In the world of art, foundations occupy a place apart. They are the result of the initiatives of businesses, private collectors or big namesin this milieu, who decide to share their passion for artistic creation with the public. Custodians of varied and beautifully displayed collections, they are renowned for their landmark exhibitions in buildings designed by leading architects.
Since opening in 2014, the Fondation Louis Vuitton has become one of the city’s leading art centres and an essential piece in its cultural jigsaw. And they certainly don’t do things by half! Located in the Jardin d’Acclimatation, at the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, this breath-taking “glass cloud” by superstar architect Frank Gehry has 4,000 sq.m. of exhibition space for a permanent collection of 20th and 21st century works, and plays host to temporary exhibitions that never fail to hit the mark.
The Fondation will be been bathed in colour until April thanks to Daniel Buren who was invited to create a piece in situ. The love affair between Daniel Buren and Paris goes back a long way. Renowned for his Les Deux Plateaux in the courtyard of the Palais-Royal in the 80s, he has left his mark in spaces across the capital. His latest ode to the city, at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, is The Observatory of Light, a temporary installationvisitors can admire until April 2017. For this work, the artist covered the building’s twelve glass sails in coloured filters, so the light changes with the time of day and the season. The result is grandiose.
As one of the pioneers of corporate patronage, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain has, for more than thirty years, been supporting all types of artistic creation: from painting to video, from design to photography and fashion ... In 1994, it moved into a magnificent glass building designed by Jean Nouvel, on boulevard Raspail in the 14th arrondissement, and has hosted major exhibitions, such as those devoted to Ron Mueck, Bruce Naumanand Hiroshi Sugimoto.
The Espace Fondation EDF has occupied a former electricity substation in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, since 1990. For over twenty-five years, it has been organizing exhibitions on different topics related to the environment, urban planningand sustainable development. A popular theme is light, evoked through exhibitions by Yann Kersalé, Julio Le Parc, James TurrellandNathalie Junod-Ponsard.
The Fondation d’entreprise Ricard , near to Place de la Concorde, encourages young French artistic creation: painting, installations, fashion and video. It organizes eight exhibitions per year, gives carte blanche to exhibition curators, holds lectures ... Each year, it recognizes an up-coming artist with the Prix Fondation d'Entreprise Ricard. This prize has already provided a springboard for artists including Tatiana Trouvé, Mircea Cantor and Katinka Bock.
Who would have guessed that behind the glass walls of a skyscraper at the heart of a business district in the west of Paris - La Défense - lies a wonderful contemporary art collection? Created in 1995, the Société Générale’s eclectic collection celebrates art in all its forms, including painting, sculpture and photography. When they are not on tour, works by 250 artists, including some of biggest names on the art scene today - Zhang Xiaogang, Vik Muniz, Yue Minjun, Alain Bublex and Thomas Ruff - can be seen on the company’s premises. To find out more about the collection, register at www.collectionsocietegenerale.com
Lafayette Anticipation, the foundation set up by department store Galeries Lafayette, is set to open in the Marais in 2017. Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas – who was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2000 - it will soon be open to visitors. Watch this space!