Founded in 2000 by Édouard Carmignac the Carmignac Foundation aims to promote contemporary art through a programme of sponsorship, the creation of a strong and dedicated collection and the annual Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism award, currently amongst the most generous awards of its kind.
The Carmignac Foundation is led by Gaïa Donzet, and has its administrative headquarters in the Carmignac Gestion offices in Place Vendôme, Paris. The art works in the collection are on display in the offices in Paris, Madrid, London, Frankfurt, Milan and Luxembourg.
The Carmignac Foundation is currently working on a new project in the South of France, on the protected island of Porquerolles, with plans for a centre for contemporary art and a sculpture garden to open in 2015.
History of the collection
The Carmignac Foundation has its origins in the Carmignac Gestion corporate collection, which it continues to promote.
- « Since Carmignac Gestion was founded in 1989 – a pivotal year in the collapse of the Soviet empire – the collection has continued to represent what is new in contemporary art. There is just one imperative : each work must provide an individual perception, and an emotional and aesthetic insight that is unique. »
The Carmignac corporate collection, which has grown progressively since the company was founded in 1989, brings together nearly 150 works. Originally centred on Pop Art and the German School, the collection bears the imprint of personal choices and a passion for original ideas and approaches.
Important pieces by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Gerhard Richter, Andreas Gursky, Keith Haring and Martial Raysse, on display at Carmignac Gestion’s headquarters in Paris and its other European offices, unite the group’s employees, providing a source of exchange, inspiration and energy.
Two large portraits of Lenin and Mao, painted by Andy Warhol in 1986 and 1973 respectively, are displayed in the office of Edouard Carmignac. Jean-Michel Basquiat, another cornerstone of the collection, is represented with five pieces, including Fallen Angel, the premonitory work of 1981.
Roy Lichtenstein is represented with two key pieces: Vicky I – I thought I heard your voice, from 1964 and Fishing Village from 1987.
The artistic scene in Germany is illustrated by three important art works : two by Gerhard Richter, including « Grüner Stricht » from 1982, and a piece by Albert Oehlen dated 1977.
The collection continues to grow, encompassing a new generation of artists from emerging art scenes, including Ayman Baalbaki and Hannibal Srouji from Lebanon, Os Gêmeos from Brazil, Shirin Neshat from Iran, Miguel Rothschild and Guillermo Kuitca from Argentina and Marcos Lopez from Columbia.
Photography also forms an important part of the collection, with work by Andreas Gursky, Peter Lindbergh, Martin Parr, Doug Aitken, Chen Wei, Alex Prager, Nicola Costantino, Anne Deniau and Edgar Martins.
The Photojournalism award
Created in 2009, the Carmignac Gestion photojournalism award finances a long-term project every year, on a chosen theme relating to current affairs.
A grant of 50,000 euros is offered, with the aim of promoting an in-depth study within the area. In addition to this, the Carmignac Foundation supports the winner after their reportage by offering an exhibition at the Chapelle de l’École de Beaux-Arts de Paris and a monograph published by Actes Sud. The Foundation also commits to purchasing four photographs from the work produced.
A panel of notable personalities from the world of photography and specialists of geopolitical issues select a project, annually, in collaboration with the director of the award, Nathalie Gallon.
In choosing to support a profession that is critically underfunded, Carmignac Gestion aims to provide these key witnesses of the contemporary world with the means to go where others don’t.
The Porquerolles project
In March 2012, Edouard Carmignac announced the Foundation’s planned project on the protected island of Porquerolles, in the heart of the Port-Cros national Park in Var. Subject to planning permission, this outstanding site will allow sculptures to be displayed in a way that embraces the natural surroundings of this unspoilt place, giving them a living and open-air dimension.
The project is being managed by Gaïa Donzet, the director of the Foundation since February 2012. Gaïa Donzet has long displayed entrepreneurial flair, having successfully run the French arm of both the Tornabuoni Art gallery and Bonhams Auction House.
The location chosen to site the Foundation is in the heart of the island, in an existing building surrounded by a park, in a landscape dotted with olive trees, eucalyptus and vineyards.
The change of use for the existing building, a Provencal country house that is typical of the local architecture, requires a re-design which is currently underway.
With no administrative delays, the Carmignac Foundation plans to open its doors on Porquerolles in the summer of 2015.
This new space dedicated to contemporary art places artistic creation in the midst of a natural setting in an unprecedented way. Designed as a focal point to bring together the most original movements in contemporary art in France and abroad that are represented in the Foundation’s collection, the space will allow the public to take part in the pleasure and discovery of new talent.
For this project, the Carmignac Foundation plans to launch a programme of artistic commissions in 2013, designed to be integrated into the Foundation on Porquerolles.