adults : 5 to 10 € depending on the exhibitions.

> "ABSOLUMENTAL 2" : 6€ / 3€ (reduced fare)
Free admission the 1st Sunday of each month,
and during the Printemps de Septembre (September 21rd - October 14th)

Opening hours

Opening Hours : Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 - 19.00
Admission till : 18.15
Closed on Mondays and some public holidays.
Free admission the first Sunday of each month.

The media library
Opened Tuesday to Saturday : 14.00 - 18.00
Tel : (33) 5 62 48 58 08

The library
Opened Tuesday to Sunday : 14.00 - 19.00
Tel : (33) 5 62 48 57 48

Getting there

- By metro : "Saint-Cyprien RĂ©publique"
- By bus : n°1, "les Abattoirs"
- By car : pay parking close to the metro station
2 handicap parking places rue Charles Malpel

Museum internal and external photos (1)

Click on the images to enlarge


Please contact Evelyne GOUPY, at:
for education information.

Please phone
05 62 48 58 07 to make a school group booking